The Inventors of Aircraft: As It Is
Resting Bell

That London-based Phil Tomsett released his first The Inventors of Aircraft album Unknown Language on Serein should tell you something about the kind of deep ambient-drone material presented on the thirty-three-minute follow-up As It Is. The dark, monochromatic cover, too, conveys the primal character of the release's five settings. Throughout the recording, simple melodic motifs repeat slowly in shimmering drone formations while speckles of clicks, scratches, crackle, and dust punctuate the time-suspending unfurl.

The elemental dimension of the The Inventors of Aircraft style surfaces near the end of the opening piece, “A Way In,” when brooding ambient tones and washes are joined by sounds that suggest tectonic plates shifting. “We Have Arrived” perpetuates the mood of the first track via geological shudder before sleek synth tones announce the alien visitors' appearance on terra firma. The middle setting, “Let Me Give You What You Want,” takes the listener to an even deeper subterranean level when the track stretches out in slow-motion for eleven minutes and at times seems on the verge of expiring altogether. On paper, Tomsett's formula might appear simple and straightforward, but the sweeping dark ambient tracks he creates are arresting to say the least. As It Is is that rarely encountered case where one wishes more material had been included, not less.

November 2010