1. the pole i'm furthest from by number none
2. fleeing our pavilions for celestial clouds by the skaters
3. a sense of levitation by jim haynes
4. alien substratum 1.0/1.2 by my cat is an alien
5. lonely woman by taurpis tula
"Time and Relative Travel In Space [sic] comes under cover of a conceptual umbrella involving notions of 'subjective and objective time.' This 'transcritical bifurcation,' however, is best taken as a semi-serious excuse to pull together five very serious contemporary practicioners, each of whom fabulously demonstrates the durability, infinite variety and unpredictability of the drone. Chicago's Number None open with 'The Pole I'm Furthest From,' a broadside akin to the noise generated by the rusty engines of a Lancaster bomber reunion formation, looking low and foolhardily overhead. Filthy, flaking away, recrudescing, scalding and intensifying, there's a range of activity and emphasis contained within this guitar blare. The Skaters offer another of their vocal-based sonoramas, a layered chorus of humanity, as if having awoken the pissed off dead in a seance above a burial ground. Jim Haynes, Wire contributor and sometime musical partner of Loren Chasse, is in especially fine form here, his mix of field recordings and sheer electronics mediated by waves of interference; intermittently, screeching, ectoplasmic arcs leap from the mix. My Cat is an Alien's 'Alien Substratum' commences with a pulse, like a needle on vinyl circling the very spindle, over which glistening and reverbing guitars hang like mobile versions of the cosmos. On 'Lonely Woman,' the Taurpis Tula duo (The Wire's David Keenan and Heather Murray) conjure up a twinkling void of freefloating guitars and chimes, through which Murray's wordless vocals navigate aimlessly and gracefully."
-David Stubbs, The Wire #258, August 2005
"Every artist has done themselves proud and this is a fine collection of drone destined to be a classic within its genre, full of sounds that creep, crawl, writhe and soar through your ears, the intensity and passion immediately obvious to anyone who has an interest in this particular musical style."
-Ptolemaic Terrascope, October 2005
"This deep drone stuff has really become its own kind of music, a weird ultimate combination of the spiritual, minimalist, folk, psych, industrial, and noise movements that have midwifed it from ancient times into the 21st century. I can't tell you what a beautiful thing it's becoming. These days we've got droners from the hippie/folk side, the noise/industrial side, the academic side, the record collector side, the thug side, the poet side, and more, and various combinations thereof, and this cross-pollination makes it hard to sort into any of today's neat new subgenre camps, except for DRONE. The Rebis label out of Chicago is emerging as a heavy pathway for today's deep psychedelic drone, and they have curated a fine compilation to herald this fact. A simple concept, with good graphics and overall tight presentation: five groups offer five tracks that each clock in at more or less ten minutes. The opening act is Chicago-based Rebis flagship band Number None (humble host acts always go first), and they continue to prove their heaviness with a fine low burrow that gets obliterated by sheets and sheets of unknown buzz over the course of 11 minutes. Next up are The Skaters, my second go-round with them, and they've floored me again, this time with a very focused straight-line vocal-mass loop-drone. My Cat is an Alien contribute another piece in their signature spartan, spaced-out, laconic, and extremely patient style. Jim Haynes, who I've always known only as a music writer (he reviewed every CD in the Merzbox!), contributes a very good track, some finely done urban-dystopian music that on three separate listens has made me look out the window going, 'Why the hell are they doing construction work outside at 2AM on a Tuesday?' Taurpis Tula close things out with one hell of a track, getting the drone via what might be called a one-chord death-country song floating in the aether twice removed. Heather X's vocals are stunning, rising out of the surface of an extremely sparse backdrop of haunted piano plinks and barely-there guitar moans like the underwater ghost of a long-drowned opera singer rising to the surface of her haunted lake. So, really, this is a really fine comp. If you've just gotten the LVD Elegy Box and you need the perfect appetizer before you tackle it, or the perfect dessert after you finish it, by all means go for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space."
"The drone has a funny way of overtaking you. It exists out of time; swallowed by its engorged tentacles, the listener experiences dimensional transcendence, with concretized temporality dissolved into the never-ending now of sympathetic tone pulsation. The liner notes to Time and Relative Dimensions in Space peg the ‘transcritical bifurcation’ of ‘Objective and Subjective Time’ as, by extension, the key shift enacted by the drone. One guesses that you could allegorize the five artists on this compilation – Number None, The Skaters, Jim Haynes, My Cat is an Alien, and Taurpis Tula – as the ‘series of agents’ sent to ‘display... a few of the new marvels.’
"Time and Relative Dimensions in Space starts loud and slowly sheds volume and density. Rebis in-house band Number None open with 'The Pole I’m Furthest From,' slowly accreting spark-wire intensity before throwing the switches on the distortion rack. It is a scouring listen, but the fragile tonology spinning underneath suggests an intricate compositional design. The Skaters' contribution is another phantom topology of the lungs and throat, carving new and knotted shapes into the flesh lining of the mouth cavity. Imagine Robert Ashley’s Automatic Writing suddenly bursting into life, spouting the passionate shaman properties of an Angus MacLise. The remaining three cuts are about disarmament – Jim Haynes’ editing hand is deft, sweeping through discreet banks of clouded sound, and My Cat is an Alien offer another of their typically rangy ambiences, full of exposed livewires and sudden flashes of electricity, each clang of the guitar mapping out the psycho-acoustics of the Opalio brothers’ cavernous recording space.
"Taurpis Tula’s contribution, 'Lonely Woman,' is the standout. Brittle chimes are immersed in a thick scrum of fog, David Keenan’s guitar plucking star-shapes from the air and laying them on top of his amplifier as Heather Leigh’s vocals drift from the word to the sigh, hovering high and gilded among the song’s charged atmospheres. That the clocking, chiming backdrop appears to be sourced from a music box is no surprise: one of the other (at times dormant) themes of this compilation is the unlocking of spirits from their respective Pandora’s Boxes. After all, it is named after the TARDIS.
-Jon Dale, Dusted, August 2005
"Drunken Fish's triple-LP compilation Harmony of the Spheres reached almost legendary status with its magnificent music and idea to let each contributing band stretch out on a whole LP side. I am sure Time and Relative Dimensions in Space never will receive the same kind of recognition but it’s similar in the way it displays a number of fairly unknown bands that deliver extended pieces of experimental music. In this case we’re talking about long-form works loosely based around the theme of time travel and it’s difficult to think of finer travel guides than Rebis' own Number None project, Italian hipsters My Cat Is An Alien, Charalambides-related Taurpis Tula, San Franciscan Jim Haynes and the Broken Face favorites in the Skaters.
"All contributions do in one way or the other relate to things droney so they’re definitely related, but at the same time they do so in different ways so all six pieces point in slightly different directions. Number None delivers harsh yet meditative drones and digital fuckery, The Skaters explore swirling clouds of feedback drowned in a pool filled with distortion and mud, Jim Haynes gives us experimental glitchscapes and entrancing sound sculptures and as if all this wasn’t enough the best has even been saved for last. The spacious guitarscapes from My Cat Is An Alien might not be unique, but when someone is capable of presenting such atmospheric sounds and paint such clear imaginary images of all kinds of remote terrain I can do nothing but surrender. Taurpis Tula from Glasgow, Scotland is the duo of Heather Leigh (Charalambides, Scorces, Ash Castles on the Ghost Coast) on pedal steel/vocals and David Leigh (known as one of the finest contemporary writers about fringe music). What we get here is long bowed tones, haunting guitar figures, bare non-word vocals and minimal series of sad and lonely notes that stretch and slowly blossom. When they finally fade away all that is left is a haunting, empty feel that very well might reveal sides of your psyche that you never have been aware of."
-Mats Gustafson, Broken Face, June 2005
"Time & Relative Dimensions in Space is a sprawling disc featuring long-form performances from a handful of Foxy Digitalis favorites: Number None, Jim Haynes, The Skaters, My Cat is an Alien, and Taurpis Tula. That's an impressive line-up, to say the least, but even more impressive is the quality perfromances each artist delivers.
"The disc opens with Rebis' own Number None with "The Pole I'm Furthest From." Number None are becoming known for their rich and dense drones. "The Pole I'm Furthest From" continues in this tradition and pushes it further with some particular harrowing moments. In full-flight, Number None reminds me of Campbell Kneale's thickest Birchville Cat Motel murk. They manage to achieve that rare balance between repitition and progress, where you're not quite sure if the car you're in is moving or if it's the one next to you. As the track winds down, solar gusts turn you into dust.
"The Skaters are next with another of their prismatic howling jamborees. "Fleeing Our Pavillions for Celestial Clouds" is a lo-fi sonic excursion. The Skaters vocal exorcisms are unlike anything I've ever heard. It's like this duo of James Ferraro and Spencer Clark are channelling some seriously primitive spirits. Electric guitar howl constantly buzzes while a recorder pokes out through the deep mercury traces. The Skaters are totally damaged, but in a cathartic and beautiful way. At nearly 15 minutes, this is the longest track here, but it's various elements keep it from ever getting stale.
"Next up is Jim Haynes, best known for his work in Coelacanth with Jewelled Antler co-founder Loren Chasse. Haynes' solo work rarely gets the attention it deserves, but hopefully his contribution here, "A Sense of Levitation," will open some new ears. His mix of electronic and organic sounds is impressive. There's a similar feeling to his work as there is to Chasse's solo work, and hearing Haynes on his own makes it apparent why the Coelacanth project works so well. The combination of fuzzed-out glitches and treated field recordings is a powerful combination. "A Sense of Levitation" is an apt title indeed. By the time you reach the seven-minute mark of this piece, you feel like you're floating. Something about this track really digs itself deep into your skull and stays with you for hours. This is really spectacular.
"My Cat is an Alien have stolen my soul over the past few months. Something about their cosmic jams infects me, and the wonderful "Alien Substratum 1.0/1.2" is now different. Spiralling electric guitar flashes dangle above a pulsing drone that is just barely audible. This is the music of the stars, singing out and surrendering. If I'm ever abducted, I hope it sounds like this. I can't believe it took me so long to jump on the MCIAA bandwagon, but now I'm never getting off.
"Now, while all of the above mentioned tracks are quite good, they all pale in comparison to Taurpis Tula's "Lonely Woman." David Keenan and Heather Leigh Murray's project is constantly evolving, and on this nine-minute excursion, they've reached a feverpitch. Murray's vocals are perfect. In combination with the sparse, evocative instrumentation, the resulting music is enchanting in every way. Murray's voice penetrates into your deepest pores, never allowing you a comfortable moment. Minimal guitar and glockenspiel (I think it's a glockenspiel) dance in their winter finery, cold and beautiful for all the world to hear. But again, it always comes to back to Heather Leigh. Her voice slays me. This is easily the finest moment on this great compilation, and is the perfect way to close out the set.
"Rebis deserves praise for putting together such a varied release. The combination of artists and track sequencing are near-perfect, and with the closing moments of "Lonely Woman," I am ready to press play again. Recommended."
- Brad Rose, Foxy Digitalis