Thunderhead by AirSculpture



5 tracks

Running time: 1:14:46
Released: 06/1998

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  01   Dark Design - 11:43
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  02   Aerostatic - 13:03

  03   Polarvoid - 9:30

  04   Pogofish - 9:27

  05   Thunderhead - 31:03
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The opening track ‘Dark Design’ kicks off with some seriously weird effects before a foreboding sequence begins to take shape at the two minute mark. Subliminal white noise percussion adds the merest suggestion of detail while held choral pads flesh out the sound alongside all manner of other synth vox. The sequence continually gains momentum - we’re only 5 minutes in and already AirSculpture have developed a massive wall of electronic pulsations. It’s hugely impressive stuff and the way the sounds constantly mutate is breathtaking. Focus on anything you like - synth pads, effects, or any of the sequence layers - they all shapeshift with incredible regularity. Electric guitar vox scythe their way through the track until proceedings are expertly dampened down from the 10 minute mark.

Sequence pulsations immediately get ‘Aerostatic’ underway. Restrained synth voices bide their time, toying with the senses until the sequences take more of a lead role allowing the synth detail to grow in stature. At one point the synth lines surge, totally engulfing the sequences which then break free from the malaise after a fascinating battle.

The dodgy title dept worked overtime to produce ‘Pogofish’, however once you’ve heard the uptempo sequences which immediately crash onto the scene you’ll realise that actually it’s quite an apt title. This track finds AirSculpture in surprisingly optimistic and playful mood, with mesmeric rhythmics and a barrage of electronic sounds. Drums then join the fray and the piece as a whole really is a masterpiece. It’s possibly my favourite of the lot, not least because I haven’t a bloody clue how they got their sequencer software to create such a seemingly random yet emphatically cohesive high sequence!

The optimism doesn’t last long however, and the boys soon depart for a distant planet and dive into the nearest swamp to produce ‘Polarvoid’ which, in all seriousness, is a cracking example of unsequenced weirdness. Lastly, but definitely not leastly, we are presented with ‘Thunderhead’. It is a gargantuan piece in every sense and underlines the credentials of the whole album. With massive synthscapes aplenty and awesome sequencing, this piece and its companions combine to create the finest AirSculpture adventure so far. It’s akin to scaling Everest without a route map. (GG)