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zoh_099 Kup CD / Kup Digital Sample
Numer katalogowy

ZOHAR 099-2

Data premiery

23/05/2015

Formaty

CD |

EXPO 70

Solar Drifting

Justin Wright aka Expo 70 zagościł już na dobre pod skrzydłami Zoharum. Pierwsze nasze wspólne przedsięwzięcie to płyta-hołd dla Roberta Antona Wilsona zatytułowana „From Earth to Sirius”, kolejne to rozszerzona dwupłytowa reedycja albumu „Corridors to Infinity”, a trzecie to zupełnie
nowy materiał „Frozen Living Elements”.
Kolejnym, czwartym wspólnym przedsięwzięciem jest kompilacja „Solar Drifting”. Jest to składanka o tyle wyjątkowa, że zbiera na jednym krążku część rzadkich nagrań z lat 2008-2011 z nisko- nakładowych i dawno wyprzedanych 7-calowych singli oraz kasetowych EP-ek. I to nowe wydawnictwo prezentuje inny wymiar twórczości Justina Wrighta. To krótsze, bardziej zwięzłe formy o różnorodnym charakterze i klimacie. Dalej dryfujemy w kosmosie (lub zgodnie z tytułem w świetle słonecznym), tym razem jednak nasza podróż obfituje w liczne zmiany.
Płyta została wydana w 3-panelowym ekopacku w ściśle limitowanym nakładzie 500 szt. Za okładkę odpowiada Justin Wright. Masteringiem zajął się Scott Colburn.

EXPO70_SOLARDRIFTINGreal_foto

Tracklista

1    Soft Wave Continuum    10:13
2    Transcending Energy From Light (Excerpt)    5:17
3    Solar Drifting    5:39
4    Crawling Through Crystal Skies    6:15
5    Tarot Reading    5:42
6    A1V    5:28
7    Sunglasses    5:18
8    Electric Waves    5:14
9    Heterotopia    5:28

Recenzje

Heathen Harvest
There’s not so much Sabbath or Floyd evident on Solar Drifting, which collects together remastered versions of tracks from a raft of seven inches and short cassette releases, but Wright makes a fair bid as a technician of spaceship Hawkwind. The opener (the ten-minute ‘Soft Wave Continuum’) is a slow drive in Tim Blake‘s Crystal Machine, warm pads rising and falling like the tide as the synths swoop and burble. It’s all very pleasant, if a little aimless.
‘Transcending Energy from Light’ (a five-minute excerpt from the track which appeared in full on 2009’s Night Flights) begins in a similar vein before a spiky Michael Brook-esque guitar figure appears to carry the piece to its conclusion by way of Ash Ra Temple. It is worth pointing out that rather than simply presenting these tracks in the order of their original release, Wright has sequenced them very effectively into an album that sounds like it was planned as one from the outset.
Solar Drifting continues apace with more Cobalt Blue guitar figures and the kind of electronic whoops and wails that DikMik used to specialise in. There’s more going on here than in previous work: the multi-tracked guitars churn away quite ominously, with distorted solo lines staggering about in every direction over the top, and the effect is quite claustrophobic and unsettling.
‘Crawling Through Crystal Skies’ threatens to turn into Hawkwind’s ‘You Shouldn’t Do That’ (there’s even a guitar line that mimics Nik Turner‘s sax squalls) and, as with Solar Drifting, Wright creates something that sounds an awful like the soundtrack to a nightmare. There’s nothing ostensibly horrifying here, just a hallucinatory unpleasantness that hangs about on the very edge of awareness.
On the cassette version of Solar Drifting, Side A ends here, and the guitar-based tracks with it. With the exception of the final track, Side B is all synth, and it’s a very different beast. If the electronics on side one were all space opera, they are all psychological trauma on the other: J. G. Ballard in place of E. E. “Doc” Smith. ‘Tarot Reading’ inhabits the same unpleasant landscape as Jarl‘s Case 1959: Dyatlov, and it is this tone of menacing dark ambience that dominates the rest of Solar Drifting, Coincidentally, it is especially on these short pieces—none of which have a duration over five or six minutes—where Wright really comes into his own. Perhaps it’s the limits of the formats on which these tracks were originally released, but the guitar-based tracks never seem to have enough room to develop into anything that is completely satisfying. Expo 70’s full-length releases (of which there are a great many) can be sprawling and expansive, and the opportunity to stretch out and unfold a piece over time suits Wright far better than the confines of a seven-inch single. That the menacing synth-based tracks on the second half of this album work better is at least partly due to the fact that the exemplary programming makes them sound like parts of a single long piece.
On their website, Zoharum describe this album as ‘a great starting point for people afraid to jump into the vast discography of Expo ’70’. That accolade should probably go to 2010’s Where Does Your Mind Go?, which gives a better impression of the typical breadth and space of Wright’s music. The meat of Solar Drifting is a somewhat more claustrophobic affair.

African Paper:
Justin Wright alias Expo 70 veröffentlicht seit Jahren in Dauerrotation spacige Soundscapes irgendwo im Graubereich zwischen psychedelischem Rock und verspielter elektronischer Avantgarde, und einige seiner interessantesten Releases erblickten auf Zoharum das Licht der Welt, so beispielsweise das Robert Anton Wilson gewidmete Konzeptalbum namens „From Earth to Sirius“ und eine mit viel Bonusmaterial ausgestattete Neuauflage seiner LP „Corridors of Infinity“. Dieser Tage erscheint ebenfalls auf dem polnischen Label eine Sammlung an Outtakes und vergriffenen Stücken unter dem
Die hier vertretenen Songs sind allesamt in den Jahren um 2010 entstanden und größtenteils auf raren Singles erschienen, weshalb sie sich auch durchweg durch eine gewisse Kürze und einen kompakten, konzisen Aufbau auszeichnen. Im Unterschied zu seinen Alben, bei denen immer der Gesamtzusammenhang im Vordergrund steht und die einzelnen Tracks nur Abschnitte bilden, ist „Solar Drifting“ eher episodisch ausgerichtet und das Driften und Gleiten durch Raum und Zeit wirkt bisweilen ausschnitthaft. Ansonsten ist die Sammlung durchweg von Wrights Handschrift geprägt: Sich kreisend und doch zielgenau bewegende Drones, meist in dicke, verrauschte Hüllen gepackt, deren Dichte sich kontinuierlich steigert, hier und da trashige Computersounds, die die illusionäre Harmonie durchbrechen und kein Zweifel an der Entstehungepoche lassen, denn in den Seventies, die er so gerne channelt, hätte es die nicht gegeben. Trotzdem immer wieder der Repetition und dem warmen Klang geschuldete Einlulleffekte, die dafür sorgen, dass man kleinere Brüche schon mal überhört. Gelegentlich raue, bisweilen sogar recht ätzende Riffs und solide Gitarrensoli, die verraten, dass seine Herkunft eher im Rock als im Ambient oder in der experimentellen Musik liegt.
Das ändert freilich nichts daran, dass es von Expo 70 immer gelungene Ambientstücke gab, und das den Hörer emporhebende und auf einem Harmoniumteppich davontragende „Tarot Reading“ zählt auch hier zu den Höhepunkten. (A. Kaudaht).

Heathen Harvest
For much of its existence, Expo 70 has been the solo vehicle of Kansas City’s Justin Wright. Situated somewhere in the vicinity of long-form drone, kosmische, and space rock, Wright’s music is sometimes in the tradition of the Berlin School, occasionally moving towards Düsseldorf, and recently—with the addition of a rhythm section to form a trio—what Wright himself describes as ‘like Black Sabbath playing Pink Floyd with the rawness of early Hawkwind‘
There’s not so much Sabbath or Floyd evident on Solar Drifting, which collects together remastered versions of tracks from a raft of seven inches and short cassette releases, but Wright makes a fair bid as a technician of spaceship Hawkwind. The opener (the ten-minute ‘Soft Wave Continuum’) is a slow drive in Tim Blake‘s Crystal Machine, warm pads rising and falling like the tide as the synths swoop and burble. It’s all very pleasant, if a little aimless.
‘Transcending Energy from Light’ (a five-minute excerpt from the track which appeared in full on 2009’s Night Flights) begins in a similar vein before a spiky Michael Brook-esque guitar figure appears to carry the piece to its conclusion by way of Ash Ra Temple. It is worth pointing out that rather than simply presenting these tracks in the order of their original release, Wright has sequenced them very effectively into an album that sounds like it was planned as one from the outset.
Solar Drifting continues apace with more Cobalt Blue guitar figures and the kind of electronic whoops and wails that DikMik used to specialise in. There’s more going on here than in previous work: the multi-tracked guitars churn away quite ominously, with distorted solo lines staggering about in every direction over the top, and the effect is quite claustrophobic and unsettling.
‘Crawling Through Crystal Skies’ threatens to turn into Hawkwind’s ‘You Shouldn’t Do That’ (there’s even a guitar line that mimics Nik Turner‘s sax squalls) and, as with Solar Drifting, Wright creates something that sounds an awful like the soundtrack to a nightmare. There’s nothing ostensibly horrifying here, just a hallucinatory unpleasantness that hangs about on the very edge of awareness.
On the cassette version of Solar Drifting, Side A ends here, and the guitar-based tracks with it. With the exception of the final track, Side B is all synth, and it’s a very different beast. If the electronics on side one were all space opera, they are all psychological trauma on the other: J. G. Ballard in place of E. E. “Doc” Smith. ‘Tarot Reading’ inhabits the same unpleasant landscape as Jarl‘s Case 1959: Dyatlov, and it is this tone of menacing dark ambience that dominates the rest of Solar Drifting, Coincidentally, it is especially on these short pieces—none of which have a duration over five or six minutes—where Wright really comes into his own. Perhaps it’s the limits of the formats on which these tracks were originally released, but the guitar-based tracks never seem to have enough room to develop into anything that is completely satisfying. Expo 70’s full-length releases (of which there are a great many) can be sprawling and expansive, and the opportunity to stretch out and unfold a piece over time suits Wright far better than the confines of a seven-inch single. That the menacing synth-based tracks on the second half of this album work better is at least partly due to the fact that the exemplary programming makes them sound like parts of a single long piece.
On their website, Zoharum describe this album as ‘a great starting point for people afraid to jump into the vast discography of Expo ’70’. That accolade should probably go to 2010’s Where Does Your Mind Go?, which gives a better impression of the typical breadth and space of Wright’s music. The meat of Solar Drifting is a somewhat more claustrophobic affair.

Mentenebre
Expo ´70 es un proyecto estadounidense, comandado por Justin Wright, que cuenta en su haber con un gran número de trabajos editados a lo largo de sus más de doce años de andadura. Su estilo se centra en la música ambiental, con claros influjos de la esencia cósmica aportada por Brian Eno. Drones sempiternos que asfaltan el camino sobre el que distintos efectos oscilatorios dejan marcada su firma. Un universo acústico que destaca por su desconcertante cromatismo tonal. Ocasionalmente se hace uso de otro tipo de instrumentación como la guitarra eléctrica, que aporta una gran dosis extra de experimentación.
El talante de los temas que dan forma a “Solar Drifting” presenta como nota común un semblante relajado y ciertamente hierático. Lo más normal sería que, al tratarse de un disco recopilatorio, la totalidad de los cortes mostrasen una progresión estilística marcada por cierta heterogeneidad estética, pero no es así. “Solar Drifting” abarca el segmento cronológico 2008-2015, una etapa oscura y fría para la música de Justin Wright.
Su primer título, ‘Soft Wave Continuum’, resume de manera ejemplar el estilo cultivado por este norteamericano durante los años señalados: Música crepuscular con claros guiños a la experimentación, sonidos abrazados por sombras, temas para disfrutar en soledad. Cierto es que su anterior trabajo -también comentado en Mentenebre-, “Frozen Living Elements”, dista sensiblemente en carácter con respecto a este último, ofreciéndonos una música más emparentada en ciertas ocasiones con el krautrock o el rock psicodélico. No obstante, la indescifrable oscuridad de emana Expo ´70 está presente en todo momento, especialmente en los últimos temas del CD. Ahora, con “Solar Drifting”, hallamos esa oscuridad en todo su esplendor, cargada de misterio, expectación y notas de guitarras recubiertas de ecos que se pierden en laExpo 70 – „Solar Drifting” distancia.
Expo ´70 se caracteriza por ser un proyecto prolífico en a lo que a discografía se refiere. La música experimental presenta en la mayor parte de los casos esa cualidad. La improvisación es uno de sus mejores aliados, y en más de una ocasión ésta cuenta con el beneficio de la indulgencia. Muchos son los sellos que, a lo largo de la carrera de Expo´70, han publicado sus trabajos. De hecho, lo que la discográfica polaca Zoharum está llevando a cabo es más bien una labor de reedición, ya que tanto “Frozen Living Elements” como ahora “Solar Drifting” vieron la luz en formato casete poco antes de su reedición en CD. El único problema es que las primeras resultan muy difíciles de conseguir debido a su limitación, quedando entendidos de esta manera como meros objetos de coleccionismo.
Zoharum ha engalanado la edición de “Solar Drifting” protegiéndola en un eco-wallet de tres paneles que respeta el diseño original de la portada realizada para la casete. En el interior se nos detalla la procedencia de cada uno de los temas que vertebran este interesante compendio.
Disfruta con el lado más oscuro de Expo ´70. “Solar Drifting” es una delicia destinada a paladares exigentes.

Freq:
From the ominous drones and splutters of “A1V” by way of the decidedly Harmonia-like curlicues of “Crawling Through Crystal Skies” — all twinkly echo trails and meandering electronic rhythms — to the freefall wafts of guitar feedback and multiple effects units orbiting each other in a docking pattern, Solar Drifting does exactly what the album title suggests, conjuring imagery which hovers and glides from the shimmering heat-haze of desert testing grounds areas into visions of extraterrestrial flight powered solely by the sun’s rays.
Assembled from the bulk of Expo 70‘s 7″ singles and cassette-only non-album releases which appeared between 2008 and 2011, Justin Wright has done a good job on Solar Drifting of collating them into an album which ultimately works well as a whole. Every track from the original editions has been retained, though Wright has compiled them into a new running order here, held together coherently by the sun-related titles and a shared feeling for the peripatetic sound of satellites dreaming their own quiet robotic way from lightside to darkside and round again, or of spacecraft set solidly on sundry Apollonian missions.
Compared to some other Expo 70 albums, Solar Drifting keeps matters to relatively concise track lengths, but there’s more than enough to keep the brain engaged on these excursions. “Transcending Energy From Light” appears in excerpted form, clocking in at just over five minutes of pent-up Ash Raisms, but it delivers plenty of motion through its slow-burning cosmic energy, diffusing the theta-wave transmissions in a fashion which also easily transcends the new age tendencies of all too much of this genre of music. It’s on the opening “Soft Wave Continuum” that the starship Expo 70 sets the controls for the centre of the solar system, heading for a mercurial stream of electronic consciousness-raising as it goes, deepening the drones and springing jets of reverberant materials to steer the progress of their interstellar rambler.
The title track is where looped guitar figures set up a solid basis for the coming journey between the planets, and it’s almost impossible to avoid yet more metaphors of space travel when the guitar starts to ignite the propulsion systems in preparation for a take-off. This turns out far smoother than might have been expected, achieving a throbbing, keening cruise control on the held drones of “Tarot Reading” before rendezvousing with the full-burn thrum at the point where “Sunglasses” become essential for protection from the cosmic rays — and perhaps also required for maintaining an aura of psychedelic space rock cool at the controls. This level of burning intensity ramps up on the concluding “Heterotopia”, where the cascading chorused guitar scrawls achieve their own particular kind of stellar nirvana.

ChainDLK:
This new release from Expo 70 collects four out of print release and documents this project with shorter tracks than the ones included in the releases already reviewed by myself. Instead of the chronologic order, the playlist tries to oppose the two sides of the musical composition: the drone, mostly by guitar, and the noise, mostly by synth, so escaping the vague sense of stasis that could be the cons of this musical style.
„Soft Wave Continuum” is based on two distinct drones based on two tones while „Trancending Energy From Light (Excerpt)” is an exploration of guitar’s resonances. „Solar Drifting” starts with oscillators acting as foreground to the underlying guitar lines. The delay applied to the guitar in „Crawling Through Crystal Skies” creates the more psychedelic track of this release while the feedback of „Tarot Reading” create the more metal oriented one. „A1V” features metallic percussion while „Sunglasses” explore the form already used in „Solar Drifting”. „Electric Waves” explore the guitar effects to create a kaleidoscopic musical spectrum and „Heterotopia” is focused on a guitar line slowly emerging from a guitar drone.
All that emerges it the search for evading the sense of stasis, typical of drone, to reach a sense of imperceptible movement. With his varied musical structure this release is perhaps a perfect introduction for the primer and it’s a recommended release for fans of the project.

Ver Sacrum:
Prosegue da parte della Zoharum la proposta della produzione degli Expo 70 del chitarrista Justin Wright, gruppo dedito a una musica figlia dei Corrieri Cosmici tedeschi, dello space-rock, dell’ambient e della musica drone. La discografia degli Expo ’70 è vasta e comprende, limitandoci solo a quelli pubblicati dalla label polacca, album molto validi come From Earth To Sirius, Corridors To Infinity (2014), sorta di omaggio agli Ash Ra Tempel, e Frozen Living Elements (2014) su cui mi ero soffermato su Ver Sacrum. Ora è la volta di Solar Drifting, una raccolta che raccoglie materiale inedito e raro del periodo 2008-2011 uscito in precedenza solo su singolo o cassetta. Lo stile è il medesimo che abbiamo imparato a conoscere, ovvero ambientazioni e atmosfere spaziali e cosmiche, ipnotiche e rarefatte dove la lezione del vecchio Krautrock viene fusa alla drone music di esperienze come i Sunn O))). La differenza rispetto al passato è che questa volta le composizioni sono decisamente più concise e sintetiche. Non troviamo quindi lunghe suite di 20-30 minuti ma tracce più condensate e meno dispersive. La qualità in ogni caso non ne risente e la musica non perde nessuna delle caratteristiche degli Expo ’70. Attraverso le note siderali di questo dischetto avremo modo, come già in passato, di compiere un viaggio nello spazio esterno alla ricerca di altre dimensione del Cosmo e dell’Essere. Rispetto a prima possiamo sperimentare però una maggiore gamma e varietà di esperienze sonore e sensoriali come d’altronde ci viene anticipato dal titolo Solar Drifting. E’ così il sole il soggetto esplorato in questo disco metafisico e variegato dove potremo cullarci in una nuova realtà extra-sensoriale e astratta. Un gruppo che consiglio caldamente agli amanti dell’elettronica quieta e minimale e della drone-music.

Necroweb:
Expo Seventy, oder Expo 70, bietet uns nun unter Zoharum die vierte Publikation an, welche eine Retrospektive beinhaltet, was speziell die Sammler ansprechen dürfte, anderseits aber ebenfalls ein guter Einstand für Neulinge ist, die in das Schaffen von Expo Seventy einsteigen und somit einen guten Blick auf die Musik erfahren wollen. “Solar Drifting” enthält rare Aufnahmen der Zeiträume 2008-2011 und längst ausverkaufte Vinyl EPs, deren Inhalt wohl anderweitig gar nicht mehr zu ergattern ist. Wer mit dem Schaffen vertraut ist, den wird es keinesfalls verwundern, dass die musikalische Basis aus einer Fülle von kosmischem Ambient und diverser Psychedelica besteht, was einerseits für träumerische Aspekte zu sorgen vermag, und anderseits einen gewissen Grad an musikalischer Verspieltheit aufwirft. Besonders die erste Hälfte vermag mich anzusprechen, wobei vor allem ein fantastisches “Trancending Energy From Light” für unausweichliches Kopfkino sorgt.
“Solar Drifting” ist natürlich Pflicht für jene Rezipientenschaft, die mit dem Werkeln von Expo Seventy vertraut und mit dessen Ausschweifungen in entfernte Galaxien zufrieden sind. Zwei EPs, eine Split und ein Tape sind die verewigten Dokumente auf vorliegendem Silberling, wobei der Manufaktur Zoharum der Dank gebührt, jenes seltene Material nun doch erschwingen zu können. Die Auflage ist in gewohnter Limitierung erhältlich, wobei die hier gebotenen Electronica auch mittels feinfühliger Gitarren noch eigene Würzung erhalten und für Expo Seventy Verhältnisse zudem überaus kurz ausgefallen sind. Ein Manko ist dies keinesfalls, denn dadurch wird der Einstieg meiner Meinung sogar erleichtert, weshalb vorliegende Publikation auch die variabelste darstellt.

Darkroom:
Continua la fortunata collaborazione tra la polacca Zoharum ed il progetto revival kosmische/space ambient di Justin Wright, questa volta impegnati nella realizzazione di una raccolta di singoli estratti da diverse uscite passate che sono attualmente andate esaurite. Wright, fervido sostenitore del formato fisico in tutte le sue sfaccettature e prolifico artista inarrestabile, trova così modo di comporre un puzzle sonico accattivante e completo di ogni sfumatura della sua creatura Expo ’70, rivolto sia a chi si era perso queste limitatissime uscite in passato, sia a chi si affaccia per la prima volta al poliedrico mondo delle peregrinazioni soniche dell’artista americano. „Solar Drifting”, uscito sia in cassetta dorata in 100 esemplari, sia in CD contenuto in una confezione ecopak a tre pannelli limitata a 500 copie nel giugno di quest’anno, pesca da quattro precise uscite passate distribuite tra il 2008 ed il 2012, ed ognuno dei nove tasselli che compongono questo spaccato esaustivo della proposta di Wright contiene ogni particolare sfaccettatura che contraddistingue i suoi differenti ‚periodi’ produttivi. Ci si imbatte sin da subito in tese atmosfere siderali e baluginii sonici futuristici con la lunga intro „Soft Wave Continuum”, estratta dall’omonima cassetta del 2012 da cui vengono anche estrapolate le fumose e penetranti psichedelie impreziosite dallo scuotersi di campanelli di „A1V” e le tensioni space ambient di „Electric Waves”. Più ipnoticamente avvolgenti e contenenti l’elemento chiave della musica di Wright, la sua chitarra elettrica, sono invece l’estratto di „Trascending Energy From Light” e „Sunglasses”, pezzi contenuti nel 7″ del 2009 „Sunglasses” e riportanti un approccio più viscerale, fatto di brulicare dronico ribollente e granitico sul quale si stagliano picchi inverosimili di synth portati all’estremo, altro buon esempio dell’approccio sonoro di Wright soprattutto degli esordi. I due estratti dal 7″ del 2010 „Tarot Reading” mettono in luce il lato più armonico e sentito del progetto, attraverso le lisergiche ipnosi di „Tarot Reading” o della title-track, incursione tesa di spasmi siderali portati allo stremo. Atmosfere kosmische sono invece il lascito di „Crawling Through Crystal Skies”, dove la chitarra troneggia nel suo acuto vorticare sulle tensioni ambient di sottofondo, sino ad assumere la forma di nenie orientaleggianti e ridondanti, e la conclusiva „Heterotopia”, che dal drone viscerale lascia sbocciare lisergici assoli come lame nel buio, entrambi pezzi estratti dallo split uscito in 7″ ed in miniCDr del 2008 assieme ad I Am Seamonster. Sorta di varco spazio-temporale che riporta nella contemporaneità nove piccole gocce estrapolate dall’oceano produttivo di Expo ’70, la missione della raccolta riesce bene nel suo intento, mostrando ogni lato espressivo del poliedrico act solista e dimostrandosi un buon punto di partenza per affacciarsi sulla sterminata produzione di un progetto che sa sempre come reinventarsi e stupire, anche rifacendosi a sonorità di gran lunga passate di moda.

http://zoharum.com/wydawnictwa/live-in-the-pit-kfjc-89-7fm/
http://zoharum.com/wydawnictwa/solar-drifting/
http://zoharum.com/wydawnictwa/frozen-living-elements/
http://zoharum.com/wydawnictwa/corridors-to-infinity/