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Psychic Enemies Network | Valis

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Electronic: Ambient Electronic: Ambient Moods: Type: Soundtrack
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by Psychic Enemies Network

Ambient trance electronic soundscapes
Genre: Electronic: Ambient
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Arhythmia
9:39 $0.99
2. Come Crumbling
6:17 $0.99
3. Sandfall
6:20 $0.99
4. Tilted Earth
11:17 $0.99
5. Bowl Cut
7:07 $0.99
6. Radio Free Albemuth (altman)
2:06 $0.99
7. Valis
7:06 $0.99
8. Mehendi
5:03 $0.99
9. 8/7/96
6:07 $0.99
10. Gnomonic
7:01 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Ambient trance psychedelic dub electronic soundscapes

Soundtracks for your portable cortical theatre...

Psychic Enemies Network, writes, "The task of the artist in the age of information is to mold the ever increasing dirge of data into a form that is both comprehensible, and emotionally meaningful. To find the emergent texts within the chaos of the media background." The Network has issued their second dirge of data, "valis". I often cannot identify the sources of the sounds I hear on valis. Nor can I understand the languages spoken by the voices I hear on valis. At times it seems that I bring as much to bear to the experience of listening to valis as valis does. I have no choice: my attempt to mold valis into something comprehensible and meaningful is involuntary. I take it that this is the effect its creators intended valis to have.

In the making of valis, the Thorne brothers were in the unenviable position of having to meet the high standard set by their self-titled debut CD. I do not find the debut as dark, bleak, and desolate as other reviewers have. If I had to choose a phrase that characterizes the debut, it would be "filled with anxiety." Perhaps the final track on the debut, "In Its Streets," is despairing: but it is my favorite track on that album. Valis is different. If the debut and valis were siblings, valis would be the crankier. But valis does not disappoint.

"Tilted Earth" is the Thornes' masterpiece. It evokes the primitive and the animal. It is a night in the wilderness filled with the deafening roar of beasts in the distance. Is David Chapman's trumpet playing the parts of the beasts? or whales, for that matter? What sounds like wind chimes becomes almost 11 minutes later white noise that, when lifted, reveals a complicated pattern of notes played on the steel drum. All this and vocals anchored by nifty percussion is entrancing. "Sandfall" is a lovely, rhythmically satisfying racket. Gathering steam in a hurry, it combines something that sounds like a harpsichord with vocals and watery instrumentation-guitar? Eventually, one hears a sound that is difficult to describe: imagine bells recorded in a bathroom and played back on a small amplifier turned up to 10. For someone like me, an easily identifiable instrument on valis is welcome. Chapman returns on "valis" with a sound the source of which is unmistakable-his trumpet. His playing is gorgeous.
"Bowl Cut" is an oddball. It sounds like two a.m. stations tuned in at the same time, one playing an ominous sound sprinkled with the sound of bells of some kind, the other playing a groovy, jazzy keyboard solo accompanied by John giving his drum kit a disciplined beating. As on the debut album's "Drawn" the listener is rewarded with a recording of Matt's solo guitar work, which is always a treat. Roughly halfway through, after songs ranging from 11:17 to 6:18 in length, the Thornes supply a light and amusing breather, "Radio Free Albemuth (Altman)." Here they splice together a lot of drums and percussion in a manner that brings to mind turning the dial of a radio. Slowing down and speeding up of the recordings, as well as the splicing, brings early Zappa to mind.

One reviewer said that the debut CD is like "a very strange dream where old memories pop up, linger, and then drift past." Valis is very much like that. But even though the tone of the dream is different, it is a dream very much worth having.

by Rodney Cupp, Department of Philosophy, University of Nebraska at Lincoln



to write a review

Caesar Ursic

Multiple Neurons Firing Simultaneously...
Valis is the kind of CD that works on so many different levels that I hesitate to even attempt a coherent description. Like they say, "writing about music is like dancing about architecture...." But if you crave and value a challenging yet effortlessly cohesive (!!) aural experience that rewards repeated listenings and distorts your perceptions (in a good way), then this is it. Five Stars!!