Next to a number of other artists prominently featured in this magazine, Ben Reynolds recently made the leap from small edition CD-R?s to more widely distributed ?proper? CD?s. After CD releases on Digitalis and the Finnish Ikuisuus label, Last Visible Dog from Providence has put out this collection of eleven otherwordly tunes from Reynolds following his contribution to the massive ?Invisible Pyramid? compilation on the same label.
Embedded in the Northern British scene around bands like Ashtray Navigations or Vibracathedral Orchestra and the Memoirs Of An Aesthete and First Person labels, Ben Reynolds combines electronics and acoustic instruments. The eleven tracks move from percussive clatter, played by Alex Neilson on ?Remedy For the Sirs?, via droning and spaced-out passages to woodsy free folk, such as on the meditative ?In Yeek Stars?. If there?s a common ground for most material on ?Book Of Beyond?, it?s the spacy atmosphere, only absent on a few tunes. Reynolds makes heavy use of delay and reverb effects that lets most tracks appear like the musical translation of found sound recorded by astronauts.
There are some ups and downs on the disc. The middle part of the CD is rather weak. The improvised rattles and clangs of ?Heavy Masks, Wheels, etc.? as well as the similar title track don?t seem to lead anywhere in particular. This also goes for the ghostly space sounds of ?Increasingingly? and the following ?We Three Theatre?. The beginning and end of the disc are very satisfying on the other hand. Those tracks are more varying, Reynolds plays percussion and flute, and they have a decidedly warmer feel to them. Especially the long ?In Yeek Stars? and the final and most melodious track ?In Turn the Space Abdomen? convince through their development of ideas into a coherent outcome. Maybe not as fully persuasive as Reynold?s guitar recordings, ?Book Of Beyond? is still another positive addition to his ever-growing discography. 7/10 -- Stephan Bauer (2 October, 2006)