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Title: Circumsounds
Artist: Flint Glass
Genre: Electronic / Experimental
Release Date: 20th May 2008
Label: Tympanik Audio

Album Review

Formed in 1999 by Paris-based musician Gwenn Trémorin, FLINT GLASS gained a strong reputation of being one of the most talented heads when it comes to electronica and ambient. Over the years he released two albums and one EP, more than just-well received by the press. Besides FLINT GLASS, Gwenn is also a co-founder of the French label Brume Records, a label for experimental electronica and he’s one half of the Tzolk’in project, a collaboration between FLINT GLASS and EMPUSAE, recently releasing their second album ‘Haab’, but now it’s time for ‘Circumsounds’ which presents a collection of remixes lint GLASS made over the years…

Opening the collection is ‘Gestern’ that instantly opens the room to haunting layers of dull ambiance made of strings and field recordings, imbued with German speech samples and from out of the rain, a distant rhythm appears to develop further to distorted drum section. Further on with ‘Plenum Aquae’, where the scenery changes to a dark night where a storm slowly becomes a blusterous inferno to step in the background a while later and make way foe melodic textures giving the track a majestic experience, accompanied elaborated tribal rhythms. ‘Travelling Light’ opts for a slightly different path by putting a seemingly living beat under a coat of dark ambient and microscopic melody fragments that seem to dance over it, while the rhythm evolves  to a concentrated layer monster. Now we’re heading towards the ‘Air Field’, starting with a field recording and what appears to be a random series of clicks in the beginning turns out to be a precisely crafted pattern, woven into it and while we’re making our way through the night more noises and sounds appear to emerge in a compact rhythm in the end. A disturbing sequence of chopped and manipulated sound fragments leads us to a pretty standard sounding beat, but it’s still a matter of ho wit’s used with its  dozens of small additions that keeps the song interesting for me. The agonized souls of tortured souls are wafting through endless corridors in ‘Beauty of decay’, pierced by layered tribal rhythms broken by abrasive outbursts of distorted industrial. Not light-footed but heavy as a stone ‘Angel’ comes along with eclectic warped industrial rhythms put under a contrasting melange of tiny bell melodies and destructive noise sequences with a little surprise at the end…

‘Contagion & Rebirth’ makes a nod into a fairly different genre: The drum’n’bass on which the whole song structure is based. However it’s drum’n’bass FLINT GLASS style meaning more organic sounding patterns and  towards the end comes such a beautiful string section that it causes you goose bumps. Two remixes of the French project HIV+ are included on this collection; ‘Havoc2007’ and ‘Doors of Perception’ both being perfect examples for Trémorin’s capabilities in creating vast, dark ambient soundscapes that crawl under your skin and wrap themselves around your soul like an impervious shield, supported by stately clean and distorted rhythms. I knew the remix of DISHARMONY’s ‘Sacred Truth’ before, and I still can’t get enough of this broken and bit-crushed drum section over which stretched atmospheric layers and playful noises from various sources are woven. It’s also the only track that is actually featuring vocals.  The mere term Dark is not enough to describe the atmosphere that reigns ‘Fueled’; it is pitch black matter permeating it like a heavy dark haze out of which distant piano sounds reach our ears. The beat emerges s lowly, building up layer by layer until it rushes down on you with full force. ‘Questions & Answers’ continues the dark theme of its predecessor, enriches it with a pulsating drum section and an analogue synth line that is a bit out of tune with the rest of the song. I was wondering how ‘Zotz’ would sound without the influence of EMPUSAE and it has become a much more compact version with more pressure on the drums and an intensified atmosphere. A real smasher comes with ‘Blood for Oil’ fooling us with a calm start; an opera like vocal sample, encompassed by ambient layers, but with the song progressing further comes the interesting part, when multi-layered percussions kick in, followed by a strong danceable beat. The continuous alternation of rhythmic and calm parts with eastern influences provides a worthy conclusion to this collection.

Honestly, if more projects would deliver such remixes I would be the happiest man in the world. Remixes were intended for reinterpretation of a song, to give it a new direction and not pushing out an alternative dance version of a track. Even if I don’t know most of the originals it is clear and audible that Trémorin has put a lot of thought and hard work into the creation of every single one of them. The whole collection does more appear like a real album than a remix collection; it has a constant flow that many other remix albums lack. Congratulations to another fine release for Tympanik Audio


01. Gestern (Original by Polygon) – 4:27
02. Plenum Aquae (Original by Thermidor) – 6:41
03. Travelling Light (Original by Eretsua) – 4:34
04. Airfield (Original by Zonk’t) – 4:41
05. Les Esprits (Original by Shiizuka) – 3:43
06. Beauty of Decay (Original by Empusae) – 5:20
07. Angel (Original by Suicide Inside) – 4:05
08. Contagion & Rebirth (Original by Prospero) – 5:42
09. Havoc2007 (Original by HIV+) – 4:44
10. Sacred Truth (Original by Disharmony) – 4:21
11. Doors of Perception (Original by HIV+) – 4:34
12. Fueled (Original by Displacer) – 3:54
13. Questions and Answers (Original by SFI Industries) – 5:22
14. Zotz (Original by Tzolk’in) – 4:39
15. Blood for Oil (Original by OTX) – 5:58


Gwenn Trémorin – All Music & Production

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Cover Picture


Music: 9
Sound: 9
Extras: -
Total: 9


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