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The Exciting Electronic Music of Todd Fletcher

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You may not know the name Todd Fletcher, but if you have any serious interest in independent electronic music, you should. Fletcher has been making music since the late Eighties, entertaining those lucky enough to encounter his releases.

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TODD FLETCHER: Arcane Energies (CDR on Microrelease)

This release from 2001 features 51 minutes of pleasant electronic music.

Dreamy textures hang like airborne vapors, punctuated by sensual basslines and sparkling electronics that invigorate the atmosphere with their lively embellishments. Soft percussives wander through the melodies, lending ethereal rhythms to the astral mix. The tuneage displays a demonstrative drifting nature, carrying the audience through cloud-laden vistas of subtle majesty. These ambient passages are far from uneventful, however, exhibiting a strenuous application of sonic elements that maintain a high interest quotient. A remote chorus might function as a humanistic focus for the grounding effect of delicate bongos amid the atmospheric flow of congenial electronics. Or crisp beats might punctuate an amiable drum track with a lazy funk amid the seesaw of glistening electronics, resulting in a particularly uplifting aerial voyage.

A distinct eeriness often appears in this music, as if spirits had adopted sonic form in their attempts to communicate cosmic wisdom.

Comparisons can be drawn between the music of Todd Fletcher and Steve Roach, except that Fletcher's compositions tend to possess more upbeat sensibilities. Fletcher has a way of injecting a mild pep to his ambient soundscapes, producing music that stimulates as it sedates the listener. This refreshing fusion makes Fletcher's music wholly engaging and remarkably appealing.

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PSYCHETROPIC: 23 (CDR on Microrelease)

This release from 2001 offers 54 minutes of superb electronic music.

Psychetropic is Todd Fletcher.

This music displays a wider range of styles, peppering Fletcher's peppy ambience with quasi-Berlin School elements and a touch of cerebral jazz.

Versatile electronics are accompanied by peaceful percussives, producing melodies that seethe as they drift and simmer as they boil. An undercurrent of nimble-fingered riffs lurk within the mix, generating attractive tension in these high altitude compositions. While the electronic tonalities establish a comfortable foundation, sultry rhythms and sinuous passages elucidate the flow with appealing character. Growling synthesizers are attributed a holistic tinge, while drifting textures unfurl with a complacent authority.

The melodies are rich with complex chords and clever hooks, all of which remain submerged in the sonic flow, reaching the brain through a subliminal approach. Panoramas of sound are created that evoke interstellar sensibilities while retaining emotional content. Psychological effects are codified into sound and transmitted through each ebb and synthetic flow, resulting in music that is thoroughly thought-provoking.

Comparisons between Fletcher and Roach are now enhanced by Enoesque qualities and tempered with an evenly retrained funk tendency.

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PSYCHETROPIC: Heat (CDR on Microrelease)

This release from 2002 features 53 minutes of vibrant electronic music.

With this release, Fletcher's fusion of ambience and vitality reaches a new plateau, producing music that excellently hides its ambient qualities in a cloak of vigorously serpentine expressions.

The electronics are as versatile as before, but now they are unleashed in a more rhythmic style, resounding with swifter velocity and pursuing greater definition. Rave tendencies are discernible, imbuing the tuneage with almost dance nature. The rhythms re not always percussive, often being expressed through rapid application of pure electronics. The background textures sparkle with icy luster, capturing the audience's attention through subconscious ingress. Delicious riffs float upon this deceptive surface, generating tantalizing melodies that refresh as they expand. Snappy tempos conspire with dreamy threads to achieve breathtaking constructs of vibrant sound.

Appealing and entertaining, this music is certain to satisfy the discriminating audiophile.

Fletcher's music has adopted a maturity that brings it out of ambient shadow to luxuriate on the same level as Ron Boots or Ian Boddy, blending modern electronics with old school sensibilities in a manner that is absolutely exciting.

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TODD FLETCHER: Byzantium (CDR on Microrelease)

This release from 1994 is now available in a 2002 remastered edition, featuring 69 minutes of premium electronic music.

This music exemplifies all that Fletcher has grown into. The songs are introspectively dreamy but subtly vibrant, displaying a superior blend of ambience and vivacity.

Electronic foundations of ethereal textures are host to luxuriant percussives and delicately energetic riffs. The rhythms undulate like sensual tapestries, woven with delicious passages of heavenly atmospherics to achieve an inspired state of mesmerization with just the right hint of empowered dazzle. Guitar effects are present, but processed to the point of being undetectable among the timbres of digital synthesizers.

Impressions of arid deserts and sedate air spirits are evoked with masterful strokes, tinged with a wondrous touch of ancient civilizations under relaxed scrutiny. This exotic temperament is delivered with wholly modern intent, without the use of any ethnic instruments or Middle Eastern stylings.

These tracks possess shorter spans than the compositions on Fletcher's other releases. This compression acts to hone and crystallize the tuneage, resulting in sharp sonic gems that sparkle with extreme appeal.

Despite the technical assistance of Steve Roach while recording this release, this dose of Fletcher's music actually reaches beyond Roach's influence, allowing Fletcher's music to evolve in his own unique direction.

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TODD FLETCHER: Star (CD on Arya Records, copies available from Microrelease)

This release from 1996 offers 56 minutes of ambient music.

Here, the tuneage is meticulously devoted to more relaxing expressions. Indeed, this music is quite lulling and calm.

Electronic drones unvaryingly generate a pleasant environment of passive sound, exploring minimalism tempered with Fletcher's innate creativity. Extremely tranquil percussion does little to disturb the sonic veil, even enhancing the serenity with its languid, muffled beats. The textures of delicate tonalities are almost ephemeral, expertly filling the void with an delectable resonance that neither rises not plummets, maintaining an unobstructed course through the air, not unlike sunlight bathing the spectacle of an ocean undisturbed by winds or waves. Electronic pulses are elongated to impossible duration, wavering in the embellishment of secondary sweeps that cross the audience's perceptions like washes of tinted light.

While intended to convey celestial concepts, this music possesses an earthy quality that touches the listener's soul with soothing reassurance.

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