Vidna Obmana

Picture of Vidna Obmana

Gathering in Frozen Beauty

Vidna Obmana - Gathering in Frozen Beauty ©1989 Decade Collection
1. Dazzling Away 1
2. Lost in the Swirling Distance
3. Dazzling Array 2
4. Before Mutual Grace
5. Upon Steels Heaven
6. Into Grey Divides
7. Gathering in Frozen Beauty

Vidna Obmana is the stage name for Belgian experimental musician Dirk Serries, who has been at his craft since the mid 80s. During his career, he has collaborated with a veritable bevy of other likeminded artists as well as diverse figures in music such as Steve Roach and Steven Wilson. As with many contemporaries of the era, much of early Vidna Obama (which reportedly means "optical illusion" in Slavic languages) found audiences via the cassette-only culture that existed in experimental underground scene. Unlike the sonic violence of other cassette releases such as Controlled Bleeding, Gathering in Frozen Beauty explores the exact opposite of noise with quiet somber sonicscapes of ambient expression. Vidna Obmana offers little in the way of solidified melodic structure, yet there is a soothing sense of harmonics in the songs. The album might evoke comparisons to some of Brian Eno's soundscapes, although perhaps just in the sense of shared ambient minimalism.

Gathering in Frozen Beauty is a surprisingly good effort that does not suffer from quality recording techniques. While many cassette releases sound primitive, this particular one succeeds in still sounding good two decades later. Highly recommended to fans of ambient music, the kind that does not kneel at the feet of bland new age-ism.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2009

Back to top