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ultra hard shadow
cop   2000
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cop international records
skylash - "empyreal day dreams" review

album rating: 3
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submitted by alan on 19-Jun-2000
Finally, the long-awaited brilliant release from master-technician of sound, Eric Chamberlain is out! Utilizing the intelligence of his side-project Skylash and less emphasis on vocals stylings than earlier Index material, Chamberlain pushes his limits once more on this COP offering.

We are submersed into this strong release with beautiful and massive melodic strings that are layered by atmospheric sweeps and digital envelopes that swirl throughout on the intro track "vadus arcology." Next we engage into diversity of colossal structures that surround the mind in a complexity of erratic percussive elements, extremely warped string and piano progressions and delightful samples with very robotic vocoder effexx. Simply brilliant!

On the next track we rest down to more fluent and relaxing yet intricate track titled "zone marrow." It takes us into a hopeful and playful track that pulls open some enthralling string and sample movements alongside a rhythmic building trip-hop or jungle beat. Next we engage the fast-paced technoid rhythms of "aethrabyss" that ever-changes with various complexity of crazy and erratic sound manipulations.

Track six moves us into a nice thematic build of very massive strings that prepare listeners for the underwater movements of "neography" & "aquatecture" which show an enlightening take on some beautiful piano arrangements. Track eight, "cerebral paisley" jumps us into some funky and bizarre compositions that one might consider would be a crazy soundtrack for a kid's videogame. From there we move to "u-land" which entices us with more technoid compositions layered precisely with uplifting piano and string elements and subtle vocoder stylings. The next track the fastest and most erratic "avant guardian angel" drives on with a complexity and sample manipulations and touches of soft strings. We end this release with a strange and subtle chaotic track that utilizes horn, TV, and many other crazy sound samples titled "holistic fibrosis."

Well worth the wait, "ultra hard shadow" proves to be Chamberlainšs strongest release to date!

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