There has been a certain shift in the philosophy and musical stance, a greater awareness of other musics and cultures. You get a sense of globalization influencing dance and experimental music entwining all of these together. Erixma have taken World Music and beyond onboard their ambient rhythmic experimentation's, stretching and widening their appeal. Transcendent pieces that float in the either, shifting from one musical form to another, sound shifting,
Erixma hover between familiar ambient/global trance tactics and more experimental shores. Side one of Sphere is less engaging trance with an Orientalist tinge using synth and Jew's harp, and including a lengthy Mackenna-esque incantation to primal beginnings. The other side comes on stronger, with a range of invented sounds - rummage round mixed up objects with ripples and gongs. Avant chill out.
Behind Erixma are
two English men Brian Field and Clive Richards, both from small villages far
off the pop-metropole London. Erixma make real time music, on the basis of tape
manipulation. Not only have they got no time for modern loop generated electronics
but also the write hip-factors of Warp, Pussy Foot and Pork etc. are included
by these two gentlemen. The well earned Cologne based Staubgold label insured
Erixma create their music isolated in the countryside. That is no surprise when
you hear their wonderful "Sphere Of Magnetick Virtue" album and how
it will effect you. "Angleland" represents rather the more gritty-percussive
side or the duo. Further tracks like "Two Million" or" infidels"
on the other hand, are moving soundscapes, also to good to be true. May nobody
ever remove Erixma from their idyllics. It would be a pity for their true valuable
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All below writings either in part or in full are taken from genuine articles or reviews etc.
Original cassette cover
Vinyl LP cover (Staubgold label)
Last few copies of limited silver grey vinyl with beautiful hand made covers still available £11.00
Brian Field. email.
Very modern sound manipulations with an occasional world music/exotic overtone, this LP has a nice atmosphere. Certainly a band to watch.
The album opens with "Angleland" a sort of world-music inspired blend where someaerial vocals reminding me of Pyrenean folklore use with ethno-groove developed by a warmful combination of percussion and jew's harp. The background vibrating layers of synth and keyboards add a hint of pleasant cosmic energy which give this track a premonitory aspect of what the Anubian Lights were going to explore a few years later. Well this opening number may lead the listener astray as he may expect a whole album of this genre but since the second track one can feel Brian and Clive won't stop surprising the listener throughout the album. "Seaside Sermon" is in point of fact a spoken word whose reciting is accompanied by a wall of spacey sea-like fluids and seagull's singing samples which grow stronger and stronger up to the end establishing the right mood for this musical seascape.
The rest of the album is as different as both of the aforementioned numbers can be, maybe emphasizing a bit more the abstract and ambient touch of the project whose flow is only interupted once by the intrusion of a wide set of digital beats and computerized collages ("Prosesioun"). The duo enjoys creating very various sound tessituras whose outlines include mechanical and industrial ambiance's in the image of a futuristic city controlled by robots and falling into anarchy ("Eight Cycles Per Second") modern and avant garde developments ("Two Million") and spongy textures where the listener has finally the impression to wander about the corridors of a dark basement from where he receives the echo's of a less human and more animal nature ("Infidels"). This is a constant thing in Erixma's music which comes to light after several listens, all their musical substratum's oscillate between a gloomy dissonant approach as on quasi mystical "Pollination Zone" and unhealthy and stuffy climates where moistness is almost palpable ("Infidels", "Mother Ship"). Both musicians amuse themselves confusing the listener by spoiling all his expectations in the cool tradition of Fragment related acts such as The Switch Off Option or Moisten Before Use. To be dissimilar on some occasions I would have believed that "Sphere Of Magnetick Virtue" was going to lose a part of it's global stature with time but nothing of the kind. This unconventional album will ravish all the fans of unnatural mixes as well as soundscape freaks. From Zoopa Loop e-zine.
The set opens with
"Angleland", which features Indian/Middle Eastern percussion, jew's
harp and chanting that gives the music a nice throbbing psychedelic groove.
"Seaside Sermon" consists of cosmic ambiance, soundscapes and field
recordings that provide the backdrop for the spoken word "Seaside Sermon"
of the title. An excellent combination of floating and freaky elements. "Eight
Cycles Per Second" is a sound-art piece that sounds like the backdrop to
a sci-fi flick or video game. Images of meteor showers and underground caverns
co-mingle with ethnic percussion and ambient waves. I enjoyed this track a lot.
Somewhat similar, and one of the more abstract tracks of the set, is "Infidels",
which requires a close headphone listen to absorb all that's happening. We've
got slow paced collaged noise, percussion and anguished voices, backed by spaced
out ambiance and bubbling alien sound efx. Mucho tasty.
On "Two Million", the duo create haunting but quirky atmospherics that remind me a little of The Residents. This is combined with spacey oddball grooves that are in the experimental realm but include a psychedelic undertone. Chords that sound like scrapping across piano or some such strings contribute to the percussion and there's a dark symphonic edge to the music as well. It's difficult to describe but there are multiple layers of sound, each occupying it's own distinct area in the larger whole. "Prosesioun" is a fun tune with flutes, oodles of ethnic percussion, and UFO synths. "Mother Ship" has an aquatic theme, dominated by running water and howling and pulsating percussive bells. "Pollination Zone" is the most purely atmospheric track of the set, though Erixma's idea of ambiance includes a banquet of varied sounds and percussives.
In summary, there's a LOT happening on this disc and multiple listens are required to digest it all. New discoveries are to be made with each subsequent spin. Best of all, it's virtually impossible to categorize, blending all manner of experimental, sound art, ambient, and psychedelic space elements. From Aural Innovations ezine.
The best definition
for describing this record by Erixma is "pure power to call spirits".
This re-issue on CD allowes us to appreciate all the mystycism that this work
contains. The album doesn't last more much more than an hour, but you can easly
appreciate the inextricable plot of superstitions, common beliefs and reverlations
that have led all the human history from heathen worships, absolute religions
and to unlikely prophets.
Brian and Clive are able to reproduce misteriouse and heavenly landscapes, in the 8 tracks they are even nearly able to make the listener see the music.
In fact the listener is able to feel and recreate in his mind the colour of the grass, of the rocks, of the sky and of the sea.
It is rare to find musicians that have these capabilities, so I suggest you listen to this record, especially if you are sick and tired of the common ambient music.
From No Warning e-zine. Thanks to the lovely Alice for the translation.
Coming n at a few
minutes under an hour and split across eight discrete tracks the sounds are
varied; all the pieces are unusualwith some having a more musical nature. A
good example of this is the opening track "Angleland". On this track
we hear a quickley syncopated metalic/voice sound with Asian Indian style drums,
some wordless chanting and a twangy spring sound (a mouth harp perhaps). An
odd combination on paper but it sounds okey and slightly melodic.
This is the first album I've heard with a sermon on it! On "Seaside Sermon" a man shouts a stream of conciousness about life and the sea, while wind and watery effects play out along with nature sounds such as the cry of seagulls. More oddity, yet it's strangely compelling.
Fans of dark ambient music may like the final track "Pollination Zone" where strange and spooky effects, including occasional voices, create a disconcerting atmosphere - especially when a powerful refrain comes in every few seconds.
So who is this album going to appeal to? Well, those who are not faint-hearted and willing to try something different should consider it. From Wind And Wire e-zine.