Motion Sickness Of Time Travel “Motion Sickness Of Time Travel” | Spectrum Spools
As a member of Quiet Evenings and owner of the imprint Hooker Vision, Rachel Evans has extended her musical vision in an entirely solo direction with her moniker Motion Sickness of Time Travel. With releases on the Digitalis imprint, I became an instant fan from her dense body of texture based and ambient compositional pieces. Saturated with an aura of mystique that feels of a utopian world, there is endless relationships of sounds that exist in her music to process. It’s like the spiral, constantly moving outward with no ending possible. Motion Sickness of Time Travel presents a glowing orb of musical sheets that is one of the most beautiful and colorful takes on the ambient genre. It is with great pleasure that we are able to cover one of the newest self titled releases from Motion Sickness of Time Travel on Spectrum Spools Records at SCV today.
Having released two records prior to her latest LP this year, 2010 was the year of introduction to Motion Sickness of Time Travel for me that still resonates in mind with the impact of those first sessions listening to her music. With a bigger scope in mind and a brighter pallet of colors to pull from than her previous releases, Motion Sickness of Time Travel is a masterpiece in the art of ambient music. Separated into four suites (The Dream, The Center, Summer of the Cat’s Eye and One Perfect Moment) that all run over twenty minutes in length, Motion Sickness of Time Travel is a very expansive 2CD set that is a gorgeous and meditative world to process and becomes somewhat overwhelming in power.
As a creative representation of the evolution in the Motion Sickness of Time Travel sound, this new LP goes far beyond anything Rachel Evans has achieved. Utilizing her voice inside of the dense matrix of her sounds elevates the music’s already expansive set of instrumentation and electronics. We have been covering a lot of ambient and experimental records this year and this is the one record that I am talking about the most and want others to hear. With almost two hours of percussionless music, it’s surreal how engaged and comfortable I feel with every repeated listen. There has yet to be a session where I didn’t realize a completely new part as the music puts me in the most relaxed state, erasing time and most physical matter around me.
Recorded between March 2011 and January 2012, Motion Sickness of Time Travel includes the sonic framework of effects, electronics, lap harp, max/mso, synthesizers, voice and zither. The album was just released on the imprint Spectrum Spools last month and the album art is just as beautifully odd and unique as the music. It’s these little mind altering visual additives to a record listening experience that really means a lot to me as a music fan.
Beginning with the suite “The Dream”, the intro section of this piece presents sounds that are folded and layered onto one another as processed parts move in wild backwards motion. Traces of sounds are evident but the motion is already spiraling in a way that leaves the music conjoined and translucent. This is a record that I really suggest wearing headphones with and finding a comfortable and dark situation. The way the different layers move is stunning and shows the level of dedication given to the positioning of sounds. Almost three minutes in and the first traces of life give birth in a very bright, glowing remnant of droned out chords that rise and shutter into nothingness at the drop of a dime. As these chords awake from a sleep state and find their way out of the center of the intro’s spiral, the music levels off and a really bright field of sound consumes the mix. I feel like I am gliding through another dimension where music notes are raining in the thousands over the entire sky. With a minimal array of sounds at this point, it’s unreal to think how expansive the emotional connection is already. As the existence of the intro’s matrix of sounds disburses and the angelic aura that changed the dynamic is the only element left, there is a resting calm and pure blissful beauty that pours into the work. Small traces of synth are added into sequences as the aura becomes even brighter then before. Before the 10 minute mark, small elements of the intro’s backwards matrix of sound enters back into the mix and segues into another cycle of the first suite. The dynamics change out of the angelic state and dive into more pulsing and auspicious realms. Set in a much more rhythmically focused manner with the driving pulse of synth layering, this is the moment in which Rachel Evan’s voice becomes fully embellished for the first time and adds a very deep phrasing to the music. It was at this point that I realized how much detail and vision had gone into crafting each tone and pocket of sound. Rachel Evan’s vocals are transfixing and is the element to “The Dream” that pulls me inside the furthest. The same can be said about the entire record for me. Some ten minutes later and this section of the first suite fades as the dynamic shifting takes yet another incredible turn. The music becomes psychedelia based and reverberates with a ton of movement and spiritual resonance in some of the synth layers that come off as a trumpet. There are sounds that are moving everywhere and it’s an ending to “The Dream” that is mind bending.
“The Center”, the second suite from Motion Sickness of Time Travel, begins in a futuristic 3D world of machine like electronica that is juxtaposed by the beautiful and natural embellishing of Rachel’s vocals. The metallic forms melt into wavering patterns as the music progresses, making more room for a pallet that the vocals can stick to and resonate off of, not just over. The intro to “The Center” is a perfect example of the drastic dynamic shifts that occur all over Motion Sickness of Time Travel. Around 4 minutes in length, the intro for the second suite subsides for another excursion into modern electronica and the sequencing of sounds into an orchestrated framework. Still translucent and experimental, there is a duality here that speaks of the cosmos as much as it does the current experimental electronic scene. Rachel Evan’s vocal tandem over this section is definitely one of my favorite parts of the entire album and it’s a moment that I think will have a deep impact on anyone. The airy and gentle nature of the vocals and minimal set of spell binding tones under it is a beautiful feet of creation and justly unravels into the most blissful state. Fourteen minutes into the piece and the next major dynamic shift occurs. Built entirely from the ground up and into a entirely new direction of sound, there is a spiritual and vibratory feeling that overtakes this next section. Synth is placed into the bottom register of the mix while flourescent lines tower over it. There is a bright moment that you can feel accumulating in energy and waiting to release its potential. Now the music has entered into a zen state and removes all lenses that shadow us from the beauty one can easily find in the clouds. The calmness and gentle aura of the album has come back again and it’s this time that the affects are some of the most potent. The vocals are present yet again with stunning beauty and elegance. You can really feel every little tone that comes forth in her vocal work, especially with how soft and non abrasive the music is. It truly feels like her vocals are skipping off the music with the most ease and smooth form. Upon first listening to this section, I became so deeply wrapped inside of a mental cocoon that I lost all sense of everything around me and even the process of thoughts. It put me into deep meditation and the results were transforming. It was only after the piece was done that I realized where I was at and what had occurred. There is very few modern artists who take me to this place with such immediacy. Twenty minutes in and the angelic state of the music is met by shards of psychedelia and ambience that becomes more grafted by the second. The vocals become enlarged at this point as the music finds its way into a matrix of directions. The vocals take the song to its ending and shift in patterns that raise the hairs on my neck. 50 minutes later and the first two suites have already taken me on a journey that I will forever remember.
The third suite takes the listen into a dreamy, sublime and submersed world with the title of “Summer of the Cat’s Eye”. The intro is sublime though and really speaks a cosmic and ancient language in which stands very tall in the murky and never ending scope of tones presented on Motion Sickness of Time Travel. The vocals that first become present in tandem are gently placed over this soft bed of abstract sounds of joy. There is a constant oscillation of sound and a main synth melody that keeps the piece in form and shape and the translucency in the overtones swells, bends and contorts into infinite patterns around it. The way the vocals move inside of the mix is just as heavenly as it was on the first two suites and really moves the music into another dimension. Rotating synths are positioned everywhere in the mix with traces of processed vocals that bounce right along with the synth. It would be easy to label this experimental or electronic but there is a voice of the past that speaks into another direction than what those labels entail. There is a state of drone that takes place as many characteristics that defined the beginning remain constant for well over ten minutes. As the sound shifts and molds in unique shapes, these synth pulses and lines become the connecting bridges that allow the sound to become so involved and to give the listener such a comfortable seat into this ride. Sounds emerge in many forms on Motion Sickness of Time Travel but with the touch of beauty, not harsh over abridged tones that cross over and don’t even in a middle ground. As the ghost like vocals fade out and deep synth frequencies are left unshaded, the music breathes for a brief moment before the next submerging state begins. It’s these resting spaces that connect the different sections as seamless as they are on the entire record. As the music swells back into the front of the mix, there is a very different emotional state that transpires, one of close danger and possible despair. The music becomes euphorically dark yet psychedelic, compounding a plethora of tonal shapes that are as menacing as they are meditative. It’s a very interesting collection of sounds and something that really stands out to me in the album as one of the best moments of Motion Sickness of Time Travel. Vocals at the end of “Summer of the Cat’s Eye” are cleverly guided in, creating an evening and balance of energy that is subtle but powerful when realized. It’s a beautiful ending to a subtle yet exotic and dynamic composition.
The fourth and final suite, “One Perfect Moment” begins like something out of a Bjork album. Lush and futuristic melodic progressions, an elegant and powerful vocal presence and a dreamy atmosphere that is endless in the construction and relationship of sounds all account for the last sections that comprises Motion Sickness of Time Travel. The second section of this suite that comes into fruition is breathtaking. With the vocal section that dominated the beginning leaving the mix and a heavy sound collage taking over, the music becomes metaphysical. It’s a soothing bath of tonal happiness that is orchestrated for the most dedicated of listens. With a pair of headphones, this section is beyond what any explanation could do justice. As the defining moment on the album for me, I have come back to this section of the album over 20 times and still can’t believe what I hear. Parts are processed backwards and the entire mix is heavily trapped in an endless state of transformation. This is definitely one perfect moment for me. The synth enters into its most catchy mode on the next section of “One Perfect Moment” when the vocals are reintroduced. The music is still highly textured and exotic but the main melody is much more refined, much more rooted into the minimal synth wave 80′s movement that generated a pioneering and foundational set of musicians and more importantly the gear that made this new path in sound possible. The vocal tandem is a perfect and smooth touch to the 80′s influenced pallet of sound that is present. The delay and echo added to the vocals is a perfect touch to how the different sections of her voice are layered onto one another. The presence of structured rhythm is at its most accessible form and the music dives in and out of modal identities from how angelic yet electronic the core of the music is. Closing with a mirror of backwards sounds and the fading of the vocals once again, the note the album ends on is very similar to the one it arrived on.
I truly feel Motion Sickness of Time Travel is one of the most evolved and worthwhile experimental albums in years, if not decades. Highly recommend from Sound Colour Vibration.
Order a copy here: http://editionsmego.com/release/SP+016