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Sounds from the Ground ::: Luminal (Waveform/Amboworld - 2004)

KakoOlalaJwal
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  116
Posts :  2565
Posted : Mar 4, 2005 22:41
Sounds from the Ground, a name both vague and evocative, has been formed in 1995 by Nick Woolfson and Elliot Jones, both invested in the mythic underground scene of London in the 90s.. From their meeting will be born a first album named Kin the year after which already striked the target, gathering asbtract Hip Hop, Dub and Jazz. This fusion will quickly raise the attention on them from figures of the Down-Tempo. In this, the long track "Triangle" will be selected on a number of compilations, and the superb "Where The Wild Things Were" inserted by Unity Dub between a Youth and a Dub Mix Convention (Gabriel Le Mar) into his "Voyage Into Paradise"(Liquid Sound Design).

In spite of the release of an EP by the label that will become reference Interchill (Drawn To The Woman), including a remix by the talentuous but rare Kaleidoscope, one have to be patient for about 3 years before being able to enjoy their second album titled Mosaic in Europe and Terra Firma in the US (Waveform Records). Which is not a shame according to the quality of this opus.. slightly darker but still very atmospheric. This album will end to forge their reputation, and there are not less than 4 tracks that will be released on classic compilations, as much as labels like Interchill, Big Chill or the regretted Planet Dog.. The track "Rye" remains imho an ambient anthem..

More anecdotic, and basically aimed at a german audience, the album/compilation Footprints is released in 2001 by Black Flame, and gathers tracks from the previous Kin and Mozaic, plus two unreleased : "Mellisma" and a vocal version of "Snow" with Red Jen which foreshadows the future work of Sounds from the Ground, surely seduced by its result. The singing experience will actually happen again, with joy..

In this, the year after is released the Lean on Me EP by Nettwerk UK, on which Colein lends his voice to a smooth Trip Hop beat and an enigmatic ambience. This track will later open their third album : Natural Selection, where the experience of the singing will be declined 7 times (on a 10 tracks album) with singers like Nicola Hitchcock, Aine and General Levy, whose album New Breed released in 1999 will be re-edited in 2002 by the famous Trojan Records. Natural Selection tends to suggest new things but doesn't deny their first ideas.. Hearing the superb saxophone in the grandiose "Inner World" is enough to be sure of it.

Other titles or remixes (an Impact All Stars, a stunning Suns of Arqa, or Zion Train remixing "Snow") are released in these days, like the great "Idlewild".. And finally, end 2004, comes Luminal, the fourth album of the duo, released by Waveform in the US and Amboworld in Europe, with different covers and track-lists.

I have ordered an Amboworld copy, therefore the track-list is the following :

1. Razz
2. As The Day Goes By (feat Tanya Tagaq Gillis)
3. Stampede (feat Rachel Calladine)
4. Ten Tons Of Dope (feat Dillinger)
5. London Fields
6. Tumbledown (feat BJ Cole)
7. Move On (feat Taz)
8. Burning Bright
9. Poems

As I'm a Reggae lover, its useless to tell you that the feature of Dillinger on this album has only hastened my click on the "order"button, if (!) there were a reason more to hasten whatever.. A Sounds from the Ground can only be worth a trust, and this track 04 won't be my only very.. very good surprise..

Yalla..



01 -- Razz
Very ambient opening, the subtle rhythmics are landing only after the second minute. Very pleasant, it leaves however an impression of exercice, characterised by a certain classicism and an obvious application. Purified ambiance, and dissimilar elements are completing the light rhythmics where the hi-hats are placed in the foreground. More specificaly "Trancy" elements will please more than one listener. Ishq lovers, here is for you "Razz"

02 -- As The Day Goes By
Much more direct opening, the rhythmics, somehow abstract HipHop, being revealed straight off are quickly accompanied by a bassline which the partition soothes perfectly the whole. Tanya's contribution is materialized in short vocalises and whisperings, filtered with skill.. The ambiance is typical of the SFTG's touch. Quiet, with simple melodies but always so shrewd, and punctuated with cautious sounds, still "powerfull" enought to give the whole a certain volume.

03 -- Stampede
Aïe aïe aïe, one of the hits of this album. A smooth Trip Hop coming from nowhere, held by a sensational bassline.. The atmosphere quite floating is sometimes crammed by a phat and distorted synth which fits perfectly in, contrasting with Rachel Calladine's celestial voice. The girl is somebody, after weirdo beginnings : Steve Rubie, owner of the Club 606, a famous jazz place in London, got a demo from her that he described as one of the worst he ever had to listen to.. 5 years later she had worked as a choir member with the Spice Girls, or Kylie Minogue, and before all she managed to get a name at the Club 606 and in the Jazz scene. Let's come back to this fabulous "Stampede" now : after the fourth minute, this synth described earlier does intensify, giving even more weight to the bassline... And ending to make me crazy about that track. Huge !

04 -- Ten Tons Of Dope
Steady Dub spiced with smooth percussions, and pulled by a minimalist bassline. The build up seems to be linked to the number 3 (to me it symbolises the reunion..) : Bass, piano chords and notes of the atmospheric wave composing the track are tied down to this number. The deep and characteristic voice of the famous singer, former protégé of Lee Scratch Perry, enriching the build up is quite penetrating, while the little add-ons distilled by Nick and Elliot end up perfecting this track.

05 -- London Fields
An opening with a somehow urban ambiance (is it Big Ben that we can hear ringing ?) leads to a long illbient moment. The suspense is brought by a stunning and light loop, while the whole takes very slowly some volume, until a bassline comes to "seat" it. The rhytmics are landing like a feather only beyond the fourth minute.. They are tinted with majesty. Each sound selected is just beautiful, simply. Then the musical background increases in a slow but constant progression, until the decline of the track. "London Fields" is awesome, sublime, tripping, whatever the adjective is, it is !! This is ambient !!

06 -- Tumbledown
BJ Cole is featured on this track, opened by the gallop of an horse. He is a specialist of the pedal steel guitar, whose skills have been already used by The Verve, Beck, Spiritualized Scott Walker or John Cale (amongst others..). His collaboration with Luke Vibert (Stop the Panic album) is a classic of electronic music. After that weird opening, SFTG brings a slow Dub piece, structured in a simple but still so efficient way, in order to allow the guitarist to express himself without making the whole indigestible..

07 -- Move On
What to say, what to write when no word come to the mind.. "Move On" is huge, since its opening, the coming out of the fantastic Trip Hop beat, carried by an appergio with a rare efficiency.. It is pulled by a synth bassline, with a quite Drum'n'Bass touch.. From this massive whole are springing up diverse trancy sounds, light and digeste.. A few piano chords are holding Taz's voice.. And what a voice. She who has worked with artists like CJ Bolland, Sin E' or Juno Reactor to mention them only, is offering something very special to the duo SFTG.. They are filtering this chant here and there, to give this track a singuliar dimension, and without falling into a too much robotised or SfX effect which woul have sounded wishy-washy on such some rhythmics. I repeat : Huge !

08 -- Burning Bright
Hahaha, now a little more stronger track, nearly Big Beat, pulled by a clever and massive synth bassline. Percussions, light scratches, more celestial punctuations and other dissimilar elements, combined and built up with skill (the break and re-launch at the beginning of the fourth minute are a model of the genre) are bringing the irresistible BoOgie in my bones.. The kind of Wha Wha pedal guitar chord, very filtered is very efficient, word that defines easily the whole of this "Burning Bright".. BoOmbastic

09 -- Poems
The (european) final point of the album sounds once again more trancy : atmospheric waves and transposed melody are springing out of an arpeggio that expresses itself on some rhytmics once again built up with an undeniable talent.. The work on the snare is to be underlined, it brings an intersting dynamic to the whole which is complex, bringing as much as a certain energy, a peaceful ambiance, and an hypnotic touch (brought by what i'll call a "rotative" melody). A very beautiful conclusion.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Already.. This Luminal is coming to its end.. Sounds from the Ground deliver us here an undeniable album for each amateur of Down-Tempo and Chill Out.. The works with singers are even more finer and the duo is dipping into the best of its past to suggest us a complete, rich and varied album, without any track coming as a stain.. It's been a while already since I have this album and finally found the time to translate my french review, and I can just tell you that I have listened to the album meanwhile with the same pleasure as the first times.. Thumbs Up !

Find it here :

http://www.waveformhq.com/luminal.html
http://www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/amo/amo1cd001.html
http://www.saikosounds.com/english/display_release.asp?id=4484

More info on the band :

http://www.soundsfromtheground.com


Thanks for reading, enjoy Luminal !!

          .
.
"Get your dose of BoOgie !"

http://www.bunkum-records.com
http://www.myspace.com/zekakoo
KakoOlalaJwal
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  116
Posts :  2565
Posted : Mar 4, 2005 23:18
I've been listening to the "Stampede" sample on the Waveform website.. It seems to sound slightly different than the Amboworld version.. If anybody could confirm..

          .
.
"Get your dose of BoOgie !"

http://www.bunkum-records.com
http://www.myspace.com/zekakoo
sherlockalien
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  22
Posts :  629
Posted : Mar 5, 2005 01:10
how is the cover to your cd?

is it like this:

http://www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/amo/amo1cd001.html

?

I also have it... funny is that I dont remember exactly where, I think I had bought in psyshop (or maybe it was backroads music?)... but the cover in my copy is not like that.. its kinda darker color, more like a picture of a subway, you know?

The cd is upstairs.. I will check if the version of mine is different than these samples at saikosounds or psyshop, which have a different cover

(btw, nice review.. I really like this cd, specially track Move On too... I was just too lazy to write a review )
KakoOlalaJwal
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  116
Posts :  2565
Posted : Mar 5, 2005 11:08
Quote:

On 2005-03-05 01:10, sherlockalien wrote:
how is the cover to your cd?

is it like this ? > link




Yes, as I wrote in the review, i have an Amboworld copy..

The quality of the picture is not so good, unfortunately.. I think yours (the Waveform) looks better.

The different version concerns only the track "Stampede", yes feel free to check out.

Cheerz           .
.
"Get your dose of BoOgie !"

http://www.bunkum-records.com
http://www.myspace.com/zekakoo
KakoOlalaJwal
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  116
Posts :  2565
Posted : Apr 15, 2005 11:07
Quote:

I will check if the version of mine is different than these samples at saikosounds or psyshop, which have a different cover



Hey Sherlock ? Did you notice anything ?           .
.
"Get your dose of BoOgie !"

http://www.bunkum-records.com
http://www.myspace.com/zekakoo
KakoOlalaJwal
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  116
Posts :  2565
Posted : Nov 16, 2005 18:05
Something I'd like to add, better late than never after all.. And at first when I was reading the booklet it didn't strike me.. But browsing today the famous label Echo beach catalogue, and to be more precise the sublabel Select Cuts I realized that "Ten Tons of Dope" is initially a track by DubbleStandart that was released in 2002. So Sounds from the Ground actually remixed it and featured it on their album.. But the terminology doesn't let imagine it's a remix..This track has also been remixed by RoOtsman.

Voilà voilà.. Nothing really "vital" btw hehe..

I can just add that this album is still being played a lot in my HiFi..
          .
.
"Get your dose of BoOgie !"

http://www.bunkum-records.com
http://www.myspace.com/zekakoo
Rui Ferreira
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  43
Posts :  744
Posted : Nov 17, 2005 00:26
yes i have the twelve inches with the remixes for looong time, and rootsman remix it's a very heavy dub mix!
Trance Forum » » Forum  Music Reviews - Sounds from the Ground ::: Luminal (Waveform/Amboworld - 2004)
 
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