Amgsphont - "Landsphere:Atmoscape" (Zenapolae 2003, ZCDR1020)
Amgsphont - "h.b.t.so" (Zenapolae 2003, ZCDR1027)
Uploaded to Aural Innovations: March 2004
Strange and disturbing soundscapes, complimented by even stranger and more disturbing titles. The phrase "ambient industrial" immediately comes to mind when describing the music of Amgsphont, but perhaps a more apt description would be to compare both of these discs to the early harsh electronic period of Kluster (before they became the quirky Cluster), to the haunting electro-drone of Conrad Schnitzler's work throughout the 70s, and to the similar work of Aphex Twin more recently. Dense, organic waves of pure electromagnetic sound in oceans of bubbling synth effects, long washes of atonal oscillations, and the incessant whir and bleep of contrapuntal interstellar radar create a sinister but hypnotic montage of "synth concrete." This is most especially the case with h.b.t.so, thirty minutes of gyrating and grating electronic machine music, sporting appropriately technotronic titles that could've been lifted from any college trig textbook: "a + m = 2/43," "s + r = s," "m/52.0." Definitely self-indulgent and academically over the top (not to mention being a bit wearing on the eardrums at times), but still challenging stuff at the same time.
Landsphere: Atmoscape is a bit more "tuneful,"-in a relative way, of course-and for my tastes at least, more preferred than its sister disc. Its ten compositions merge and blur into one another like globs of floating liquid in a lava lamp. In fact, this is the perfect CD to listen to while you're trancing out on your favorite chemical of choice. I won't even try to describe the titles on Landsphere: Atmoscape-they simply have to be seen to be fully appreciated. Occasionally, some semblance of melody actually breaks through the massive electronic sound sculpture that Amgsphont relentlessly recycles and mutates on each of these CDs. The result is both etherizing and epiphanic. One thing is for sure: this is the kind of music that will definitely put you through some altered states consciousness.
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Reviewed by Charles van de Kree