Fantastic stuff, real ambient with a barely tribal feel in places. The fifth track has the bass bouncing along with the theme - uplifting ambient with a genuine vibe - why haven't they made more stuff for FAX?
(review by Rowland Atkinson)
this is truly an amazing album. I am not sure why I have not listened to this more than once. Its a very interesting feeling. Dark at times, drifting ambience with many original layers.
Groovy at times, like with track two...track two is very dream like. It tends to have a lot of emotion. It is deff a powerful track....specially around the 15:00 mark...it sets sail and could continue on forever. Just when you thought it couldnt get better, it builds another layer, and add's some samples (unsure where the samples are from). Then finally breaks off into a more experimental vein.
The experimental side continues into track three, playing around with voice samples at low frequencies. This subsides and does become more "ambient"...but without the loss of its previous experimental-abilities.
Track four starts rather quiet...(c**l track title by the way), Slowly building around solar-like ambience. When I say slowly, I do not mean drifting...this has destination. The melody takes over at 8:15 and carriers the piece into a more upbeat realm.
track five, again, uses some sci-fi sounding samples which become the landscape almost 3 1/2 mins into the track we are treated to some bass...Nice low lying bass mixed into the ambience. Very nice with a subwoofer :-)
Anyways, this track becomes quite melodic...as the bass creates its own melody. Amazing ambient that seems to keep your interest. There are many bright spots in the cd...as with the 8:00 mark.
deff a classic Fax release....
(review by jackthetab)
I've worked my way through about three quarters of the Fax catalogue now and this is one title that continually draws me back and which I'm convinced I will never tire of. In fact I think this is my favourite Fax, not least because it's possibly the most original sound on the label - a complex, lovingly crafted, hypnotic masterpiece. Unlike most of their contemporaries, redruM and Mark P. were not prolific in their output, preferring (I assume) to showcase their eerie drones and strange melodies on just one single, perfect disc ... take heed Mr Laswell ! From start to finish Modular Green create full sounding montages of other worldly ambience that remains warm and inviting. Looped patterns rise and fall, there are endless changes in direction yet, there is a complete coherence. Truly, a richly rewarding experience and a rare 10 out of10. Now, if only all ..............!!!
(review by Paul Milligan)
My very favorite, and possibly the most painstakingly put together ambient album I have ever heard. Every time I listen, I hear something new, some marvelous little quirk of the rhythm or ambience. The entire album is made up of loops, but so many and so intelligently and varyingly overlaid that the music is endlessly satisfying. All this, and the music itself is full of slow, catchy, moody melodies. You could play pared down versions of these songs on a piano and still I think something magical would remain in them. The album is called Shellground and is the best electronic release of the year--second best album overall after Slowdive's masterpiece Pygmalion.
...Shellground is one hell of an album, boasting the most unique atmosphere this year except perhaps for Pygmalion--but even that was rooted in the psychological, while here we have physical atmospheres, dark underground places full of poisoned gardens and mythical individuals in hiding. There is so much music here, loop upon loop in evershifting relationships. It is a deeply emotional album without roots in the personal, and so it is unlike Pygmalion but rather in the neighborhood of Black Dog Productions' _Bytes_, Current 93's _Thunder Perfect Mind_ and _Of Ruine or Some Blazing Starre_, The Nephilim, Medusa, and indeed Autechre's _Amber_. What separates this album from the rest is the sense of sickness and poison in a context at peace with itself, an awful food chain that is beautiful because no one knows better. The result is the kind of feeling you get only from certain books and video games that totally absorb you, not from music. It's not normally like this. This is a special event indeed: I speak of nothing less than the actual creation of a brand new emotion by a work of art.
(review by einexile)
Well, call it ambient dub or whatever. 5 Tracks that are best when they sound dry and concise but sometimes just don't make it straight into heaven.
(review by sasha)
well this is a *nice* disc.It is deep and challenging and a little bit dark but in a majestic way!!!! reminds me of "atom heart-orange" in places. especially the last 3 tracks. most tracks have some sort of beats, sort of trancey sweeps and acidic b-lines but weird ones! and i cant say which track is the best because each one is different from the others and all are nice in their own way. definitely recommended if you like fax discs like atom heart-"orange" or n-plane or in other words a little bit(!!) of experimental ambience.
(review by Theo Manassis)