Tyranny of the Sphere
This debut album from Raleigh's instrumental mood purveyors, Starmount, was culled from three sessions at Desolation Row Recording, and released in October 2009 on the Superfan label. Tyranny of the Sphere is an extremely well crafted portrait of four veteran musicians learning together to express themselves in new and vital ways. The emphasis is on composition, interplay, arrangement, and the nuance of sonic interaction. Often simultaneously familiar and other-worldly, meshing the experimental with the traditional, and always cinematic in scope, Starmount's compositions (it's fine to call them songs) arrive at originality not so much through invention as through thoughtful re-examination. In other words, these guys operate more as enlightened sound miners with kaleidoscopic headlamps than as philosophers or style-mongers. Though Starmount can humbly float in a universe alongside the stars they admire with names like Eno, Can, Tortoise and Morricone, they sound like none of these. Starmount is comfortable being, and sounding like, Starmount. Any fan of thoughtful, evocative, instrumental music should find ample reward in listening to the ten tracks that comprise Tyranny of the Sphere.