All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
"Vidna Obmana" (whose real name is Dirk Serries) evokes the sunless wet gloom of his native Belgium in this two-CD set which, as its name says, is music composed by Obmana as background sound for an aquarium installation. The first disc has seven sections of his atmospheric (or rather, aquatic) ambience, dating from '92 and '93. The second disc is also a recording from 1993, using some of the same material – performed in Germany, according to the notes, at the (peculiar) hour of 6 AM.
Obmana stays with his familiar repertoire of long, floating electronic drone tones over percussion and sound effects. When he uses tonality, he favors somber open elevenths and fifths, intervals which could be considered his "signature." Other sections use microtones. The watery ambience is constantly reinforced by the sound of rainstick rattles, recorded water sounds, the occasional fish groan or human voice, and of course the obligatory vast reverberation. This is quintessentially European electronic music, harkening back to the ring modulator and oscillator work done by Belgian and Dutch composers back in the '50s and '60s – one could even call it, at this 21st century date, "traditional." It has an autumnal quality, like a long, rainy day in November. It moves slowly, like waves of clouds, filling the listening room with audible mist, peaceful but chilly and very soggy.
HMGS rating: 7 out of 10 8/2/01
| Record Label: Hypnos Recordings
| Style: Ambient
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.