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  Reverberate Slowly  
  El Fog  
  Moteer, re-released by Flau  
Release Date:

2007, re-release on 17.October.2012

Reviewed by:

Let me start off by saying that this record is not going to appeal to most people. This is ambient drone, a record of sparse songs that kind of ebb and flow. Most people would listen to this and, if they even become aware of it, wonder what movie it was in the background to.

In addition to filling out album soundtracks, i find this type of ambient music to be good to listen to while i work -- processing databases and other boring IT crap while mellow drones stretch out in my earphones. I also find this to be good music to put on the stereo when i want to relax -- maybe do some cooking, or sit on the couch and read a cheesy sci-fi novel. The music is not demanding but interesting enough when it rises to the forefront of your consciousness and you pay attention to it.

So i like this type of music in general, and i have found Reverberate Slowly to be an excellent example of the genre.

This is a re-release of a record that came out in 2007. El Fog is the project of Masayoshi Fujita, who apparently is a "vibraphonist and composer based in Berlin". So this is intellectual ambient drone. Okay, i can deal with that. There were nine tracks on the album in its initial release. Fujita has added two more tracks, and a remix by Jan Jelinek, so that is twelve long, droning tracks on this album. That is close to an hour of music, which might be a bit much for some people to deal with.

The bulk of the music consists of strange gently reverbing drones that, i am guessing, come from Fujita's vibraphone. He layers this over some faint electro beats -- a faint skittering, popping, and/or clicking. The overall effect is like hearing Autechre remix Lionel Hampton, but you are on the other side of a wall and the speakers are pointed away from that wall. At times it reminds me of Loscil (especially on Silent Soaring) or the mellower moments of Four Tet (Own Frequency, Own Time). There are a few exceptions.

The Fog of the Far Small Town features a light tapping beat and a delicate strummed guitar. This comes 16 minutes into the record, so the guitar is really noticeable, a wake up alarm. It is stands out, like a tree illuminated in the distance by a break in the otherwise gray clouds. He layers the guitar and the clicking with some whooshing electro burbling. It is a rather pleasant effect, and the most "approachable" song here.

On Out Woods the foreground is made up of what appears to be a piano loop, all cut and clicked and mangled in an IDM manner. Olive takes the piano and jazzes it up, with a clicked beat that sounds like a finger snapping and a voice, faint, hushed, just a few stretched out vowels reverbing. This is like a jazz tune stripped down, just a faint impression of jazz. And so is Smoke and Satellites, which appears to be an IDMed loop of jazz piano with the ghost of Jacob Marley wandering around in front of it. (And by that i mean that the piano loop is covered by a loud clattering noise, like old Marley dragging his chains...)

I suppose i should also mention the Jan Jelinek remix, since it is special for this re-issue. It is called Out Woods and the Far Small Town, and in it Jelinek takes those two songs and blurs them together in a vaguely sci-fi manner. That is, this echoes and whirrs and burbles like a 1950's sci-fi soundtrack, the vibraphone manipulated to sound like a Theremin. It is decent, i suppose.

However, there is another remix in the bonus tracks, Mirtel Reflex, which is Fujita remixing a song by an act called NQ. I have never heard of this act and so am unfamiliar with the original. However, i like this remix. There is a deep, pulsing rhythm, a faint clicking, and slow pulses of synths. It is very washed out and mellow, and rather lovely.

Overall i like this record. It is a fine ambient release. Fans of such music will do well to track it down.

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