Jeff Greinke - Places of Motility
Artist: Jeff Greinke
Title: Places of Motility
Label: Hypnos Recordings
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*
Purchase direct for $8.99
Reviews"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."
--Stephen Fruitman, 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 imagination!"
--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)
--Eric Prindle 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."
--Hans Stoeve, 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."
--Jeremy Pfohl, 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