Elegantly simple packaging and music define the Still Life series, as evidenced on Volume Three. With glowing comments from Laurie Anderson, Jon Hassell, Pauline Oliveros and other prominent avant garde musicians, it is not surprising that this music falls more into that category than EM. In fact, the disc makes a point of stating that no electronic instruments were used. So the bouncing, amusing bass line is, in fact, a bass, or presumably something along those lines. The music definitely has an intellectual feel about it, like it is something to be studied before it can be fully grasped, taken in and appreciated. The sparse elements adhere to one another in a deceptively spartan manner, but basic does not necessarily equate to accessible. It is assembled with sounds that do not seem like a natural pairing, but one adapts to it fairly readily, or at least that was my experience on first listen. Familiarity breeds comfort as it goes, although there are subtle shifts throughout. The playful bass line eventually disappears, but not until over halfway through the lengthy piece. From there bright shimmering drones take over, becoming more minimalist than the preceding 25 minutes by quite a bit, which surprises somewhat because it didn't seem like there was that much to strip away from the overall sound. This is my favorite section of the disc right through to the end, probably just because it is more familiar to my ambient ears, but the entire disc has something highly positive to offer.
Phil Derby / Electroambient Space