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reviews and other references:
this review was brought by the e/i-mag:|
VARIOUS ARTISTS Nekton Falls (Sonic Dragon) • The dead and the grateful come together to form the iterative: three CDs which comprise a long, strange trip inspired by a long, strange trip. Closet university geologist Achim Reisdorf and full-time experimentalist Seetyca step away from the respective labels they run (On_Lap and Mbira) to lead more than two dozen friends and associates on an expedition into music's deep water. The Nekton Falls compilation takes its title from the natural phenomenon of dead and dying sea creatures descending to the ocean floor to join the lowest level of the food chain—figuratively and literally. It is the thematic launching point for work that, as on most collections of this nature, contains something to love and hate for all who encounter it. Excepting vivid rhythmic distractions like Gianfranco Grilli's slowly building "Organic Transformation," the mainstream tribalism of Matthias Grassow's "The Earth Rocks," and Niki Neecke's droll "Funnyfoodfactory," much of Nekton Falls is dedicated to manipulated noise meant to praise or recast the always-hungry abyss and address its ties to the always-hungry human race. Frankly, almost too much of Nekton Falls runs this course; in addition to contributing the frequency play "Benthos_A," Seetyca sees fit to insert meaningless intros, outros, and interludes alongside every track. Drone can transition on its own just fine, thankyouverymuch, and when The Oval Language's untitled composition runs shorter than some of these padding songs you have to wonder: Who was short on confidence at what point in planning this triple album? That sense of hesitancy extends to Nekton Falls' desired artistic connections to environment and consumption. They range from strong (the likes of Error and Clemens Presser & Fietsche Einselbock invoke technology lost at sea) to tenuous (Franziska Baumann still stuck in the Arctic) to foolishly absent; Hypersleep may contribute coolly violent Europop that's a ready-made hit but what their namesake "Dandelion Dreams" have to do with the ocean is anyone's guess.
This is not a compilation without immediate bright spots for different fandoms, but it more often seems hopelessly adrift—if not ready to sink under its own weight. (AB) • www.sonic-dragon.com"
this review hails from the uk based adverse effect fanzine: "Adverse Effect Fanzine
Adverse Effect (Vol.III.) #3, Winter 2006/2007 Edition
V/A `Nekton Falls' 3CD (Celestial Dragon, Germany, 2006)
An admittedly slightly daunting `concept' put together by Achim G. Reisdorf & Seetyca, after having been inspired by Hubert Sauper's Darwin's Nightmare and some other works on oceanography and marine biology, that collects pieces by 22 international moodscapers as well as a further 27 intros, outros, interludes and one additional piece by Seetyca alone. With contributions by Frans de Waard, i:wound, Roel Meelkop, NiD and others whose names I'm almost ashamed to admit I've never heard of before, such as Yannick Dauby, Hypersleep, Error, Mnortham and The Oval Language, Nekton Falls possibly navigates those pockets of mist or fog you'd expect but nonetheless leaps ahead through virtue of its doing it so well. It would be perhaps quite easy to readily dismiss much of the material here as being by the same person or, at best, the same few people. But this, I think, is both partly due to the nature of such music in itself and, equally, the fact these artists appear focused on their objectives. All the same, certain pieces stand out for either being a little more involving or because they play around with the premise, such as Hypersleep's near electro-pop chillout tune and Swiss artist Franziska Baumann's blend of what sound like heavily fucked vocalisations and sea shifts.
Getting back to the point, however, there's nothing weak on here and, well, if I have any complaints they are only towards the choice of typography used on the artwork, the virtually impenetrable `clever-clever' `system' behind the contribution credits and the fact mebbe some more text concerning the concept itself would have proved useful. These aside, it's otherwise possibly the most satisfying collection of `psycho-ambient' music I've heard in a considerable while. Nice (RJ)"
thomas park aka mystified has reviewed nekton falls for us:
"Being underwater-- listening to this 3 cd set is literally like being submerged-- from the sound of the individual tracks to the editing and overall sound design to the graphics on the package. Definitely find yourself in a place good for immersion-- a stereo with strong woofers or a nice pair of headphones. The project begins with a series of deep synth tones, then moves into a rendering of aquatic audio-- audio as tonal reverbation sources-- very beautiful. Here begins a meandering through several pieces, some more tonal, others more abstract, each evoking a submerged loveliness.
Listening, you will find influences through this project that are electronic, chant-based, phonographic, analog, digital, and everywhere in between.
Rather than selecting individual tracks for comment, I would rather stress that there is a strength in this project from unity of vision-- where the ideas of the curators are magically taken up by the artists and successfully achieved. I can attest to reaching a calm sense of dark wonder after listening to these tracks, and can recommend the cd set to fans of immersive listening as being, at the very least, as effective as Steve Roach's "Immersion" recordings."
Thomas Park, Mystified
e-zine vital weekly, edition 549:
NEKTON FALLS (3CD compilation by Sonic Dragon/Mbira Records/On Lap Records) This compilation is set against an ambitious conceptual background, that incorporates ideas from various scientific disciplines and combines environmental concerns with a fascination for the incredible depths of the oceans. These references are centered around an interest in interrelating processes between living organisms and their surroundings, as it is indicated by the title "Nekton Falls" (a scientific term that is used to describe the process of dead sea organisms dropping to the bottom of the ocean, rotting and eventually turning into food for a new generation). All this is explained in detail on the website www.nekton-falls.org, complete with artists' statements and suggestions for further reading.
A background like that of course hints towards dark stretched out sounds and field recordings of water, and this is exactly what you get for the most part of the three CDs, plus some rhythm-based tracks and grainy digital textures. In total 26 artists and projects are involved here, including well established names (Michael Northam, Frans de Waard, Roel Meelkop, Lull, to name a few) as well as lesser known ones. The individual tracks are connected with interludes composed by Seetyca, who also contributes a track and is responsible for the overall concept (together with A. G. Reisdorf). Most of the music is rather subdued, with vast fields of sound, fading from black to deep shades of blue and back again. This creates a nice, continuous flow of music, yet with enough variations to keep you interested. This flow is only sometimes disrupted by one of the few rhythm-oriented tracks, which might be nice by themselves, but don't go along too well with the other pieces. However, a whole palette of approaches towards the darker side of atmospheric music is on showcase here. Amorphous immersive soundscapes, field recordings of natural phenomena, digital errors, clear blocks of abstract sound and hints of acoustic instruments - it's all there and most of the time it nicely complements each other.
With so many people involved obviously not all tracks work well for everyone. Some tracks might benefit from a little refinement and some of the sounds seem rather worn out. But there are some real highlights to be discovered and as a whole it works pretty well, guiding you on a worthwhile trip into imaginary sub oceanic regions. (MSS).
german music mag zillo, edition december 2006:
Der Titel dieser konzeptionell ausgerichteten Triple-CD-Compilation geht auf einen Begriff aus der Meeresbiologie zurück und bezeichnet tote Organismen, die aus der Wassersäule auf den Meeresboden sinken und dort die Grundlage für neues Leben ermöglichen. Die Initiatoren des "Nekton Falls"-Projekts erachten den noch weitgehend unerforschten Lebensraum des Meeres nicht nur aus ökologischer Hinsicht für schützenswert, sondern auch als Inspirationsquelle und künstlerischen Freiraum. Vor diesem Hintergrund versammelt der Zusammenschluss der drei Labels On Lap Records, Mbira Records und Celestial Dragon insgesamt 26 Künstler - darunter so populäre Acts wie Matthias Grassow und Lull - aus zehn Ländern, die sich in ihren exklusiv produzierten Stücken mit der konfliktreichen Beziehung zwischen den Menschen und ihrer Umgebung auseinandersetzen und dabei vor allem der Frage nachgehen, inwieweit wir durch unser Ernährungsverhalten unsere Umwelt gestalten.
Der Wasser-Thematik entsprechend sind die Soundscapes auf den drei CDs kaum von rhythmischen Strukturen gezeichnet, sondern von fließender, leicht rauschender Natur, als würde man tatsächlich Musik unter Wasser lauschen. Die von Seetyca kreierten Intros, Outros und Interludes zwischen jedem Stück sorgen dabei für einen durchgehenden, sehr kohärent wirkenden Entspannungs-Soundtrack, der genügend Raum zum Sinnieren und Träumen bietet. Weitere interessante Infos zum ambitionierten Projekt gibt es unter der eigens eingerichteten Website www.nekton-falls.org. Hoffmann