Broken Harbour – Gramophone Transmissions

Broken Harbour - Gramophone Transmissions

Release data:

Broken Harbour – Gramophone Transmissions
CD-R/DIGITAL DOWNLOAD, Private Release, 2011

“Gramophone Transmissions” is the second album by Broken Harbour, aka
Canadian ambient composer Blake Gibson, made without any use of synthetic sources. Recorded between July and October 2009, the release offers a fascinating, highly cinematic ambient travelogue of loops, drone and textural pads with a strong organic rim. According to the linear notes, the outcome was created from classical vinyl records beside choral, piano and mellotron recordings.

The flowing, non-rhythmic strings pads with smooth crackles journey through shaded, at times slightly ghostly landscapes were time and place seems to be of no importance. While we wander through the remote and expansive territory making up “Gramophone Transmissions”, the first half turns out to be sounding more accessible, smoother and lighter.

Things turn lengthier, darker and more dense in the second half of the recording, starting with the beautiful alienating choral “Dark Clouds approaching from the West”. This great minimal piece is the entrance to the 16-minute “Maelstrom (The Decent)”, a halucinogenic/abstract trip down into the underworld, but a tad too adventurous for my ears. Fortunately, smooth drifting textural atmospheres and choral pads nicely return on the last piece “Unforeseen Conseqences”, that incorporates a beautiful dynamic undercurrent.

All in all, “Gramophone Transmissions” is rather unusual but well-rendered ambient headphone music for those looking and cherishing the beauty hidden in remote expansiveness.

A special note on the stunning cd art work by Michal Karcz, that perfectly mirrors the mood and deep feel of the album’s introspective music.


You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Broken Harbour artist page


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