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¥029 starfish pool . illusions of move - chapter red . 12" 33rpm . january 2k1


tokyo express
pitch dark
red excursion
mexican escape


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orkus nr.04 - april 2001

auch der zweite teil von starfish pools illusions of move-zyklus ist ein klassischer grenzgänger zwischen den genres dark ambient und electronica. hypnotische rhythmusteppiche aus break- und abstract beats bilden das handfeste fundament für ein ganzes meer aus repetitiven melodiefragmenten, noiseloops und endlosen ambientflächen. chapter red soll sich der themen leidenschaft und liebe annehmen, allerdings scheint koen lybaerts verständnis davon eine eher dunkle und nachdenkliche färbung zu haben. die sieben tracks glänzen mit erhabener schönheit, komplexität und meditativer tiefsinnigkeit, trotzdem wirkt alles wie in ein seltsames zwielicht getaucht, auf zum tauchgang in die finsteren abgründe der menschlichen gefühlswelt! (alexander maciol)

recycle your ears

red, the color of passion, is the theme of the second lp in the "illusions of move" series, following the sad blue one. this time again, starfish pool and hymen deliver us seven track of niceand clear techno that is innovative and soulful enough to appeal to a vast majority of open minded industrial fans, but should also appeal to those of you who are more idm inclined. finally, the hymen stamps that illustrate this release are less abstract than usual, presenting very good photographs that seems taken from a movie, and whose red tones fit perfectly the subject of the music. at the very first listening, this red chapter sounds close to the blue one but, after some times, the listener understands the wide difference between the two. where "chapter blue" was flowing and lush, the red one is deep and jerkier. there are less layers of sounds on this new disc, and the sounds used are shorter, closer to blips and clicks, but a steady, almost idm-ish bass keeps rolling during most of the chapter. in consequence, this all sounds a bit more abstract and in fact less techno, but seems also more free. needless to say, the material from which the tracks are done is original and starfish pool has really acquired his own sonorities. another difference between the blue and red chapters lies in the fewer samples to be found here, replaced, in a way, by more beats, which have also taken the place of the longer melodic lines present on "chapter blue". all in all, this is a bit more pounding and made of complex structures, and a bit less easy to listen to. finally, the track are more different from each others, ranging from faster pieces to more experimental sounding ones, based on short percussions slowly joined by ambient soundscapes. however, koen lybaert, the man behind starfish pool, has also managed here to create a music that sounds urban and ample. i wouldn't be surpised if a piece from this disc was to be featured on the soundtrack for a move whose story would take place in new york city or london. future-oriented, innovative but really emotionnal, starfish pool's music in this series proves to be something of its own kind, integrating a lot of influence from the past with newer, current sounds. i'm really enthusiastic about this release and am waiting eagerly for the remaining three chapters of "illusions of move". starfish pool signs here a lp that is really not to be missed. moreover, it's really pleasant to see how ant zen / hymen is moving forward some clearer, more flowing and boundaries free sounds with their latest releases (by torsion, substanz t, beefcake, or lusine icl (also released on starfish pool's u-cover records, by the way). (nicolas)


with "chapter red" koen lybaert continues his illusion of move series, this being a second installment. "chapter red" is supposed to deal with passion and indeed it is a lot more emotional than "chapter blue." the latter was an exploration of ambient monotonous tracks, building an atmosphere upon deep strings and persistent percussion. you might not recognize old starfish pool on this record - koen has retained his affection for minimal sounds, but they have become more integral part of the music, evolving and changing over time. for me this album is infinitely more personal that "chapter blue." the story seems to unfold with each track, slowly moving through deep gorgeous strings and atmospheric sweeps shaped with gentle percussion waves. at times i could compare it with more technoid moments of lusine icl, but then it quickly loses resemblance becoming more powerful and assertive than the latter. the blend of rhythms and beautifully shaped ambient textures is what is so fascinating about this album. each track is perfectly composed to the point where you simply follow the current of the music, where not a single misplaced element disturbs your ear. after a while you start picking up all the subtle changes that add depth and diversity to the music, slightly altering your perception of it every time you listen to the record. the music on this record is not as "dark" as it is mysterious and intriguing, and strangely soothing at the same time. "chapter red" is definitely my favorite starfish pool release up to date, and while i do appreciate a lot of elements on "chapter blue", this record simply affects me in a deeper and more personal way.


starfish pool is the electronic project of koen lybaert. it's an electronic project where rhythm will appear in, in all its aspects. since the very start it is the manipulation of loops - the basic idea of the way tracks were created as starfish pool. this concept that has nothing to do with the sound but more with the way that tracks are practically made. the illusions of move cycle is an idea that started end at the end of 1999. it all comes to colours. the first one called blue, the colour that reflects on sadness and dark feelings. blue reflects these feelings, so it was the right choice to start with the chapter blue as introducing this new cycle. the other four albums will be chapter red, black, white and yellow. red will go around passion, black will be heavy but soulful, white very open and minimal, and yellow bright. that's the general idea. these releases are planned within a time-period of two years. a mixture of dark ambient soundscapes, hypnotic drum patterns, an impressive stylistic range, emotional minimalism and timbral sophistication. harsh sound-structures unfold a new chapter for smooth atmospheric noise.

the passion is red.