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Aarktica: No Solace in Sleep (Silber Media)

Jon DeRosa's ambient guitar drone project, a continuation of the sounds started by Ligetti and followed through by Glenn Branca, Robert Fripp, Brian Eno, Sonic Youth, &c.

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product information:

Label: Silber Media
Catalog ID: 013
Squidco Product Code: 11045

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2000
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve


Jon DeRosa-guitar

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track listing:

1. Glacia

2. Indie

3. Elena

4. You Have Cured a Million Ghots from Roaming in My Head

5. Inebria

6. The Ice (Feels Three Feet Thick Between Us)

7. Welcome Home

8. I Remember Live Above the Surface
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"In 1998, Jon started this project 'as an experiment in sound to recreate and convey the tones heard through one deaf ear.' Originally nothing more than "tape-hiss lullabies lacking structure, composed through a blur of painkillers and insomnia on a 4-track cassette recorder,' Aarktica graduated to these multi-layered, effects-laden, post-Eno ambient guitar suites in a little less than a year! Imagine a greatest hits mix tape consisting of the best of Windy & Carl, Stars of the Lid, Labradford and early Azusa Plane and you're on the right track. And while De Rosa has said, 'there's a certain charm to the spontaneity of drone music,' he was quick to add, 'I also find that that can take away from its overall credibility.' This release is his attempt at marrying the two approaches. 'While recording the album, I actually spent days mapping out many pieces, notating them and treating each piece like I would a string quartet.' Let's examine the results of that endeavor.

A few minutes into the opener, 'Glacia,' you may find yourself adjusting the volume to find out whether you've just purchased a blank CD! Whispering waves of sonic molasses drip out of your speakers as De Rosa replicates the ambience of an iceberg floating through the midnight Atlantic: dark, cold and immense. 'Indie' has nothing to do with a sub-genre of music and everything to do with pain, although the two are often indistinguishable these days! The far off sound of a beating (ear)drum (his own?) places us squarely in his world of frustration with the inability to clearly 'hear' the sounds of civilization around him. This sense of swimming in quicksand coupled with the sonic interpretation of the 'sounds in his head' continues through most of the record and is emphasized in titles like 'You Have Cured A Million Ghosts from Roaming in My Head,' 'The Ice (Feels Three Feet Thick Between Us)' and 'I Remember Life Above the Surface.' The seemingly pretentious titles can be overlooked as one is enveloped in the sheer expanse of the sonic sensual overload. The aural equivalent of syrup dripping down a 'short stack' is interrupted by the Nick Drake-esque 'Welcome Home.' Fittingly, it seems to be a self-directed imperative and is the lone track with a clearly identifiable guitar. DeRosa has escaped from his 'fantastic voyage' through his inner ear, but I, for one, was glad to be along for the ride. You will be, too."-The Broken Face

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