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bedouin ascent
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On Magazine
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apache 61


On Magazine 1993
Pavillion of the New Spirit (Rising High, EP)

Biz, 25, also known as Kingsuk Biswas is the one man creative force behind Bedouin Ascent and is yet more ammunition for the anti bangin' techno lobby. Free spirited music which certainly isn't afraid to tread new ground, this would surely appeal to , anyone who respects the sort of pioneering, stance adopted by the like's of Weather Report and Miles Davis in the 70s. Funky, avant garde, experimental 90s mutant jazz, this is brave, unsettling, uncompromising music. The best is yet to come, but this 6 tracker gives some very interesting pointers. [Fly by Night]


I-D Magazine 1993

Bedouin Ascent Pavilion Of The New Spirit (Rising High) Awesome techno-jazz'n'ambience from the brilliant Biswas that obliterates most of this month's music. This will surely boost his growing reputation as one of the UK's most creative technocrats. [MixMaster morris]


On Magazine. December 94
Bedouin Ascent – Science, Art & Ritual (Rising High)

The 'Pavilion of the New Spirit' EP served warning earlier this year - here is a major new talent reaching out to take new musical and spiritual paths. Bis' meanderings certainly can't be acused of playing safe. Time and again, he pushes sounds, ideas, concepts, motifs just that little bit further, right to the edge, and in doing so weaves a powerful web of intrigue. Yet another string to Rising High's impressive bow.
First play rattles the cages and abandons any sense of complacency in moments. These are hard sounds, fierce drums, acidic squelches, and intricate cymbal patterns, juxtaposed with a degree of thought and imagination that could only have been dreamed of twelve months ago. Second play unsettles even more, leaving deep ruptures with it's use of African, Gamelan and Eastern textures. It's somehow telling that such a musical path should correspond so closely with this writer's.
Hell, if things progress at this pace, Weather Report will be a staple of Capital Gold next year! Capturing a mood and a moment perfectly, this is brave new music for a warped reality. [Pete Lawrence]


New Musical Express, September, 1995
London, Union Chapel

IT'S FAMILY outing time for the ambi-techno elite; LFO, Autechre, Scanner, Mixmaster Morris and a supporting cast of lesser known electronic movers have all packed their hampers for monthly Sunday afternoon lunch-out The Big Chill.
Even 16-year-old' technobrat Daniel Pemberton's managed to slip the leash from homework and Songs Of Praise for this bizarre combination of fully debauched chill-out zone and warped church fete (complete with non-psychedelic fairy cakes). Let's face it, it’s about the only place to find clean-shaven string quartets playing Orb cover versions rubbing shoulders with sound sculptors, Internet surfers and the most moist, fittest electro-talent around....

...And that means Bedouin Ascent, namely Harrow's Kingsuk Biswas; an intense-looking chap with a mane of dark hair and restless, stormy eyes that never settle for longer than a moment. If we’re going to talk charisma in boffin-land, Biz's commanding presence (without resorting to rock'n'roll cliches) is a shining example to a legion of anonymous knob-twiddlers.

Not to mention the way he takes ambient’s well-worn formularised wibbling outside for a good pasting; most of the traces of noodle evident on his recent 'Science, Art And Ritual' LP have already been obliterated, clearing space for some gloriously weaving rhythms to come to the fore. The material he airs at the Big Chill - ably disrupted by traditional technical difficulties - is more like MoWax in deep, deep space than complacent ambient. Neo-hip-hop beats overlap, the melodies sometimes soothing, sometimes confounding but always groovesome. The jazzy techno tag's also applicable but not fully explanatory - Biz is too talented and unique to be written off as another Black Dog.

Because this is just genre-hopping electronica at its very best; truly in-tents.
[Ben Willmott]


Mixmag Vol.2 Issue No.52 September 1995

THIS second album from Bedouin Ascent sees Kingsuk Biswas continuing his journey into the heart of the groove. You see, Biz loves rhythms. Without exception here, it's the multi-layered percussion that's the focal point. Tracks such as 'Trace 1’, 'Swarm' and 'Crouched On Broken Glass' invert the normal and melody lines are subsumed in the restless percussive barrage. This way of working is closer to jungle than so-called 'intelligent techno', which is why it sounds so much fresher than the majority of that ilk.
That's not to say it's just a collection of arty drum n' bass workouts. Textures are carefully woven into the rhythms rather than over them, invoking the kind of emotional response missing from all but the best jungle. I defy anyone to listen to the melancholy 'Gait Of Power' and 'Falling' and not be moved. The contrast between the hyperactive rhythms and contemplative synths of 'Close' is really striking.
If this album had been recorded now, it'd be cutting edge. The fact that parts of it date back some five years shows just how far ahead of his time Biz was - and is.

(9 out of 10)
Peter McIntyre


MELODY MAKER, September 30 1995

Bedouin's Kingsuk Biswas is a prime mover in the emergent realm of post-rave electronica that ‘The Wire’ named "new complexity techno". Basically, this means techno thats neither trancey (you can't dance to it) nor ambient (you can't chill out, either). Instead you listen and boggle at the bizarre audio-sculpture and weird sonic contraptions cobbled together by these bedroom boffins. Eschewing techno's four/four stomp, Bedouin weaves, a mesmerising mesh of drum machine percussion, achieving the kind of body-confounding polyrhythmic density you otherwise only find in drum'dbass; meanwhile, melody is restricted to the sparest filigrees of arpeggiated synth. Somewhere between electro starkness and Brazilian shimmy, Music For Particles" is maxi-minimalism at its best. [SIMON REYNOLDS]


Music For Particles

At his best, Bedouin Ascent's Kingsuk Biswas succeeds in inverting the conventional hierarchy between rhythm and melody. When he refuses the normal opposition between percussion as backing and 'proper', structured music, Music For Particles gets mighty fascinating. Take, for example, "Trace 2", where a Techno-fied breakbeat pattern is allowed to disrupt itself gorgeously while the simple synthline rises and falls as if it's been programmed to act as a replacement for the rhythm's usual function of marking time. Bedouin Ascent's rhythmic sensibilities owe less to the norms of Tranced-up Techno than to the left-field spirits of improvisation and deconstruction.

Every intelligent Techno exponent has had to wrestle with the dilemma of where to take the music once its run-of-the-mill linearity has been negated. Music For Particles may be Biswas's first up to date release (previous recordings such as the 1994 Science, Art & Ritual album were made up of unreleased, older material), yet it reveals him still struggling to resolve the aesthetic tensions within his music. "Close" starts with a cyborg drum solo of frenetic precision and alien time signature, where firecrackers pop and the snare sounds as if it's pummeling aluminium, but its two melody lines rapidly run into an idyllic arpeggiation, the beats disappear and the listener is left with a choice between Philip Glass and Mike Oldfield as comparisons. While the track titles -"Swarm", "Clusters", "Waveboy'.- describe brilliantly the complex fabric of rhythmic threads that make up most of the tracks, they could equally apply to Biswas's preference for clear-toned mellifluousness. Occasionally, the two strands come together without annihilating each other: "Crouch On Broken Glass' overlays its glottal throb of cowbell and pitter-patter snare with a variation on New Romantic synthpop that eventually speeds up into a well-paced and phrased take on electronic thrash. [JAKUBOWSKI]


Stride Magazine - 1995
Music For Particles
(Rising High)

On the surface Bedouin Ascent make a kind of ‘bleep’ music, the sort of tinny techno you hear in record shops when the youngest staff are allowed their choice of music over the shop speakers. But Bedouin Ascent repay closer listening, they are subverting and using this mechanical arena, distorting and looping, treating and carefully layering and revising as they go. In an unobvious way they draw on dub, trance and electronica – without either of these really being present in the end result. This new cd is not as good as Science, Art & Ritual which, quite rightly, got lots of attention and praise; but it’s definitely a worthwhile and fascinating follow up. But if you haven’t got either release, make it the other that you buy first. [Rupert Loydell]


Tangents - 1996
Music For Particles

1995 was a vintage year for LPs. We were spoilt for choice, what with the Sea & Cake, Raekwon, T-Power, Pram, Genius, Springheel Jack, Wagon Christ, Mobb Deep, Spain, Red Snapper, Patrick Pulsinger, LaBradford, Speedy J, and plenty more. Yet, with the benefit of hindsight, I'd argue that the best of the bunch, in terms of durability and inventiveness, has to be Bedouin Ascent's 'Music For Particles', sadly one of the more neglected records of the year. I'd also argue that its importance lies in the fact that it's so elusive: neither jungle nor trip hop, neither ambient nor dance floor friendly. Also, thankfully, it's not blighted by the curse of club culture LPs. You know, the dreaded displays of dilettantism and diversity, where DJs have to prove what open-minded souls they really are. I mean, look at how bad the David Holmes LP was. Sure, some like Vibert and Aphex can turn their hand to anything, but most people just come across as phoney and fickle.

However, Kingsuk Biswas in his Bedouin Ascent guise has come up with something that opens up new diections for electronic music. The Wire have already tried to label it as part of the new complexity, which is obviously a reference to Bis' use of polyrhythms and scattergun beats. Label mate Luke Vibert has said that the insane beats are too much for his head, while others have said they wouldn't know how to even start dacncing to it. Indeed Bis has been particularly scathing about soothing sounds, particularly drum'n'bass' alarming decline into flabby fusion and flotsam. Bis' beat are as broken as they come, but the chances are they owe more to the European avant garde and Indian traditions than Detroit classicism. Who cares? It's simply invigorating, and I can't wait to see where he goes next.

The implication has been that Bis has benefitted from being a cultural outsider, sitting on the sidelines lapping everything up. Perhaps most intriguingly, constant reference has been made to Bis' early exposure to dub, listening to David Rodigan's Roots Rockers on Capital Radio at the end of the '70s. Put that together with Rupert Parkes speaking about how important it was to his musical development listening to Gilles Peterson's earliest shows on Radio London in the early/mid '80s and you can begin tracing the story of specialist radio shows in the London area, before the pirates returned. Other shows worth mentioning are Greg Walker's Soul Spectrum on Capital and Stuart Henry's show on Radio London playing all the mad rockabilly and r'n'b obscurities, with the stripped down energy level easily matching the best of punk. Mind you, just as mental was when the network was given over to the Asian sounds. I never had a clue what they were playing, but it sounded wild. Anyhow, there's some stories to tell there, but none of them have owt to do with why 'Music For Particles' is good. I suppose it's just because I remember those infamous hecklers shouting at Huggy Bear: "Less structure." [Kevin Pearce].


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