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Land

Hazard

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Album Review

In 2001-2002, B.J. Nilsen toured Europe and Montreal as part of a Touch label showcase which also included Fennesz and Biosphere. During these concerts he continued to play with Chris Watson's wind recordings, the base material for his 2001 CD Wind, released under his moniker Hazard. Land organizes excerpts from these performances into a suite that works like an extension of that fabulous album. It is not "Wind Live" so to speak, even though the music presents strong similarities with its predecessor — enough to make this album slightly redundant. Wind came this close to masterpiece level. Its depth, artistry, and originality ensure it a place in the pandemonium of laptop electronica. Land thins out the gravy. The music is nice, but it lacks the organic atmospheres of Wind. The set begins with the 11-minute "Substation," by far the best moment on the album, not only because electronic processing happens entirely outside the listener's ears, but also for its drama. Recordings of a subway train are turned into gigantic ocean waves in a windstorm. The first glitches and tones usually associated with laptop improv surface one minute into the second track, "Church." From then on, the music gradually moves away from the environmental recordings and closer to Hazard's typical ambient electronica. Take this CD as an addendum — and most of all get Wind first. ~ François Couture, Rovi

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