Listening to Hydroponic Garden
is an aggravating experience. Like many electronica duo’s Carbon Based Lifeforms combine laptop beats with soaring keyboard soundscapes in order to disorient the listener by putting them in a trance. While I’m a sucker for this type of music I must say that Hydroponic Garden
sounds like it was created by a couple of bored friends over the course of a weekend. Oddly enough I do enjoy the duo’s influences which include artists such as Steve Roach, Biosphere, andThe Orb.
Those of you who listen to ambient-electronica know that seven minute tracks aren’t very unusual. The majority of the songs on Hydroponic Garden
go up to or even exceed seven minutes in length. Usually this does not bother me because like I said earlier I’m easily amused when it comes to this shi
t but Carbon Based Lifeforms could have easily cut every single one of these songs in half. Each track starts off with tranquil keyboard harmonies and organic beats and I must say that they fuse together to create sublime arrangements. The only problem is that Johannes Hedberg and Daniel Ringström (the two geniuses behind Carbon Based Lifeforms) never do anything to alter the sound. Songs such as ”MOS 6581"
start off with captivating beats and interesting keyboard rhythms but the duo add no progressive qualities to the music.
Another crucial key to making a solid electronica album (or any album for that matter) is the production. About half of the songs on Hydroponic Garden
are beatless and rely on textures of keyboards in order to possess an atmospheric vibe. Unfortunately this has to be one of the most lifeless, barren productions that I’ve ever heard. The cold, clammy effects drone on for over five minutes offering no unique melodies or hypnotizing sounds. Hydroponic Garden
honestly sounds like it was produced in a jail cell due to its cold, clammy effects and unamusing keyboard meldings.
Although the music is nice to put on in the background each track on Hydroponic Garden
ambles along at such a sluggish pace that the album is almost impossible to navigate through. At first listen the album doesn’t seem to bad. The beats are subdued and lax, the keyboards and laptop effects are spacey and fresh, but Carbon Based Lifeforms never expand on these ideas. Some people may be intrigued due to the lame drug reference in the album title but for those of you who are seeking trippy, soothing, and kaleidoscopic, music will have to look elsewhere.