Red Needled Sea is the recording alias of Panos Alexiades, a guitar deconstructionist based in Greece who?s released a steady stream of material for a variety of labels over the past couple of years. His biography notes that he was classically trained on the piano and has spent serious time researching and experimenting with sound?pretty impressive for someone still in their early twenties. He seems to have found his niche, at least for now, constructing ambient dronescapes that boil slowly, revealing subtle movements across their surfaces. And while he primarily works with processed guitar sounds, he employs a consistent amount of quietly played piano to add emotional resonance and occasional melancholic humor to his work.
Alexiades opens ?Time.Recall.Now? with the controls set pretty close to the heart of the sun. ?Not Dead? blasts open with a sound like an airlock exploding before sending us off driftless and calm, waiting for just the right edge of paranoia to call us home. And just when the headspace becomes too suffocating, he brings us back in with ?Just Breathing,? a more traditionally soothing analogue bubblebath of a drone. The rest of the album proceeds pretty much this way; it?s just soothing enough to be considered ambient, but there?s enough bumps and unexpected turns to keep you sufficiently disoriented.
Like his better-known fellow travelers Oren Ambarchi and Tim Hecker, Alexiades takes a pretty bloodless and modernistically counter-intuitive approach to the guitar that almost seems quaint in the rapid fire age of instant technology. He lets the songs unfold in their own time and devolve or evolve as the overall tone dictates. It?s a methodology that rewards patience and careful listening, asking that you meet it on its own terms and not look to it for easy answers. But at the same time, things never become too academic. In the end, this is music meant to be languished in, inevitable dissection and inspection be damned. 8/10 -- Scott Downing (26 June, 2007)