Finally on CD for the first time, this "special edition" Greinke classic was digitally remastered and
includes the twelve tracks from the original + three other exclusive tracks.
Track listing including MP3 samples:
Suspended in Darkness
Fallacy of Peace in Our Time
A Dank Place
Spoken With Authority
Travelling Secrets *bonus*
The Well *bonus*
"Top 20 of 1998."
--Eric Meece / Mystic Music / KKUP Radio
"Originally issued in 1987, this album of crepuscular ambience, Zoviet-
France-like rhythmic trance-outs and sanctified drones shows why Greinke
has become a mainstay in dark-ambient circles."
"Jeff Greinke's Places of Motility is a re-issue on Hypnos, previously
only available on a German imprint and long out of print. This new,
remastered release includes three previously unreleased tracks from 1988,
complementing the 12 originals from 1985-86. The mood here is dark, indeed
quite menacing at times. Some use is made of strangled, gutteral voice
samples. The opening track, "Uprising", sets the tone with busy percussive
patterns and whoops - a mock tribal rebellion brewing? The rest of the
original tracks present assorted drones, groans and muffled rhythmic
patterns. On the whole, it feels like a collection of stylistic studies of
various shades of darkness and dissonance - Robert Rich territory - before
the artist gained the headier heights of his near-perfect, airier work
_Changing Skies_ in 1990. The three bonus tracks from 1988 attached to this
re-release seem indicative of this change in course. Be that as it may,
_Places of Motility_ will surely please both fans of Greinke´s work and
lovers of dark ambient alike."
Ambient Mailing List
"A re-release of some of this electronic artist's best period."
"Jeff Greinke is one of the masters of dark, hypnotic electronic minimalism. He has been performing in that style since the mid-'80s, long before it was fashionable.
He recorded Places of Motility in 1986 and released it in 1987 on Dossier Records. Mike Griffin remastered it in 1999 and released it on the Hypnos Recordings label. Greinke added three tracks from 1988 for the reissue. This is a deep set full of experimental sounds and techniques.
Greinke took some cues from the avant-garde recordings of Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros, and Mother Mallard and added his own unique processing touches, wide-open atmospheres, and low drones. The resultant soundscape is dark and ominous. This CD is very similar to the minimalist works of Lustmord, Alio Die, Mathias Grassow, and Vidna Obmana.
For all fans of dark minimalism, this is essential. Casual fans might find it interesting as well."
--Jim Brenholts, All Music Guide
"Jeff Greinke doesn't make notably accessible music and this collection of
pieces are as musically adventurous as you're going to find anywhere.
When it comes to Jeff's music, I walk a line between fascination and
bewilderment. However, an artist as experimental and ambitious as he is
deserves serious examination. Recorded in 1987 and re-released this year
by Hypnos with four new tracks, Places of Motility remains an
album of power and mystery. It's not for the timid, though.
On Places of Motility, Jeff plays electronics, guitar, piano, wood
flutes and plastic tubes (?), as well as voice and "processing." The
first cut, "Uprising," features a very fast tribal tempo sound (I do
mean fast!) with lots of weird synth effects in the background, especially
some distorted vocal effects that are chilling at times. Synth washes in
the background add still another disquieting element to the music.
"Suspended in Darkness" is much darker (hence the title) and more ambient
in nature. One area where Jeff Grienke excels is in his layering of
echoed effects in the background (my favorite release of his, In
Another Place, is the literal model for atmospheric textures). Many
of his songs actually have more interesting stuff going on in the
background. What comes to mind for me, at times, as I listen to this music,
is the image of a huge expanse of wall that is strangely alive, pulsing and
morphing stand before it mesmerized.
The tracks on this recording are quite varied, smoe having a rhythmic
element, others being free-floating. All are quite dark, though. Here is
a great release to play on the porch on Halloween for trick-or-treaters
(the theory being that music this creepy will scare off the kiddies, leaving
all the Milky Way bars for you!).
Seriously, Jeff Greinke is a visionary. His music is comprised of ultra-
mysterious soundscapes and alien vistas. Drones, percussive effects, and
dissonant sound collages all work together to create an experience that can
be equal parts hauntingly beautiful and terrifyingly spooky. If you enjoy
subtle variety with your dark ambient music, or if you have never experienced
ambient music a la Greinke, this would be a great place to start. Personally,
I suggest leaving the lights on for the first listen, though. Unless it's
Halloween, of course."
--Wind and Wire
"A CD reissue for this atmospheric classic, where listeners of all
EM tastes should find something of interest in this CD and committed
fans of this man's music will find it to be a worthy companion to all
his other early-period releases."
--CD Services newsletter (Scotland)
"Established and well-recognized ambient composer Jeff Greinke, via Seattle's (sic)
Hypnos Recordings has again reshaped his previously recorded tracks and presented
them to the world as Places of Motility. The moody dreamscapes emanate
dark, almost foreboding images as the melancholic ambient soundscapes float across
the horizon, transcending earthly bodies, rising gently into the atmosphere. Most
of the intricately developed tracks are beatless sound expanses, allowing the
enigmatic rhythms and structured synthetic choruses to scientifically create the
shape of the album. Intense instrumentals like "Fallacy," "A Dank Place" and
"Traveling Secrets" move unhindered through elaborate labyrinths. Purebred
--DIGITAL ARTIFACT magazine
"Traveling to the past to reclaim some of Jeff Greinke's work from
1985-1988, Places of Motility provides a listen to some of the artist's
early experimental (and quite surreal) works.
Greinke's core fans will likely be most interested in this rerelease,
containing 12 tracks from the original 1987 Dossier recording, plus three
previously unreleased cuts. Newcomers may not get as much from these
Places, and would be advised to seek some of Greinke's more recent
works (unless they're specifically looking for some fairly weird sounds,
as opposed to smooth, peaceful ambience).
Most of the tracks feature an edgy murkiness, not simply attributable
to working with aged master tapes. The darkness is inherent in these
sounds, and the experimentation leans toward the mad scientist school
of sound deformation. Fragmented and electronically altered voice
snippets are often heard amongst the twisting strains of synth and
electronic sound effects.
For instance: Hazy distortions, strange, frantic bamboo-like drumming
and long synthtones add fuel to the spirited uprising
where burbling wells of electrons rise and distant crashes intrude.
Randomly strummed strings are suspended in darkness,
where animalistic growls and a long, continually oscillating strand
of sound are heard.
Varied materials lead to a wide range of sound and mood; a buzzingly
electronic undercurrent runs through centuries passed,
whereas a dank place is built upon constant, muffled
piano cyclings, and the short (2:12) swayed relies
on distant, yet resounding synth chords. An almost bovine lowing
accompanies the quirky bass rhythm of dropped, which
is joined by many other hissing, warbling and oscillating noises.
The afore mentioned vocal snippets come in different forms as well;
straightforward samples, and wildly mutated cries, are at the heart
of the disturbing Fallacy, intermingling with its
loping guitar rhythm. The voices in unfamiliar voices
though are only of the nasty beast variety, snarling through the
otherwise trancey synth backdrop. spoken with authority
is notable for the demanding, alien-tongued voices; between the
hypnotic background rhythm, it sounds as if you're being violently
ordered about by a pissed-off extraterrestrial.
Interestingly, the final two tracks (of the three from 1988),
the well (POM's long runner at 5:15) and cirrus
, are notably more mellow (and the most ear-friendly),
adrift in a more soothing sonic soup, indicative of things to come
in Greinke's progression.
Places of Motility is a varied and interesting, if slightly challenging,
collection. Not only for its historic glimpses, I rate it with One Thumb Up. "
--David Opdyke / The AmbiEntrance
"Originally released in 1987 on the Dossier label, Places of Motility
is the last of Jeff Greinke's early LPs to be reissued
in CD format. Remastered by Hypnos founder Mike Griffin
with the addition of several previously unreleased tracks,
Places of Motility represents some of Greinke's most
daring and original work.
The vast diversity of this album can be gleaned from just the
first few tracks. "Uprising" starts off the album with pounding
tribal rhythms, followed by "Suspended in Darkness," with its
cacophony of synthesizers and what sound like bowed strings.
"Centuries Past" begins with the spacious sound of plastic tubing
played as a woodwind, mechanical rhythms later making their
way into the mix. "Billowing Smoke" is darkly atmospheric, while
"Fallacy" ventures into more experimental territory, with spoken-word
cut-ups and abstract sounds. The remainder of the album works with these
ideas and more.
At the end of this edition come the three previously unreleased tracks.
Recorded in 1988, they refine some of the themes of the original work.
"Travelling Secrets" bubbles with interesting sounds while "The Well"
and "Cirrus" enter more atmospheric territory. Though representing a
wide range of styles and ideas, the tracks on this album are held
together by the dark, smoky atmospheres that only Greinke can create.
Places of Motility is an impressive body of work that was far ahead
of its time."
(Rated **** out of 5 stars)
Ujamaa's Ambient Experience
"Greinke is one of the better sound explorers on the scene today. This album
reminds me at times of Hassell's Fourth World forays, though it may need to
be pointed out that Greinke on this album does not play trumpet, instead
his instruments are the piano, wood flutes, pvc tubings, guitar and above
all the studio, to reprocess what he has recorded. There are some
incredibly dark moments on this album, but unlike a lot of dark ambient
music these are interesting textures and patterns of sound which keep you
captivated by their sonic power. Originally released back in 1987, this has
been remastered digitally by Mike Griffin at Hypnos. What you get are
fifteen tracks of mostly slow moving themes, atmospherically charged,
haunting textures that seem to change with every new act of listening.
Stylistically Greinke crosses several genres, those being ambient,
industrial and at times world. This production is a lot rawer in parts than
his later releases but keep in mind the technology and studio possibilities
were different back then. Still his use of layering and the way he
processes sounds is quite unique and ultimately this is an album I have got
a lot of time for. It's not a pretty album per se, like a Steve Roach or
Brian Eno cd might be, but there is an edge to this music that allows
Greinke to create what he terms a sense of place, and ultimately this is
what draws me to his music."
Ambient Mailing List
"Ambient atmospheres and noise with rhythm. These are some
of the finer soundscapes, up with Vidna Obmana, Steve Roach
and Raison D'Etre in my ears. 'Billowing Smoke' has a bleak,
ominous sound that could go on forever. A pensive, eerie
bassline burrows beneath 'Dropped', while moans of sound
permeate above it. Soft tones fall from 'The Well', which
gave me pause, in where I had to bury my face in my hands
in order to guard myself against any bright light."
CKMS Radio, Ontario, Canada
"To describe Jeff Greinke as fourth world ambient, might be very much
true. To describe this CD in similar terms, is absolutely wrong. This
most welcome reissue of an early LP (the last one to be re-issued),
released in 1987, sees Greinke experimenting with synths, rhythms and
tapes. Plus the usual instrumentation of piano, wood flutes and voices.
This is not the early nineties ambient blur, but takes it way beyond:
more experimental, but with great care for the various moods. It carries
some trademarks which makes it a bit dated (partly in some of keyboards
being played), but the good thing is that the tracks are relatively
short and to the point (and that's something that is most welcome nowadays)."
--Frans DeWaard, Vital E-Zine, The Netherlands