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I:Cube

Live at the Planetarium

(Versatile; US: 8 Aug 2006; UK: 1 May 2006)

French producer I:Cube (Nicolas Chaix) offers this set recorded live at the Planetarium de La Villette in Paris during the StarBall festival last year. The songs on this set are only indicated by indices, but there are some recognizable elements to this seemingly seamless wash of ambient electronica; Philip Glass, KLF’s “Space”, and a track or two by Maurizio contribute to the mix. But we have no idea where these (or other) tracks cut in, since I:Cube has slathered this all in whooshing synth sound and launched us straight into outer space. This is certainly a cerebral, deep set: the first track opens with an extended period of bell chimes, and it’s five minutes before a recognizable electro theme enters. These minimal, hiccupping space sounds well up like waterfalls on ambient soundtracks, pulsing out macro time—the sound like a fish slithering around in water (“Index 3”) is not unexpected in this sparse, atmospheric soundscape. It’s not really cutting-edge, but the music is still gorgeously layered, and certainly achieves a goal of transporting the listener far away. But on “Index 4” that’s not to space: the track comes off a cross between an avant-garde concert and a nature tour, a sort of more artsy, less overt Deep Forest with bird-call electronics and a lush, tropical feel. The most expansive of the cuts, “Index 6”, stutters to ecstasy like a hyperactive Royksopp, all round edges of the deepest house imaginable.

Rating:

Dan Raper has been writing about music for PopMatters since 2005. Prior to that he did the same thing for his college newspaper and for his school newspaper before that. Of course he also writes fiction, though his only published work is entitled "Gamma-secretase exists on the plasma membrane as an intact complex that accepts substrates and effects intramembrane cleavage". He is currently studying medicine at the University of Sydney, Australia.


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