- Artist: Gods of Electricity
- Format: CD
- Release Date:11/29/2005
Introducing the debut work of explorations from Gods Of Electricity entitled 'Sundiving'. Limited first pressing includes exclusive color postcard signed by the band. New powerful & sublime left field electronic music and extremely different side project from members of Black 47. After over 20 years of creating cutting edge music as band members and as session musicians, individually as well as together, multi-instrumentalist Mike Fazio and master percussionist Thomas Hamlin, finally, have created a work of musical art in the highest degree they can proudly call their own. A work that has no boundaries, no limits, with no pretense, solely for the sake of creating art in the midst of a corporate music industry increasingly obsessed with predictable product. Sundiving has been painstakingly recorded in audiophile 32 bit 96K fidelity and is now released on the Faith Strange independent label out of NY in a special limited pressing. To create the intriguing and complex synthesizer tracks used throughout the recording, Fazio utilized granular and modular synthesis technology at the software level and designed each new module in order to capture the surreal sounds he wanted to portray on this recording. Most defy description culminating in a body of work that is futuristic and unclassifiable. Electric & pedal steel guitars have been added into the mix but if you didn't know where they were, you would never guess you were listening to guitars. A multitude of ethnic and electronic percussion kits have been recorded and processed through a host of analog & digital devices as well, as to obscure them into a symphony of rhythm and beat. Sometimes tribal, sometimes extreme dance. It is very safe to say that you do not have another recording in your collection that sounds quite like this one. Purely as points of reference for the uninitiated, the listening effect can be likened to a theoretical consort of the most esoteric sides of the eclectic neo-classical Eastern European composers Krzysztof Penderecki, György Ligeti and Béla Bartók, hinting on the electronic experiments of ClockDVA, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Coil, Fripp & Eno, Bitches Brew electro-bop era Miles Davis, Jade Warrior and Bill Nelson. The adventuresome first cut on the CD, 'Clouds Of Granite In A Clearing Sky' clocks in at over 38 minutes and is divided into 3 movements. Comprised of over 300 audio tracks alone, running the gamut from dark, eerie drones, to explosive, expansive electronic moments of cacophony, to serene, spacey soundscapes, it creates a dream collage of sound design drawing the listener deeper into the aural construction. Dark yet astral. Truly surreal music. This music will appeal to any serious listener of electronic soundscapes. Composer/guitarist/synthesist/producer/engineer Mike Fazio as of late, has been garnering international praise in ambient circles for his processed electric guitar project orchestramaxfieldparrish. It's first release 'Tears' has been favorably compared to the works of Bill Nelson, Robert Fripp, David Sylvian and Arvo Pärt. He has recently produced and engineered 2 critically acclaimed cds for Jo Gabriel who has since signed an international recording deal on Kalinkaland / Projekt. Drummer and percussionist Thomas Hamlin, amongst many other projects, has been touring and recording with NY based Black47 for the last 15 years. He is a NY based drummer who chooses his projects wisely and has the respect of many a fellow percussionist. He was the founding member of the ethnic drumming performance art group World One which included Joseph Trump from Elliot Sharp's Carbon, before moving on full time to Black 47. Both musicians have a long recording and touring history. Their recording credits include well over 40 recordings between them. The late 80's saw the two musicians as part of the art-rock post-punk-progressive band Chill Faction who, working together with the performance artist Copernicus, were the first American rock band to tour behind the Iron Curtain in 1989 and later again in 1990 and 1991. REVIEWS: From Aural Innovations #33 (March 2006) Guitarist/synthesist/composer Mike Fazio, whose ambient guitar project Orchestramaxfieldparrish (yes, that's how it's written) was one of last year's pleasant surprises, teams up with percussionist Thomas Hamlin for a wonderfully synergistic exploration of the possibilities of electro-acoustic sound sculpture in the age of the ever-shrinking computer chip. Though Gods of Electricity clearly have identifiable antecedents (including the divine Bill Nelson, the ever enigmatic Eno, as well as such neo-classicists as Ligeti and Penderecki), both Fazio and Hamlin create a music that is at once unclassifiable and strangely engaging. In fact, Sundiving is thoroughly absorbing, creating a hallucinatory landscape for the senses and a sanctuary for the information-overloaded spirit of our increasingly hyperaccelerated world. Punctuated with huge modular drones, sweeping atmospheric pads and array of tuned and untuned percussives, the five pieces on Sundiving create the icy chill of deep astral regions and resonate with the illuminated echoes of inward vistas. Like both Robert Rich and Lustmord, Gods of Electricity are aural alchemists who distill and synthesize strange new properties from the elements of sound. This is nowhere more evident than on 'Clouds of Granite in a Clearing Sky,' the centerpiece of Sundiving, an intoxicating voyage through the ever shifting terrain of yawning cosmic silences penetrated by bursts of sound both structured and unstructured. Ligeti's Atmospheres and Lux Aeterna are clear references one can invoke to describe this piece, though perhaps a more apt analogy would be to the imaginary music made by the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey: utterly alien and otherworldly yet somehow vaguely human in it's unearthliness. Comprising nearly two-thirds of the entire album and clocking in at a daunting 38:14, 'Clouds...' features an astonishing array of discrete movements collated into a massive block of sound, perhaps the sonic equivalent of a gigantic prism reflecting it's numerous hues throughout the tonal continuum. It's a dreamy mix of the dark and the light, the spacious and the claustrophobic, the harmonic and the cacophonic, all driven by the kind of random precision that makes such music adventurous, yet difficult for the uninitiated. The more down-to-earth pieces (relatively speaking, of course) showcase the percussive talents of Hamlin, straying occasionally into more palatable regions of ambient, trance and drum 'n' bass. More rhythmically complex in construction, 'Slick-o-phonic' and 'The Sound You Make When You Reach for Tomorrow' are enjoyable digressions and, at least to these jaded ears, much preferable to the thoughtless sonic drivel of better known, though lesser talented, ambient/trance artists. 'Sundiving,' the disc's concluding track, continues the accent on electro-rhythm, though incorporates more of the airy dissonance of the album's initial tracks. It's an effective merger of Fazio's penchant for oblique harmony and Hamlin's industrial-strength approach to cybernetic drumming. In short, Sundiving is highly recommended, especially for aficionados of the eccentric and the innovative. Hopefully, Gods of Electricity will turn out to be more than just a galvanizing one-shot. - Charles Van de Kree from Chain D.L.K.: Gods of Electricity is one of those projects I would love seeing coming through my studio, but in a big city like NY for some reason I end up working with completely different type of artists most of the time. Think about the electrified air and the mellow moods of endless hours of sound manipulation and knob tweaking mania in the comfort of a dimmed light recording studio with two creative talents such as Mike Fazio and Thomas Hamlin. Think about the moods that can be created in the making of a record like 'Sundiving', with ambiances spanning for anywhere between 2 and 38 minutes: stretching, modulating, oscilating, vibrating, morphing from sound into sound, from light into dark, from silence into noise, from rhythm into layers, from sounds into rawness. Engineer, guitar player, sound designer, producer and composer Mike Fazio (also creator of the orchestramaxfieldparrish processed guitar project) has put the greatest attention in the smallest of the details of this recording, attempting to recreate his own vision of electro-acoustic ambient-electronica, aided by drummer Thomas Hamlin (previously with World One and still with Black47), who adds his swing and his delicate touch to these compositions in a way that only few percussionists can. Eerie low deep drones, layers of ecstatic pads, a wide sonic palette borrowing from everything from traditional to modern... rhythmical elements that transcend beat to turn into an expression of the piece itself, migrating from a enhancment of an even otherwise tribal atmosphere to the mere juxtaposition of percussive ear candies in symphonies of mystic and aural states of mind... all of that and more comes into play in this beautiful CD, which is so multifaceted and gorgeous that you can hardly even reference back to other artists without having to mention a bunch of them, who don't even necessarily have all that in common with Gods of Electricity, when considered as a stand-alone reference... Try to think of a blend of Clock DVA, Synaesthesia, Manuel Goettsching, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Young Gods, Vision of Excess, Artemy Artemiev, Mana Erg, Richard Bone, Victor Cerullo, Gabor Csupo and so many other excellent artists who have given so much to the art of making good and heartfelt soundscapes. You'll get a vague idea, but you'll still need to give this hi-definition audio masterpiece a try and see/hear for yourself... Highly recommended. Review by: Marc Urselli-Schaerer from: Foxy Digitalis: The epic, album-length suite "Clouds of Granite in A Clearing Sky" opens the debut release from this Black 47 side project, featuring Mike Fazio (electricity) and Thomas Hamlin (percussive noises). The first movement "Dreamland" is a musical interpretation of the series of electrical shocks our neurons have assembled which ultimately create our dream images. It's a novel approach - using electronics and circuit bending to emulate the physical chemical reactions in the brain, thus creating perhaps the world's first form of "brainwave music" and is perhaps the closest thing to having electrodes attached to Fazio's brain to create his own musical EEG from the resulting soundwaves. This dude must have some dark dreams, as the music is a very metallic, industrialized collection of scratchy bleeps and bloops that suggests he watches a lot of horror movies. For example, this would make a perfect imaginary soundtrack to Richard Stanley's 1990 cult classic, "Hardware." The result is 20+ minutes of bubbling cauldrons, razor-sharp buzzsaws, metal-on-steel mental sword fights, crackling open circuits of electrical energy all supported by Hamlin's syncopated, pounding heartbeat rhythms. Imagine, if you will, running the collective EEGs and EKGs of our dynamic duo through the mixing desk and recording the results and you're in the ballpark, or should I say laboratory. This, of course, is not something you are going to toss on during a dinner party with the in-laws, but it does make for some fascinating listening and interpretation in the privacy of your own sleep chamber. The pair's dreams are interrupted by the second movement "Starstreams," which, as expected, is a realization of the interpretation of the sound that stars make as they streak across the night sky. It's both expansive and empty, ominous and stark, and, well, spacey! And since the album was created at the Luna County Observatory, one can surmise that the compositions were born out of instantaneous observation of the night sky - sort of a "spontaneous soundtrack" to the movement of the night sky in much the same way that several artists have recently been providing imaginary, improvisational soundtracks to silent films, such as Hilkka's soundtrack to Jodorowsky's "Holy Mountain," Christina Carter (Charalambides)'s soundtrack to Man Ray's "L'Etoile de Mer," or Confession and Recantation (featuring members of Salamander and Skye Klad)'s live accompaniment to the screening of Dreyer's "The Passion of Joan of Arc" at the College of St. Catherine in Minnesota last April. Our intrepid travelers' adventure floats to an end as the third movement, "The Sky Opens Below" flutters by as the image of the track's title is perfectly realised in this soft, weightless journey on the back of a cumulus cloud. "Slick-O-Matic" could just as easily have been called "Stick-O-Matic," as it's basically a 10-minute drum solo with musical accompaniment. It amply showcases Hamlin's chops, but may alienate the non-drummers in the aurdience. But overall, this is an engaging electronic album that deftly mixes funky dance grooves (a la "The Sound You Make When You Reach For Tomorrow") with more experimental electrical circuitry that should be of interest to fans of such circuit-bending classics as Sonic Boom's "Data Rape," the work of Reed Ghazala, and the eclectic collection of home-made instruments rattling around inside the "Gravikords, Whirlies and Pyrophones" and "Orbitones, Spoonharps and Bellowphones" compilations.- Jeff Penczak from Godsend: Gods Of Electricity - 'Sundiving' CD - The duo of Mike Fazio and Thomas Hamlin have been active as members of BLACK 47 as well as a slew of other projects over the past 20 years. Now, with their debut as GODS OF ELECTRICITY, they have developed an experimental new project that may come as a surprise to those familiar with their past. 'Sundiving' is a collection of superior electronic soundtracks that combine deep programming (as many as 300 tracks according to the press release!), tribal drumming, electronic beats and rhythms, and otherworldly ambience. The overall futuristic leanings recall such out-electronic artists as COIL or MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO, especially in their meldings of structure and controlled chaos. 'Slick-O-Phonic' even jumps into a wild breakbeat-tinged jazz-meets-'Twin Peaks' arena--which doesn't succeed as well. Nonetheless, an overall strong (and sometimes challenging) set of tunes that should please any fan of leftfield electronic music.
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