• James Hewlett

BT - This Binary Universe


I don’t do music reviews. Shit, I tend not to do reviews in the strict sense of the word at all. I don’t really feel I’m qualified enough to do that. I like stuff, I like a lot of stuff. I probably like stuff to much sometimes, but that is just the optimist part of me shining through.

That, on top of the fact that I have no training, credibility in any particular field or educated reasoning behind what I think is why I tend to avoid doing reviews and try and frame things more as my thoughts and opinions.

To be fair, most people do exactly the same and call it a review, but heh, I guess thats the realist part of my personality showing through in the fact that if I did that I would feel somewhat like a fraud or more accountable for what is really just my tastes.

That’s a whole lot of preamble into what I actually want to talk about today… but it also works as tomorrows post is going to be somewhat similar todays and I don’t want people misconstruing my thoughts and opinions as a review by a professional.

Though if any outlet is interested in paying me for any of my ramblings I am more than happy to fall on the sword of anything I write.

About eleven or twelve years ago I was introduced to an album that I have revisited on a regular basis ever since. This album is in just as heavy rotation as some of my absolute favourite albums of all time, maybe more so, but I always neglect to add it to those sorts of lists. I don’t know why.

This Binary Universe by BT is a masterpiece of melodic, electronic, progressive, ambient music.

The album runs for an hour and twenty five as most of its seven tracks are between ten and twelve minutes each.

Unlike most of BT’s other work which had been more high tempo dance music closer to contemporaries such as Tiesto, Paul Oakenfold and Underworld, This Binary Universe was a departure and quite experimental. The mellow ambience of the album was accompanied by some strange sounds that may be a little jarring on a first listen but work so well after the fact.

The initial CD release, in 2006, came with a DVD copy of the album mastered in 5.1 surround sound and featured a CG video that played along with the whole album. I’ve tried finding the video online but either the version I can find is different from the one I first saw or I’m totally misremembering it as I was quite stoned at the time. I remember absolutely loving it from that first listen though and now I often have the album on quietly as I’m falling asleep as it has the same ASMR effect for me as the sound of thunder storms or waves crashing do for other people.

Ambient music holds a very unique space in my musical library. I really enjoy it, but it’s not something that is appropriate in every situation. You’re not going to put an ambient track into most playlists for instance and listening to an album while driving is probably just as dangerous as taking a couple of Ambien before setting off, but in the right circumstances a chilled out album such as this is exactly what you need.

This Binary Universe stands out for me above a lot of quality ambient electronica. There are of course classics like Aphex Twin’s On or more recent releases such as Deepspace’s Deep Blue Universe, but BT’s 2006 release will always be special to me.

I’ve got another post about an album that’s special to me on the docket for tomorrow so if you enjoyed this, or didn’t, come back tomorrow to hear what I think about a very different kind of album!

#powerofmusic #music #musicians #djing #electronic #ambient #chilledout #reviews #opinions

©2017 by James Hewlett.