Aug 2012 20

Biomass - EnergyBiomass
Category: Electronica / Drone
Album: Energy
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: With trancelike loops that shift from hypnotic to droning, this album is probably best enjoyed under the influence.


 

Sometimes one encounters music that seems to have been written with the understanding that the ideal listener will be on drugs. Energy, the freshman release from Los Angeles psy-trance act Biomass seems to be one such album. Energy contains six tracks and runs at just shy of an hour. The songs on this album are vocal and sample free and often simply fade in to a running drum loop pattern. High paced mechanized drums sit at the forefront of the mix, just below bass step sequences propelling the tracks forward with a generically futuristic atmosphere. Dreamy synth pads round out the sonic canvas, often the only element of each song that does not sound heavily looped.

The tracks have interesting, imagination inspiring names such as “Serpent Sphinx” and “Phaseloc” that serve to reinforce the project’s futuristic image. The songs themselves are, however, less pleasing than one would hope. The initial setup of each song starts out solid then disappears into a trancelike drone. This music would be perfect for a sweaty, crowded dancehall while under the effect of mind altering substances, but listening to it while grounded in the real world can have a displeasingly hypnotic effect. The tracks are so long that the loops take on a drone like quality. Listening to Energy blots out the passage of time; perfect for mindlessly surfing Facebook.

Individually, tracks “Phaseloc” and “Minechamber” stand out from the rest. “Phaseloc” begins with a sequence that evokes the sensation of listening to dance music from some type of surreal underwater vista. The effect is intriguing and pulls the listener out of the trancelike state achieved by every song up to that point. Clearly, this is not the desired state for listening to the album as Biomass scuttles this narrative about a minute in favoring more droning loops. “Minechamber” is perhaps the most daringly experimental track on the album. Weighing in at twenty-two-and-a-half minutes, the track is interesting in its minimalistic take but about twice as long as it needs to be for sober listening. Of particular disappointment, small pops are audible on “Minechamber” indicative of digital clipping.

Energy ends up being a mediocre album that is fine if listened to passively in an appropriate environment but not engaging enough to be actively sought out.
 
Track list:

  1. Soar Acido
  2. Serpent Sphinx
  3. Serpentetrspeed
  4. Phaseloc
  5. Aquapolar
  6. Minechamber

 
Biomass Website http://www.biomassmusic.com
Biomass MySpace http://www.myspace.com/biomass/music
Biomass Facebook http://www.facebook.com/biomassmusic
Biomass ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/biomassmusic
Biomass SoundCloud http://soundcloud.com/biomass
Biomass Bandcamp http://biomass.bandcamp.com
Biometrax
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
CDBaby
 
2011-09-20
 
Brendan Leonard (vonruthven)

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