173

The Maskit Chamber: The 4th Wave

By

Sign in to view read count
The Maskit Chamber: The 4th Wave Ambient music. As a rule either you dig it, or you just don't get it. However, I've managed to find myself in the odd position of straddling the fence on this issue - I've heard some very cool ambient CDs such as Fayman/Fripp's Temple in the Clouds, and I've heard some stuff that quite frankly just puts me to sleep. So, with an open and undecided mind I dove headfirst into The Maskit Chamber's The 4th Wave, and I'm afraid that despite some interesting moments - and plenty of birds chirping - this one falls into the "puts me to sleep" column. Not that sleep is always a BAD thing mind you, it just tends to get in the way when you're trying to review an album.

The Maskit Chamber is actually a solo effort from Gayle Ellett - member of underground proggers Djam Karet. The 4th Wave consist of exactly ONE song - a 50 minute+ whopper named after the album itself. Unfortunately, 50 minutes was about 40 minutes too long for this reviewer, as the piece never really goes anywhere. I know that ambient music is all about emotion and subtlety with its long drawn out chord progressions and droning meditative keyboards, but I expect at least a decent amount of stimulation out of my music and I just didn't experience anything very interesting on The 4th Wave.

The track kicks off with something that sounds like a child's music box, but quickly enters familiar trance territory with a low didgeridoo (did I spell that right?) sounding keyboard note that lasts around a half an hour. On top of this drone, Ellett provides minimal (but at times effective) melodies using various string instruments, a mellotron, and a potpurri of digital samples. Actually, they could ALL be digital samples for all I know, it didn't specify in the liner notes.

Anyway, while Ellett does manage to create some interesting ideas within The 4th Wave, the problem is that the ideas are only interesting for a couple of minutes, while in actually they last about 10 minutes apiece. Nice Pink Floyd-esque swirling keys topped off with about three occasional chords from a rhythmic acoustic instrument is cool with me - but not over and over again for 10 minutes with much change. There is some trippy mellotron added into the mix for flavor, but it's not enough to save The 4th Wave from becoming a casualty of the mundane. Things actually get a little interesting at around the 36 minute mark, where the piece takes a Tangerine Dream inspired turn complete with some groovy percussion. But again, things simply descend back into "insert wacky sounds... re-start the low drone" school of ambience.

Perhaps connoisseurs of the genre would find some pleasure in the relaxing tones of The Maskit Chamber. I would've myself preferred a CD with perhaps a number of shorter tracks, but I do respect Ellett for accepting the challenge to write a piece almost an hour long. Like I said at the onset, ambient music is definitely an acquired taste; but The Maskit Chamber is definitely a taste that I have not yet acquired. The 4th Wave is not for the uninitiated!


Track Listing: 1. The 4th Wave (50:25)

Personnel: All music performed, arranged, and composed by Maskit Chamber

Title: The 4th Wave | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Maskit Chamber, The


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Attic CD/LP/Track Review The Attic
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Outside The Comfort Zone CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017
Read # 1 CD/LP/Track Review # 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Tetrawind CD/LP/Track Review Tetrawind
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Triplicate CD/LP/Track Review Triplicate
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read "New Life" CD/LP/Track Review New Life
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 25, 2017
Read "Cave Art" CD/LP/Track Review Cave Art
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath II" CD/LP/Track Review Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath II
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 16, 2017
Read "Black Art Jazz Collective - Presented By The Side Door Jazz Club" CD/LP/Track Review Black Art Jazz Collective - Presented By The Side Door Jazz...
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 28, 2016
Read "Snowmelt" CD/LP/Track Review Snowmelt
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 6, 2017
Read "For Free" CD/LP/Track Review For Free
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 13, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!