**1/2 Alpha Stone
Most electronica sounds as if its
makers were jacked up on crank; this album's a tasty little barbiturate, full
of fuzzy edges and vocals that drone on in their own little netherworld.
Headtripping is the ambition of British partners Pete Bassman and Pete Prince,
who hit their mark using a combination of programmed sounds and manually
tweaked organica including six- and 12-string and steel guitars, theremin,
bass, and drums. The mix puts the colors of their sonic palette in orbit:
circling with a sense of relaxed cosmic dignity, creeping from side to side,
swirling like galaxies through a telescope lens. The beats are slower, more
heartlike, than the usual dance-floor hyperventilations of the genre. Think of
This Mortal Coil with rhythm. But damned if it's clear what any of the songs
with lyrics are about -- unless you accept the whole CD as an invitation to let
your brain ooze to another plane.