Album: Understanding Wildlife
Label: Mille Plateaux
Hardcore ambient/spacemusic fans may feel some cultural distance upon hearing Understanding Wildlife by Shuttle358. This new music gets away from the sense of drama created by epic deep space excursions of yore or the nullity of prior glossy ambient landscapes by presenting 12 tracks portraying various moods and states: peace, beauty, vitality, rationality, uncertainty, sensuality... This music is computer based, yet there is something more than algorhythmic composition software behind it. Dan Abrams (the artist known as "Shuttle358") gives these pieces a human quality through the transformation of stray clicks and pops into repetetive forms recognizable as rhythms and his play and manipulation of timbre across a range of tonalities.
Our mortality makes us fixate on the new. Is this music just part of a "fad"? - something to be trivialized by industry into an object of commerce? For Abrams', his "now" is so brief and instantaneous that over the course of three albums as Shuttle358 he has explored technology, sound and style at a rate exceeding that of previous generations and certainly beyond the grasp of commerciality. Although his music might be considered "ahead of its time"; it is not about the future, it is about the present - that once solid continuum of grinding fragmented bits.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 24 February 2003
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