Dolphins Into The Future, aka Lieven Martens Moana is a closely thought-out project that expresses its creator’s experiences through field recordings and songs, each presented with a varying degree of treatments. These pieces, first available in a myriad of other ways, are here compiled onto a private press LP in an edition of only 170.
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- Songs Of Gold, Incandescent by Dolphins Into The Future / Lieven Martens Moana
8/10 Robin Staff review, 30 June 2015
Lieven Martens Moana -- that’s Mr. Dolphins, to you -- has made a lot of very special ambient music over the years, a kind that envisions synthesis as a part of nature. Listening to a great number of Moana’s tracks will involve the listener in aquatic field recordings and kosmische synths, married under a lo-fi limelight. Submerged together, these differently created sounds feel one in the same, and it’s impressive that even on a collection of disparate rarities like ‘Songs of Gold, Incandescent’, that Moana’s music can describe a whole ecosystem.
‘Songs of Gold’ is not a conceptual record, though each track was “derived by an encounter with an object, a place or a person” -- so if there is a theme, it’s that a bunch of stuff happened around Moana and he recorded it. Many of these tracks merely observe fluid environments, such as opener “Culatra Island”, which offers specks of synth over a watery recording. Some songs interact with recordings of animals, while others collate the voices and movements of locals in the towns Moana visits; on “Sweeten the Mango”, a choir sings, drums rattle and church bells ring, each placed together like vignettes of a sepia toned home.
The most intriguing work on ‘Songs of Gold’ is the more electronically prevalent, with the swirling atmospherics of “Grottelle” lending Moana’s observations (here, seeing a rich woman snorkelling) their fly-on-the-wall anonymity. Two piercing compositions that make up the end of side A and part of side B stand out -- the former is rhythmic and pulsating, while the latter, symbolic of a volcanic eruption, merely boils with terror, getting louder and more disastrous. Hearing this pure gesture of sound is a different kind of impact from Moana’s work collecting sound testimonials (be they from locals or those whom he disparagingly describe as “white dreadlocked hippies”), and when you put together both approaches, you’ve got an extremely diverse record -- and one that’s wonderfully nauseating to experience through headphones.
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