Severiano Martinez Clocks & Psandas

[Shinkoyo; 2004]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: I absolutely love the State of Washington. I have spent the majority of my life here, but I’ve seen enough to know that most everything else doesn’t measure up. We may get bested by extreme cases, b
Others: Brian Eno, Air, Boards of Canada

I absolutely love the State of Washington. I have spent the majority of my life here, but I've seen enough to know that most everything else doesn't measure up. We may get bested by extreme cases, but top to bottom, our lineup is unbelievably potent. Where else can you find simultaneously one of the most urbane and cosmopolitan cities in the world, a bastion of the family farmer, possibly the greenest place on earth, one of the driest and rockiest places outside of the middle east, and top it all off with jagged Alpine granite mountains? Along with the diversity in geography comes a breadth of lifestyles, from the refined, wealthy super-liberals of Seattle to the disconnected bible belt ultra-conservatives of Spokane, to one of the deadliest gang-lands in America, to lumberjacks, to migrant workers, to white trash poverty stricken Welfarites. And with each is a different pace of life. But, I'd like to think that maybe these paces of life are all just variations on one underlying pacing. This brings to my mind fundamental and harmonic frequencies of sound, which are consonant with one another, all sharing a similar basis. Notice I've manipulated this digression to a point about sound.

I think that Severiano Martinez has somehow captured the essence of this human pacing in his music. I've experienced the consonance of this album in many of the above mentioned arenas and can easily imagine how harmonious it would be in others I haven't had a chance yet to drape it over. Allowing for slight volume corrections, it sets the stage quite nicely for a sensuously rich human event, regardless of the situation. Martinez accomplishes this largely by eschewing any attempts to shock or surprise the audience, which is not to say it's boring. It's just that the music works as your brain expects it to work, and you find yourself anticipating the mutations of the highly regular music, keeping your brain alert while also being subtle enough to comprehend it in a more ambient sense.

While most ambient proves to not be after a while, becoming annoyingly distracting aural mechanics, Clocks and Psandas can be counted on to be adaptively engrossing or ignorable, as you wish. Not conventional ambient in that the music is far faster paced than anything Eno crafted, and more unconsciously interesting when more actively engaging it. Whereas Eno's pieces were inescapably somber, these are celebrations of life and experience. Don't be surprised if you feel a little more at one with life when you've got this on.

1. clocks (you wake up)
2. clocks (you go to sleep)
3. psandas

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