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Home arrow Reviews arrow Week of 1/24/05 arrow F Space - Preliminary Impact Report
F Space - Preliminary Impact Report   Print  E-mail 
Written by Daniel Henderson  

A rising blaze of distorted calm quickly washes over you. Then a sudden drop to nothing 42 seconds later as track two begins. A sense of discomfort rises as a bow begins to scrape across tortured strings, and a distorted voice speaks something I’m not able to intercept. I’m reminded of the near-complete absence of music found in a King Crimson interlude. At 2:50 a tribal drum beat begins. Growing intensity follows, brought on by repetition and free-form sonic interpretation. At 6:30 I check the name – Through the Night Softly, 17:29.


As per their website, the goal of F-Space is to devise “an apocalyptic, feral, destructive trance state implying a catastrophic act of nature, a march through the desert on the path to war, or an offender's mental state during a crime of passion.” With Preliminary Impact Report, I’m off on a journey that I find necessary to experience.


San Francisco’s F-Space consists of Scot Jenerik and Ethan Port of Savage Republic, Aleph Kali of Chrome, and Joel Connell of Man is the Bastard. Their short description is Industrial Pyro Punk. Noise and instruments abound, some of which they have created themselves. F-Space was originally a collective that eventually took a more band-like structure. They won over the Running Man Festival in 1998 with their bombastic live show, largely consisting of percussive passages and primal pyrotechnics.


Released in late 2004, Preliminary Impact Report is the first studio album from F-Space. The track “Sans Soleil” has a Sonic Youth sound reminiscent of their mid-80s Evol period. “Bombay Blood” has a Middle-Eastern feel. “Charity and Hope,” in my opinion the highlight of the album, begins resembling the apocalyptic soundscapes of Times of Grace-period Neurosis, then returns again to echoes of old Sonic Youth in its guitar-driven build to increasing intensity. Towards the end of the nearly 23-minute long track, the group’s signature percussion sounds are featured in a crushing battery, and the melodic backing of a single distorted guitar joins the cacophony to move the piece to completion.


F-Space loses some power in the translation to a studio, but Preliminary Impact Report still possesses a lot of intensity. I’m not sure when the best time would be to listen to it. The lengths of the compositions make it difficult to maintain enough anguish to take it all in, but it does seem to have a therapeutic quality to it. When I became depressed as a teenager, I immersed myself in depressing music until the density of it forced me back up to the surface. Perhaps when you are trapped in patterns of anguished thoughts, Preliminary Impact Report can help remind you that there is a better world out there covered up by frustrated thoughts, and that just like the album, they will end.



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Sunday, 06 March 2005
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