Review

Mitch Myers, Wired, 1 janvier 1996

A Storm of Drones is the brainchild of visionary curator Naut Humon and the last chapter in a trilogy of extended experimental compositions. In this ambitious collection, [Naut Humon] selected the music of thirty-three cutting-edge artists, excerpting, sequencing and mixing nearly four hours of recorded sound from North America and Europe into a monumental three-disc set.

Consider a drone as the more meditative inverse of instrumental dub music from Jamaica. While both are formulas for musical trance induction, dub celebrates a physical sensuality expressing rhythmic enlightenment-the blissful engagement of heartbeat and soul. Drones achieve a far more cerebral loss of self, channeling the contemplative psyche via pure, beatless sound into an introspective elevation of consciousness. This music has been created with ancient instruments like the digereedo as well the electronic devices of today. With it’s musical and spiritual presence throughout the ages, the drone has amassed an elegant history in the sonic distortion of time and space.

The Sombient Trilogy articulates a reconstructive language from a variety of cultures and recording techniques. Prompting a reconsideration of what we deem “music,” artists like Francis Dhomont and Annette Vande Gorne incorporate subsonic frequencies with industrial noise and computer generated sounds. The reproduction of these distressed sound waves are sometimes so extreme that they wreak havoc with the average stereo system. Conversely, composers like Stuart Dempster extend traditional acoustic instrumentation with an army of trombonists.

The contemporary artistic process will always been open to debate. While not a new concern, we must now consider modern composition in relation to the progress of sonic technology. Resonant processors may be just as relevent as a full orchestra. New traditionalists aren’t asking us to abandon our established musical vocabularies, only to consider the possibilites of tonal advancement. A Storm of Drones provides a rival entrance into the multiverse of sound, qualifying as the definitive statement on another rich and expressive musical genre.

… excerpting, sequencing and mixing nearly four hours of recorded sound […] into a monumental three-disc set.

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