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l'ombre
medicine for the meaningless
ant-zen   2002
  see also
official ant-zen website
l'ombre website

album rating: 3
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submitted by anton on 2-Dec-2002

ant-zen has reached a status as a label, when the bands it brought to popularity grow in numbers; at the same time there really is no other label of the same statue, that is able to provide adequate quality of packaging and distribution that would be suited to carry these projects. the status of ant-zen has gradually shifted from pioneers of the genre to established and expected taste-setters, the position that at times feels almost restrictive towards accepting new names. this trend that will manifest itself more and more, gradually altering even further the position of the label in the eyes of its long-time fans. this is why I am so pleasantly surprised to see new names, and especially new names that create music as good as this debut release by l'ombre.

medicine for the meaningless is a collection of quiet ambient pieces that flow along echoing technoid drones, slow pulses that appear and dissolve in the waves of deep strings and dark organic textures unfolding in vast open spaces. the closest comparison I can come up with would be chapter red by starfish pool with rhythmic textures pushed further and further into the background, fading and coming back, often disjointed, irregular, stripped down. both artists acutely feel the depth and richness of cold organic textures, all the more obvious, since their music is so minimal at first sight. at the same time both are able to strike a delicate balance with the rhythmic nature of their sound. this subtlety, this very composed, very somber feel is immediately captivating and stays with you throughout this album, as it slowly moves through the spaces filled with echoes, remnants of slowly ricocheting abrasive beats dissolved in shadows, tugging at the traces of delicate memories with a sentimental string or a slowly dripping key progression.

this album is almost a sure pick for anyone that has a taste for modern electronica, it is for anyone that is after the music that possesses voluminous spaces and boldly defined shapes, but at the same has plenty of nuances, subtleties and tact, not overwhelming its listener. medicine for the meaningless is one of the most impressive debuts on the label as of late.


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