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Sunday, 28 February 2010

SubVersion Stop 82: Atomic Skunk - Portal CD (Vernal Equinox)

Birdsong querying boundaries introduces Atomic Skunk's second commingling, "Portal". The use of field recordings layered with washes of drone recalls BJ Nilsen tranquilised of noise for noise's sake. Tied together by intelligence, slice through the blankets of reverb and you have a silhouette structurally derived from Eno's laboratory. But that's forgetting the inner integreties of Rich Brodsky, aka Atomic Skunk. As he transforms New Age's sullied perfume, reclaiming authenticity from a genre expressively blunted by over-exposure to defaults, "Portal" is goddamn spiffy, with bristling acoustic guitar frequencies painting a backdrop that doesn't impair itself with a fetish to linearity.

In practice, distances joining departure and arrival depend on measures in and out of control. It pays to elbow out distractions when under pressure, however disturbing the cyclical with foreign matter can hasten saving face. Additionally, planning disappointment well in advance optimizes the bridge from hope to regret. If fact and fantasy are to do us any service, Brodsky's "Portal" LP has fingertip care, with a liberal sprinkling of indeterminate entry and exit gates, typified by sounds of people, birds, flowing water, thunder, with glistening textures and beats that recall Eraldo Bernocchi's collaborations with Harold Budd.

With each sonic vocabularly set on a tome of 300 seconds and advancing, there's no weird consensual tug of "Chillout"'s traditional terminology and scaffolding. And that's what Brodsky's posit is - harnessing the urban grain of his multi-continetal peers while angling his masterplan into space. Violin meets twinkling stars of synth; formal evocation of barrier absence clasps your hand. Where intermingling of classic instruments (including the exotic mandolin) raise the stakes, "Portal" never threatens blockage, but entertains with gusts of jovial innocence. Recommended.

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