Beyond – Houkai

up_090505_beyondThis is a three track CDR in a slimline DVD case. Two of the tracks are remixes. One of those remixes is Beyond remixing a track by Stijn Van Cauter, and the other remix he is deconstructing his own work. But first up is the virgin piece “Blightstrider.” It’s a 12 minutes piece born of deep sub bass tones, scattered distant whispered vocals and the clattering of stones falling down deep crevasses. The piece pretty much sticks to those types of sounds throughout its duration, but there are some distant rhythmic hints, and subtle melody that creep in very far back in the mix. This helps keep you drawn in right about the moment when you feel like you’ve gotten the point. The sound of wind gusts come in and build to finish the track out. “In Pain (TSYA remix)” is next at just shy of 11 minutes. This is more animated right out of the gate with panning loops of metallic tones and feedback, still presented in a rather ambient fashion, but with more bites than anything in the previous track. This swirling collision of loops and cycles swell and shift for the first half of the track without really bringing much new into play. They gently fade back and a different collection of loops and cycles emerge. Late in the track a low end throb comes in and provides a nice bit of body beneath the higher range squeaking loops, but at that point its impact is a bit defeated because the track has gone on so long relative unchanged that I’m not sure I cared anymore. The ten minute “Torn (Decay Remix)” is the final track, and clearly the noisiest of the lot. The liner notes say this is a track the project had recorded for another releases that has been “remodeled via tape destruction.” It again utilizes evolving loops, using heavily saturated distorted low end and cutting feedback tones and remains rather set in the presentation that it begins with throughout. Because of the crunchy edges to the distortion you are given the impression more is happening, and it feels denser overall than the other pieces in part because of the thick low end. In the later part of the track and synth melody comes in that is a nice touch, and helps to make this track the standout of the three for me. None of this stuff is bad, and there are some good atmospheres created here but I don’t really hear anything that stamps this as Beyond I guess. Because the approach is relatively simple and repetitive there isn’t a lot there to provide identity for the project and it comes off as being a decent effort but nothing you haven’t really heard before. – Scott

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~ by scottsplatter on January 4, 2009.

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