But enough about birds - it's once again time to bore you with "What I've Been Listening to Lately"Pete Namlook & David Moufang - Koolfang II (Gig In The Sky) and Koolfang III (Be Aware) - I can't find Koolfang I, but the sometimes cheesy, sometimes jazzy Koolfang II and III don't sound like Namlook at all. If you're looking for a chilled-out, loungey atmosphere with guitars and emotive lines of fairly minimalist jazz, something summery that would go down well at some parties or just to tap your feet to as you sip at a long dry white wine and watch the sun set, then these are the recordings for you. However, be forwarned - the titular cut on 1995's Gig in the Sky, the last cut on the CD, features five or six minutes of silence (homage to Cage?). Nothing is wrong with your stereo - it's supposed to be silent. Fuerteventura on 2005's Be Aware is like lying on a Canary Island beach in the late evening, but marred by excessive "too sexy for this band" vocals. However, the atmospheric vibe will still give you the feeling of being on a lonely beach with your one true love, and a beautiful guitar part appears in the middle.
Pete Namlook & DJ Criss - Sequential - A 1993 limited edition of 500, Sequential is one of the Fax classics. Highlight of this mix of ambient and trance include the shimmering beauty of Everything Is Under Control, as well as the fairly well-known masterpiece Lost In The Sea, the classic title track, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Most of the tracks are of a more refined nature than the 4Voice stuff of the same period- the drums are not quite as thunderous but are instead slightly more subtle. Squelchy basslines abound and, all in all, this is pretty funky stuff.
Pete Namlook & DJ Dag - Adlernebel - In 2000, DJ Dag was Namlook's latest studio playmate, and their first collaboration, Adlernebel, is a slickly produced trance album that shows promise of a good musical chemistry. The Forgotten Trail features spiraling flamenco guitars and chilled beats that leave the listener with the warm feeling of happy summer evenings spent with loved ones. The last track, You Gotta Hold It In Your Lungs Longer, George, mixes hard trip-hop beats with the sounds of ganja smoking and repetitions of the title phrase.
Pete Namlook & Dr Atmo - Silence and Silence III - The classic pairing of Namlook and Dr Atmo, 1992's Silence delivered four slowly evolving 10- to 22-minute pieces of chilled minimalistic ambience. Omid/Hope opens with slow strings welling up, interrupted by Namlook's analogue squeals and voice adding some affirmative soundbites:
You are right.
I am beautiful.
And all is beautiful around.
You bring life.
The heartbeat of life.
We are all part of the Universe.
Seasons will come and go.
The silence of the universe.
Next up is Garden of Dreams, which transports the listener to a world of lush atmospherics built around the familiar Namlook vocal pad sound. This is haunting gothic-style ambience, describing a deep and exotic place. In contrast, the next track, Santur, takes us to a Middle Eastern place, complete with guitar, vocal and rhythm parts. Finally its left to the shimmering Trip to take us some place else entirely. A cyclic track that builds and builds with its hypnotic groove, like a vast black hole pulling the listener in with repetitive spirals. If you only buy one Fax album, this should be it (provided you can find it - only 500 copies were printed). Silence II came out in 1993 and I still can't find a copy, and Silence III was released in 1998.
Gotta go. Ted Kennedy in on The Daily Show tonight.