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Indie Electronics: Computerchemist, Tom Heasley & Toss Panos, Mark Mahoney & M. Peck, Phaenon

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COMPUTERCHEMIST: Atmospheric (CD on Terrainflight)

This release from 2007 offers 60 minutes of music that combines classical and electronic instruments to produce tuneage of a distinctly cheery nature.

Computerchemist is Dave Pearson.

This music employs delicate electronics in conjunction with traditional and cerebral elements, producing a strange hybrid that celebrates the best of all worlds. Serious aspects are juxtaposed with a frivolity that elevates the listener.

The first track blends orchestral elements with bouncy electronics, creating a counterpoint between sawing violins and bubbly rhythms. A somber opening leads to a floating jubilation peppered with muffled beats and cheerful pitches.

The next piece utilizes recordings of particle impacts with the Earthís magnetosphere, mixing them in with brooding cellos and gurgling electronics. What starts out pensive gradually accrues vitality and pep, transforming scientific evidence into a vital component of a lush panorama of optimism.

Next, we have a song that explores more conventional pop territory, injecting marching drums and lilting keyboards with merry flight as airy notes cavort in an uplifting breeze, ultimately reaching a dazzling crescendo of inspired buoyancy.

The fourth track applies energetic tempos to a heavenly vista. Fanciful keys prance about, embodying more propulsion than the staid percussion, resulting in a soaring excursion into a realm of brilliant illumination.

The next piece embodies a sense of grandeur tempered with seemingly random electronic bloops punctuating a sweep of grand piano. The melody swells with vigorous presence, achieving a dramatic with searing guitar and a crowd of genial electronic embellishments.

Next, thereís a dose of high altitude cheer seasoned with divine keys and chugging rhythms. A middle section affords a glimpse of desperate consequences, but the merriment proves triumphant, resurging with inevitable mirth.

The last track infuses the comfortable gaiety with an exotic flair, flavoring an ascending progression with an undercurrent of mystery.

These compositions posses the unique character of merging a sense of scientific curiosity with a mood of eternal optimism. Uplifting and infectious, the tunes are tastefully crafted to entertain while banishing all doldrums.

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TOM HEASLEY & TOSS PANOS: Passages (CD on Full Bleed Music)

This release from 2007 offers 73 minutes of music recorded live at Tossimoís in North Hollywood on December 13-14, 2006.

Heasley plays tuba with electronic treatments. Panos plays drums. The resultant combination produces tuneage of a remarkably accessible character.

The first piece is an epic composition (clocking in at 24 minutes) that unequivocally proves that the tuba neednít be considered as a stodgy instrument relegated to the corner of the orchestra pit. Breathy chords tremble with eerie disposition, warping into elongated cadence of divine proportion. Oscillations transform the tubaís outcry into a deep voice of unearthly quality. The percussion provides abstract rhythms for this haunting excursion into dazzling altitudes of delight. Growling notes are contorted and mutated into lush expressions of subterranean depth. These warblings undulate with studied care, dredging emotion from thin air and weaving them into mesmerizing passages of rumbling timbre. Power and vitality are imbued with spectral mien, grounded by the drumsí freeform style.

With the exception of the last track, the rest of the pieces are shorter, averaging ten minutes of duration. Again, abstract structures are applied, drawing engaging harmonies from somber moods and injecting a spirit of exploration into the pensive notes. Each breath is processed with technological tinkering until the instrumentís utterances possess a strange demeanor that defies description.

The final piece returns to long-form organization, with a slow building of ponderous chords accreting into a lavish monument of brassy articulation. The percussion adopts a more steadfast delivery, assisting the tuba in its climb to glorious victory.

While these compositions pursue more harmonic character than any melodic presence, the flow is enticing and adventurous, surprisingly ambrosial.

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MARK MAHONEY & M. PECK:The Gallery of Subtle Smiles (CD on Mahoney/Peck Music)

This release from 2007 offers 54 minutes of celestial soundscapes.

Astral tonalities rise to fill the air, pulsating with the characteristics of an interstellar medium. From this celestial void emerge twinkling electronics that lend melodic hints to the soundscape. Overall, the music exhibits the smoldering mien of a newborn star.

After an ambient opening, a stronger melodic presence swings into play. Keyboards generate chords that dance at the edge of intrusion, remaining sedate in their elusive verve. Then things sink back into a peaceful nature that is periodically seasoned with the emergence of livelier passages. This sonic ebb and flow establishes a mild invigoration of pleasant quality that tickles the psyche ever so softly, conjuring tranquillity spiced with pacific pinnacles.

Gentle e-perc provides languid rhythms in a few instances, mixing with xylophonic tempos to achieve an uplifting but calm stimulation.

Use of a theremin introduces a haunting nostalgic sentiment to the music.

Half of the compositions flirt with melody, but generally maintain a harmonic disposition. These atmospheric tunes evoke pensive moods, but not of an introspective nature. Here, the music points the listenerís attention outward, on an exploration of distant vistas normally beyond routine ken. Meanwhile, the remaining tracks stray beyond minimal definition while retaining a crystalline serenity with moderate electronic embellishment.

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PHAENON: Submerged (CD on Malignant Records)

This release from 2007 offers 67 minutes of industrial ambience.

Phaenon is Szymon Tankiewicz.

Here we have one long track that explores an aggressive form of ambience, delving deep into psychic darkness where imaginary demons dwell.

The electronics are generally gritty, but their application is lavish and without melody or rhythm. Cascades of protracted noise wash over the listener with steadfast determination as if seeking to wear down resistance by sonic friction. There are auxiliary tones present, but buried deep in the harsh cybernetic grind.

After a while, the electronic surf abates somewhat, allowing tenuous sounds to surface but never gain true definition. Everything remains mired in a resilient flow of sound locked in-between atonal and harmonic expression. For a stretch, the piece flourishes with decelerated mechanical scrapings, leading deeper into uncharted realms cloaked in mysterious darkness.

Things tend to get more intense as the track continues, with ambient harshness giving way to more overt expressions of cybernetic rage. The industrial noise factor remains resolute, though, never allowing a hint of melody or beat to manifest.

While lacking any tangible melodies, this music's harmonic presence possesses an astral charm steeped in interstellar noise. The variations that occur are quite subliminal, almost indiscernible, as the electronic growl progresses into nebulous X-ray signals and moves on to metallic breathing.

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