The Seven Fields of Aphelion
Periphery is an album that has as much music as imagery. The artist is the Seven Fields of Aphelion, her alias as a member of rural Pennsylvania electronic pioneers Black Moth Super Rainbow, so she’s already adept at making bizarrely listenable psychedelic pop music. But on her first solo album, she’s turned a corner, taking her love for ambient electro and melding it with her talent for experimental photography. The record itself contains 12 tunes of extremely slow minimalist instrumental electro — full of warm vintage synthesizers, dewy piano sonatas, humming computer programming and this nostalgic sort of empyreal radiance. It all drops out, shifts and blends together, giving form to the formless just before dissembling into musical ether. The actual CD packaging contains these strangely cool multiple exposure photographs from the Seven Fields herself — images of factories blending into brown fields, sun filled skies behind metal towers of electricity, blue mountains sinking into telephone poles. It conjures up old thoughts and dusty emotions just like the music. Each song actually sounds like a photo portrait, recalling harmonic painters from Brian Eno to Loscil, spooky, warm, watery and synthesized musical memories (but different than BMSR). It’s a freeform architecture that will sound alien and obtuse to most listeners, but for those who enjoy tranquil and melancholic mood music, there are otherworldly images behind these tracks. With names like “Wildflower Wood,” “Cloud Forest” and “Starlight Aquatic,” you can see as much as your can hear. —Keith Gribbins
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