Viridian Sun - Live, Paris Theater
Artist: Viridian Sun
Title: Live, Paris Theater
Hypnos Secret Sounds
hss02, limited cdr edition of 300
2005, special hand-made CDR edition limited to 300 copies. This is the duo's most interesting live performance, building from a barely-audible whisper to the cycling chorus of alien machines.
In February 2005, the Hypnos Secret Sounds imprint was launched with the release of Sounds are Hidden Inside Objects by Hypnos founder Mike Griffin. Griffin has also collaborated with such diverse artists as A Produce (on the album Altara) and Dave Fulton (of Dweller at the Threshold, on the albums The Most Distant Point Known and Imprint) but his first collaborative project was Viridian Sun, a duo featuring Griffin and Hypnos artist David Tollefson.
Live, Paris Theater is the first live recording released by Viridian Sun, and the first time Hypnos has released a live recording intact and in its entirety.
The live performance captured here travels from a strange but serene beginning, through deep space bleeps and drones, before building to a sonically intense climax. If you've heard Viridian Sun before and wondered what they sound like in live performance, the answer is that they sound very much like they do on their previous CDs, Solar Noise and Perihelion, both of which were recorded as live improvisations in-studio. Integrating hypnotic, reptetitious patterns with deep drones and alien melodies, varying from blissed-out peaceful meditive passages, electronic enough for the synth-music lover but substantially guitar-based, and accordingly raw and organic sounding... Live, Paris Theater summarizes the essence of what Viridian Sun is about. If you like your space music a little challenging and surprising, not just drone chords with predictable, pretty little melodic bits, then take a trip into deep space with Viridian Sun.
Track Listing: 1 - Live, Paris Theater - 1:08:33
MP3 sample clips: excerpt 1 | excerpt 2 | excerpt 3
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Reviews"The exciting thing about live recordings is how they capture raw and often special moments that otherwise would not happen. This spontaneous long-form work is brimming with intensity, even in the nearly silent opening moments. The undulating, pulsating quality of Viridian Sun's earlier releases is still there, but laid bare, stripped of any studio trickery or enhancements. The result is minimal but also daring. Occasionally the music seems to be taking on a more solid form, as in the drifting layers approaching the 20-minute mark, but the emphasis is clearly on unstructured experimentation, largely consisting of drones of various timbres and colors. Many an ambient track can be described as building slowly, but I can scarcely recall one as effective as this, taking full advantage of the 68-plus minutes to ever so gradually ascend, with occasional peaks such as between 35 and 40 minutes, leveling off to quieter passages as we head toward the 50-minute mark. Incredibly haunting sounds mark the time just past 60 minutes, something like a strangely distorted alien female choir. The music then slowly disintegrates into a dark blizzard of white noise, seeming to consume matter like a black hole in the frenzy that is the stunning conclusion. The audience must have been stunned into silence from awe, fright, appreciation, bewilderment, or all of the above."
--© 2005 Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
"The HSS imprint was in fact launched in 2005 with the release of Griffin’s Sounds Are Hidden Inside Objects, closely followed by Live, Paris Theater from Viridian Sun, his collaborative project with guitar-alchemist David Tollefson. Their live performance here sounds not a million galaxies away from previous studio album, 1999’s Perihelion, unsurprisingly as it too was recorded as in-studio improvization. Integrating hypnotic, repetitious patterns with deep drones and off-world melodics, blissed-out synth-bound meditative passages ceding to rawer organic grindings, VS occupy the more experimental end of the Hypnos space music spectrum, where it starts to stray into the atonal peripheries of the industrial estate. Drones’n’drift, yes, but little in the way of pretty Pearce-ing fripperies from Tollefson, whose guitar largely wears a heavy processing disguise. VS’s abstract improvisations here trawl the less structured edges of space music, close to Lustmordian Dark Ambient, in a brooding voyage into synaptic space, conjuring inordinate degrees of resonance from veiled yet not totally acousmatic instruments. Unlike the preceding sketchy offerings of newer artists, VS’s is a secret sound worthy of Hypnos revelation. It remains to be seen if the sub-label will seek to strengthen its status with this kind of more exploratory release by established artists or pursue the try-out hit-and-miss policy exemplified by the other two."
--Reviewed by Alan Lockett for ei-mag.com