All vocal tracks recorded at Paranoise Studio, Hartfort,CT except track 3 and 7 wich were recorded live in the Dwelling Room, 1999.
- Sanguine Moon
- Waking The Divine
Bislama takes the listener on a voyage to the contemplative ambient spaces of a rarefied plateau and on through distant imaginary villages filled with ancient ceremonies and distant chants. Slowly evolving tribal percussion throb and pulse. Hypnotic drones and sweeping synthetic textures are interwoven with the most primal of instruments, the human voice.
Bislama is a collaboration between ambient electronic composer Alpha Wave Movement and the unique vocals of Jim Cole. Together they weave fascinating, serene tapestries of harmonic overtone singing and mystical chanting interlacing with exotic world percussion mix and melodic ambient electronics. Deeply meditative ambient music.
2001. Press information
Prior to this release, I was very familiar with the overtone vocals of Jim Cole, reviewed elsewhere in AMP, but had never heard Alpha Wave Movement (Gregory Kyryluk).
I was pleasantly surprised at the combination. Jim Matus and Andy Taylor are to be commended for bringing these two artists together. It's one of the finest ambient releases that I've heard so far this year, and all seven tracks meld into a beautifully constructed, well organized musical dialog.
Kyryluk creates a musical backdrop for Cole's ethereal vocals, by incorporating both hardware and software based synth/samplers creating atmospheric clouds, both pristine and ethereal.
Combined with Jim Cole's overtone singing, the music conveys a journey into an organic conscious state of being.
Ambient atmospheric music is usually primarily electronic based, or sometimes incorporates other instruments, with electronic treatments. While this album does integrate sophisticated electronics into it's structure, it becomes elevated to new levels with the natural "harmonic overtones" provided by Jim Cole, who literally breathes life into each track.
The seven compositions featured on Bislama flow like a great story line, from the first cut,which is the title track to the fading crescendos of the final composition, 'Samui'. This last track brought back memories of the Vangelis' classic, 'The Tao of Love', and seems like a perfect ending for this magnificent collection.
Cole and Kyryluk have created a true masterpiece. Highly recommended.
I often find that contemporary ambient music can sound cold and alien, which is fine if that was the writers' desired effect. But here we have an earthy, organic work, and an album of lush serenity.
The eponymous opening track begins with low bass rumbles and haunting winds. Effects and a drone expand into synth sweeps and 'harmonic overtone' singing by Jim Cole.
Jim's treated vocals sound almost like a synthesizer pad and it is these vocals that give the album much of it's character. Whispered chants, bell pads and relaxed percussion carry the song and set the serene mood that sustains throughout the album.
'Offering' sounds like it begins in a huge, damp cavern of dripping water and distant thunder. The subtle strings seem to hint at a melody but, as with all good ambient releases, they fall just short, creating a sumptuous sound collage.
'Satari' mixes the ingredients of sad strings, Jim Coles' extraordinary harmonies and fat drones to exquisite effect. A quiet, fast sequence, which should seem at odds with the rest of the song, somehow fits into the mix.
The vocals are more prominent in 'Theidea', and the sleeve notes perfectly describe this track as 'pre-dawn reflections in an eastern monastery...' Atmospheric stuff!
'Sanguine Moon' continues with the prominent vocals, this time pitched higher and sounding almost human! Primitive percussion and a bassline make this the most structured piece, yet there's still room in there for the listener to drift carelessly along.
'Waking the Divine' broods on dark strings and throbbing effects before succumbing to a lilting melody and a talking drum(?) The song gradually starts to float on soundtrack synths and is accompanied by quiet tinkling bells, which also appear in other places on the album.
We end with 'Samui', which blends Jim Coles' vocals with synths and delicate koto playing.
This release works on two levels. Firstly, 'Bislama' itself is a language of the Micronesian people of the Pacific Islands and Alpha Wave Movement & Jim Cole have painted for me a picture of an ancient culture and a traditional people. Secondly, this is a truly sublime listen that transforms the space around you, as all true ambient music should. An awesome record - something that just gets better on subsequent plays.
Bislama is the first collaboration between the unlikely duo of Alpha Wave Movement (aka synthesist Gregory Kyryluk) and overtone singer Jim Cole (of Spectral Voices).
On paper this album seems like an odd match; the pairing of an electronic musician steeped in modern rhythms with a vocalist disciplined in the enigmatic practice of throat singing. With this wonderful release, the pair successfully combine their talents into something more than each is capable of on their own.
Theoretically, the influence of Bislama has been the culture and music of Micronesia. The music and mood absolutely reflect this through Kyryluk's imaginative use of sounds and tones both electronically manipulated and synthetic in origin along with Cole's wondrous singing and chanting. Ceremonial bells ring, exotic percussion rumble, gamelan rhythms cycle, all beneath a varying layer of floating synth pads and harmonic vocal improvisations. But the idea of this album is deeper than its cultural sources.
Bislama is a metamorphosis of talent, sound and music derived through collaboration and improvisation. The two have created an album stylistically unique and complexly diverse.
2001. Chuck van Zyl / STAR'S END