(New Album Review) Bio Services- Probiotics

The Oakland-based mystery sound artist behind Bio Services has a poignant and prescient concept to relate: like the disillusioned bourgeoisie listening to field recordings in the safety of their living rooms in La Dolce Vita, we will in the near-future likely only be connected to nature via simulacra like Probiotics, the latest release from this tried-and-true cornerstone of the Nature Resellers market. We’re told that the four Pods collected here are sonic terrariums that will pacify any and all longing for that old natural feeling, with some musical accompaniment to enhance relaxation. The label also claims that all the “nature” heard here was recreated courtesy of substractive synthesis, but I think that this is meant to be kind of tongue-in-cheek. In the same way, do these meditative, slowly-unfurling synth explorations really represent futuristic muzak, or a disarmingly melancholic and evocative expansion to the territory of the new age cassettes of the 80s? Probiotics is only superficially lulling– the soft, distanced murmur of running water, wind, and bird song underlying the ambient synth tones gradually comes to sound like a longing goodbye to a world from which humankind has grown increasingly distant.

I can’t recommend this one highly enough– already one of my favorites of 2016 as well as totally perfectly-executed conceptual work.

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