Over thirty years ago, King Crimson founder and accomplished guitarist Robert Fripp introduced his ambient style of music with the tape loop-driven Frippertronics, and then for nearly the past quarter century, with his Soundscapes recordings. In 2008 he teamed with saxophonist/flautist Theo Travis who also developed his own soundscaping system called Ambitronics. Travis reigns from the Soft Machine Legacy and, more recently he has worked with Steven Wilson. Since teaming up over five years ago, there's been considerable growth since the duo's 2008 debut, Thread.
Recorded, for the first time, with surround sound in mind—thanks to engineer Steven Wilson's involvement, "Follow" has plenty of the trance-inducing loop driven hypnotics that made their first two duo releases so captivating. Sitting in the sweet spot washes the listener with rolling sounds and gentle melodies. Slow and subtle shifts draw the listeners ear from one corner of the room to the other as the music melts from one passage to the next. Yet, there never feels like there are any holes in the surround mix, and all five channels are used fully without putting the listener off balance, while still craftily drawing their attention to any given corner when needed. For fans of ambient music, the surround mix is a wonderful use of the soundstage and exceeds this reviewers expectations for a five star ambient surround mix.
Stepping away from the ambient model, "Hear Our Voices" is an engaging beautiful Travis composition, a classically influenced piece for multi-tracked flutes and reeds that melds into "1979" which, sends the listener on a soothing journey with Travis' Ambitronics layered over a Frippertronics recording from that year.
The biggest surprise is the final track, "So There," which features Fripp playing an incredibly raw guitar solo, along-side layered horns and a relentless tambourine and foot-stomp, Just at the moment when the listener has drifted into another dimension, Fripp and Travis prove that they can really rock and shake the walls.
Containing an entrancing collection of textures and ideas Follow features 24 bit high definition stereo and DTS and MLP (lossless) 5.1 surround sound. One final note, the DVD disc also includes the only concert footage of the duo featuring four songs. Strongly recommended for ambient music fans, as well as for surround sound enthusiasts seeking a restful collection of pieces.
CD and DVD-Audio surround sound. Also available on Vinyl.
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About the Author
Wesley is a lifelong music enthusiast. He started his career in the recording industry in New York City as an audio engineer, producer, and studio manager. Subsequently he toured across America as a guitarist with the short-lived band Land's Crossing. After many years in the technology sector and amassing a substantial vinyl and CD collection, he delved into immersive audio and created Hi-Res Edition to share with other listeners about the sound quality and discrete mixes available on many formats. He recently upgraded his system to 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos and continues to seek out and share about the best sounding releases.