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This Binary Universe

4.3 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 29, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. All That Makes Us Human Continues
  2. Dynamic Symmetry
  3. The Internal Locus
  4. 1.618
  5. See You On The Other Side
  6. The Antikythera Mechanism
  7. Good Morning Kaia

Disc: 2

  1. All That Makes Us Human Continues [Music Video]
  2. Dynamic Symmetry [Music Video]
  3. The Internal Locus [Music Video]
  4. 1.618 [Music Video]
  5. See You On The Other Side [Music Video]
  6. The Antikythera Mechanism [Music Video]
  7. Good Morning Kaia [Music Video]

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 29, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Digital Sound
  • ASIN: B000G8OZ16
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,824 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
If you come into This Binary Universe expecting a rehash of the utterly disappointing, yet mainstream friendly Emotional Technology, you're going to be disappointed. If all you want is generic trance and electronic-pop music, then look elsewhere.

Serious music fans, however, owe it to themselves to pick up BT's latest and greatest CD. Written mostly as a collection of lullabies for his daughter, Kaia, I can only describe it as majestic, unsurpassed beauty in musical form.

The sticker on the CD case contains the following quote:

" could well be studied as the first major electronic work of the new Millennium. It's that good.", Stephen Fortner, Keyboard Magazine

Stephen Fortner is not lying.

This record is a work of art. It's a masterpiece. It's a gift to everyone from one of the most innovative musicians working today and I feel blessed to have heard it and being allowed to share in something so obviously personal.

Never before has a record taken me through such a range of emotions; from pure elation and happiness, to deep, reflective sadness. It's the type of record that can give you hope - it's that remarkable.

"1.618" is so absurdly beautiful it doesn't seem like something that could even be created by a simple human being. "See You On The Other Side" is melancholy, yet so full of hope. The grand scope of "The Anhtkythera Mechanism" is nothing short of mindblowing, but it was the last track on the album that did it.

It was the first song to ever make me weep.

"Good Morning Kaia" is the single most beautiful piece of music I have ever experienced in all the years I have been alive.
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Format: Audio CD
I'll say right off the bat that I'm sure there will be people who purchase this album thinking it is a lot like his previous releases. I'm here to let you know that it isn't anything like those works in terms of feel, tempo, etc. This release from BT has more of an electronic-melodic-jazzy-classical-ambient-minimal feel to it. The songs range around 10 minutes in length so the 30 second clips don't really give you much to get an idea of what this album has to offer.

If you want a dance album then I would say that you would want to hold off until BT releases his next work. Apparently, he has recorded (other work too more than likely) with DJ Tiesto (Brian sings on a track called "Break My Fall"). I believe he's recording a follow up to his "Emotional Technology" album as well, which he's pretty far into. This is how I understand his current project schedule based off what I've read. I'm not sure what the content will be overall with that release. Regardless, to the people who are wondering when he'll release something dance orientated... its coming.

So, back to the album... BT is a producer at heart so he's showing his versatility even more with this album. If you are familiar his previous works then you'll know that he's also done film scores (Stealth, The Fast and the Furious, Monster, etc.) and worked with other artists as well such as Peter Gabriel or The Roots. This CD touches more on his ambient-melodic side and he puts all that he's known/learned over the years into use. This music is like a journey you go on through a lot of places and feelings before getting back to where you were originally. Each track has a different feel to it so nothing really sounds like the previous track.
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Format: Audio CD
BT or Brian Transeau is a longtime dance music artist by now, He released "IMA" in 1995 and the big break "ESCM" 2 years later that was a mix between ambient and commerical eletro-house and techno-pop. "Flaming June" for example was a club hit. By the years things have changed a little though, "Emotional Technology" was in a more progressive direction and the soundtrack to Charlize Theron's film "Monster" was ambient film music. With highly anticipated "The Binary Universe" there is only 7 songs but they all are long and meliodic ambient. For those of you that wanted another highly accessable and commercial "Flaming June" you will get dissapointed, this album is non-commercial, Kind of like Moby's last one, but BT is superior to Moby when it comes to release dreamy and meliodic ambient music, but For those of you that own "ESCM" and liked songs like "Orbitus Terranum", you are gonna love this album. "Binary Universe" is very exprimental, with more cinemographic sounds that could have been from another soundtrack. It's also exprimental, in the sense that loads of diffrent sounds are squezed into the diffrent songs, kind of like Avant-Garde Jazz or early Pink Floyd that squezed several pieces of songs into every number. Infact there is lots of melancholy jazz on this album, electro, orchestral and classic pieces. It's not very accesable, in the sense that none of the songs are made for the charts and all of the songs are long and often change rhythm or melody through the song. BT is just following his heart, exprimenting further and "going back to his roots" with some classical music which he played as a kid.Read more ›
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