Label: Soleilmoon Format: 2CD
Shifts is a solo project by Frans de Waard, ostensibly to produce ambient music using interwoven guitar patterns with various added effects and special recording techniques. In this collaboration the Shifts recordings have been taken and reprocessed by Asmus Tietchens and vidnaObmana . Each artist was given the same sound material and then left to their own devices to come up with a `recycling’. The result is two CDs, one by each artist, and both are very different. Disc 1 is a very minimal set of reworkings, combining the understated and skeletal drippings of small metals, whispering and muffled beats. It is the more abstract of the two discs in some ways and the least recognisable musically, though I have to admit I have no idea what the original Shifts material sounds like.
The second disc is, to my ears, the more interesting of the two. VidnaObmana creates disturbing walls of sound that can fill the room one minute then recede to a whisper the next. He constructs landscapes like bleak shifting sand where ponderous orchestras take their places to entertain with music that is both spectral and vast at the same time. It isn’t comforting, in fact it is mainly the opposite and at times feels like fine webs of steel being woven around you. The visions it encourages are sometimes alien but they are never arid or sterile. Again, I have no idea what source material they have manipulated in order to arrive at these chill odysseys which are, at times, slightly redolent of the darker side of Robert Fripp‘s solo guitar outings. Whatever, the results are intriguing and disturbing.