Various Films
Chain Reaction
May 8, 2005

Track list
  1. Blue Film #10
  2. Blue Film #2
  3. Milieux
  4. Red Film #2
  5. Red Film #1
  6. Isolated Dot
  7. Zkj
  8. Blue Film #2+
  9. Blue Film #4+
  10. Blue Film #5
  11. Flora
  12. See Off
  13. Nimbus
  14. Isthmus #Fast
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
Recorded at the Dubsonic Control Room --This is one for all the bass heads into abstracted beats and early ONU Sound styles -- specifically Missing Brazillians, and Keith Le Blanc's monolithic album, "Major Malfunction."

It will also please those of you who enjoy Terry Riley works such as "You're No Good", Steve Reich's hugely influential "Drumming" and Jon Hassel's "Power Spot."

This is really where a lot of this Basic Channel music is derived from -- though they are certainly taking the sound in an original direction, and deserve plaudits for that. At its best, this is compelling music.

The album is made up of pounding Keith Le Blanc style drum programming -- but it is also a very subtle and delicate work, with complex cross rhythms weaving over the four- to the- floor beats.

"Milieux" sounds like "Urban Gamelan/Kundalini" period 23 Skidoo, as well as This Heat's work on the Soul Jazz compilation, "In the Beginning There Was Rhythm".

"Isolated Dot" relies on a Gussie P style muted bass, with harmonics punctutating the four- to- the floor sub lows. "Blue Film part 2" is similar to Jon Hassel's "Possible Worlds" .

"Blue Film part 4" reminds the listener of aspects of Keith Le Blanc's "Move It," again from the ONU "Major Malfunction" album with Skip Mcdonald, Bonjo I and Doug Wimbish. The booming dub b line underscores the vibration, like "This Assembly" by Singers and Players. Backward looped cymbals exhale through the mix whilst primal Latin percussion shimmers around the bass drum and b line.

"Nimbus" and "Isthmus" are Laraaji and Neu sonic territory.

The album is not perfect from start to finish -- some tracks grate at the senses-- in particular the annoying jangling of "Red Film versions 1 and 2." "Flora" is a pointless, bland exercise, whilst "See Off" is simply irritating.

This is not an album for conventional roots and culture fans who love Jamaican releases, though a lot of this Basic Channel /Rhythm and Sound/Chain Reaction music does sound like an imaginary meeting of the minds of King Jammy and Conny Plank.

The high points of this album are intriguing and mentally involving -- This should prove very interesting to those of you into the off the beaten track Soul Jazz releases, early ONU, industrial strength UK dub and Eno's EG releases from the mid 80's.