Gin Devo – Surface | Review by Side-Line

Gin Devo, the legendary operator of Vomito Negro here delivers his solo-debut. Gino got involved in a few other projects like Pressure Control and the ambient-like Full Dynamic Range (together with Guy Van Mieghem). Full Dynamic Range was an interesting experience, which didn’t get the deserved recognition.

“Surface” brings the composer back into pure ambient creation and his early years as a musician. This album was originally written in the late 80s and composed for Antwerp Art performances “Fabrik 88” and “Metro 89”. I had the chance to assist at the “Metro 89” performance where Vomito Negro together with a few other projects performed in some tunnels of Antwerp’s never used metro network. I unfortunately didn’t hear the loops Gin Devo composed for this event, but more than 2 decades later EK Product has decided to recover “Surface” from the dust.

It’s another quite surprising release on EK Product revealing a different side from Gin Devo’s talent. This is an album of 9 ambient tracks appealing to the human imagination. You feel the merging together of mysterious sound waves leading us on a trip of nihilistic landscapes. The composer did a brilliant job holding on the attention from start till end.

The dark humming vibes emerging from “Dunes” are like the icy breath of death. A kind of resonating piano play appears on “Strange Desire” while “Sudden Fever” sounds as an icy wind teasing in your back.

Rhythmic parts join in on “Jackal” while a synthetic tribal effect gets us in its grip. We’re finally falling down in a kind of eternal, dark abyss entitled “Lunar”. Gin Devo is manipulating his analogue machines in a splendid way. He revealed himself as a master of dark-ambient while he unfortunately never got this recognition.

The sound and effect of “Surface” remains intact. This stuff urgently needed to be released on CD format. It will maybe incite the musician to get back to this kind of creation.