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Electronics: Delago, Digital Activity, Magic Sound Fabric, Verplanken

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DELAGO: Salzwelten (CD on Prudence Records)

This release from 2005 offers 44 minutes of unorthodox modern electronic music.

Joining Hermann Delago (who plays programming, keyboards, didgeridoo, trumpet, guitar, percussion and Indian flute) on this release are: Zabine on vocals, Alex Mayer on additional didgeridoo, Manu Delago on hang, marimba, kalimba, cajon and percussion, and Singerd Tanzmusi providing vocal quartet from Ausserland.

Delago once again amazes listeners with his curious blend of unconventional musical stylings. This time he’s added yodeling vocals and purring didgeridoos to his windwood inclined tuneage, resulting in a highly vibrant and surprisingly appealing sound.

The two pieces that feature yodeling and didgeridoo flourish with celebratory moods. Granted, yodeling is uplifting, but to achieve a jubilant emotion by using didgeridoos is truly innovative and noteworthy.

There’s always a distinctly alpine nature to Delago’s music. He uses sweet keyboards and heavenly electronics to evoke high altitudes abounding with trembling atmospheres. Applying flute and trumpet only enhances the airiness of the tunes.

While other tracks reach stratospheric heights with searing guitar and monumental percussion, driving the audience deeper into a state of ecstatic rapture.

Often, the percussive elements get devilishly playful, like children exploring a museum of engaging beats. This enthusiasm is tempered by pensive flute, bringing things back to a calming center.

The CD wraps up with an impressive blend of majestic rhythms, heavenly textures, and versatile yodeling, culminating in a grand ascent of the final peak to greet the vivid mountaintop dawn. decorative rule

DIGITAL ACTIVITY: Birth (CD on Disturbing Music)

This release from 2004 features 69 minutes of enthralling electronic music.

Digital Activity is the brainchild of Geoff Westen.

Dense electronics and pattering e-perc are employed with enthusiastic vigor. Haunting airs periodically drift by, bridging passages of dark portend that surface into the light with remarkable appeal. Surging patterns ascend through realms of murky constitution, striving to burst into the open with an instinctual verve. Traditional piano shares the stage with atmospheric ambience, while more decisive electronics flex and frolic in the forefront. There's even a smattering of synthesized horns tickling the flow. Guitars are subjected to tasty treatments, empowering them with a glistening subtlety.

Infant noises are mixed into the soundtrack in a clever manner, blending innocence with the demonstrative melodies.

Compositionally, this tuneage is quite rewarding, walking a fine line between gritty and soothing. The melodies possess a serenity that is excellently tempered with a dramatic tension, elevating the music to a plateau of gripping stature. For the most part, though, the music exudes a strident power that is captivating and satisfying.

The subject of birth is an intriguing one to capture with electronic music, since the experience is one that is wholly organic in nature. It is a fundamental experience that none of us recall with much clarity, making this music a journey of interpretive recollection. Digital Activity provides an entertaining and moving sonic rendition of the adventure.

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MAGIC SOUND FABRIC: Freedom Star (CD on Spiralight Recordings)

This release from 2004 features 70 minutes of introspective electronic music.

Magic Sound Fabric is Cameron Akhunaton.

Sinuous electronics snake through a nest of lively e-perc. The electronics blend keyboard-driven riffs with atmospheric textures, nimble-fingered chords piercing drifting tones with comfortable results. Sweeping soundscapes support a plethora of charming riffs that drive the music with their uptempo disposition. Bass tones provide a durable undercurrent of rumbling power that nicely compliments the fundamental crisply crystalline nature of the electronics.

While the rhythms are peppy, they retain a languid quality that lends a dreamy distinction to the spry and vivacious tuneage. The beats are energetic without being too jarring, tastefully mirroring the soothing vibrancy of the music itself.

An optimism flavors these songs. It can be discerned in the lucid notes as they describe vivid arcs of luminous sound. It dominates the invigorating rhythms. The compositions themselves provoke a congenial inclination. Akhunaton is striving to harness a sincere humanity with his array of sonic technology.

The general mood generated by this music is one of reflective properties. The audience is coaxed into a meditative state, then their psyche is tickled with briskly animated melodies. The end result is one of energized introspection.

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VERPLANKEN: The Missing Tracks (CD on Marie-Line T Discovery)

This release from 2005 offers 35 minutes of experimental music.

The music on this multi-instrumental release is quite diverse, eluding any overall codification.

The first track embodies a soothing tension with breathing machinery fronted by dancing chimes. Comparable to musique concrete colliding with Philip Glass.

With the second track, the music takes a more conventional turn, with hesitantly strummed guitar, subliminal bass and pensively performed keyboards. Electric guitar erupts with a searing repetitious outcry, lending heat to the chilling expressions.

The third piece begins with cyclic tonalities ringing from a remote altitude. Haunting textures creep in from subterranean depths, like lost spirits seeking the light.

The fourth track utilizes sparse guitar notes in conjunction with cymbal crashes and a forlorn violin that grows increasingly agitated as the piece progresses. Cacophonic saxophones provide a unifying influence.

A dreamy atmosphere ushers in the last track, leading the way for flickering diodes whose chirping fuses congeniality and portentous implications. A softly swaying string section enters the mix gradually, saturating the tune with a mounting drama.

Combining elements of psychedelic jazz, contemporary electronics and classical music, European composer Verplanken has produced a wonderful dose of modern music that is engaging and mesmerizing. The minimal nature of the pieces only serve to focus their emotional content.

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