Liquid Stranger – Cryogenic Encounters Review
I stumbled across this gem while browsing on emusic.com. The album cover is intriguing, suggesting a futuristic world, or a science fiction type of imagery. The samples intrigued me enough to pull the trigger and take a chance on the full download.
Liquid Stranger is essentially a solo project from the musical mind of Martin Stääf. Cryogenic Encounters was unleashed on January 31, 2012. Twelve ambient industrial tracks weave their way through a liquid dream state. All but one of the tracks is six minutes or longer, but you hardly notice the length as you let your mind go free with the music. The new age feel of “Zeal” would make it feel at home in rotation on SiriusXM’s Spa and Watercolors channels.
While each track can be taken individually, this is better treated as a symphonic event. Imagine the cat (from the cover) strolling through the forest and encountering a frozen being. There is a dripping awakening in “Cryo.” The tracks bleed into each other and one hardly knows where one ends and the next one begins without looking at the track counter.
The creature thaws, but experiences “Frostbite.” “Frostbite” sounds like a painful song by the title, but it is warm and easy-going. Like a warming by the fire or a sun. A harder edge is not felt until “Organism.” The track evokes a bubbling feast in a nutrient bath, as the music feeds your own soul.
“Minimum” reminds me of rain and a dripping spring thaw, as life begins anew.
We are eased out, not that we were too sucked into a heavy world to begin with, with “Ectoplasm” gently rocking you to sleep.
Given this, I find it interesting to note that Martin Stääf is on tour in September, being in the United States for three dates:
09.15.12 Aragon Ballroom Chicago, IL US
09.28.12 The Lizard Lounge Dallas, TX US
10.04.12 State Theatre-FL Saint Petersburg, FL US
Having not heard other albums in the Liquid Stranger project, it’s a bit hard for me to imagine a live show, especially at the Aragon Ballroom, which is mostly open dance floor with minimal seating.
I will be keeping the album on my mp3 player/Android phone. I need some calm in my life. For one man, I am impressed with Liquid Stranger. But not enough to give it a 5 of 5.
Listening notes: Downloaded from emusic.com. Listened to with headphones on Samsung Galaxy S.