The Solar Observatory
by United Bible Studies
23 Productions : 23CD0402 : 2005
23 Production notes:
Sonic day dreamers from Ireland's Deserted Village collective, take things a few steps further outside with this release. Tranquil soundscapes are now assaulted and made dirty with profuse effects and madman mantra rants cycles. Still there is no mistaking this unit's aptitude in pastoral and elemental psychedelia, but this recording shows their beast in the full light of the sun.
From Boa Melody Bar:
"Solar' sees UBS abandoning their free-folk pastoralism in favour of free-floating spaced mantras - 2 long pieces: the first sees freefalling primitive synth wail, dark scraping cellos and vocal howl penetrate the dark heart of the cosmos before careering back to earth, the second is a weird cacophony of glassy chimes and crystalline drones."
From Mark Coyle's blog at The Unbroken Circle:
From the 'Deserted Village Collective' we have United Bible Studies on 'The Solar Observatory', a highly untypical release for them. Indeed where previously releases have been a gorgeous landscape based chamber music, this is instead similar to the Xenis Emputae Travelling Band release above. Instead of the usual acoustic and stringed instruments here we have electronic drones and noises in two pieces of darker sound on opener 'Kroton Mammaii'. It's strange alien music, churning noises giving way to arching siren calls, shifting layers of indiscipherable electronics and the whole thing slowly starting to echo endlessly. It's one of the noisiest and furthest out releases I've heard in a long time, voices trying to reach out of the sound-swamp dragged back, temporarily making sense then become part of this bubbling morass. This isn't to say it's not well done, it is. Other artists will hear this and wonder how it was done, it moves from quiet, almost liturgical sections to brutal, sand papering noise in an instant. The spoken word parts only make it worse, a kind of holy intoning with tortured violins and instruments appearing for a moment. It's no wonder this is released on 23Productions home to some of the most extreme 'skullf-cking' music.
Second track 'The Solar Observatory' starts almost the same as the second piece on the XETB release with chiming bells looped and layered to head filling effect. This also gives way to reed sounding drones that are at least initially very similar to XETB, indeed they could be partner releases. This piece explores a more haunted, reverential feeling though with a sense of celestial wonder constantly asserted through the glassy chimes that reappear. Yet towards the end some astonishingly brutal noise breaks through, unholy screams for alien gods from unknown instruments. It's a deeply disturbing section, the almost meditative early sections torn apart until receding guitar feedback lulls us to nightmarish sleep.