[Reviewed by stark]
Rapoon’s affair with Zoharum is in full swing. A little longer and it will begin to resemble a rather old, but harmonious marriage, which can’t even be bothered by the cheating of one of the parties from time to time (eventually Rapoon is so prolific that a lot of material is being released on other labels). A silly metaphor, but what the hell…
With this amount of music it’s obvious there are better and worse productions. Or rather those that may fit more or less to my taste; because each time we can assume with a high degree of probability that in terms of technical execution and production, mishaps should not be expected with such a fox as Robin Storey. In “Fall Of Drums” case my personal truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Zoharum releases a lot of reissues, but this happens to be new material, although it maintains the good old recognizable style of Rapoon: that ruled by blurry ambient textures lined with an atmosphere of Middle Eastern secrecy. Also, this album instead of “fall” should probably be called “Triumph Of Drums”, as drums drive the three of the four compositions. On the other hand we can speak… not so much about the fall, but of the deconstruction of their sound, like in the third track “Upstairs And Sheep” where the rhythmic part seems asymmetrical, cut, and – I believe – recorded backwards. Which doesn’t diminish its trance-like properties.
In the first composition the drum sequences are apparently closest to tradition, while in the subsequent “Beneath And Beyond” we deal with a mesmeric Rapoon, very oriental and yet still, suspended in the air like heat over Baghdad. However, all three pieces described so far are at most a warm-up before the more than half-hour long, multi-threaded “The Heat Beguiles”, which begins with a rhythm pressed in the background and looped samples of a woman chanting, drowning over time in a sea of reverb. And then silence. Intermittent by music parings, accidentally floating in the air. Over time, the gaps between the sounds are getting narrower and the rhythmic layer once again comes to the fore, bravely assisted by vocal samples. The whole doesn’t get more dynamic, by all means – it’s still leisured, oneiric and very “Rapoonish”.
Robin has recorded at least a few albums that struck me more intensely. I definitely prefer it when the rhythmics are present in a residual amount, or are totally gone. A matter of taste, of course, because compositionally and technically speaking it’s still a piece of professional work that Rapoon fans should sip like pelicans, and even ordinary ambient music lovers can easily take an interest in it and spend a few nice moments with “Fall Of Drums”.