Outward, second in the FOUNDRY EP SERIES, is the first EM solo release since 2001's All the Stars Burning Bright. In many ways Outward begins where All the Stars Burning Bright leaves off, providing a restatement of, or more precisely, an alternative take on the same conceptual arc. Michael Bentley, who records under the name EM, explains. 'There are certainly parallels between All the Stars Burning Bright and Outward, but with this suite I made different choices in terms of compositional approach and sound palette. The first section (From the Earth) is anchored in Earth sounds (animals, insects, earthquakes) though it includes a reiteration of one of the themes from All the Stars Burning Bright as well as man-made radio signals. The middle section (Across the Milky Way) is centered around highly processed non-terrestrial sounds (satellite telemetry, etc.) and a numerically derived melodic sequence. The last section (Beyond the Magellanic Clouds) utilizes hypnotic and percussive repetition to imply the infinity that lies beyond what we have explored. And while I used exterior references for the titling (a nod to years of interest in such things), for me Outward expresses something rather interior, the movement from within the individual towards interaction and understanding the immensity of the outside world.' Outward is an intriguing addition to EM's body of work, presenting an engrossing soundscape that draws on ideas from ambient, experimental and modern academic music.
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