Two of the
The combination of restrained club electronics with expressive classical instruments in the creation of ambient music is most often presented as a kind of hybrid or crossover. Hybrid music has the power to draw listeners from both opposite poles while offering something more.
Two of the Three or II/III have long outgrown the genre boundaries of their musical instruments, so don’t be fooled by the name. There is no duality in their music, because their independent projects already force indefinite impressions and feelings into the music. Under the pseudonym rouge-ah, Urška Preis squeezed quintessence out of the harp, discarding a good deal of classical melody and rhythm for the sake of mystical echoing synthetic twitches. Tine Vrabič or Nitz tried to ground similar cosmic sounds with a dance rhythm and a pinch of melody. Thus, the duo moved from duality to unity, and the EP released by AmbientSoup reflects this perfectly.
“the duo moved from duality to unity, and the EP released by AmbientSoup
reflects this perfectly.”
“It Could Be Paradise” consists of four long tracks that are supposed to imprint on us the sediments of everything that makes it not a paradise. Each member of the duo relies on their personal motives and it is clear that project II/III is not premature, and has been developing into a behemoth of the Slovenian ambient scene.
Their mastery is reflected mainly in the skilful use of patterns and the resolution of individual sounds, which are always diverse, whether it is a selection of samples or skilful playfulness with strings. The atmosphere from the first song onwards is strained by the ominous buzzing that accompanies the performance, but then this slowly outgrows the melody and takes the loading of patterns even deeper. The listener, therefore, cannot refrain from anxiously waiting for something to strike in any sound form, and thus allowing him to take with him after listening a piece of the world formed by the duo. The third song “Mores” fulfills our expectation with the introduction of a strong rhythm, and the reins are taken over by Nitz. With moaning vocal clippings, the album is then brought into place, and rouge-ah backs it up with torn strokes charged with distortion that resonate until it is finally suddenly cut.
II/III’s dramatic exploration of dark electroacoustic soundscapes
was premiered live at MENT 2020 in Ljubljana.
The album concludes with “Bad Blood” , which shatters the carefreeness of the journey in the most audibly illustrative way. It sounds like an impregnation of situational claustrophobia, yet its tension and drama keep the curiosity within us and encourage us to get to the end. The album is just under 30 minutes long, making it possible to condense the album into a single, timeless, listening moment.
The crystallization of these musical qualities introduces a much-needed contrast between calm melancholy and turbulent tension into one album. In “It Could Be Paradise” we are witnessing the sophisticated electro-acoustics of space and time, where the lines between individual consonances are erased, so that the listener can feel the density and power each composition, as if it were a multi-instrumental orchestration.
Music, recording & mixing: Tine Vrabič & Urška Preis
Harp: Urška Preis aka rouge-ah
Electronic composition: Tine Vrabič & Urška Preis
Mastering: Gregor Zemljič
Artwork: Blaž Rojs — Collage from analog photos by Urška Preis, centerpiece is a part of a photo of an art piece No Life Lost I, 2015 by Berlinde De Bruyckere
Media support: Festival MENT & Radio Študent Ljubljana
The album was released on January 29, 2020 and is available for streaming or high-quality download directly from their Bandcamp. You can watch a live recording at Radio Student, consisting of entirely new material, here:
Find more about Rouge-ah:
Find more about Nitz: