Immersion is the latest project from post-punk's first couple,
Colin Newman and Malka Spiegel. Here they are experimenting with
Apparently they have recorded as Immersion before, the last time
in 1999. 17 years later and they revive this name to release an EP
on 10" vinyl. I guess this music was a little too out there for
their Githead project...
Immersion is minimal droning electronica. Think early Tangerine
Dream or n.Ln or Arp instead of Skrillex. This is music of subtle
tones that meander quietly, not thumping dancefloor music.
And they released this on 10" vinyl! I find 10" records to be
kind of neat in that they are a little different and unique, and at
the same time i find the six or seven of them that i actually own to
be a storage annoyance because of the odd size. Well, in this case i
was sent a promo download of the songs and don't have the actual
vinyl to appreciate while being troubled by how i store the thing.
There are 5 songs here, and i am not sure how they break down on
the vinyl. No matter.
Always The Sea kicks things off with a Krautrockish tone.
Echoed keyboards, a slight drone, and, at the end, something that
sounds like a woodwind. A pretty little song. Shapeshifters
is similar, with a faint tinkling keyboard bit and some random
guitar trills, all looped over and over. It has a nice rhythm, one
of the most hypnotic rhythms on this generally hypnotic, droning EP.
Up next is the "single" (such as it is), Organic Cities.
This song really reminds me of Tangerine Dream -- vibrating drones
and pulsing synths in minor tones with faint bits of guitar pulsing
back and forth. I find this stuff to be a little eerie, but when
Newman and Spiegel made a video for this they added footage recorded by
Ms. Spiegel of driving in San Francisco during sunset one day on the
latest Wire tour. Being in traffic during sunset seems to be a very
Californian experience, and the footage added to this music makes it
all less eerie and more reflective, more introspective. Driving in
California during twilight is an isolating experience, and there is
often an eeriness in being alone, but the footage makes it seems
calmer to me.
Moving on, Mechanical Creatures has a deeper, dark tone
throbbing as lighter synths pulse. It's very sci-fi, the lighter
tones seeming to fly by you as the deeper tone throbs.
And finally we have Slow Light, in which tinkling and
string sounds waver in a faint reverbing fuzzed out guitar hit with
a bass thunking way in the background. On this tune they approach
the distorted guitar and bass work of their Githead project. This is
a pretty nice addition to that sound. Maybe Immersion's drones will
be on that next Githead release. That could be interesting...
But anyway, this is a delightful little ambient EP. I wasn't
familiar with Immersion before, even though i have followed Newman
and Spiegel for a while. Let's face it, they are kind of busybodies
and it's difficult to keep up. But i like this. However, i listen to
a lot of ambient music, and this fits in with the stuff i listen to.
People who find ambient boring might not be so enamored.