Tlon Uqbar: La Bola Perdida

A fruitful collaboration between two French bands, Internal Fusion and Désaccord Majeur, this is Ambient music with an edge. The CD’s five long pieces convey an impressive range of rhythms and atmospheres, reminiscent of Zoviet France in their layered accretion of organic detail.

All of the tracks, except the closing “Mylodon”, are similarly structured. Ominous ambient sounds – distorted drones, watery splashes, radio interference – frame hypnotic looped rhythms and vivid instrumental strokes. Traces of ethnic-sounding percussion and harsher metallic collisions mingle with diverse human voices (European speech, middle Eastern chant) to form a complex, involving soundscape. Eventually the intricate rhythms come to predominate, forming sharp contours inside the listener’s head.

More ambient than the other pieces, but no less absorbing, Mylodon ends the album on a reflective note. Its restrained beats, disembodied voices and gently vibrant drone are soothing and delightful.

(Originally published in The Sound Projector 7, 2000)

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