Following the release of 1996’s Schizophonic!, Combustible Edison took a break to write new material and experiment with new sounds, the ultimate goal being to reinvent cocktail leisure music. It worked, through their own cleverness and the knob-twisting of Scanner, praised for his subtle and subversive soundscapes by folks as diverse as DJ Spooky and Karl Stockhausen. Scanner’s influence on The Impossible World shows in the electronica-tinged ambient moodscapes and the unexpected rhythmic structures.
The overall mood is quiet, contemplative and ethereal, as in “In the Garden of Earthly Delights” and “Seduction,” so much so that Miss Lily Banquette’s voice is gentle hum floating in the clouds, or something akin to a siren’s call. Then there’s “Mr. Pushkin Came To Shore,” a jazzy, scat number that sounds kinda like Ella Fitzgerald in outer space and the occasional spy theme-tinged numbers. All this is to say that The Impossible World isn’t really easy listening, electronica, or traditional lounge music at all, but an evocative sophisticated mellow ride that combines the best of all three.