Multiple Neurons Firing Simultaneously...
Valis is the kind of CD that works on so many different levels that I hesitate to even attempt a coherent description. Like they say, "writing about music is like dancing about architecture...." But if you crave and value a challenging yet effortlessly cohesive (!!) aural experience that rewards repeated listenings and distorts your perceptions (in a good way), then this is it. Five Stars!!
Physical copies available at
A sampler (aboombong and azwarm music included as well):
A little trip back to the womb...enjoy.
Tracklist (about 90 minutes - wav, flac, ogg vorbis, mp3):
1) valis from valis by psychic enemies network
2) I feel from P.E.N. by psychic enemies network
3) Jiang Qing, Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan, & Wang Hongwen in Dahomey from amnemonic by aboombong (edit)
4) of so many from P.E.N. by psychic enemies network (edit)
5) gnomonic from valis by psychic enemies network (edit)
6) drag along behind from asynchronic by aboombong
7) come crumbling from valis by psychic enemies network
8) in its streets (aboombong remix) bonus track from P.E.N. by psychic enemies network
9) noon from amnemonic by aboombong
10) in this city from P.E.N. by psychic enemies network (edit)
11) Trinidad from a morning's work by azwarm
OTHERWORLDLY AMBIENT-TRANCE-NEW AGE-SAMPLING HYBRID!
Psychic Enemies Network, as its title suggests, is a troubled and dichotomous album, reflecting both whimsy and rage, joy and despair. It borrows from ambient, new-age, trance and sampling genres, but adheres to no genre specifically. “I Feel” starts out in a whimsical mood, but suddenly turns threatening, before settling in familiar like new-age territory. “Shut” follows, with a bizarre, retrograde soundscape, almost an inverted orchestral. “In This City” offers a bouncy, jazz-infused romp through an alien psyche. “Drawn” seduces the listener with a light percussive mood augmented by (artificial?) xylophone melodics. “From So Many” descends again into disturbing acoustic upheaval. After a percussive intermission (“Bricks”), “And Worn” explodes into a large-scale , evocative space journey with a sprinkling of vocal samplings. “By The Flesh” is classic trance with a light techno-beat. “Of So Many” offers a lush symphonic poem with otherworldly vocals. “Bodies” bounces back in a light, pop-oriented trip with jazz undertones. The album ends in a most melancholy coda, as “In The Streets” offers an expansive yet dirge-like soliloquy by a mechanical voice, a forlorn mantra replete with self-loathing diatribes and oblique philosophical ponderings. All in all, quite a trip, this, with definite nods to ENO, TANGERINE DREAM, MOBY and CABARET VOLTAIRE. Good show!
DEATH TO MEDIOCRITY!! THE CHAINS OF GENIUS HAVE SHATTERED!!
If I were a professor of modern day avant-garde teaching at Pink Floyd/Leeds University, this CD would be REQUIRED listening. And this album is so damn cool that I might found that school just so I could do just that! It’s like an aural view of life from the point of view of the inside of a series of instruments. You almost want to sample bits of it and run them backwards to find the hidden messages, but you’re afraid that if you do, you’ll miss the ones that are hidden sideways. I got both of the PEN duo’s works. I hope to hear more. Soon, before any more existence escapes me.
a very impressive debut
All in all this is a very impressive debut, especially for a DIY duo. I find the darker, more ambient feeling pieces such as "I Feel", "In This City", "From So Many", "Of So Many" and "In Its Streets" to be the brothers' strongest work. I look forward to hearing their future releases and will continue to spin this one not so infrequently...
Hard to review
Some releases are annoyingly difficult to review. This is the case with Psychic Enemies Networks, which has elements of ambient, mixed with a do it yourself experimental philosophy. It's a strangely unsettling world, where the listener often feels disconnected and out of place with what is happening. On the one hand I can detect the influence of people like Brian Eno (circa On Land ) in some of the textures used, also some of the early works of Jeff Greinke spring to mind. For me, there are sonic similarities at times to early Paul Schutze adventures, noticeably on the opening track. Quite filmic in mood, it contains a sense of hidden danger