The Silverman is electronic composer Phil Knight, perhaps best known for his work as keyboardist and a founding member of the Legendary Pink Dots. While his latest solo release is probably a bit out there for casual fans, it’s a real treat for serious enthusiasts of ambient music. With just two untitled tracks, each clocking in at over twenty minutes, Knight has ample time to develop his ideas as gradually as possible. While those more used to conventional pop fare will no doubt find this supremely relaxed pace maddening, there’s a sublime beauty in the way that a single synthesizer loop can unfold over time, transforming from a sinister buzz to a soothing hum, or the way that hints of distant flutes can completely change the texture of a buzzing background drone. Fellow Pink Dot Edward Ka-Spel also makes a guest appearance, with seemingly random vocal noises layered over dully-thudding metallic percussion. For true ambient fanatics, the first seven hundred copies of this CD come with a bonus disc entitled “Woodland Calling,” which somehow manages to be even more introspective. It’s a single 65-minute track of chiming, droning tones panning ever so slowly across a landscape of barely-there echoes. Subliminal and soporific, it’s as minimal as music can get without venturing into John Cage territory. Because it’s so subdued, though, it can serve as a launching point for journeys into all sorts of interesting mental territory. Though this album is destined to remain in obscurity, this is a required purchase for the ambient aficionados and Dots diehards who will relish its subtlety instead of being bewildered by it.
Visit www.legendarypinkdots.org and www.terminalkaleidoscope.com for more information on the Silverman and the rest of the Legendary Pink Dots.
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