If, Bwana / XTSWR.ISMV.1

Label:Anckarström – T8
Style:Experimental, Ambient


2In Deepest, Darkest...
Bassoon, Oboe, Soprano Saxophone, ClarinetBrian Charles



"R.ISMV.1" is one in a series of pieces based on the same 8 track master. This version is a 2 track mix. The basic material is processed cymbals, organ, sampled flute, digital synthesizer (DX9) and a live performance of XTSW (Dan Andreana, Detta Andreana, Al Margolis, Danielle Reddick and Paul Richards).

"In Deepest, Darkest..." Makes use of 3 prerecorded, processed horn parts (bassoon, oboe, soprano sax) performed by Brian Charles, which have then been processed through an electroharminix memory man, plus processed cymbals, steel cello, gello (a 12 string guitar fitted with 4 cellos strings) and bass clarinet, played by Brian Charles

Recorded 1989-90.

This release comes in a 21x13 cm cardboard gatefold sleeve. Included is a 6-page booklet.


  • bonnicon's avatar
    This album is split into two long tracks. The title track “R.ISMV. 1” opens on distant, quiet tones, a warm hum over which the most subtle of sounds fade in and out again. It grows, oh so subtly until it seems to fill the room - a dozen or so minutes into the track. It has high sustained pitches reminding one of gargantuan machines screeching with the sheer joy of doing their allotted task, or perhaps with pain at such slavery. Sounds, grating and dissonant, calming and warm, indescribable, fade into the sound arena, then flow back, never outstaying their welcome. It fades back into a more reflective - dare I say it - melodic phrase towards the end, concluding as it began, palindromic in it’s Rorschach symmetry. The second track is called “In Deepest, Darkest...” beginning a little more complex, more involved, yet equally as subtle. It sounds more orchestral, in a broken, fragmentary way, with what sounds like saxophone squealing whale-like fantasy in the background, and synthesizer sounds as threatening as potentially electrified fencing garnish the free-form backdrop. Electronics akin to radio waves join in the understated soup of noise, providing shrill overhead lines of thin white wire. This shorter track follows this fragmenting style of demolition music to it’s climax.
    A good album, full of mood (especially the first track) and much recommended.

    The ‘freebie’ in this is a small fold out leaflet with three black and white pictures in it - bare feet and cacti. Make of that what you will.

    Originally reviewed for Soft Watch.


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