for the muses
webzine, usa, 2002
I found the following definitions in Webster's New World Dictionary: 1. am' bi ent: surrounding 2. am'bi ence : an environment or its distinct atmosphere. In terms of music, most people use these words to mean soundscapes that depart from the accepted song-format containingchords, melody, and rhythm.
Ambient music is more like a soundtrack for life, the background music of place and time. Just as people have "rules" for song structure, "rules" have been set up for ambient music as well. It tends to be lumped into a category with pretty ethereal music created with synthesizers and samples.
True Colour of Blood is ambient music in a category all of its own. Eric Kesner, the man behind the soundscapes, uses only the guitar as his main instrument! His take on his work: "I started recording as True Colour of Blood using only guitar, drum programming, tape manipulation, and a 4-track. I haven't used any keyboards because I feel that I can get a more interesting sound out of a guitar. I also find it more of a challenge to get the sounds I want from a guitar. Let's be honest, anyone cat get atmospheric, ambient soundscapes out of a keyboard."
Enough about the experimental technology used to create this music, you say, what about the music itself? I for one am quite impressed. The music sounds as good as anything atmospheric I"ve heard come from a keyboard. The word "damnbient" has been used to describe music the likes of A Murder of Angels, Zoar, and The Unquiet Void, and I wouldn't hesitate to use it on True Colour of Blood as well.
This music doesn't soar. Neither does it drone or grind. It exists, at times like the sound of a planet revolving with its axis off-kilter, the sound of a dying world. It is pervasive, haunting, disturbing. At times the music reminds me of Black Tape For A Blue Girl, in their ambient moments, stripped of any melody or sweetness. The tracks "Forlorn" and "Replaced by a Heart of Flesh" are my prime examples of this. Very good for twilight moments of memory and dream. Very visceral too, resonating in the gut.
"Twilight State Dream" is exactly as advertised. When I listen to it I imagine the sunset on that same dying world this entire album puts into my mind. I have to come back to the fact that this was created with a guitar
Eric Kesner is evidently a very talented guitarist. The most beautiful track on this album, to me, was "The Signifcance of Secrecy". It had a little more motion than the others, and flowed with a hopeful wistfulness. That was followed immediately by the track "Two Shades of Black" which was dreary and dark. Just the way I like it! The use of reverb and distortion was exceptional to create that nervous, curious mood.
I found the entire album to be cohesive, beautiful, and original in its concept and execution. I expect very interesting things from True Colour of Blood in the future.