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Terre Thaemlitz - Soil
Instinct Ambient
- Anonymous

In Resonance, Issue #4, August 1995.


It's a cold rainy day in August: mechanical bass connects dreams of a reality which you try to avoid when awake.

On his second solo LP, Thaemlitz continues to explore the rich and uncomfortable edges of "ambient music." Developing some of the sounds he explored in his first LP, Tranquilizer; the connective tissue throughout Soil is the use of sedate undertones as counterpoint to the uncomfortable noises and rhythms which surface in the foreground of each song. One of Thaemlitz's most notable abilities is to uncompromisingly integrate "political consciousness" into his music, as earlier evidenced in "Fat Chair." In "Cycles," the last rack of Soil, after we are drawn in by the wanderings of a fat bassa ccented by haunting melodies and samples, we hear a distorted woman's voice telling her gruesome and frightening story of domestic violence.

Soil is much as its name: it will not lull you into a sanitary utopia. It challenges you to push the envelope of your awareness, life's substrate, which is all-together joyous and hopeless, attractive and repulsive, and most of all awesome.