I bought this album on the double Fax USA CD, even though I already have the first in the series. Very glad I am too, as Silence 2 is (with a few exceptions) quite stunning.
The first track "Life/Death" sees the ideas in "Omid/Hope" from Silence 1 further explored. We see the same lovely build up of strings and the (apparently) wise man adding a few comments about the meaning of life from time to time. Can anyone decipher what his response to the question "What is death" is ?. After 25 minutes you think that everything's going to wind down nicely, but instead we get a nice slow breakbeat. Very effective.
If you enjoy Eastern flavours then the second track "Heaven", is just that. Only six minutes long, but it just proves that short tracks can be equally as compelling and emotive as 50 minute marathons. I would, however, be interested to hear the original22 minute version. Excellent.
Again, the third track is very Eastern, but doesn't hit the spot with me. I like some Eastern influence but this track hits you over the head with it ! The accordion never rated very highly as a relaxing instrument as far as I am concerned and along with some Arabic voices and some synth, that's all you get here. "What is Time ?" is next up, and I like it a lot - it's those lovely strings again. Very floaty with a nice intermittent, slowed down breakbeat. Nothing too experimental. Samples "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"'s first episode, but don't let that put you off.
The last track is a bit of an odd one. We have two little girls giggling and talking in what I can only assume is Arabic (thus fitting the Eastern theme of the album) and some lovely sounds in the background. Halfway through the dialogue between the girls comes to an end and is then reversed - backwards Arabic and giggling !! Very odd, but it works in a strange way and I like it. In conclusion I would say it is worth getting hold of this album purely for the mammoth "Life/Death" which I simply cannot praise enough. Rating: 4.5 out of 5
(review by Ian Ainslie)