Black Hole

Andrew Liles

Black Hole

Year: 2007
Label: Beta-lactam Ring Records (MT126)
Format: CD

I Have Made a Decision
Midnight Gardener
Hello Pharaoh
Pillow Voice
Root Canal
Sequential Dreaming
Tea Tree Part 2
Without Anaesthesia
An Unspoken Narrative Regarding Institutional Abuse
Bad Vibes Waiting Room
An Uneventful Afternoon

Forming part two of ‘The Vortex Vault’.

Limited edition of 300 numbered copies plus 100 numbered and signed copies available from Andrew Liles. Gatefold sleeve made with 24 point cardstock, with an insert, a coupon and a black Obi Strip around the CD.

The Vortex Vault was originally released as a collection of 12 CDs. The discs came out on the first of every month from December 2006 through to November 2007. The entire collection is available at the Andrew Liles download site.


Vital Weekly
Black Hole has Liles all on his own. Much more contemplative by nature, this 14 track CD is less outspoken than Black Paper. The 40+ minutes of Liles-material, full of loops, found sounds and strange effects, will surely please his ever-growing army of fans. In fact, interest so far in the Andrew Liles’ Vortex Vault series has been so high, that BLRR has made it possible to buy the whole set in one go at a reduced price. Highly recommended!

RE:GEN Magazine
Part Two of The Vortex Vault series of random and archival tracks from experimental composer Andrew Liles, Black Hole features a little bit of everything. For fans of ambient and drone music, “An Uneventful Afternoon” is a gentle drift on warm analog tones, and “Humiliated” is a strange but enjoyable bit of ’70s-style space rock synths. “Midnight Gardener” is quite interesting too; its core consists of distant church bells ringing through a thickened bank of sustain, while muffled conversations playing back and forth across the stereo channels conjure the feeling of waking up from a winter nap to the sound of passersby talking as they pass your window. For slightly more industrial-tinged fare, try the echoing clanks of “Pillow Voice” or the panning buzzes and muffled percussion of “Root Canal,” which—perhaps thanks to the Novocaine haze of the coolly droning background effects—is far less painful than its title suggests. Alternately, “Without Anaesthesia” is aptly sadistic, thanks to a shrieking noise that may be metal on metal but may in fact be actual shrieking, but not without its funky charm, thanks to a mellow tribal rhythm. While a lot of this is playful but somewhat inaccessible, actual melodies do make the occasional appearance as well. “Hello Pharaoh” sets a man’s voice humming absentmindedly in harmony with a lovely wordless soprano, and “Bad Vibes Waiting Room” pairs buzzing upright bass with tinkling vibraphone, like some coffeehouse jazz duo filtered through post-industrial surrealism. It’s a good collection of tracks, all things considered; Liles’ devoted fans will enjoy the variety of course, but perhaps more importantly, newcomers will get a chance to sample a variety of his unconventional flavors in small, easily-digested chunks.
Posted: Wednesday, July 25, 2007
By: Matthew Johnson

Classical Drone
Black Hole is perhaps the most conventional of the three, thirteen short instrumentals. Liles doesn’t use as much reverb and other effects as many ambient artists, even on his “ambient” pieces (such as An Uneventful Afternoon), which gives the album a more human touch, not as many machines taking the various musician roles. Often there is a simple melody line, repeated over and over, with other instruments or noises in the background. Bad Vibes Waiting Room, for example, uses something like a bass guitar to play a simple two-bar melody, with occasional melodic and textural variations throughout. He combines this melody with vibes and some very spare noises. Three minutes and it’s over, without wearing itself out or spinning out to something new. This pattern affords considerable variety, whether he uses loops from old records (Hello Pharoah), melodramatic soap-opera gestures on electric organ (Sequential Dreaming) or even sequencers that wouldn’t be out of place on a Klaus Schulze album (Humiliated). The tunes range from soft drones (An Unspoken Narrative Regarding Institutional Abuse) all the way to a semi-African jungle rhythm (Without Anaesthesia). Because each piece is so short, the album almost seems like a sketch book, which is of course the theme of the Vortex Vault as a whole.