Published Dec 11, 2017Editions Mego recording artist Anthony Child (aka Surgeon) has partnered with London-based DJ/producer Daniel Bean on a new drone collaboration they're calling the Transcendence Orchestra.
Their six-track, 74-minute debut, Modern Methods for Ancient Rituals, features a healthy mix of old and new instruments: Buchla Music Easel, harmonium, shruti box, bass guitar, hurdy-gurdy, glockenspiel, hand bell, Electro Harmonix 45000, Strymon Blue Sky, Strymon DIG and Roland RE 101 Space Echo.
It's an intense listen that, heard in a setting conducive to undivided attention, delivers plenty of creative twists and turns. Successful works in this style draw the listener in deeply, to the point where the main drone dissolves into the background and the sounds built around it become the focus. To that extent, this is an impressive debut.
That all said, Child and Bean have employed one or two clichés too often associated with the drone genre. We're told this double-LP was recorded "in a remote English rural setting," a location so powerful that it made possible this "experiment in acoustic and synthetic symbiosis … resulting in a set of recordings which can aid to the transformation of consciousness."
You might argue that presenting any band's promo sheet as anything other than a creative writing exercise is offside. But when you claim "Transcendence Orchestra" for your name, you forfeit any assumption of humility.
Marketing language aside, though, drone fans will love this debut. We can't guarantee any ancient ritualistic value, but it's a fine electronic double album. (Editions Mego)