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The Expansive Electronic Music of Brendan Pollard

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Hailing from the UK, Brendan Pollard has been recording superb electronic music with the band Rogue Element for several years. Now heís launched a solo career that promises to attract him some well-deserved international attention.

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BRENDAN POLLARD: Expansion (CD available from Acoustic Wave Records)

This release from 2005 offers 61 minutes of enticing electronic music.

Joining synthesist Pollard on one track is Adrian Dolente playing additional electronics.

Dreamy electronics abound here, with pensive celestial textures punctuated by spacey effects that serve to coax the atmospherics into evolving from gestating harmonics into melodic substantiality. Waves of unearthly sound crest and coalesce into pastiches of divine disposition. Gradually, keyboard rhythms creep out of the seething mix to prance and cavort with expressive jubilation. Deep bass tones establish a riff that goads everything into tasty activation.

A mixture of idiosyncratic tonalities serve to flesh out the musicís sound. Fanciful notes pitter away with jovial emphasis. Heavenly choral waves bask in an ascending tide of looping riffs that persist in entwining to produce lavish melodies. Pools of bubbling diodes spawn glittering passages of astral genesis that blossom into mature moods of ethereal puissance.

A rhythmic presence lurks in the liquid mix. E-perc generates a mercurial propulsion with surging tempos, while cyclic keyboard chords provide auxiliary rhythms of a sparkling and engaging nature.

Thereís a constant sense of growth going on in this music. Things are always expanding, evolving, mutating into prosperous new levels of electronic delight.

These compositions combine slow-building structure with dynamic pinnacles of bewitching appeal. Harmonic flows faithfully accrete essence, building to momentous arrangements that bristle with lively riffs and gregarious rhythms. The results are satisfying and thrilling.

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BRENDAN POLLARD: Flux Echoes (CD available from Acoustic Wave Records)

This release from 2007 offers 73 minutes of engaging electronic music.

Joining Pollard on this release are: Shelley Walker (on guitar), Adrian Dolente (on electronics), and Mat Roberts (on Steinway piano and Hammond organ).

Dense electronic textures are seasoned by more fragile tonalities, establishing a fertile harmonic foundation for effects to chitter and bleep, while delicate riffs surface to unify and guide the flow into melodic territory. Soon, these riffs achieve a substantial presence, transforming the music from a churning pre-birth soup into a satisfying mature stew.

Cyclic loops emerge from the mix to provide a vigorous nucleus which is steadily augmented by the evolution of those cycles and the introduction of fanciful chords. Gurgling diodes come into play along the way, lending peripheral agitation that eventually gets assimilated sucked into the central flow.

While generally immersed in a bevy of surging electronics, the guitar shines with a glittering luster, propagating sinuous riffs that smolder softly and inject the tuneage with an undercurrent of searing vitality.

Once again, a percussive presence is achieved by a mixture of snappy e-perc and the repetition of more strident electronics. Sometimes the rhythms are gentle and sultry, while at other times they propel the melodies with a dramatic tension.

With three long tracks comprising the bulk of this release (thereís a short end piece that acts as a calming portal back to the real world), these compositions embody long-form structure. Elongated intros gradually accrete stamina and cohesion. Once the core melody is established, sidereal embellishment serves to liven the sonic stream with thrilling ascensions and engaging variations. The musicís pinnacles are rewarding and memorable; the ride to these peaks are acoustically picturesque.

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