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  Fade In Fade Out EP  
  Strange Attractors  
Release Date:
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I really like the Connecticut-based band Landing. They are a mostly psychedelic band, blending ambeint soundscapes with a certain poppishness. This is EP is their most ambient work of late. In a time when they seem to be moving more towards pop music, this is an odd "between albums" release.

It is about 40 minutes long, and consists of 5 tracks. Doing the math, that averages 8 minutes per track. About right for Landing, but long by conventional standards. And of course, in keeping with my own personal traditions, i have to ask, "Does a 40 minute release really deserve to be called an EP? Isn't 40 minutes, by definition, an LP?" Well, Landing call it an EP, so i guess we will go with that....

Aside from the length, the music here is also sparser than the music on their previous release, Seasons, which came out a mere 5 months before Fade In Fade Out EP. This EP is also sparser than the tunes Landing did for the New Found Land tryptych, released a mere 4 months after this EP. In fact, based on those two releases i would have said that Landing are moving in a "less ambient, more pop" direction. Instead, well, i dunno. Maybe those two releaes are anomolies.

Anyway, the 5 tracks here are slow, and for long stretches consists of guitar tinkling along all on its own. It's really beautiful and delicate music, entirely typcial of Landing, yet so unlike the other stuff i have heard from them lately.

The "EP" starts out with Forest Ocean Sound, a tune of guitar ambience in that unique Landing style. The intro is very long and achingly slow, a haze of very subtle guitar and keyboard. Slowly, the guitar swells up, just like a Landing song should.

It fades out slowly, and Against The Rain comes in, with drone, scattered percussion, and guitar under masses of echo. This song actually builds to some of the loudest moments on the EP, but in general it is light, and features some really light vocals, almost lost in the mix. (In fact, for a while i thought this song was instrumental, until a closer listen on headphones revealed the vocals obscured here.)

If Against The Rain is a light but loud song, then Constellations is a quieter, darker song. Not dark as in a spooky sense, but dark as in that feeling of loneliness and insignificance one gets when looking up at a sky lit by myriads of stars and you realize how small you are in the scheme of things. (Landing must live in a relatively rural area, because in my suburban Atlanta home that feeling is rarely evoked, just because the sky is never that dark.) Anyway, Landing evoke this feeling with a bare hint of percussion that reminds me of small chirping insects, keyboard tones that seem to shoot past you, and guitar wailing slowly, the notes drawn out and long. Eventually a rustic acoustic guitar jons in the fun, and the song meanders in smallness. It is a very well done ambient tune.

The next track is Whirlwind which features the slow, cymbal heavy drumming that Landing do so well. (Kudos to drummer Daron Gardner.) The guitars are echoed so much that they form a mass not unlike a fog bank on the scottish moors. They are dense and everywhere, surrounding you in sound. Adrienne Snow sings quietly, like she is a small girl lost in the fog. This is a nice track, my favorite on this EP, and sure to join the ranks of my favorite Landing songs.

And things are all wrapped up with Pulse, which is a typical guitar echo and drone piece. It is one of Landing's deep space journey's where strange noises float by you as you drift, slowly and peacefully. A nice, ambient end to this journey.

Really, this is a lovely "EP". If you are not so keen on the spacier work of Landing, then this might not be for you. Fans of space rock, however, will enjoy this tremendously. And i guess we will have to wait and see what Landing do next, in order to see the direction they are going to go in. I have to admit, the uncertainty makes it fun. Keep it up, Landing.

Related Links:

Oceanless, a 2001 LP from Landing.
Seasons, an LP released 5 months before this EP.
New Found Land, a tryptych featuring Landing that was released 4 months after this EP.


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