Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Global Communication "76 14" (1994)

Plucking a recommended "ambient gem" from an old playlist, I found myself in a moment of awe as I thumbed over the release date. All the many similarities and artists I could reference flew out the window as this vastly predates the likes of Carbon Based Lifeforms. Now its praise seems all the more apparent given what little that is similar Ive heard before the year of 94. Global Communication are an English ambient duo who have built a timely, beautiful experience here, embarking on seventy six minutes and fourteen seconds of entrancing ambiguity and Downtempo meditations. Its songs are all equally named in length, a combination of two numbers to say little more of the music, other than how long each chapter will last.

This lack of additional substance lets the music take on its own form with no suggestion of what the artists intention might be. For me, an experience both cosmic and spiritual, meditative and temporal, even a little funky and jazzed out in its lively spaces. The music can be whatever you like! Its overall quality is a sonic experience, soft and suggestive with lapses into beat and groove as its lengthy building passages of suspense find release in steady percussive sways. They muster a warm gusto of pace an indulgence into deeply relaxed and chilled soundscapes.

 The record starts with its mighty astral synths playing folly to whats ahead. It opens a portal for a lengthy expedition guided by whirling synths and stitched to reality with its remarkable, tembre tick-tock of a clock, marking time passing by, It seems all to meaningful somehow. The songs then sway between experimental soundscapes and rhythmic rooted tracks that lay down easy tempos and build a world around it with various electronic synth sounds and murmurous bass lines.

 7 39 builds up an appetite with light Industrial vibes and a denser web of interchanging sounds. Its potent melodies overall vibe fondly remind me of Devin Townsend's Project EKO. Its a stark transition into 54, mysterious foreign voices exchange some shared language of communication as spacious beeps and whirls give of an astronomic vibe. It plays into the experience as the foundations of rhythm and melody seemed to be pulled back into ambiguity on a frequent basis.

As the closing tracks returns to the heavenly astral synths heard in the opening, they act like a wrapper for two particular strains of music held together in the middle. Ambiguous experiments in temporal texture and Downtempo chill out tracks converting the electronic music scene of the 90s into ambient form. All of it is fantastic and the way in which it flows just makes for an effortless listen. I can see why its held in such high regard. Hearing what it must of influenced beyond its release has certainly taken the edge off a little but it makes it no less fantastic.

Rating: 8/10