Mike Browning - Trancemissions

Dela

8 jul 2008, 03:07

Inner Workings is the newest side project of Mike Browning. Mike has been involved in bands such as Morbid Angel, Nocturnus, Incubus, After Death and Acheron since the mid 80's, but usually as a drummer and vocalist. This new project takes on a whole new direction as he uses keyboards to create alien soundscapes unlike anything ever heard before. Artwork and photo manipulations by visionary artist Scott Clark.


REVIEWS:

Somehow I wasn't expecting much from this album. Strange since Mike Browning's resume features absolute faves like Nocturnus and Morbid Angel and other good stuff in the form of Acheron and Incubus. An album of synthesizer music by this drummer somehow seemed to announce sci-fi cheese. I'm happy to report that I was wrong. Mike Browning is originally a drummer but on this album you will not find any drums. It's an improvisation on two keyboards, a Korg Poly-61 and a Yamaha SY22. These brands don't have the same ring to it as Moog and ARP, but Browning manages to get some pretty decent sounds from them. Or, as he says, the spirits that possessed him during these sessions. Recorded at a black mass (poetic) at a recordstore in Florida (much less poetic) the sounds were so dark and evil, the linernotes boast, that one person went home and hung himself. Believe it or not, the music itself luckily does live up to expectations (although I have not found myself looking for ropes). The soaring electronic ambient drones take you back to the seventies, the works of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and the likes. Also a reference to John Carpenter's soundtrack work can be made, but the endresult is quite unique. It's interesting how time sort of rehabilitates synthesizers of the eighties (the Korg being from 1982 and the Yamaha even from 1990). Perhaps the spirits really took control and made the soundscapes convincingly spooky and moody. The four tracks are on this disc as they happened during that black mass, without overdubs. Even though, by nature, it's not music that follows any traditional progressions the sounds don't appear like aimless searching, which only confirms Browning's claims of course. If you're into dark soundscapes and 'kosmische' synthesizer music this definitely is one of the better releases, particularly of recent times. These days there seems to be kind of kraut-rock revival going on, but Mike Browning's Inner Workings, while fitting the tradition, stays away from becoming a pastiche of times long gone. The Photoshopheavy artwork, I must admit, is a bit less to my liking, but the music is surpassing my expectations by far and an interesting and dark trip into inner space.
MUSIQUE MACHINE

Mike Browning is a well known name into the death metal scene as he played with bands of the likes of Morbid Angel, Nocturnus, Incubus, Acheron and in his latest one: After Death. Inner Workings is his first solo keyboard project (he uses a Korg Poly61 and a Yamaha SY22) which took life in 2004. The four tracks of TRANCEMISSIONS born from different improvisation sessions and have no overdubs. Mike felt like a voice inside his head who told him to plug his keyboards to the Fostex multi-track recorder and then he started to play like on trance. That strange feeling forced him to do so other three times and this is how these four "alien soundscapes" born. Mike felt like he was channeling an unknown "force" and he decided to let it take the lead. If you listen to "Inner workings", "The edge of the universe", "The weeping of the angels" and "The swirling abyss" you realize that something was really going on and the particular Scott Clark panels you find on the outer and inner cover of the CD help giving to the album an occult atmosphere. Prepare yourself for fifty minutes of synth sounds with no drums and full of obscure moments.
CHAIN DLK

Quanto è vero che chi non muore si rivede... Sembra passata un'eternità da quando il sottoscritto, nel 1990, si recò in quel di Torino per acquistare il vinile di "The Key", debutto ufficiale dei Nocturnus edito dall'allora fondamentale label inglese Earache (quella che lanciò su larga scala Carcass, Entombed, Napalm Death ed il metal più estremo in generale, per intenderci) e primo album assimilabile al thrash/death metal in cui figuravano in pianta stabile le tastiere... Mike Browning, all'epoca leader e batterista/cantante della formazione di Tampa (Florida), proveniva da un'esperienza coi Morbid Angel - durata un paio d'anni a metà degli '80s - dalla quale era scaturito il seminale "Abominations Of Desolations", e coi Nocturnus rivoluzionò per sempre la storia stessa del metal più estremo, andando a chiudere il cerchio col secondo e sottovalutato album "Thresholds" (dove però si occupò solo della batteria) e con una serie di apparizioni nei lavori di altri act affermati come Incubus ed Acheron, per poi ritrovarsi ancor oggi attivo in tale ambito con i poco noti After Death. Tutto questo preambolo era necessario per presentare il personaggio a chi all'epoca si fosse occupato di ben altre sonorità, ma attenzione a non farvi trarre in inganno: oggi ritroviamo Mike alle prese con ben altra musica rispetto alle storiche gesta di cui sopra, in un disco che, stando alle note ufficiali curate dallo stesso artista americano, è nato in maniera per lo meno curiosa. Da sempre interessato all'occultismo ed alla magia nera, nonché collezionista di armi medievali e manufatti egizi (oltre che curatore di musei ed insegnante occasionale di egittologia nei college), Mike si è ritrovato a musicare una 'messa nera' durante la notte di Halloween nel 2004 col solo ausilio di due tastiere: una Korg Poly61 ed una Yamaha SY22, entrambe note per la stranezza dei loro suoni. Si dice che i suoni dipanati in quell'evento si siano rivelati così profondi da spingere uno dei presenti ad impiccarsi nella propria casa la notte stessa... A Natale dello stesso anno Mike, guidato da particolari sensazioni, ha registrato in presa diretta e senza sovraincisioni le quattro lunghe tracce che oggi, grazie al deal con la slovena Pharmafabrik, trovano la via del mercato in una elegante ma spartana confezione plastificata, con un artwork - curato da Scott Clark - che non può non ricordare i fasti degli stessi Nocturnus, Morbid Angel e delle mitiche copertine disegnate da Dan Seagrave. Il contenuto dei quattro 'canali' (così vengono indicati i brani nella tracklist) si presenta sotto forma di suoni dilatati, ambientali, cosmici e realmente profondi, in parte simili a certe sperimentazioni sonore degli anni '70 (specie nel cosiddetto ambito krautrock) ed alle alienanti sonorità delle colonne sonore di capolavori di Kubrick quali "Shining" o "2001: Odissea Nello Spazio", fatte ovviamente le dovute proporzioni (leggi: Browning non è certo Ligeti!). "Trancemissions" è quindi un'opera di difficile assimilazione, sia per le modalità della sua genesi che per la volontà di cimentarsi con uno stile non certo nuovo ma sempre altamente sperimentale, e va da sé che siamo distanti anni luce dai fasti extreme-metal del sig. Browning. Per dirla con le parole dello stesso Mike: "It's pure magick!". Se siete curiosi di scoprire questa nuova incarnazione dell'indimenticato musicista di Tampa, oppure se siete semplicemente attratti dalle sonorità più sperimentali, fateci un pensiero.
DARKROOM MAGAZINE

Pozor, pozor! Nadnaravne sile na delu! Na božic leta 2005 je Mike Browning (Morbid Angel, Nocturnus, Incubus, After Death in Acheron) kanaliziral sile iz druge dimenzije. Po ukazu glasov je prikljucil dve klaviaturi in se predal muziciranju. Rezultat tega neposrednega kanaliziranja je album Inner Workings, ki ga je Browning nespremenjenega in brez naknadnih obdelav izdal pri založbi Pharmafabrik. Gre za elektronsko generirano glasbo, za tok zvoka, ki se brez oprijemljivih sidrišc razgrinja pred poslušalca. Prvi komad z naslovom Inner Workings se sprehaja nekje med našo in tujo dimenzijo, v vzporednih svetovih, v vecni temi Hada, kjer se ujete duše prepušcajo valovanju vode ter vecni blodnji v onostranstvu, medtem ko v ozadju brni vecni motor življenja. The Edge of the Universe prvih nekaj sekund zveni kot izgubljen posnetek z albuma Apollo od Brian Ena, a že cez dobro minuto izgubi harmonicnost in ekspanzivnost tega angleškega mojstra, ne zapusti naše galaksije in se pocasi, pocasi drobi, izgublja svojo energijo in umira kot kakšno prastaro nebesno telo. The Weeping of the Angels riše podobe gorecega konca sveta, zadnje vojne za vesolje med galakticnimi bogovi (mogoce celo takimi, kot so na naslovnici), kjer je clovek med ruševinami starega sveta le še nemocen in resigniran opazovalec. Ce je The Weeping of the Angels konec sveta, je zadnji komad The Swirling Abyss ponovno, dramaticno rojstvo, prva ura sveta, izbruh prastare energije, ki zacne po vesolju risati svoje prve podobe. Inner Workings je zanimiv elektronski album s paranormalno dimenzijo, ki lahko služi kot sredstvo za poslušalcevo potapljanje v tuje svetove in dimenzije, v hladno in prazno vesolje, kjer na cloveka caka nešteto novih, še nikoli videnih stvari.
ROCKONNET

People, who followed the heydays of death metal, would have heard of the project Nocturnus that revolutionized the scene with its use of synthesizer to create sinister atmospheres in the symphonies of grinding metal. As soon as I saw the cover of this present CD-album by Mike Browning Inner Workings, I was reminded by the debut-album of Nocturnus, "The key" released on the legendary Earache label back in 1991. The doomy dark blue colours on a bizarre sci-fi monstrous world from "The key" remain on this solo-album of ex-Nocturnus vocalist/drummer Mike Browning titled "Trancemissions". Mike Browning was the man with the strange robotic talking vocals of Nocturnus, thus responsible for the strange expression that led to the success of the band. Now Mike Browning has left the harsh expression behind and moved into the world of electronics to explore new sonic borderlands. In the electronic world Mike Browning focus on dark nocturnal atmospheres with the exclusion of any kind of rhythmic texture. From the opening track titled "Inner workings" consisting of threatening thick drones and buzzing noises swirling in the background to the more melodic yet sinister work "The edge of the universe" that almost reminds of the John Williams theme to Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. A radical change by the ex-drummer and vocalist of death metal projects that apart from Nocturnus also counts Morbid Angel and Incubus – a radical change that actually does quite well on this debut album.
VITAL WEEKLY

Mike Browning, der hier sein neuestes Projekt INNER WORKINGS vorstellt, ist einigen vielleicht aus der Death-Metal-Szene bekannt. Dort ist er nämlich bereits seit 1984 unter anderen mit Bands wie MORBID ANGEL, NOCTURNUS und INCUBUS unterwegs, vornehmlich als Drummer oder „Sänger", sofern man in dieser Szene davon reden kann. INNER WORKINGS schlägt da eine ganz andere Richtung ein. Mike kaufte sich zwei Keyboards und begann, „Alien Sound" zu machen, wie er es selber beschreibt. Die Idee kam ihm, als er bei einer „Schwarzen Messe" an Halloween 2004 musizierte. Die Wirkung seiner Musik auf das Publikum sei so stark gewesen, dass einer der Gäste nach Hause ging, und sich erhängt haben soll, berichtet Brownings stolz im Booklet seiner CD. Und so wurde ein neuer „Gott" am Himmel des Dark Ambient geboren. In der Realität klingt das dann aber eher wie jemand, der sich zwei Keyboards gekauft hat und dann mal eben loslegt. Der Hörer erlebt ein chaotisch aneinander gereihtes Fiepen, Flappern, Brodeln und Grummeln. Ein musikalisches Konzept ist nicht zu erkennen, der Sound ist zu überladen und die ständigen verdrehten Geräuschcollagen beginnen mit der Zeit zu nerven. Obwohl der Sound so überladen ist, klingt es doch irgendwie monoton. Nur mit viel Mühe kann man den vier überlangen Tracks einen Hauch Positives abgewinnen. Was bei der Musik anfängt, setzt sich beim Artwork der CD fort. Die Weichplastikverpackung inkl. Fantasie-Monster-Cover sieht aus wie ein billiges Computerspiel. Aber hört es euch selber im Internet an. Vielleicht kann ja der eine oder andere doch etwas mit anfangen. Schließlich passt ja auf jeden Topf ein Deckelchen oder besser: Findet sich für jede CD ein Player.
MUSIK TERRORVERLAG

Jetzt wird's esoterisch. Ich zitiere: "... I just let my mind flow and let the voices in my head tell me what to do and play." An einem einzigen Nachmittag wurde "Trancemissions", das Debüt von MIKE BROWNING'S INNER WORKINGS, so improvisiert und aufgenommen. Hinter dem Projekt verbirgt sich, wer hätte das gedacht, Mike Browning, den einige vielleicht vom MORBID-ANGEL-Album "Abominations of the Desecrated" und diversen anderen Bands der Death-Metal-Szene aus Florida kennen und der auf seiner neuesten Veröffentlichung lediglich zwei Keyboards benutzt.Musiker aus dem extremen Metal-Bereich improvisieren Ambientmusik, das kennt man ja schon von ILDJARN. Nicht, dass "Trancemissions" so ein Totalausfall wie dessen "Landscapes" geworden wäre, aber zur Veröffentlichung taugt auch Ersteres nicht (vom Zweiten gar nicht erst zu sprechen). Schlecht im eigentlichen Sinne ist es ja nicht, was MIKE BROWNING'S INNER WORKINGS hier vorlegt, aber auch weit davon entfernt, irgendwie Belang zu haben.Die vier vorliegenden Stücke beschränken sich zum großen Teil darauf, ein Sammelsurium von obskuren Geräuschen und verschiedensten Klangfarben hintereinander zu reihen, übereinander zu schichten und in lose Zusammenhänge zu stellen. Obwohl diese Schichten gut zu einander passen, geht "Trancemissions" jegliche Form von Dynamik und Konsequenz ab; wie auf einer langen Kette werden Klänge aufgereiht, die sich gegenseitig weder bestärken noch widersprechen. Zudem wirkt einiges in die Länge gezogen, sodass sich bald Langeweile einstellt.Als Hintergrundmusik zu Dokus über das Universum oder ägyptische Göttermythen - meinetwegen. Zum bewussten Hören taugt "Trancemissions" aber nicht sonderlich. Hätte einfach nicht veröffentlicht werden müssen.
METAL.DE

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