This album came out originally on Lustmord’s Side Effects label in 1998, and I made a reprint after the distributor shut down in the mid-2000s. Currently we have about 70 remaining (as of 2019), and we will not reprint them when they eventually sell out. If you want an autograph, please request it at the time of purchase.
Includes unlimited streaming of Below Zero via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
Robert Rich’s “Below Zero” marks his second collection of dark-ambient compilation tracks, following the 1996 Fathom release “A Troubled Resting Place.” Like the previous album, Rich conceived “Below Zero” while recording each track individually for release on compilations and limited editions, using these oportunities to research new vocabularies and techniques. Each track originates with dual intentions: to stand on its own within a multi- artist compilation, and to fulfill its unique niche as part of a larger story. Rich uses this approach to break out of his own habits, allowing him to assemble a unified album while encouraging freeform experimentation within individual compositions. The approach resembles that of the writer who constructs a novel from individual inter-related short stories (a tradition practiced by novelists as diverse as Dickens and J.G. Ballard.)
“Below Zero” tells a story of infinite distance, inhuman scale and deep time. It ranks among Rich’s most foreboding and expansive works, with its vast surrealist soundscapes, clouds of shifting metallic overtones, indefinable mutations and sinuous threads of melting sonorities. It also represents a significant technical achievement, using sound design techniques that range from phase vocoding and granular synthesis, to open-loop feedback networks and chaotic electro-acoustic systems. Yet somehow within this isolated landscape of unfamiliar sounds, there shines the intense and melancholy sort of beauty that permeates Rich’s singular sonic universe.
released June 15, 1998
Analog and digital synths, steel guitar, flutes,
entropic systems and controlled feedback.
Realized at Soundscape in 1996, except “Liquid Air” in 1993.
©1998 by Robert Rich. Published by Amœba Music, BMI.
Mastered by R. Rich at Soundscape January 1998.
Dissolving the Seeds of a Moment 10:45
A Flock of Metallic Creatures Fleeing the Onslaught of Rust 7:02
Termite Epiphany 8:15
Liquid Air 9:00
Star Maker first appeared on Narratives: Works of Fiction (Manifold MANCD08, 1996) Titles from Olaf Stapledon, Star Maker, 1937, Dover Publications, NY, (ed. 1968); Dissolving the Seeds of a Moment previously unreleased; Flock of Metal Creatures recorded for the Multimood 10th Anniversary Compilation (Multimood, due in 1998); Termite Epiphany created originally for Dry Lungs VI (Subterranean, due in 1998) Thanks to Tom Erbe (Soundhack) and Rick Davies (loose guitar string); Liquid Air first appeared on From Here to Tranquility II (Silent SR9343, 1994); Requiem is dedicated to the memory of David Schultz, and appeared first on Soundscapes Gallery (Lektronic Soundscapes LS96007, 1996.)