Christopher Bissonnette - In Between Worlds
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Christopher Bissonnette
In Between Worlds

In Between Worlds is the second full-length release from ambient musician Christopher Bissonnette, and like his debut album Periphery, is constructed largely of manipulated samples of orchestral music. Over the course of six long pieces (that run just over fifty minutes in total length), he juxtaposes soft spatial ambience with sounds that are just this side of abrasive, resulting in music that largely sounds like an extension of the background sounds of everyday life.

Of course, where you live/work obviously has a bearing on what the environmental sounds that surround you, and Bissonnette is obviously closer here to a low-level background hum than the inescapable din of some large cities, but at the same time you could easily imagine "Provenance" being the aural equivalent of the sounds that a city makes when it sleeps, replete with the soft blinking buzz of neon signs as they struggle to sell their products. Likewise, a near-rhythmic watery slurp emerges out of a tonal cloud wash in "Orffyreus Wheel," and when it doesn't actually evolve into something with more of a pulse, it sounds like some sort of muffled mechanics from far off in the distance.

With some clanging bell tones, "Tempest" is the most direct of any track on the release, and the odd percussive sounds and thick reverb give it the most overtly creepy feel. With the quiet lapping of what sounds like waves in the background, it sounds as if you've been plopped down in the middle of an abandoned boathouse, as rusty metal pieces propelled by the tide rub against each other and keep things fairly disquieting. As evidenced by my writing above, In Between Worlds is certainly evocative, but at the same time it's almost too formless and similar to his debut. It's certainly very pretty most of the time, but it's also the sort of thing I've heard numerous times over the years. If you're a fan of Bissonnette's last album, or even work on the Touch label (particularly Philip Jeck), it might be worth seeking out.

rating: 610
Aaron Coleman 2008-04-10 20:48:58