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Surface Of Eceon

Surface of Eceon is an all-star collaboration of sorts, featuring players in several of today's foremost explorers of the galaxy's furthest sonic reaches, including guitarist Dick Baldwin, bassist Daron Gardner, and guitarist/synth artist Aaron Snow, who make up three/quarters of the Middletown, CT-based narcotic sound forge known as Landing, guitarist Adam Forkner of Portland-based dream painters Yume Bitsu, and percussionist Phil Jenkins, who comes from uncharted lands. Enthusiasts of more terrene musical styles may feel initially unmoored by Surface of Eceon's floating, atmospheric instrumentalism, but soon the bliss of the lighter-than-air experience will set in. The band's celestial improvisation generates an exotic and revelatory sensation of well-being that suggests the feeling of watching from outer space as day breaks over the gorgeous green and blue marble three doors down from the sun. Since you and I are not astronauts and are unlikely to savor that particular experience in our lives, we'll have to settle for the musical marvel of Surface of Eceon.

The first fruit of this sensational collaboration came in late 2001 in the form of The King Beneath the Mountain. The title references "The Grasshopper King" (of the album's third track) who, according to the liner notes, rules the "Surface of Eceon," a land "beyond the outer reaches of Dryystn," where "time and energy are blurred into a beautiful landscape of sound and action." While this brief, whimsical mythology might sound like the byproduct of a little too much Herbert or Heinlein or Ursula K. LeGuin, it nonetheless provides a delightful context for the phantasmagorical musical delights within. The King Beneath the Mountain contains six torpid, improvisation-driven inquiries into the hidden secrets of the cosmos, including the featured "Deep Gray Night," a mellow effects-laden wash of synths, layered guitars, and surf-like percussion that feels like a slow trip through the murky nocturnal waters of a distant planet.