TRANSAMBIENT COMMUNICATIONS Sorted For Mushrooms And Skunk E.P. (3rd Stone)


These are the debut single and second album releases respectively by one Anthony Tombling Jr (guitar, chaos, theory, keys, loops, programs, voice and skunk, it says here), a man allegedly influenced only by the sea. Whilst the space cover imagery and titles such as "Weightless" and "Moonbeams" are a bit of a dead giveaway, before you can shout "third rate Orb imitators" (yes, that means you, Mali Rain, who coincidentally namecheck "Tone and the Transambient people" in the sleevenotes of their "...We Shall Return To The Sea" album) consider the facts that a) The Orb haven’t made a half-decent album since 1993, and b) these offerings from Transambient Communications aren’t bad at all. True, they’re not at the cutting edge of ambient house (but then again, is anybody these days, or have they all given it up as a bad job, just like Dr LX seems to have?), and the occasional cheap drum machine rhythms (think elderly Woolworths organ cranked to "Bossa Nova or die" setting) and the tacky sleeve design sink any pretence of sophistication, but an hour or so in the company of these CDs is a pleasant experience. There’s lashings of Enoesque synths, enough strange samples to keep you from becoming too relaxed and the occasional stab at ambient jungle that betters a goodly proportion of the disappointing "Artcore" compilation, for example "Weightless", which sounds like "In A Silent Way" meets Goldie. Unpretentious and enjoyable, what more could you reasonably require?