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UK guitarist StevenWilson works in several different projects including Porcupine Tree,No-Man and I.E.M. and has collaborated with Muslimgauze (see "BassCommunion v Muslimgauze").
  Bass Communion is his solo, experimentalambient outlet and this is the self titled debut album originallyreleased in April of 1998, now readily available via World SerpentDistribution. Over an hour of music is divided among four tracks (and abrief intro) that range from 10 to 25 minutes apiece. Describing thismusic simply as 'ambient' would be lazy and inaccurate. Wilson'stextures are generated or sampled from 'real' instruments then heavilyprocessed, stretched, looped, etc. to create a unique sound set."Drugged" is comprised of pad like atmospheres and long sinewy hornnotes (with the occasional subtle lick) which lead to a fewreverberated Floydian electric guitar strums and a mildly distortedfuzz out finale. It's simply gorgeous. The rest of the album couldcontinue in this vein and I'd be perfectly happy. But, Wilson opts forvariety which turns out to be for the best. "Sleep Etc" is centeredaround a long drone note loop that is saturated in bell tones andliquid gurgles. Very menacing, in a Coil "How to Destroy Angels"manner. "Orphan Coal" opens up with light percussion (so much for'ambient'!) then adds processed sound squiggles, drifting textures,female murmurs, unintelligible ghostly background chattering and,later, a deep bass guitar line. The final track, also entitled"Drugged" curiously enough, is a 25 minute slab of deep and moodyclassic ambiance. This one is for the Eno fan in all of us. The trackutilizes a 7 second Robert Fripp guitar sample loop from 1993 (which isin no way recognizable as guitar) for a gradual ebb and flow of padlike textures with slow motion bass throbs and distorted fuzz here andthere. Gorgeous, again. Altogether this is a very well balanced,beautiful album. I can easily imagine this music as a soundtrack forplanetariums, large aquariums, museums and chill out rooms. And I meanthat as a compliment. Each of the five tracks has a corresponding 2sided jewel case insert so you can choose whichever you like as thecover, which is an interesting idea I don't remember encounteringbefore. Up next for me is the 1999 2 disc follow-up "Bass Communion II"...