Republic/The Protocols of the Elders of Zion – Meditation Music Volume 1 (C70, Winter Solace Productions)

I’m not familiar with either of these projects, and any information on Republic is hidden because of the difficulty of Googling their moniker. However, based on Discogs listings, this is the only release Republic has participated in; The Protocols of the Elders of Zion have been at work for some time on National Socialism noise, although their time has now come to an end (note: Memory Wave Transmission does not support NS ideology, and this review is based on sound alone). It seems, based on the title, that Meditation Music was meant to be a series of releases, but Volume 1 remains the only compilation at this time, at least on Winter Solace Productions.

Each artist contributes a 35-minute track of meditation, taking up one side of this cassette. The first comes from Republic, titled “Within Time,” and it features a number of sustained synth progressions and drones set to the subtle ticking of the clock. This is a very pure sound, with the drones wavering without much complexity and slowly altering sound as the track continues. At times, the ticking of the clock becomes the focal point; at others, a somewhat sinister riff takes over. All told, this is perfect for relaxation, especially during the early morning hours as the liner notes indicate – Republic recognizes the difference between meditation and the focus of listening and strikes a delicate balance.

I’m not sure that I would call The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’s track, “Untitled,” meditative exactly. It’s harsher and more difficult to listen to than I would have expected, a trilling sound that continues throughout the entirety of the 35 minutes. While meditation doesn’t necessarily require a softer sound, “Untitled” borders on annoying, and that often took me out of whatever meditation I could muster. However, the movement within this piece – subtle changes to the chiming sound – helps to create a trance-like experience. Enjoyment probably depends on the listener.

While I didn’t enjoy The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’s track as much, Republic definitely offers a nicely hypnotic track to aid in whatever meditative art one practices. Meditation Music Volume 1 is an interesting experiment, and I’d be curious to see what other artists could do on recurring volumes.

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