'Discovering' TPower was one of those serendipitious accidents of life. Being a bit of a frequent buyer of CDs I had managed to buy enough CDs to be eligible to claim the eleventh 'free' one. Knowing this, and with the card burning a hole in my pocket, I ventured into the appropriate local CD store to see what I could find.
None of my more familiar artists had anything I was after available and in general the pickings were slim. That was when the title of an album caught my eye. I have found that often the more playful an album name is, among the ambient/electronic/drumnbass/techno range anyways, the more likely it is that the album is worth trying. It tends to polarise things somewhat in that either album is extremely good or absolutely terrible with little in between.
Thus when I hit an album with the title 'The Self Evident Truth of an Intuitive Mind' I knew I had to try it. As it happened that was an extremely good choice...
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The Self Evident Truth of an Intuitive Mind
Label: Sound of the Underground Records
Even though the cover packaging lists but nine tracks there are actually ten present, the 'hidden' one seemingly containing a few rougher sample tunes and a reprise of Circle to take the album back to where it started from. This slightly quirky touch is symptomatic of the album as a whole and as a result a playful touch comes through the music as the artist takes you away on musical journey.
It's a fun trip too with the first track gently easing you in before the hard beats and rhythms set in. Things take off at track two, setting in with a strong deep 'boom boom' underscoring the track and the album never really looks back from there. Each track explores a different rhythm and flows beautifully into each other with the whole flowing coheisively. The music is trying to pass on a message and it shows with the whole album being geared to that.
This is perhaps where the album scores over the Future Sound of London's efforts, even though the styles are fairly similar. FSOL produce solid music that is thematicly linked but they don't flow as well. Each track tends to be good but it's positioning on the album and relation to the other tracks isn't as tightly done as TPower's work. Also I frequently find with FSOL's albums that it takes me several listenings to begin to like and appreciate all the tracks on their albums. Too often their tracks are especially harsh, and chunks of Dead Cities apply here, on the ear till you can find the rhythm and sense behind the music. With this album you don't do that, I was hooked from the first listen to it with only the offcut tunes in the 'hidden' track being hard to listen to.
That said this album needs to be listened to, for the first time, on a system with good bass response. Heavy use is made of warm low-ish frequency synth sounds that tend to exercise your stereo somewhat. If you just listen to it on headphones frequently a good percentage of the album's impact is lost.
Phew, reading back through the above, I can see I was waxing lyrical a bit there. This has to be the most eloquent thing I can say for the album, it is one that I deeply enjoy and am inclined to rave about a bit. I regard it as a classic piece of drum and bass work and well worth the effort of seeking out. Redouble your efforts if you are a FSOL fan, you won't regret getting this album.
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Label: Anti Static Recordings
Almost a complete break from the first album, The Self Evident Truth of an Intuitive Mind, this album has gone for a darker and much more ambient feel to it. Echoes surface with drum rhythms featuring now and again but not in the same strident way. The whole feel of the album is that engendered by classic ambient, a vague drifting and meandering sensation as the album's tracks quietly slip past.
Another echo of the first album is the mixing in of movie quotes with segments of 'The Wizard of Oz' and others I can't quite place (but recognise) appearing now and again. Indeed the final track, CO2 at Ripening, is effectively one entire 'sample' of two people - one breathing and enjoying a smoke with the other commenting from the background now and then. All in all it is a solid album and an especially good example of ambient music but it isn't quite the classic the first album is.
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