PRO00318b
PRO00318bSamPhoto2015Box-MonolithKick1Kick-finale2

As Lonely As Dave Bowman: Monolith (limited edition CD)

$20.00

Tracks

1 Failure of the AE-35 unit Radio Antenna 07:23
2 Moon-skimmer 18:01
3 Manoeuvring over the Jupiter monolith 06:51
4 A long, dark corridor filled with lights. A memory. And then a bright room with air. 40:44

love it, share it

pinterest google




Weight .4 lbs
Artist

As Lonely As Dave Bowman

Label

Projekt

Release Year

2015

Format

CD in 4-panel DVD-sized digipak

Reviews

  1. Reviews Editor

    Review  –:

    From Onda Rock

    Aver avuto il piacere di conversare amabilmente con Sam Rosenthal ben prima di iniziare a buttar giù qualche riga sul nuovo frutto del suo progetto “2001”-inspired ha forse tolto un po’ del piacere di lasciarsi sorprendere. Indubbiamente il rapporto fra il prezzo e il guadagno – ovvero una chiacchierata impagabile e piena di aneddoti come quella che Sam ci ha regalato – è sbilanciatissimo a favore di quest’ultimo. Soprattutto considerando l’altissimo valore di MONOLITH, disponibile da settimane per il free download su Bandcamp (in parallelo a una petizione Kickstarter per la stampa fisica in 300 copie) e sufficiente da solo a trasformare l’ascolto in una vera e propria avventura.

    Otto anni dopo POD – con di mezzo il controverso 10 Neurotics, un ottimo remix album e tante voci (recentemente anche confermate) di novità in arrivo sul versante Black Tape For A Blue Girl, e l’altra faccia della medaglia ambientale (The Passage) e una ristampa di vecchi amori elettronici a base di sequencer – il viaggio riparte come si fosse interrotto ieri. Dave Bowman torna a scrivere il suo ipotetico diario, stavolta usando carta e penna e regalandoci un compendio di emozioni, ricordi, immagini e sentimenti che nel documentale “POD” erano rimasti segreti.

    La partenza di “Failure Of The A-35 Unit Radio Antenna” è già esplicativa del balzo in avanti stilistico: un amalgama di armoniche a cavallo fra dramma e speranza, luce accecante con alle spalle un’ombra avvolgente. Quest’ultima domina incontrastata su tutti e 18 i minuti di “Moon-Skimmer”, più vicino a “Zeit” che a Steve Roach, intriso di quel realismo cosmico che la scuola krauta versante Berlino ha reso linguaggio musicale autonomo. Ma è un’eccezione, l’unico passaggio in cui la cronaca mantiene una linearità razionale.

    Se in “POD” Sam impugnava la camera a mano riprendendo una nave alla deriva le cui componenti esteriore (lo spazio circostante, fra buchi neri, astri sparsi e rari bagliori) e interiore (i sentimenti “annullati” di un Bowman in viaggio verso il nulla) coincidevano nel mood e nella (non)-evoluzione, qui Dave si riappropria quantomai della sua umanità. Così “Manoeuvring Over The Jupiter Monolith” racconta la manovra riproducendo le sensazioni del protagonista, passando dalle tese contorsioni dei primi minuti alla quiete abbagliante del finale.

    Ma il vero fiore all’occhiello del disco, e vetta massima dell’intero progetto fino ad oggi, è rappresentato dai tre quarti d’ora abbondanti della suite “A Long, Dark Corridor Filled With Lights. A Memory. And Then A Bright Room With Air.”. Un flashback di Bowman alla sua vita terrena, un flusso di immagini, sensazioni e ricordi, che parte fra armoniche ardenti, accoglienti prima e sempre più spoglie e inquiete poi, fino alle sinewaves oscure ma rassicuranti della seconda fase. A lungo andare si fa l’abitudine al buio, al punto tale che le luci del finale diventano quasi taglienti, dolorose.

    Non è solo Dave Bowman a restituire al racconto la sua interiorità, ma lo stesso Rosenthal, che si serve del personaggio per indagare con l’usuale maestria uno stato d’animo comune quanto complesso come la solitudine. MONOLITH è l’inversione di marcia verso l’introspezione di un genio creativo fino ad oggi affascinato, in ordine di tempo, dalla sensualità, dall’estasi, dal misticismo e dalla perversione. Un capitolo necessario per chiunque abbia seguito i travagli interiori di Sam Rosenthal e si sia innamorato, istantaneamente o nel tempo, delle sue straordinarie e sempre più variegate tecniche narrative. Rating: 7.5 (very good)

  2. Reviews Editor

    Review  –:

    From Star’s End

    The more interesting electronic artists find inspiration in things outside of music. While we may hear the influence of contemporaneous album releases, discovering that significant thing in the musician’s life which moved them to create their work almost always remains a mystery to the listener. However, with musician Sam Rosenthal we can readily identify his Spacemusic project, called As Lonely As Dave Bowman, as having something to do with concepts dealt with in the epic science fiction film, 2001: A Space Odyssey. The name of Rosenthal’s musical persona refers to the movie character Dr. David Bowman, and his particularly amazing ordeal, most of which was endured in complete seclusion.

    Isolation is a common theme found throughout much of Rosenthal’s creative output, and his As Lonely as Dave Bowman CD Monolith (72’59”) offers four minimal sonic portrayals that somehow relate to this condition. Although Monolith presents music meant to conjure feelings of desolation, mystery and uncertainty, the listening experience does endeavor to move us amidst a slow progression of significant ambient states. Synthesizer drones sustain as gray metallic modulations rise, expand and retract within the depths of vast soundscapes. More than just an interesting collection of spacey sounds, Monolith produces its building tensions and hopeful reprieves through intelligent pacing, fragile advances and thoughtful stillness. Whether it is existing at the periphery of our attention, or confronting us with a tonal tensile unity, Monolith surrounds us in an atmosphere of solitude – forced (like Bowman’s) or otherwise. -Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END 26 November 2015

  3. Reviews Editor

    Review  –:

    From Ambient Blog

    The project name, the album title, the track titles: everything in this project refers to Kubrick’s ground breaking sci-fi masterpiece 2001 – A Space Odyssey (1968). ‘Monolith is a soundtrack for the final four months of Dave’s journey to Jupiter.’
    2001 was (and still is) unique because of the stilistic choices made to represent life in space: no blasting spacecraft motors (‘in space, there is no sound’), and lóóng sequences, seemingly without much action, depicting the slow weightless life. This timelessness is carefully represented in the Monolith soundtrack, especially in the closing track A Long, Dark Corridor Filled With Lights. A Memory. And Then A Bright Room With Air., which is over 40 minutes long. It immediately recaptures the movie’s unforgettable closing scene.

    As Lonely As Dave Bowman (Sam Rosenthal, aka Black Tape For a Blue Girl side-project) creates a fully electronic revision of the soundtrack. In that, it diverts from Kubrick’s own choices: he didn’t use electronic music or the soundtrack but deliberately chose orchestral acoustics such as the Richard Strauss waltzes as well as the frightening choir music from György Ligeti. Like the movie that inspired it, Monolith requires a certain mindset to be fully appreciated: ‘droning space, wordless drift with long suspended passages… the album touches the edges of isolation and glacial solitude, with a discernible warm human core.’

    Available as a digital download album on Bandcamp, but there’s also limited Kickstarter-funded physical editions available.

  4. Reviews Editor

    Review  –:

    From Exposé

    Dave Bowman, as some of us may remember, was the protagonist in the 1968 science fiction feature film 2001: A Space Odyssey (and numerous lesser known follow on books and films). As Lonely as Dave Bowman is the solo ambient drone outlet for Black Tape for a Blue Girl bandleader Sam Rosenthal, also the founder of the Projekt label. Monolith is the second release (the first was Pod from 2007), which across its four tracks truly captures the vastness and solitude of space, moving slowly through an expansive frozen electronic wasteland that document Bowman’s travels to the Monolith near Jupiter.

    There are no words needed beyond the track titles to document this journey, only the changes in texture that proceed like a slow glacial drift, peppered with seemingly random sonic disturbances that suggest external events outside of the insular pod. One hardly notices the track changes, instead seeming like a void in the spatial drift, then suddenly something new appears, slowly evolving as it goes, again drawing the listener further into the concept. Rosenthal is the fundamental creator of this soundworld, a masterful application of electronics and sound processing, with some input from Steve Roach, Martin Bowes, mastering by Howard Givens (of Spotted Peccary) as well as support from others. Monolith truly captures the emptiness of the void, but also provides the listener some warmth and peace at various times along this 73 minute epic. Monolith was started as a crowd-funded project and as such only slightly over 300 physical copies exist, presented in a cardboard DVD sized package (much like Pod was), however it will be available as a download to all for a limited time. -Peter Thelen

  5. Reviews Editor

    Review  –:

    From Textura

    In the time that I’ve been listening to Projekt releases, I’ve regarded Sam Rosenthal as the label’s curator and showrunner. But Monolith, the seventy-three-minute collection he’s issued under the As Lonely As Dave Bowman alias (he also issues material under the Black Tape For A Blue Girl name) reminds us that he’s an electronic musician and composer, too. The album title and moniker, of course, will resonate immediately with anyone familiar with 2001: A Space Odyssey, and not surprisingly the recording’s track titles also reference the work’s narrative in alluding to Bowman’s journey. It’s a credit to Stanley Kubrick (not to mention novelist Arthur C. Clarke) that his visionary film treatment still mesmerizes almost fifty years after its release.

    Issued in both a standard edition with the CD inside a DVD-sized case and a special plexibox edition, the recording presents four settings, two of them relatively short and the other two eighteen and forty-one minutes, respectively. Though Steve Roach is credited with having contributed “subtle atmospheric conditioning” to the opening track and others are enigmatically credited, too, one gets the impression that the recording is still very much a solo effort by Rosenthal. Track differences aside, the recording is electronic drone music designed to evoke the limitless expanses of deep space. Scaled down to its minimal core, the material also suggests the terrifying emptiness of space and the traumatizing effect such awareness can have on a lone astronaut hurtling through it.

    The loud, shimmering organ chords that introduce the opener “Failure of the AE-35 unit Radio Antenna” evoke the epic scope of the story-line, while the track’s subdued space drone episode suggests the bleak stillness and remoteness of space. But at an ultra-immersive forty-one minutes, it’s (deep breath) “A long, dark corridor filled with lights. A memory. And then a bright room with air.” that is the release’s natural focal point. With its title conjuring imagery associated with the film’s closing chapters, the piece unfolds with controlled deliberation, advancing during its journey through extended fields of organ drones and icy synth textures. About halfway through, a lonely foghorn-like theme appears, punctuating the stillness with its distant call and accentuating the isolationalist character of the material; the other disruptive event occurs five minutes before the end when a metallic shimmer swells in volume to bring the material to a controlled climax before expiring. The press release’s recommendation that one think of Monolith as “drone insulation rather than drone isolation” is certainly one clever way of encapsulating the recording’s tone.

  6. Reviews Editor

    Review  –:

    From The Grim Tower

    A brand new project from Sam Rosenthal of darkwave legends Black Tape For A Blue Girl, Monolith appears to be a bold new direction that appears to take a slight stab at the wondrous atmospheres of another legend, Steve Roach. In fact, Roach fans will notice the ethereal nature of this material almost immediately and I ultimately feel that they’ll be delighted by it.

    My initial listen for the album was in of all places, a local Wal-Mart. I was doing some grocery shopping, which is something I usually do with a soundtrack in order to stave off the monotony and In all honesty, Monolith just happened to be one of the first albums on my playlist at the time. At first I had no idea as of what kind of music to expect – was it going to be more creepy tunes like “Knock Three Times” and “Scarecrow” or perhaps something more poetic in lieu of “The Lie That Refuses To Die?” Perhaps it would be something both dark and atmospheric, like in the vein of Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s earlier releases such as Remnants Of A Deeper Purity or As One Aflame Laid Bare By Desire

    At that point, Monolith could have very well been anything. But I believed in Sam Rosenthal enough to support the Kickstarter project, and he thanked me enough by giving me the addendum to what is already a seventy-eight minute trip into the unknown. Yes, you heard me right. Monolith is definitely not the kind of record album that you’d listen to in a dark, candlelit room with a grimiore opened as you began stroking a black cat. (But you always could do that if you wanted, of course.)

    Rather Monolith seems something a bit more otherworldly, and I definitely do not recommend listening to the record whilst doing anything mundane. Trust me, the rest of my Wal-Mart excursion became quite baffling as I seemed to go in and out, halfway between a dream world and the well-polished tile floors. I’ll also be brutally honest with you, as I completely forgot what I was doing and where I was going for that matter. The music completely took hold, and it would not let go. But should we even consider such an atmosphere “music?”

    Music to me is defined as something that you can enjoy, whether it be tapping your foot, dancing, banging your head or otherwise. But Monolith isn’t that kind of experience, and it’s not geared towards the casual listener either. Monolith seems far from the Taylor Swift-isms of the modern musical enclave and feels like something from a higher plane of transcendence entirely. Our journey begins with “Failure Of The AE-35 Unit Radio Antenna 7:23” and it sounds like what most people would expect to hear from the higher realms after they’ve departed from this one. There’s something truly crystalline about its sense of mesmerism, as one wonders if this might be the backing to what could surely be the energy presence of their loved ones in a corporeal and far different state of being, as they are welcomed into that which exists beyond the world of all we know on this planet. The dreamy feeling does not continue however, as something far more unnerving takes its place.

    I do not feel that it is an unwelcome feeling, just something more spatial and less friendly. “Moon-Skimmer 18:01” then begins, as the cold winds of space lap up against one’s legs and only the distant, yet slightly metallic cries of the universe itself can be heard outward. Those cries become muffled and allow for near-silence, which feels like a sort of meditation. On the other hand, “Maneuvering Over The Jupiter Monolith 6:51” sounds like something completely different and made me feel really odd as soon as it hit. Keep in mind that I’m still pushing a shopping cart as these weird reverberations are echoing inside my skull, almost with a gelatinous sense, as if some gooey alien sensation is trying to pry its way into my cerebrum.

    The album ends (or begins again, I rather should say) with “A long, dark corridor filled with lights. A memory. And then a bright room with air. 40:44” which is, as you can see; longer than most full-length albums on its own. Though this is the final song on Monolith, it really seems to be the meat of the project. Though extremely difficult to describe, I’ll just say that this experience seems to culminate the listen with everything from pleasantries to extraterrestrial atmospheres, which in the end do not feel quite so heartwarming. But it sort of reminds me of the old adage, “In space, no one can hear you scream.” Though that’s not to say that the record is terrifying, for I never truly felt that from it. Instead, I feel it is an intriguing meditation meant for astral travel and like Steve Roach’s works, it will whisk you off into a completely different world altogether.

    If you choose to support the Kickstarter project (which has since funded) you will be given another forty minutes of music in the form of Monolith Addendum. In addition to an early remix of “Moon Skimmer” and an alternate ending in the form of “A Bright Room With Air 6:18” you’ll also receive twenty minutes of new material like the airy “Jupiter Mission 11:41” and the robotic “TMA-1 Greets The Lunar Dawn 3:19” which is an approach unlike any that you will hear on this entire release. Since the Kickstarter project has successfully funded, you’ll now be able to pick up a physical copy of the record (which was the main goal of the fundraiser) in addition to the digital copy, which you can currently still download for free from the Kickstarter page. (We’ll even stream it here, if one is put up and we are granted access to such a privilege.)

    But do not think of this as a marketing review, as that’s just not what I do here. Those who have lurked between the gritty and grimy walls of The Grim Tower should very well known by now that atmospheric releases are something I very much revel in and enjoy. We’ve had dozens of artists in the past who’ve given me an atmosphere that I’ve recommended, sometimes even in the form of a short story. I can honestly say that I am truly intrigued by the work here on Monolith and I truly hope that we’ll get to hear even more great music from this new act As Lonely As Dave Bowman (whoever Mr. Bowman might be) as well as Black Tape For A Blue Girl in the future. I’d be happy with more from either, as Sam Rosenthal and company prove that they’re still talented composers regardless of musical aim and genre. Rating: 9 out of 10 -Eric May

Add a review