Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Sound with Purpose
loteq | 05/16/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This short album, claiming to be inspired by male sexual energy and to enhance concentration and focus, actually succeeds. It is not a pleasant, relaxing experience, nor is it unpleasant, exactly. It is very intense, however - fast beats and shakes punctuiate the very slow build of sonic tension as winds, reeds, and synths rise to a climax. This will wake you up in the morning."
Absence or presence
loteq | Regensburg | 03/06/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The are two groups of people that will buy this album: those who have every disc HT have ever thought about putting out and those who don't have any HT release at all and are curious about the album's content - I guess it's safe to say that the name of this album and the cover artwork alone will attract a lot of music fans. One of the shortest HT studio ventures so far, originally issued in 1992 on the Touch label as the second part of a trilogy and then re-issued in 1997 for its US release, "The F album" collects two experimental pieces which have a running time of 15 minutes each. The booklet's extensive lines notes tell us about the origin of the music, the involved persons, and the intentions of these two tracks: As HT mastermind A. M. McKenzie explains, the overall purpose of the disc was to bring the listener into a state of concentration, which is best achieved by listening to this disc at maximum volume and in strict accordance with left and right channel connections. That probably means that one listen to this record on headphones in a darkened room will be the best way to demonstrate this project's strength, separating it from many other ambient or "electronic listening" album which are primarily designed for relaxation and dissipation. There's also a lot of insight into the music itself and the way the various sonic elements and sounds were arranged, which in itself once again confirms that HT's idea of bringing together non-musical elements, several treated vocal samples, electronic sounds, and great production skills marks the raison d'etre of avant-garde music. Whether that level of artistic integrity is enough for an engaging listening session is certainly another matter altogether - and there are a few things which prevent "The F album" from being numbered along the best ambient discs of the '90s. "Part 1" (there are no track titles, of course!) starts things off quite promisingly with menacing, processed guitar feedback which immediately reminded me of Main's output. Then, the piece suddenly evolves into a fascinating sonic landscape, consisting of various layers of electronics which are combined with a muted but insistent bass drum and several bodily noises provided by McKenzie. Although HT probably attempt to include a few too many ideas, the hyperactive nature of the music makes clear that this is pretty much the opposite of Maurice Ravel's famous erotic composition "Bolero"! About six minutes in, some of the sonic elements fade away and the track becomes a little more atmospheric. The rest of the piece, however, is largely forgettable due to something which HT generally avoid in their other releases - overt repetition. And the simple trick of gradually slowing down the master tape to bring the cut to an end is a bit annoying, just as the fact that the periodically reappearing, high-pitched noises do not make for a pleasant listening at high volume. "Part 2" opens with dark and harrowing industrial noises before looped, slow breathes (again, emanating from McKenzie) which alternate between the stereo channels are introduced. Perhaps a little more accessible than the first track, there are nevertheless too few ideas for its 15-minute length, although the quiet second half of the cut demands careful listening and features some nice subtle drones, random interjections, and choir-like effects. After several listenings I still cannot say that I actually 'enjoy' "The F album" - I'm not quite sure that is possible because there are much better 'illbient' albums out there - but it's certainly an intriguing release from one of avant-garde music's most prolific outfits. Well worth picking up, but if you expect the music to be as exciting as the whole concept behind "The F album", then you might be a bit disappointed."
Not what I expected but still great.
HeidiKakes | NY | 07/28/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well maybe I went into this album thinking the wrong thing. I expected a dark ambient version of Venetian Snares & Hecate's collaboration Nymphomatriarch. Now that I look back, I see that the only thing these two projects have in common is they both extract and manipulate sounds of a sexual experience.
While it wasn't what I expected, it is still a very good pick up. It reminds me a lot of Zoviet France as well as some of Lustmord's older works. The unsettling atmosphere created on "F..." works not only on the conscious level but also the subconscious level which helps to create an almost nightmarish effect on listeners.
All in all, a great album and highly recommended."