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Distance

4.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 14, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Marconi Union is a reclusive electronic duo from Manchester, England. Their sound has been described as "a post rock cinematic orchestra." Distance, their first U.S. release, is unique, individual and timeless, fusing acoustic sounds, strings and pianos with electronica, post-rock guitars and even occasional nods towards jazz and dub. Described by the band as "a soundtrack to a film that has not yet been made," listening to Distance evokes the feeling of being driven silently around an unknown city at night, observing the activity and life of the urban sprawl in safety and isolation.

Amazon.com

What goes around comes around ambient. That's the message from a third generation of electronica artists who were just leaving the womb when Brian Eno's early works were being diffused in the 1970s. They were barely teens when the Orb rolled forth in the '90s. But new artists like Boards of Canada, the Album Leaf, and Explosions in the Sky are taking those early ambient primers and adding geometries of glitch and dream guitar to the mix, creating a melodic brand of ethereal music with an edge. Marconi Union, a Manchester duo, follow suit on a CD that travels in cinematic melancholy and textural malaise. Their songs build slowly, emerging out of a flattened landscape of static and stillness to attain a quietly triumphal beauty. Percussion is almost subliminal in journeys that pulse more than groove. It sometimes gets ominous, with an ostinato bass growl prowling through a Blade Runner landscape on "Inter." But usually they generate a quiet awe, like the slow build of "Sleepless." Expect to hear tracks from Distance in soundtracks and commercials near you soon. --John Diliberto

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Sleepless
  2. These European Cities
  3. Through Glass
  4. Buildings and People
  5. Suburb 27
  6. Inter
  7. A Temporary Life


Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 14, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: All Saints
  • ASIN: B000AY2JPU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,982 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Marconi Union Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I first heard Marconi Union on the recent All Saints Records compilation CD Compounds and Elements and was so impressed with their track that I went out and bought their album. Having owned it barely a week I'm already a committed fan, they really seem to have added something to what I had felt for a while was becoming a bit of a cliche ridden genre of music.

What I really like is the fact that they have so smoothly added a number of other elements to the ambient sound such as IDM and dub rhythms, with occasional guitars etc. in a way that will equally appeal to fans of The Aphex Twin as well as Brian Eno.

If you like classic ambient music and bands like the Boards of Canada then you really should give this a listen.
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Format: Audio CD
At the end of the previous century, Brian Eno's genius, expressed through his various ambient works, set an insurmountable barrier for those that they chose to follow his pattern. To put it bluntly, he set a standard that nobody managed even to come near to. (Maybe his brother came close, but he was still lacking Brian's imagination and mood to discover).

All these until Marconi Union and their Distance work. Dreamy atmosphere, almost psychoanalytic, moving in all senses. A perfect link to Eno's Music For Films sequel. A perfect step towards ambient fulfillment.

It is really hopeful that such groups exist and needless to say, we are truly looking forward to their next work.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There is an exhange of energy that takes place for me when I listen to Distance. Not only do I experience de-stressing and decompression, there also comes a palpable energy transfer while listening to these selections.

The first step in the transfer is the way Distance draws the toxicity of my day out of me, leaving me pleasantly drained. The second step of the process, then, is how the movement within each track subtly softens and salves the chisel-bitten edges of my consciousness. In the third step, as fresh fluid trickles in, I am refilled and renewed.

After a day of dying little, moment-by-moment deaths, Distance breathes life back into me, slowly, slowly, and almost imperceptibly.

If you have ragged edges, if you have wounds, this can be a balm for you.
2 Comments 16 of 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Marconi Union's Distance album is a warm embrace of ambient textures with drifting melodies and haunting memories filled with dreamy longings. If you can't sleep, put this in your CD player/stereo and climb into a warm bath. The music is well suited to relaxation, reading late at night or simply dissolving into a memorable mood.

"Through Glass" is more sensuous, while "Buildings and People" has a more luminous trajectory with the feeling that a city has been left completely empty, it is almost haunting in beauty. "A Temporary Life" has shy jazz flourishes, but overall seems to be melting into the night.

The urban moods build on each other until you feel completely relaxed. This album has hints of places you like to be and it seems to call you to distant locations where you'd like to spend more time dreaming.

~The Rebecca Review
2 Comments 21 of 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By TR707 on January 23, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Nice Album! Very peaceful textures that are perfect for relaxing/Yoga/Meditation etc. I would not consider this New Age, it's more modern Ambient with some modern electronics. There are quite a bit of interesting sounds here even guitars. The product description here says: "a Manchester duo, follow suit on a CD that travels in cinematic melancholy and textural malaise. Their songs build slowly, emerging out of a flattened landscape of static and stillness to attain a quietly triumphal beauty. Percussion is almost subliminal in journeys that pulse more than groove" I think that is a very good way of describing this album. Good Stuff.
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Format: Audio CD
Marconi Union's album [Distance] is definately the soundtrack to the year 2020. This classic ambient feel (of Brian Eno) is brought into the 21st century perfectly. The subtleties of many different styles are infused into this gentle & rhythmic cruise through the city at night. You can feel the lights of the future around you;the electric, vibrant colored billboards, the half lights of the industry, the soft glows of windows on the ocean side. I recommend this album to fans of ambience and artists like Eno, Cliff Martinez (the Solaris, Traffic, Wicker Park soundtracks), Royksopp, Eric Serra (5th Element, Goldeneye, The Professional, + other soundtracks), HUVA Network, Solar Fields, Aes Dana, Aphex Twin, the Orb, Orbital, Moby, and many other artists of the like.
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Format: Audio CD
When I first got this, I dimissed it as minimalist noodling. Now, weeks later, it is one of my favorite selections on my ipod. This grows on you. You can't bring any preconceptions to it and you have to let it work its magic on you. Try it as background when you are driving during rush hour, try it with some good headphones, try it when you want to chill out. This is understated, yes, but put together with skill and intelligence. Very good, quiet ambient pieces.
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Format: Audio CD
According to the dotca.co.uk Web site, "Distance" was conceived as a sort of soundtrack to a nighttime journey through an urban environment in the safe isolation of an automobile. The music is soft and the arrangements are sparse. The instrumentation is mostly guitar and electronic keyboards, other than the saxophone on the final track "A Temporary Life." The music is built on the typical ambient foundations - repeated loops, washes of sound, and so forth.

The appropriately named opening track "Sleepless" is deceptively gentle, but as you listen more closely you realize that beneath the calm surface there is also a restless, anxious edge to the track. "Distance" strikes a balance between sustaining a mood and employing melodies. A good example of this is "These European Cites." At first it seems to be nothing more than a gentle loop with synthesizer swells, but halfway through a beautiful melody (played on a guitar) is added.

Listening to Distance is pure pleasure. It would be hard to pick a favorite track because the effect of each track is cumulative. As for comparisons (always a risky business), fans of Brian Eno (it's released on his All Saints label) and Harold Budd would probably find Marconi Union enjoyable as well.
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