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 Forum index » Reviews, Editorials and Commentary » Reviews, Reports and Interviews
My Review of BT's The Binary Universe (2006)
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JJJJJ



Joined: Mar 15, 2010
Posts: 1
Location: United States

PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:23 am    Post subject: My Review of BT's The Binary Universe (2006) Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Brian Transeau’s The Binary Universe is truly a work of art. Combining aspects of classical composition with his own brand of electronic music, Transeau creates something unique and inspiring. On this album Transeau melds orchestral sounds, ambient clouds, short samples, and electronic percussion.

One of the highlights of the album “The Internal Locus” starts with nature—the sounds of wind and rain. A keyboard joins in to play a catchy, but hauntingly beautiful melody. Distorted electronic samples begin to creep in, and after a gradual crescendo and harsh decrescendo the keys and distorted sounds drop out suddenly. The song builds again with live orchestration, interesting percussion, and electronic samples. The song constantly shifts balance between live orchestral music and electronic samples. With about two minutes left in the song, the sampled computerized aspects of the music mostly take over. It finishes again with the rain, thunder, and storm sounds, though by the end, those sounds seem much more peaceful than at the beginning.

Transeau’s work beautifully exhibits the reality that music can come from anywhere and be made by anything. He represents a middle ground for lovers of classical music and lovers of technologically modern music. He owes much to the school of Karlheinz Stockhausen (who combined musique concrete and electronische music). Fans of modern industrial rock artists like Nine Inch Nails, Filter, or Puscifer, may also delight in the use of classical instrumentation with ambient beats, samples, and overdriven electronic sounds. I daresay that Transeau’s innovation makes this an album for serious music fans, rather than electronic trance pop fans. People looking for mainstream easily accessible trance songs should look elsewhere. Though there are a few catchy bits, this album is a challenge. Still, there is definitely something here for all serious music fans. Whether you are more intrigued by the heavily distorted breakdown in “See You on the Other Side” (a song which initially sounds like a lullaby), or the intense orchestration of “The Antikythera Mechanism,” when listened to seriously, this album will draw you in. Give the album a few listens before judging it yourself. Its innovativeness inherently makes it a challenge, but good music should be challenging.

This album should definitely be listened to as a collective work as opposed to individual songs. It really presents itself as an entire work, so it probably does not do just to the complete work to discuss particular songs. However, I will say that “The Antikythera Mechanism” is probably my favorite track on this album. In terms of meshing lots of different types of sounds, it is an excellent example. In fact, it is the vast variety of sounds that makes this piece so good. The gentle pianos are contrasted with strange samples and the strings of the orchestra are contrasted with moments of loud distorted sounds. Most of all, the sounds build beautifully. Initially it is driven mostly by piano/keyboard. Guitars and strings come in and build into electronic samples. When it seems like the song is becoming more and more electronic, the full orchestra kicks in. The song later reaches its ultimately heavy climax when the orchestra is playing over the loud industrial-rock-like sounds. Transeau will hold listeners’ attention by constantly shifting focus between acoustic and electronic sounds.

For all the intense sounds and experimentation here, The Binary Universe never sounds chaotic or cluttered. In places it is very minimalist. When Transeau does present us with lots of sounds at once, he does so by carefully building layers upon layers in streams of crescendos and decrescendos. It is masterfully composed so that it allows complex moments to build to the point of high tension but never confusion. The struggles that are introduced are resolved, and we are left satisfied. Music fans of all genres who will sit and give it a serious listen, will appreciate The Binary Universe for the excellent, innovative work of art that it is.
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abstraktor



Joined: Apr 27, 2009
Posts: 189
Location: glasgow, scotland

PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

is this the record company trying to drum up some late sales? Laughing I cant hear any influences from Stockhausen and musique concrete - its all bland-ish ambient superficialities. There are people on this forum who create "experimental"musics with much more depth and substance than BT ever could. I broadcast official "Pop star wants to be taken seriously as a real artist" alert Rolling Eyes
Why dont you just pay for an advert?
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