Paradox One - Reality Quake

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Neurosis Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 39:23:00

This release by Scotland's Paradox One (or, essentially, one Phil Jackson) is mostly an instrumental affair, where in a few spots there are vocalizations. Reality Quake is a 4 track album of music, where two of those tracks are multi-movement suites based upon science-fiction works. In the first, "Urbmon 116," synths bubble and chirp spiritedly in relating this piece based upon the Robert Silverberg book The World Inside (1971). There is one passage that sounds very MIDI like?what it sounds like to me is what BBC's Radiophonics Workshop used to produce for (at least) the incidental scores for such things as Dr. Who. In fact, there are vague, and perhaps unintentional, echoes of the very theme from that classic British sci-fi series which aired from 1963-1987 (roughly) ? but, for most listeners, MIDI is something more of you may be aware of than the highly synthesized theme music. About the suite Jackson writes, "Urbmon 116 (or more precisely Urbmon Monad 116) is the name of the 1000 storey high tower block in the [?] Silverberg novel [?] this track tells the story of Michael Statler's escape and of the ultimate futility of his search for truth and meaning outside the controlled environment of his 'home'"

The second piece is called "Crompton Divided" and is based upon Robert Sheckley's 1978 book of the same name. The 13-plus minute track is made up of 6 chapters lasting between 1:07 (the section called "Reality Quake") and 3:30 (the closing segment "Loomis The Hedonist").

Arthur C Clarke is paid homage in "Kinderscreen (Scenes From Childhood)" as he uses fragments of the BBC radio play of Clark's novel Childhood's End, using as the musical basis a piece composed by Robert Schuman in 1838 with embellishments by Jackson. While orchestrated, the digital organ is just a tad on the cold side, and I think real strings would have enlivened the track a little bit, but the performance is quite good. This gives way to breathy, expansive keyboards that are rather moody, if somewhat reflective. If you listen to any of the modern synthesists - Kevin Braheny, for example, or Jonn Serrie or even, some latter period Tangerine Dream, you'll have a good idea of what this sounds like. Synths slowly undulate, like air blown on a large swath of silk.

In between we get the funky "The End Of All Things" which, as the credits notes, "includes a short excerpt from "Waves Across The Ocean" by Banshee (1975). This is a rave up that made me think of Steve Winwood's keyboards whilst in The Spencer Davis group?in fact, it has a feel of the intro to "Gimme Some Lovin'" without ever quite getting there.

Before you realize it, the disk has ended - the whole album lasts 39:23. Overall it is a nice debut, if a little cold. You can't entirely relax to it, as there are those spoken word parts that are distracting - not in a bad way, mind you, but you find yourself wanting to know what it's all about - passages from the books, or unrelated but relevant utterings, or what. The words are printed on the reverse of the sleeve, of course.

Urbmon 116: Part One (4:35) - Part Two (5:13) - Part 3 (3:34) - Part 4 (3:58) / Crompton Divided: Surrealistic Dungeons Of The Mind (1:56) - Psychosmell (2:04) - Reality Quake (1:07) - Crompton Divided (1:44) - Dan The Man (3:26) - Loomis The Hedonist (3:30) / The End Of All Things (4:35) / Kinderscenen (Scenes From Childhood) (4:46)

Phil Jackson - everything

Reality Quake (2001)
Dimension In Miracles (2002)
Escalators To Mars (2003)
Alternate Reality (2004)
Inventing Stars (2007)

Genre: Electronic

Origin UK

Added: April 25th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 687
Language: english


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