Motion Sickness Of Time Travel:
Motion Sickness Of Time Travel
Rachel Evans, who appears alongside husband Grant under the Quiet Evenings name, steps out in spectacular fashion on this superb self-titled effort under the Motion Sickness Of Time Travel moniker. In this case, the artist's reach has most definitely not exceeded her grasp, as the release is a consistently stunning affair, something that especially impresses when one considers that its four pieces are all in the twenty- to twenty-five-minute range. It's a challenge for an artist to sustain an inordinately high level of imagination and invention in a track of conventional length but to repeatedly do so for twenty minutes at a time is remarkable. The approach complements the vinyl format perfectly, of course, as each side features a single epic only.
Given that Motion Sickness Of Time Travel appears on Spectrum Spools, it doesn't surprise that the album offers a deep and heady exercise in synthesizer music. It's considerably more than the next in a recent string of synth-based recordings, however, as Evans gives as much attention to the tracks' compositional design as their sound. Each setting evolves in natural manner, its mutations gradually developing logically and unfolding patiently. Incremental builds bring the listener to transcendent levels, especially when the layers accumulate and form oceanic pools of propulsive force and energy. Even better, Evans accomplishes all of this while also making the material as accessible as could be imagined for music of this kind. Harmonious and immersive, the listener surrenders to the music's crystalline flow rather than steels him/herself for the next abrasive jolt of noise.
In general, Evans opts for a radiant sound that's bright and airy, one teeming with addictive melodies and spacious atmosphere. In a typical piece, synthetic pulsations and Evan's ethereal murmur filter in and out of the reverberant haze, lulling the listener with its hypnotic drift as they do so. “The Center” grows ever more seductive as it unspools, especially at the twenty-minute mark when the material is as its most serene and celestial, while the stripped-down third piece (side three, if you prefer), “Summer of the Cat's Eye,” dials the intensity down for a slow-motion exercise in becalmed moodscaping. The final side, “One Perfect Moment,” shakes us out of our reverie with a series of shimmering swirls before plunging us into a Popol Vuh-styled sound-world. As arresting as the material is on purely sonic grounds, what's most striking about the recording is the seemingly effortless control that Evans demonstrates throughout its ninety-one-minute running time.Motion Sickness Of Time Travel isn't the first solo release from Evans, who since 2009 has built up a fairly large discography under the name. Often issued in a cassette format, many of the recordings have appeared on her own Hooker Vision label as well as on Digitalis, which issued Seeping Through the Veil of the Unconscious in 2010 and Luminaries and Synastries a year later. But, at the risk of reading too much into it, it seems right that the new one is self-titled, given how definitive a portrait it appears to be.