Electronic Barnacle Island – Deeply Faulted Area Resembling an Upright Deck of Cards (CD)

Ambient soundscapes without much in the way of beats or anything tangible to grab onto, Electronic Barnacle Island plays its way off as a more modern Brian Eno or Vangelis disc. As a result, this disc is one that will double equally well as music to sleep to, or just zone out on. Each of the tracks on “Deeply Faulted” is an composition in and of itself – it is almost an injustice to go and try to make parallels or tie together all of the songs under one banner. Each track brings something new to the disc, whether it is the apathetic tribal beat and synthesized bird calls of “Mheragain” or the almost-radio friendly Depeche Mode-influenced “Chance to Be Hollow.” The aforementioned track “Chance” has snippets of vocals expanded and contracted over a spastic beat and soulful, yet melancholy synth line. While the track may not have the pure catchiness of a “Come to Daddy”, “Chance to Be Hollow” will have individuals swaying and stop-dancing as much as a Bonny Prince Billy.

Unless one wants a party to die, Electronic Barnacle Island better not be in a jam-mix or CD player for when the party comes to your house. However, not all music has to have a strong back beat or even any percussion at all – Aaron’s goal here in this is to make introspection hip again. Without a set of vocals to persuade listeners to believe a certain way how a song is going, the listeners are lost in the woods of Electronic Barnacle Island. The only way to find a path is to follow onto Aaron’s compositions without fail. However, one really has to be in the right state of mind to start grooving along with “Deeply Faulted Area”- otherwise, the CD will just be ignored for other distractions in the room.

Overall, the disc is good. I have to give Aaron that. However, where there are eight different compositions totaling about 45 minutes, I find it personally hard to tell one apart from the other. Honestly, if someone played selections from this disc and required me to decide which track contained the snippet, I would have to guess. Where an act like Kraftwerk can both craft and work compositions into instant classics, Aaron really hasn’t found that knack for properly making a stand-out album. While each song is solid, they just don’t really stand out as a pinnacle in IDM or ambient music.

Rating : 5.5/10

Top Track : Mheragain

Electronic Barnacle Island – Deeply Faulted Area Resembling an Upright Deck of Cards / 2003 Kirakira Disc Records / 8 Tracks / http://www.kirakiradisc.com / Released 10 February 2004 / Reviewed 03 January 2004

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