[´ramp]: Oughtibridge (2005)
“To appreciate a gem like Oughtibridge, give yourself at least the chance to make a first complete listening”
1 Dron(e)field 6:42
2 Ozone 8:45
3 Oughtibridge 6:42
4 Ascension 6:39
5 Fibre 4:09
6 Tool 7:29
7 Dune 3:45
8 Lovell 8:05
9 Stern 6:49
10 Spinegrinder 8:56
11 You Want Some More? 2:00
12 No Hard Shoulder 7:17
Doombient.Music, ramp 003
(CD 77:18) (Dark Ambient) (V.F.)
Recorded during a concert held at the Jodrell Bank Radio Observatory on June 23, 2001, OUGHTIBRIDGE is a tribute title to a village not far from Sheffield, where ['ramp] was retiring between concerts. Once again, the listener entitled to quite an event with a fully improvised EM where Frank Makowski and Stephen Parsick have outdone themselves again to offer a performance worthy of their talent and their complicity, thus giving an excellent opus of pure Berlin School. And performed in the darkness of the Observatory, OUGHTIBRIDGE is ideally suited to become a whole ambiospherical event.
Very characteristic of ['ramp], heavy buzzing opens the dark march of Dron(e)field. This slow procession is surrounded by gyratory oscillating pulsations that turn their sounding spindles on a linear motion. It's a heavy and throbbing static track that slides towards Ozone and its festival of buzzing, pulsations and percussion with heterogeneous tones, combining to tones of xylophones and glockenspiel. The ambiences are hermetic where everything is woven tight, but there is enough room for shadows waving like rustling ghosts. Crystalline chords sneak up to jump like a trampoline where they bounce in disorder among percussion industrial tonalities. A line of sequences gets forged in this maze of moods and tones, embracing a movement that resembles to a horror movie starring Jason. An incredibly dense and heavy title that will make crack the foundations of your neighbor! More limpid, the title piece is a huge puddle that gravitates with intensity and which is enriched of spectral choirs on the way to Ascension. A heavily dark movement that gives the impression of blowing up my amp with each repetition of its sound load. Fiber beats on a more nervous rhythm filled of synth with menacing effects that explode with amazement with the arrival of Tool. A heavy and frenetic line emerges from a strong pulsating explosion in a powerful passage with violent synth solos. The imperfect symbiosis of the two elements makes the floors vibrate. There is a short drop in this power regime, making the poor floor slats breathe, and Tool starts again by pacing the sound summaries of its heavy pulsating sequence. Even with his decline, Tool retains this rebellious soul and rebels against any attempt at ambiospheric tranquility by making resonate its heavy gyratory pulsations with varied intonations. It's a very good track, and even at full power, it succeeds to mastering the sonic perfection of its hyper-heavy line.
It's an incredible sound balance that extends to the metallic and ambivalent pulsations of Dune. Here we have a very Dark Ambient title with pads eroded by sharp outlines that glide to Lovell's abysmal silence, whose roars amplify on the road to Stern. A title that strangely resembles to the cosmic and astral movements of Chronos, a cosmic Dark Ambient album by Michael Stearns. A pulsation mutates in the last moments of Stern and its dismal and metallic ambiences stimulate a latent schizophrenia. And quietly Spinegrinder shakes in a feverish tempo that serves as a bed for a brief and limpid melody that, despite its softness, is a stab in this invading darkness. All is anarchy and divides in all directions. A delusional cacophony that regains its harmonious cohesion with the appearance of an agile sequencer and an aggressive synth with sharp layers and that push back Spinegrinder back into its atmospheric limits. No Hard Shoulder ends this show with a movement of the jerky sequencer that is wrapped into sulphurous synth solos and a nice violin string is covering it with softness. An intense moment that reaches its climax when the instruments meet at the same point. An improvised electronic symphony that ends in the tranquility of a sequence that goes out slowly.
Close all the lights, put the volume a little bit above the middle line and listen. You will live the experience ['ramp]! OUGHTIBRIDGE is a mostly ambient album with heavy sequences that you have to listen to, as if you were eating a rare food. A powerful album with ambient passages of an attractive heaviness that saw our breath, when the sequencers run and beat lines of rhythms in adjacent currents. ['ramp] explores here unknown territories that should appeal to music lovers in search of a black symphony of heterogeneous tones and of vampiric synth solos. To appreciate a gem like OUGHTIBRIDGE, give yourself at least the chance to make a first complete listening. The more I listen, the more I like it. And the more I like it, the more I listen to it. This is ['ramp] syndrome!
Sylvain Lupari (January 13th, 2006) ****¼*
Available at Stephen Parsick.com