This Binary Universe is a new release from the artist known internationally as BT. The CD is packaged with a DVD featuring all the compositions of the new release in DTS 5.1 Surround and illustrated by a distinguished collection of the finest computer artists and animators in the world today. The DVD collaboration of composer and animators is more than a bonus animated version of the CD tracks. It is a genuine unification of music and visuals; a stand-alone artwork pushing the limits of available technology in sound engineering and computer-generated art.
BT's This Binary Universe
is really a follow-up to his 2004 soundtrack to Monster
, a brilliant work of cinematic moods and ambient Americana. It was unjustly ignored by both the Oscars and the Grammys, where it should have at least been nominated for Best Surround Sound Recording. None of that has stopped Brian Transeau from going further down this path of expansive ambient electronica that takes him out of the techno-pop and trance direction he had been pursuing. This Binary Universe
taps into BT's classical side, with expansive arrangements and intricate, albeit minimalist, thematic development. From the opening of "All That Makes Us Human Continues," BT reveals himself as a master of Eno-esque melancholy, as simple melodies evolve through an electro-orchestral instrumental palette. Lounge jazz with solos in the key of abstract, plaintive arpeggiated guitars, electro marches, minimalist hymns, and pastoral dreamscapes drive an album that seeks out joy and redemption, but not without traveling through the dark. The last track, "Good Morning Kaia," is a paean to his newborn daughter, and the most purely anthemic track on the disc.
I suspect the real raison d'être
of This Binary Universe
is the accompanying 5:1 surround DVD. BT creates an immersive space that's less sonic pinball and more audio sculpture, often revealing different aspects of his music than in the stereo mix. Each song on the DVD has a unique video that includes antique robots, surreal landscape drawings, live action fantasies, and abstract designs. It's the best way to experience this music, but whether you watch the DVD or tune into the stereo CD, This Binary Universe
may be the first ambient symphony of the 21st century. --John Diliberto