While a herd of musicians is abandoning their instruments and moving en masse into the world of electronics, there are still a few acts that are sticking to their core values. Musicians Nelson Foltz and Tom Lynn created Still Life in order to get away from the chaos of everyday life. Their use of acoustic instruments along with modern recording techniques is key to the uniqueness of their records. On the back of their CDs, a simple statement is made, "no electronic instruments were used in this recording." True enough, the two concentrate on instruments such as trombones, bass clarinets but what weighs heavy in their program is the use of percussion. After a slow start, "Volume Two" establishes a coherent rhythm and stable pace that features modest use of percussion - Tibetan temple bowls, Armenian doudouk, even water inside of bowls is heard. The progression is slow at first, but as it builds momentum, it keeps you trapped in its mesmerizing glow. For just over fifty minutes, the two extract the best elements of world music, ambient methodology and minimal structure and make all pieces of the puzzle fit seamlessly. With echoes of Jon Hassell, Brian Eno and African percussive rhythms, the album takes the listener away on a journey of deep thought, concentrated music and freely flowing sounds.
Although somewhat more brief in length, "Volume Three" works along the same lines. First a calm start, with varied percussion thrown in for rhythmic development, which is then followed by various muted and modified trumpets. The water bowls pop in and out of aural range to provide for dashes of colour, while other African percussion is heard from beginning to end. Drones are evident everywhere and a circular motion envelops the ears from every direction. This is sleep inducing music in the best sense of the word. Interesting enough to point out specific details but undaunted in its pure simplicity of wonder. Developing from a sense of mystery, Still Life pleases those who prefer music that is uninterrupted in its movement and heavily hushed to overcome harsh obstacles of life.
Tom Sekowski, gaz-eta Magazine (Poland)