Grains Of Sound

Brothers Chris and Jason Sevanick are one of those fascinating acts whose main repertoire is hard techno or dark industrial electronic beats, yet who have also come up with subtle, intelligent and harmonious ambient that stands well out from the pack. Speedy J and Aphex Twin are two examples. Grains Of Sound is another joyful discovery.

artist:
Grains Of Sound

country of origin:
USA

style(s):
Ambient techno/trance, psyambient, spacemusic

decades active:
2000's

essential releases:

  • Rays Of Life volumes 1 & 2 (2007, Alterculture)
  • Sine Language volumes 1, 2, 3 (2009, Alterculture)

Reviewed by Mike G

Brothers Chris and Jason Sevanick are one of those fascinating acts whose main repertoire is hard techno or dark industrial electronic beats, yet who have also come up with subtle, intelligent and harmonious ambient that stands well out from the pack. Speedy J and Aphex Twin are two such examples. The Sevanick brothers' Grains Of Sound project is another.

Since 1996 the duo have been better known in underground circles in North America and Europe as Mindless Faith, producing pounding electro-industrial-rock of frightening intensity. In 2007, however, they debuted their Grains Of Sound side project and for several years proved a dab hand at composing strains of ambient techno, trance and spacemusic.

Although words like psychedelic are used in the release notes for Rays Of Life volumes 1 & 2 (2007), the music isn't based on the dubby, bottom-heavy and Mid-Eastern sounds usually associated with modern psychedelic chill. Technologically the duo's production sounds bang up date but stylistically there are strong echoes of classic 90's underground ambient dance music as embodied by labels like Silent Records and Rising High's Chill Out Or Die series. Which makes it all rather timeless. The music is mysterious and beautiful without even trying and the duo builds their harmonies with skill and restraint. Volume 1 is more beat orientated than Volume 2. Both are exquisitely spacey.

Sine Language volumes 1, 2 & 3 (2009) is a triple volume issue that maintains - even improves on - the standards of its predecessor. Each volume is closely related by remixes and reworkings of certain tracks that are repeated on one or both of the others. The first is uptempo, the second is downtempo beats and the third is beatless. Volume 1 is club music really, but the duo's inspired examples of ambient trance's dancefloor cousins - psytrance, progressive house and tech-trace - make for a solid listen. The ambient and downtempo tracks that span the 2nd and 3rd volumes are often strikingly mature, with more depth of texture and detailed sound design than a good deal of similar music by other artists. From a pure ambient perspective "Low Earth Orbit" is the most ravishing thing here: so simple, sad and awe-inspiring. You won't hear a better piece of spacemusic, in this galaxy or any other.

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