Motion Sickness of Time Travel
US: 14 May 2012
UK: 3 Jul 2012
Rachel Evans, aka Motion Sickness of Time Travel, creates the kind of interminable ambient electronic music that I usually cannot deal with at all. The four tracks on this two-disc set each top the 20-minute mark, and at first listen it seemed like that was also going to be the case here. The soundscapes do indeed shift at a glacial pace, and they often get bogged down into the kind of washes of synth sounds that you could find in any bad late ‘70s/early ‘80s sci-fi movie that needed music from “The Future!” Yes, Evans sometimes seems to be making the exact music that people in 1982 predicted that people in 2012 would be making.
But after a few listens, the more positive aspects of Motion Sickness of Time Travel start to emerge. Actual musical themes begin to poke their way through the layers of synths, and the creeping pace of the tracks seems more relaxed than maddening. The use of more unusual ambient sounds, like processed vocals and eight-bit video game style bloops, gives the album some real character. It’s still nothing I’d recommend to the casual listener, but there are interesting ideas at work here.