The first half of a long double-CD and collection of recordings by Dronĉment (aka Marcus Obst), originally created in 2003/2004 and released in 2004 (I'll cover the lengthy second half, "Fields ," recorded 2005-2007, in a separate review), the strengths within this release come through its repetition and combination of electronics, field recordings, and guitar, especially on songs such as "Field Map 1" and "...Is So Quiet." "It's the Same as the Last Year -- Great" is a high point of the album, as Obst works the spatial qualities of the song's instrumentation (droning organs and loops) into the aural environment of nature recordings of a stream; footsteps along the ground; and birds chirping; each sound coming in and out of focus throughout the course of the piece.
"Field Map 1" similarly conveys a sense of tension and build-up by creating subtle, minimal electronic drum beats which overlap one another over repetitive synth lines. One emphasis Obst seems to create is on the actual tone of the electronic instruments and recordings, which are crisp and clear, and the blurring of outdoor recordings into one another makes the song feel as though the listener is retrieving sounds from their memory rather than hearing them in a present experience. It's interesting to what a large extent Obst can give physical tone precendence in the recording and make it seem natural that the rest of the music will follow from this point. However, some of the recordings on the album do not work as well as the songs mentioned above--having very strong moments but also periods where the music lags--and perhaps because of the album's length seem to drift rather than build. 7/10 -- Jordan Anderson (14 April, 2010)