Analog Sunsets is the work of veteran hometaper Scott Carr, who has released music under various monikers over the years on his Tape Hiss Recordings label (his Hot Buttered Elves Christmas songs are especially fun). With Analog Sunsets, Carr took electronic recordings from the Tape Hiss cassette catalog going back to 1988, and blended them with new material from Spring 2013. As stated in the promo sheet, the music was “designed to be listened to in a wide variety of environments, particularly those where deeper concentration or thinking is desired.”
Dog Star opens the set, consisting of dark yet peacefully floating deep space ambience, with an interesting mixture of minimalist patterns and simple but pleasant melody. This blend of disparate elements is characteristic of several tracks and makes Twilight such a stimulating listen. Like Fluid (Wet Mix), with its slowly throbbing drone alongside a shimmering, pulsating tone. And Love Love Love, which features a contrasting combination of classic floating symphonic space electronica plus avant-garde placement of sounds and effects. The spirit of Irrlicht era Klaus Schulze is prevalent, especially on Lemon (Slice Mix). Carr makes crafty use of sounds and effects on tracks like Fumes, where a glom of effects made me feel like I was in a nocturnal alien forest with the sounds of its various life forms around me. And Ozone (Less Mix), which was like being in the bowels of a spacecraft. And I like the contemplative yet edgy space ambience of Yellow (Star Mix).
There’s a lot going on in much of the music on Twilight so attentive listeners will be rewarded, though anyone interested in the deeper concentration or thinking aspects would be best served by In Dust (One) and (Two). At nearly 9 minutes each, these are the most minimal tracks of the set. In Dust (One) is a quiet, almost imperceptible piece, with light droney, spacey static alongside a vaguely melodic flittering synth line. Later in the track it develops into a sort of avant-orchestral, minimal, space-ambience. And In Dust (Two) features pure Eno inspired space ambience. Overall, a captivating and varied hour of spacey electronic music. I’ll be looking forward to Volume Two.
For more information visit the Analog Sunsets web site at: http://www.analogsunsets.com
Hear samples and purchase the CD at CDBaby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/analogsunsets
Visit the Tape Hiss Recordings web site at: http://www.tapehissrecordings.com
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz