Carbon Based Lifeforms
Hydroponic Garden


2.0
poor

Review

by Chris Jackson USER (177 Reviews)
July 19th, 2007 | 49 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


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 shit 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" and ”Tensor” 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.



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user ratings (92)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Fort23
July 20th 2007


2480 Comments


Review looks good. I like electronica, but I'm not going to check this out.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
July 20th 2007


2806 Comments


"over the coarse of a weekend."

course*

Who will make it first to 150? :bringiton:

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
July 20th 2007


4927 Comments


I was going to point that out too Flawed :p

great review, too bad you rated it bad so I will not check it out.

Zebra
Moderator
July 20th 2007


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I have actually heard a lot of good things about his album, that's why I invested so much time into it. As far as I know I'm the only one who doesn't like this so feel free to check it out because you might enjoy it.

thunderzstruck
July 20th 2007


148 Comments


good review

though i do think the song central plains is amazing

combustion07
August 29th 2008


5420 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Band/Cd is awesome.

Nadinus
September 3rd 2008


21 Comments


I liked this album. It's not the most creative or original of the ambient/electronic genre but as background music it's fine. It has a nice hypnotic/psychedelic feel to it which I like.

Good review you make fair points, even though I don't agree with your rating.

Shadowzz4
May 19th 2009


1 Comments


I agree that there is not much done to progressively alter the sound of each track, but there is some progression. There are other albums such as Biosphere's Shenzhou which have even less variation in their sound, Shenzhou's tracks are all looped pieces that are exactly the same, save subtle variations in tone and volume. So I dont think that arguement in and of itself is legitimate.

Basically, if the melodies or rhythms which begin a given track are good enough, there doesnt need to be much change, and that is what you have here.

I've only listened to the album 4 times, but I give it a 4.8 thus far.

bloc
January 10th 2010


35010 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

MOS 6581 is sooooo smooth

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Superstition

bloc
October 2nd 2010


35010 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

MOS puts me in a trance all the time

Yotimi
October 29th 2010


6549 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is good. And yes MOS rules

Digging: Sand Circles - Motor City

Deathcar
July 20th 2011


1534 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dear lord this needs a new review.

struth
October 20th 2011


435 Comments


This album is fantastic. Chillest shit ever.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
October 20th 2011


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Reviewer is retarded, will try to give this a proper review later today/tomorrow.

struth
October 20th 2011


435 Comments


Zebra definitely rated a lot of albums I love quite low.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2012


3483 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Chris Jackson, you are insane.

Digging: Brant Bjork - Black Flower Power

mindleviticus
July 12th 2012


8326 Comments


What were you expecting? This is psybient. Chill the fuck out.

Acanthus
January 6th 2013


9545 Comments


MOS is the reason I'm getting this.

Digging: MO - No Mythologies To Follow

Keyblade
June 10th 2013


15234 Comments


1 page, 'tis a shame

Digging: Insides - Euphoria

Acanthus
June 10th 2013


9545 Comments


Yeah, need to get more from these guys.



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