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Molotov and Haze ()

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As Bass Communion, Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson has been producing abstract experimental music ranging from ambient soundscapes to electro-acoustics. Molotov and Haze marks the beginning of a new formula for the man: guitar and laptop in a live setting. And it works like a charm. In fact, this is Bass Communion's strongest and most immersive release to date. The CD features four tracks ranging from 12 to 23 minutes in duration. "Molotov" and "Corrosive" are relatively harsh loop-based affairs, building slow change from a static foundation, like a softer take on Merzbow -- same Wall of Sound, same sense of a Zen space buried in the middle of it all, just cleaner, less over the top, and with the VU needles stopping just before the red zone. "Glacial" and "Haze" are ambient soundscapes showing a strong influence from Robert Fripp, but also similarities with Oren Ambarchi and Rafael Toral's early work, and they both hark back to Bass Communion's first two albums. "Haze" may be a bit too sweet and long, but "Glacial" sets a poignant mood. Molotov and Haze is a strong album of experimental ambient music, from an artist avant-garde circles should take more seriously -- just like fans of his alt rock/prog rock band Porcupine Tree should pay more attention to this facet of his work, which has been informing his songwriting for a while, as shown on his first solo song-based CD Insurgentes, released soon after this one. ~ François Couture, Rovi Hide synopsis

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