Boomkat Product Review:
Anthony Child (Surgeon) and Daniel Bean reconvene The Transcendence Orchestra for a first new full-length since the untimely passing of Peter Rehberg, on whose Editions Mego the duo released most of their work. Arcing from classic kosmische to new age ambient and more spiky modular steez, the duo unfurl layers of atmosphere and immersive diversions through an hour-long session that might just be their most impressive work to date - recommended listening if yr into anything from classic Roedelius/Cluster to Pete Namlook, Alessandro Cortini or even the spectralism of Iancu Dumitrescu.
Now that the longform ambient/modular template has been crushed under the weight of its own stiffness, it’s perhaps harder than ever to add anything new to the Kosmische songbook. And while ‘Dreams, Waking Thoughts and Incidents’ certainly treads around familiar motifs, The Transcendence Orchestra manage to poke the blueprint with enough force to jolt us from our apathy.
Deployed over an hour-long, 10-track session that plays like a continuous fever-dream, there’s a gnarly psychedelia to proceedings that suggests the duo have moved away from pastiche and into something altogether more divergent. It starts with growling bass notes on the opening ‘The sleep of reason’ before submerging into a very FAX/Namlook-esque New Age mode on ‘Leave it Terry, it’s not worth it!’, and before long’ 170 is greater than 260’ starts to glitch the matrix with cascading Terry Riley-ish arpeggios woven into gloriously disjointed sounds from the room, wafts of conversations that may or may not have anything to do with the things at hand.
‘The hills are alive’ taps into the sound of Yoshi Wada’s atonal bagpipes before melting into a blissed state, while the brass and woodwind flares of ‘An ancient city and several nuclear explosions’ reminds us of Jóhann Jóhannsson’s gorgeous ‘Virðulegu Forsetar’ or perhaps even Gavin Bryars’ totemic ‘The Sinking Of The Titanic’ with its quietly dejected mysticism.
So, an ambient travelog of sorts that’s well aware of its forbears, but one executed with enough of a rogue spirit to wake us from, rather than send us to, a deep slumber. Recommended!