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Noise/Drone Anthology 1984-1989 ~ SALE $5
vidnaObmana - Anthology 1984 - 2004 2004 celebrates the 20th anniversary of vidnaObmana. The past 20 years signified vidnaObmana as one of the most willful independent exprimental artists around. He recorded more than 35 CD albums, whether solo or in collaboration, that explored the abrasive side of electronic composition, the freeform landscapes of the isolationist ambient aesthetic, the structured interactivity of Fourth World soundscapes, international music traditions and post-classical experimentations.
vidnaObmana's anthology 1984 - 2004 release marks this celebration and covers vidna's oeuvre from 1984 up till 2004. For the first time ever, this anthology links vidnaObmana's most successful ambient period with his most obscure earlier phase. A period in his career that vidnaObmana refused to recognize up till a year ago when he realized that his experimental and noise phase created the foundation for what he has produced up till now. 12 selections range in style from ambient music in the vein of River of Appearance and his ambient Trilogy to harsh noise electronics from the early 80's. An unique and provocative document confirming vidnaObmana's essential position in the field of electronic and modern experimental music. This CD, the first in a series of anthologies also stands for the birth of vidnaObmana's own label Ikon (This first release is in alliance with Projekt). The circle is complete and a new path lies ahead.
1. Shallow faith (previously unreleased, from ‘Legacy’ studio sessions – Belgium, 2003/2004) 2. Second praise for last hope (previously released, from ‘Untitled’ cassette, Ladd-Frith – USA, 1987) 3. The noctural air (previously unreleased, from ‘The River of Appearance’ studio sessions – Belgium, 1995/1996) 4. Ecstasy (previously released, from ‘Hope and Die’ cassette, V-tapes – Germany, 1984-1985) 5. Kindred spirits (from ‘Crossing the trail’ studio sessions – Belgium, previously released on ‘1654-The Cave2’ CD compilation, Hands Productions – Germany, 1998) 6. Darkness overpowers it all (previously released, from ‘Untitled’ cassette, Ladd-Frith – USA, 1986) 7. Soul dislocation (previously unreleased, from ‘Spore’ studio sessions – Belgium, 2001/2002) 8. By abundant rain (live) (previously unreleased, from ‘The Trilogy’ studio sessions – Belgium, 1990/1993, live in concert at Diogenes, Nijmegen – The Netherlands, 1991) 9. Only fear will survive (previously released from ‘Only Fear will Survive’ cassette, Ladd-Frith, USA - 1985, enhancement by Brian Ladd) 10. Bemused amphibian (from ‘Experience Artaud’ cassette, self-released – Belgium, previously released on ‘Ecstasy by Current II’ LP compilation, Schizophonia - Austria 1988) 11. Assimilate (previously unreleased, from ‘Tremor’ studio sessions – Belgium, 1999/2001) 12. Arterial (previously released, from ‘Landscape in obscurity’ cassette, S.S.A. – The Netherlands, 1989). Anthology selected, sequenced and remastered at the Serenity Studio, Belgium in February 2004.
It's hard to believe it's been 20 years since Belgian composer Dirk Serries began his musical journey. But this collection of rarities and pieces proves that it really has been quite a trip. From his earlier noise/industrial days, we have several cuts which make it to CD for the first time ever, and these are interspersed with his better-known organic/ambient/world sounds. And some more recent tracks, like the opener, 'Shallow Faith', seems to balance both aspects, from a tribal ambient vibe to a more abrasive proto-industrial shadow-world. Serries' music has always been a wonderously visual feast for the ears, moody and textural--even haunting. Anthology 1984-2004 showcases vidnaObmana's development in a fine and most unexpected fashion. Superb and recommended.
During two decades the Belgian VIDNAOBMANA has experimented with music and feelings in all its forms, which has resulted in an impressing amount of albums. As many as 30 albums has been released during the years and now it’s then time for the compilation album that has been entitled Anthology 1984 – 2004. The songs on this compilation album consists both of previously unreleased material and of material that indeed has earlier been released, but can be quite difficult to get your hand on today, since the material has only been released on tapes and various compilation albums. The album becomes a voyage through different forms of ambient and atmospheric music that VIDNAOBMANA has explored during his musical career. Most of the songs have an eerie atmosphere that is built up by calm and harmonic melodies, which gives the listener a feeling of weightlessness and a strange peace of mind. On parts of the songs different kinds of percussion are sparsely used, but other than that it’s the synth, fujara and different kinds of flutes that makes up the music. There is however one exception on the album and that is the fourth song “Ecstasy”, which is the oldest song on the album. This song consists of various noises that have been forged together to an industrial/noise mixture. This was for me a really interesting song since I didn’t previously know that VIDNAOBMANA also has experimented with this kind of music. Traces of this industrial era can also be found on “Darkness Overpowers It All” and “Only Fear Will Survive”, which also belong to the earlier material. The fujara and flutes doesn’t become a part of the music until a bit later and of the younger material the fifth song “Kindred Spirits” is an excellent example of how atmospheric and beautiful music should sound. Anthology 1984 – 2004 is a very good compilation album, since it works as a excellent introduction for those that hasn’t heard VIDNAOBMANA before, but also contains material that surely many older fans hasn’t heard either. This is ambient of high class, get it and be moved. -Janne
This release from 2004 offers 73 minutes of ambient material spanning VidnaObmana's long career. The material on this collection is primarily a mixture of unreleased tracks and pieces that originate from obscure compilations. Each track exemplifies a stage of Obmana’s sonic growth, from minimalism through tribal grooves to dark ambience heading toward edgy grittiness. His predilection to employ unconventional instruments (like fujaras and overtone flutes) in the pursuance of creating atmospheric harmonics has resulted over the years in those instruments becoming mainstays in the genre as other musicians have followed his innovative leads. He is an innovator and rarely willing to settle into any niche for very long, always striving to expand and push the envelope. Overall, his electronics are radically ethereal and miasmic, evoking exotic landscapes obscured by distance. His tribal grooves utilize muted percussives to generate antediluvian milieu of luxurious disposition. His dark side expressions skirt through avant garde terrain and forge courageously into new sonic topography, conjuring ominous airs that are thicker with thought-provoking aspects than any trace of threat. This anthology is not only an excellent introduction to Obmana’s music, but will delight enthusiasts who thirst for more to augment their exhaustive collection of the man’s releases. - Matt Howarth
Career-spanning odds-and-ends compilation CD's by artists are usually pretty iffy. They serve a purpose for fans who are lacking the material in their collections but to initiates of an artist, they can often be seen as uneven and even off-putting if you don't know what one is “all about.” Being a fan of soundscape-creating wizard Vidna Obmana's newer work, I was interested in hearing how Projekt's (co-released with Obmana's own label, Ikon) new Anthology 1984-2004 CD was going to turn out, but wasn't expecting much considering his better-developed work is usually spread across much larger timespans than, say, 5 or 6 minutes. Most of the tracks on this compilation are from either other compilations or previously unreleased studio and live material. Also, apparently, he had an early noise/post-industrial period which is being represented here for the first time on digital format (such material was only previously available on cassette).
How some of this stuff didn't get out any earlier to the (mass) masses is beyond me, because the oldest tracks are really quite impressive. “Ecstasy” is aptly titled, plunging you head-first into delayed whirling noises that alternate between higher-register fluctuations and bass-rumbling, occasionally sounding like as though being passed through some sort of old analog synthesizer filter. “Darkness Overpowers It All” is another accurately-named piece; having an early industrial feel, it writhes along like a death march with its blinding atmospherics, eerie synth jabs, and rhythmic punishing. “Bemused Amphibian” and “Only Fear Will Survive” are other fascinating noise-worlds - a little less abrasive than the previous two mentioned, but the combination of the extreme with the well-known Obmana “calm inside the storm” serves as a great bridge to the newer work on the disc.
That newer work — a sort of layering of ominous synth, flute, voice-sample and fujara (deep Slovakian flute) tones to create scapes of ambient bliss — is quite well-represented here, and is perhaps the most successful of his sounds. The disc opener “Shallow Faith” takes a near drum-and-bass rhythm and contrasts it to stunning effect with haunting dark chords that set a mood of strange claustrophobia: there is a crack open in the small room you are cowered in, but it's not enough to provide full relief. “Soul Dislocation” is the most interesting of all the tracks, with its stirring rhythms interweaving with constantly shifting layers of ambient sound. Some of the tones are like like metal-on-metal recorded inside a water tower, sometimes they are near-hopeful buzzing drones shifting from the foreground to background and back again. On “Assimilate,” there is actually a discernable chord progression coupled with a cool tribal beat and didgeridoo-like tones.
Though still good (and even necessary), the tracks that represent the middle period (1990-1998) aren't as striking as the earliest or the later work. It's here where the single-disc anthology format fails. For example, even though “Kindred Spirits” is pleasant on the ears, it could easily benefit from being longer. The same thing could be said for “By Abundant Rain,” a live cut. Although very aesthetically enchanting, it is actually an excerpt from a work on a grander scale (The Trilogy) and thus falls kind of flat on its own.
That being said, however, Anthology 1984-2004 still manages to cover an amazing span of time and work and do it well. For fans of Obmana, you can't go wrong with this, as this probably has material you do not yet have and will want. For initiates, it's a terrific overview of his different sounds, and a great place to find out where you want to begin with his 35-odd studio albums. A fine compilation of a very important soundworld-creating artist. Rating: 7/10 - Thor
A long time ago I was in Antwerpen, Belgium at a noise festival. A young man stands behind a korg synth and puts on some vicious loud noise music. Afterwards he introduced himself as Dirk Serries, the man behind Vidna Obmana. Some years later I see him playing again and his music has changed radically: he plays smooth ambient music, but with an edgy touch. In 2004 it's twenty years ago that Dirk founded Vidna Obmana and to celebrate this, he releases an anthology of his works, and for the first time some of his noise music is released on CD. Music that was released in his early years on cassette. I am sure it will be a surprise to many and for few a renewed encounter with the noise of years past. Vidna Obmana has released many CDs in those twenty years and many were based on one idea, say 'transforming guitars (or saxophone, or church organ) into music, and he developed a great skill in doing so. The power of this anthology is the variation. From the noisy works of the early days to the ambient sounds of the mid-nineties to some of his combined works of electronics and instruments, it's all there. In that sense it is by Vidna Obmana standards a really varied CD (maybe even too much variation), but for those who don't know much about the historical development in Vidna Obmana's music, this is certainly a worthwhile item to get.