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Tim Gray
Polyhedrons


4.0
excellent

Review

by JamieTwort USER (35 Reviews)
August 30th, 2015 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist


In a sense, the minimal drones presented here are like photographs or, rather more specifically, like photography as a medium in contrast to film. Film demands the attention of so much in such a small space of time; even a couple of seconds can require us to process any number of visual details. A photograph on the other hand, or indeed a film still, allows for much greater contemplation through the unlimited time one has to absorb it. The same can be said of the individual pieces that make up Polyhedrons, where unlike with Gray’s other work under his Ethernet pseudonym (for which he creates predominantly ambient techno), the listener is given the necessary time to absorb every subtle sound movement, independent from everything that may have once surrounded it.

In fact, the individual tracks on Polyhedrons are very much like zooming in on an individual detail of an image, allowing the focus of one’s once divided attention to be exclusively fixated on that one particular section. As explained by Gray himself, sometimes whilst creating music for his Ethernet project, “an individual synthesizer patch would capture my attention and demand independent exploration”, which is exactly what we get here; an observation of details that would often go unnoticed in the context of busier surroundings.

Polyhedrons is comprised of four lengthy ambient pieces, all with their own distinct mood and atmosphere. The first, Pentahedron, is a beautifully serene soundscape which, while on the surface appears to be the very epitome of “background music”, reveals much greater depth when paid closer attention, highlighting what is essentially the very point of this release; attention to detail. Perhaps the most immediately engaging of the four ’hedrons is the closer, Octahedron, which is the most textured piece here with a greater sense of motion; drifting rather than dwelling in near-static stillness.

The piece which stands out the most is third track Tetrahedron, which recalls a sound that lies somewhere between Mathias Grassow’s bleakest, most minimal soundscapes and the dark ambient of Deathprod’s Morals and Dogma. Unfortunately, however, it’s only its stylistic differences that make Tetrahedron stand out on the album. Ultimately it is the weakest of the albums four pieces in the sense that it fails to achieve what the rest of the album finds Gray doing so well, which is creating trance-inducing drones that are hypnotic yet undemanding.

Whether the new approach to composing shown here is the start of a new direction for Gray, or whether it is simply a one off experiment inspired by particular details he picked up on during his other project, remains to be seen. Either way, Polyhedrons, in keeping with its name, shows there are multiple faces to Gray as a musician and composer and interestingly this might be his best release to date, showing that the oft redundant cliché of ‘less is more’ is still, at lease in this case, a very accurate one.



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user ratings (6)
3.4
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
JamieTwort
August 30th 2015


26988 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is definitely among the better ambient/drone releases I've heard from this year.

RadicalEd
August 30th 2015


9546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah its awesome. Great review as well.

TwigTW
August 30th 2015


3908 Comments


One of the more interesting releases I've come across this year. Great review too,
love the photo analogy, it's given me a new way to look at the album--nice!

smaugman
August 30th 2015


5261 Comments


nice review

JamieTwort
August 30th 2015


26988 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys.

Cygnatti
August 30th 2015


35399 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

very lovely stuff :]

JamieTwort
August 30th 2015


26988 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

:]

JamieTwort
August 30th 2015


26988 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn, that IHateRadiohead guy who 5'd this just 5's everything.

danielcardoso
August 30th 2015


11770 Comments


Ah reminds me of a time when we'd listen to an album once and figured it was the best piece of music we'd ever hear. Simpler days.

JamieTwort
August 31st 2015


26988 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Indeed.

Keyblade
August 31st 2015


30306 Comments


sounds really good, haven't heard any ambient from this year

JamieTwort
August 31st 2015


26988 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It hasn't been the best year for ambient so far but this and (to even a greater extent) the new Benoit album and Jasmine Guffond's Yellow Bell have been excellent.

Keyblade
August 31st 2015


30306 Comments


nice, wishlisted

JamieTwort
August 31st 2015


26988 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh forgot about the new Sean McCann, that's lovely too.



Have you heard this, Jac? Not sure whether it's your kind of ambient (whatever I perceive that to be idk) but you might dig.

JamieTwort
August 31st 2015


26988 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Key: Ruhe - Chamber Loops is another great ambient release from this year I forgot to mention, definitely recommend checking that out.

Keyblade
August 31st 2015


30306 Comments


will do dude



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