Panoptique Electrical – Yes to Fear Yes to Desire (Sensory Projects)


The stillness returns for Jason Sweeney’s second outing as Panoptique Electrical. Whilst he is not afraid to get a little pop, electronic or indie in his other projects like Pretty Boy Crossover or the Mist & Sea, Panoptique Electrical is very much in ambient territory, anchored in the main by gentle piano runs and soft swells of heavily reverbed sound. The instruments themselves are a lot more explicit this time around, no longer hidden under a swell of electronic treatments. This gives the pieces a more organic feel, where the texture becomes a little more important. There’s also a definite pop element too, these aren’t epic pieces of drone, rather most tracks clock in around three minutes and tend to subtly progress and change. What’s so interesting about these pieces however is the control, we’re not talking about a big soup of sound, rather often we’re only dealing with minimal ingredients used with a subtlety and restraint. There’s a sense of peace and grace at play here, a transcendent tranquility that removes you totally from the hustle and bustle of modern music. I’ve read reviews where they’re calling this neo classical, and it may well be, however it’s origins appear to stem from the self assured stasis of Eno’s experiments with ambient music or perhaps some of your more atmospheric film soundtrack composers. And like the best soundtrack music its melancholic swells and tranquil ebbs turn your gaze inward and you forget you were even listening to music in the first place.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.

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