All India Radio
Permanent Evolutions (Minty Fresh)
- Open Sky Experiment (St-244 Remix) (3:31)
- Permanent Revolutions (Don Meers Remix) (4:29)
- Little Mexico (0:49)
- How Many, For How Long (Morphodic Bliss Mix) (3:24)
- Dark Ambient (Am Remix) (1:21)
- Life And How To Do It (3:37)
- For Angel (All India Radio Vs Don Meers Mix) (4:19)
- Lo Fi Groovy (3:12)
- Walking On A.I.R. (3:32)
- Delhi Dub (1:40)
- Pray To The Tv Funk (Left Brain Mix) (4:43)
- A Moment (Tv Mix) (1:20)
- Old India (4:02)
- The Long Goodbye (16:49)
Review / Reseña
In the first track, Open Sky Experiment, All India Radio ( I wanted to abbreviate but AIR may be misleading) starts with the good foot, it unravels a good atmospheric track with an almost spaghetti western movie flavour. The beats really start to get rolling on Permanent Revolutions the “almost” title track, a few good controlled breaks and sound percussion programming that sometimes feel like good Enigma pieces seem to say that this is not a simple “ambienty” record to be cast aside with the rest of the ill conceived ambient samplers on the market. Permanent Evolutions cannot be classified alongside Eno’s ambient pioneering work, it is a more rhythm based ambient excursion like The Orb’s early ambient dub records but less heavy on the samples.
I was rather surprised at how non-paradigmatic the fleeting Little Mexico insert sounded, and by itself a refreshing decision, it was something noisy and oneiric as the best pieces in Aphex Twins’s SAW II (a jewel of an album); it gives way to a bigger sounding jazzy piece, How Many, For How Long, that honoring the mix title it is blissful in a lazy summer afternoon sort of way. Here the spacey radio frequency-like effects complement the loungey rhythm. It merges at the end with Dark Ambient, a long synth pad, I’m so fond of those.
Life and How to Do It, a track that alas, did not contain what its name confers, to my own personal disillusionment, is quite nice a piece with a simple melody leaning on the left chanel delaying delightfully to the right channel and a driving percussion in the foreground. I would have added a few more samples here á la Future Sound of London (oh how nostalgic I am).
Suddenly a voice breaks the voiceless realm of ambient music, a nice female voice slightly modified at times that reminds me of someone I cannot put a finger on. A bit too sentimental for my taste as it nears the end, but it goes well with the style. An almost pop-rock ballad that will surely be a good companion on a road trip with your girl or chap, For Angel is a strong moment for the album and for those Ivy lovers, as myself a forgivable intrusion in an ambient recording.
Lo Fi Groovy, is, I believe named for the low bass synth line heard at the end, it is all about a dreamy guitar walking along side you most of the way trough the song as you admire the simple yet rich tapestries of atmospheric sounds and effects surrounding the construction of the tune, all the while lead on by a non intrusive, well devised bass line and percussion. This track smells like MOX, albeit an old collaboration work, something I would like Ciro let me play on their show one day.
On Walking on A.I.R. (see they also thought of it), a detuned sine wave carries you to a lazy rhythm where we make an effort to understand what the voice at the end of that tunnel is saying to no avail. Delhi Dub, cements my earlier The Orb reference quite well. The rhythm is released in waves that sometimes come accompanied with agreeable white noise in Pray to the TV Funk, more atmospheric than funky, a good track although definitely not the best one.
In a resolute inspiring TV-pad fashion A Moment gives way to Old India, a melancholic track that would be best suited with a Boards of Canada ultra slow motion hip-hop signature rhythm because it clearly leaves one feeling that one has just heard a subdued light version of a piece from Music Has the Right to Children or Twoism.
The Long Goodbye is exactly that, with what appear to be a rather unnecessary long string of delayed hi hats and scratches and yes the well expected piano and acoustic guitar with heavy room chorus (complete with finger slides and all), the all familiar elements to appease the audience with a wide variety of tastes. If you can get past the delayed scratches that at some point may become annoying, the later half of the piece is a pleasantly long and unobtrusive fade out.
Permanent Evolutions is a good album to complement a collection where Zero 7, Esthero and Air: a French band, are preferred to accompany late night discussions, the occasional glass of wine with friends and when it is required to turn it down a notch or two and let the moment sink in.