Time Travel







A Review
By Stephen Fruitman (Hyperreal)
(from the ambient mailing list)

Ambiento / The Eternal Now / Electropica
Richard Bone

         The name Richard Bone may be familiar to list members through his contributions to the em:t compilation  "1197" (cute and boppy) or Hypnos´ "The Other World" (the closing track, lush and mysterious). However, he also has a distinguished back catalogue of solo works, three of which are offered up here for your consideration.

       "Ambiento "  (1994) starts off darkly, then gets nicely percolating with muted bass and bongos. Throughout, deceptively simple melodies are built upon and evolve into engaging miniatures, none more than seven minutes long. Track Seven (all tracks are called "Amb" 1, 2, 3, etc.) builds up a groovy little sway around an hilarious sample (paternal voice admonishes, "Honey, a...uh...prehistoric monster is a rather large order to swallow!"). The track perhaps most reminiscent of his contribution to the em:t compilation, if that tickled your fancy. Did mine.

     "The Eternal Now"  (1996) comprises a definite step forward in Bone´s ambienteering. A lilting, slowly unfolding garden full of heady but not overpowering fragrances. The CD is divided up into two suites, "Zone" (Zones 1 to 6) and  "The Millennium Pages" (Pages 1 to 4). There is a quietude reminiscent of Eno circa  "Another Green World"  here (the instrumental tracks), an almost pastoral calm. Worth returning to over and over again is Zone 4, with its thunderstorms clashing distantly and operatic vocal. Zone 6 features the play of bellowing ship´s horns calling out to and answering each other, perhaps an indication of what his coming "The Spectral Ships" on Hypnos will have to offer? The Millennium Pages are more introspective, leaves in a book to contemplate as the year 2000 approacheth.

     "Electropica " (1997) is the latest and most deviant. This snappy little CD (in a brightly-coloured little cardboard fold-out) is a tribute to the bossa-nova music of the sixties. No retro irony at work here, though, but rather decidedly "now"; an affectionate and creative subtropical journey where the music gently gets your hips swaying and your smile muscles working. Bone described it as "Stan Getz meets Stereolab". Smooth, cool and fun all at the same time.