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Reviewed by - Matt Rowe


Music speaks for itself, no doubt about that.  In listening to the latest album by Disparition, called 1989, I was infectiously intrigued by its mixes of bleak, industrial ambient tones with some eerie, ghostly vocalizations reminiscent of a bygone era.  This prompted me to the booklet for a wider scope.  Unfortunately, the booklet is not there; it is a card insert.  Sometimes, the music and added info is essential to each other.  In this case, the omission stands out most, even as the music is captivating, even commanding.

As it turns out, the theme of this album centers around the last days of the Communist era in Eastern Europe, with the strength of the album derived largely from the fall of the Ceausescu regime in Romania.  This knowledge adds to the overall concept as you listen to this album in its entirety.

Disparition is the work of Jon Bernstein, who has recorded a conceptual album of insecurities and ghosts, of a madness in the brain that swirls and eddies, as it tries to catch hold of a past time to gain a footing.  This makes 1989 a strong ambient work that flows well from song to song with virtually no interruption.  I prefer long-structured pieces largely because the work to slip into the core of the music can be interrupted as you’re becoming one with the music if it is only a five-minute tune.

You’ll find Disparition to be a frightening tonal painting as you invest your time into the album’s thirteen tracks that merge into each other even though the tunes are only four minutes average.  There is a feeling of insanity that I’ve never heard before in other ambient albums, and it put a sense of fear in me; a clear indicator that the album has succeeded in its intention.

1989 is a brilliant piece of ambient work that deserves attention by the hardcore ambient fan.  Don’t miss it.  The entire album can be downloaded free of charge, along with Bernstein’s previous works.  They can also be purchased at CD Baby, accessible from the Disparition website. 

Release Date: February 06, 2008
Produced by: Jon Bernstein
Format: CD

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