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Indie Electronics: Brad Anderson, Auto-Pilot, Cornstar, Jamie Craig, Runningonair, Soiled, Transcend with Time

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BRAD ANDERSON: Juiced (CD on Brad Anderson Music)

This release from 2009 offers 34 minutes of intense electronic music.

Brad Anderson plays electric piano, synthesizer, and piano. He is joined on a few track by: Kyle Bowman (on tenor saxophone), and Steve Creswell (on violin).

An overt intensity marks this music, as keyboards are fed through a vintage fuzz pedal, achieving a guttural ferocity that is sometimes countered by acoustic piano, saxophone and violin.

Agile fingers coax an assortment of surging melodies from the keyboards. Much of the tuneage is growling and fierce, communicating a mind-numbing presence that brims with fervor. The treated keys possess a gritty sound that excellently compliments the musicís relentless character.

Electronics function in support of the spry keyboards, often lending a spacey edge to the subterranean music.

Two of the tracks take a softer approach with delicate violin contributing a wistful resonance. In the second of these, this gentility strives to hold the savagery at bay.

One of the pieces features saxophone. Wailing amid the flurry of keyboards and harsh electronics, this instrument generates a classical air that actually increases the songís urgency.

The albumís final piece displays energetic piano being dogged by fearsome electronic rotors.

A certain intensity is found in these compositions. The notes are crowded together, resulting in hyperactive tuneage, while the gritty nature of the sound characterizes a geological flair. These tunes exhibit a tart flavor, one that lingers in the ears. With each song confined to short durations, the rollicking delight is honed so that their delivery is akin to a sharp jab with a pointy stick.

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AUTO-PILOT: Ocearina (DDL on 9Volt Records)

This release from 2007 offers 70 minutes of bouncy techno music recorded back in 1995.

Auto-Pilot is: Adrian Collier (on programming, voice, and guitar), and Shaun Herbert (on keyboards and programming).

Energized electronics and surging rhythms generate lively tunes with an accessible dance sensibility.

While texturals are utilized as celestial foundations, the majority of this music consists of shuddering electronic tones and nimble-fingered keyboard riffs. A host of conventional sounds are harnessed to create these tunes.

Percussion lends additional oomph with steadfast tempos that strive to match the animation found in the temperament adopted by the bouncy electronics. The rhythms tend to be rather straightforward, relying on emphasis as much as complexity to propel the melodies.

Snappy guitar contributes a growling presence in a few pieces.

Some tracks feature treated vocals.

These compositions display a techno hyperactivity intended to revive the rave scene under a guise of contemporary EM. The tunes are suitably buoyant and crisply executed. While a level of activity is summarily established in each track, the style seems to be to escalate that liveliness halfway through the pieces.

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AUTO-PILOT: Out Here (DDL on 9Volt Records)

This release from 2009 offers 51 minutes of techno pop.

Auto-Pilot is: Adrian Collier (on programming, voice, and guitar), and Shaun Herbert (on keyboards and programming).

Recorded more than a decade after the previous release, this music displays a similar attitude and style. Fast-paced electronics are boosted by adequate rhythms, resulting in modern examples of techno.

The electronics flourish with shrill definition, combining fluid cascades of melodies embellished by cybernetic effects.

The percussion is strict and animated, crafted in a template whose artificiality tends to be more focused on maintaining a steady diet of beats than offering any engaging locomotion.

Again, guitar is present, but the scratchy riffs usually mired by the dominant keyboards.

Vocals are included, once more treated and usually incidental.

The compositions are heavily influenced by Eighties period techno pop, but strive to achieve a higher state of intricacy. While the dance factor runs strong, attempts have been made to temper any jubilant attitude with a precise sobriety that serves to undermine the musicís character.

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CORNSTAR: Lulla (CD on Visceral Media Records)

This release from 2009 features 35 minutes of ilbient ambience.

Cornstar is: Khristian Weeks and John Latartara.

Blending computer generated sounds with guitar and piano, this music offers an ilbient sound with a touch of tradition, resulting in an edgy ambience.

While raw in generation, the electronics possess a glistening appeal that is simultaneously soft and shrill. The sounds flow into a dreamy pastiche with a hint of glitchy sentiments.

The guitar injects a quirky folksy seasoning with strumming that is manipulated until it achieves a suitable eccentricity to coexist with the ilbient electronics.

Often well-hidden, the piano introduces a conventional element swimming amid these modern bloops and grinding tones.

These compositions strive to apply a dreaminess to ilbience, succeeding with pleasant tuneage whose stimulation factor is nicely immersed in a soothing stream of wobbly electronics.

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JAMIE CRAIG: Illumination (CD on Craig Sound Productions)

This release from 2008 offers 54 minutes of jazzy electronic music.

A versatility of instruments (or the sampled sounds thereof) are employed to create uplifting music of an instrumental electronic nature.

Keyboards drive the electronics, generating riffs of alluring resonance that stir the soul with their compelling melodies. A host of auxiliary threads flesh out those core melodies with entrancing enhancement. Craigís fingers nimbly trigger buoyant chords that flow together with rewarding results, whether they be twinkling keys or sweetly reverberant tones.

Liquid basslines provide sultry oomph with their popping density. Horns cast off a mournful demeanor to resound with optimistic support. Guitarsy riffs contribute searing glory to a few tracks.

Bouncy percussion lends delectable locomotion to the tunes.

A certain sanguinity permeates these compositions, conveying a sober cheer that is quite infectious. One is reminded of the sentiments of 70s fusion jazz, wherein the tunes are pointed skyward and carry the listener to jubilant altitudes. The music possesses a strength that does not force itself on the audience, instead seeps through the pores to influence moods from within.

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RUNNINGONAIR: Out of Process (CD on Runningonair Music)

This release from 2009 offers 46 minutes of delightful electronic music.

Runningonair is Joe Evans. He is joined on one track by Stephen Vick on violin.

Piano serves as the nucleus for a bevy of field recordings, percussives, sampled snippets, and strings, all of which are harnessed to produce snappy tuneage that blends contemporary electronics with strong pop sensibilities.

The straight-ahead piano is frequently buried under a churning morass of other sounds, but the instrument persists in functioning as a lynch pin for everything with its delicate keyboard expressions.

The percussion provides suitable locomotion throughout, whether pursuing relaxed rhythms for dreamy pieces or adopting a more choppy presence for the peppier tracks.

Through the use of sampling, an assortment of sounds contribute to this music, from pastoral flutes to searing guitar to blaring horns to orchestral swells.

Field recordings are spliced into the mix with subtle intent. A degree of electronics share the same subliminal vantage as Evans embellishes lush melodies with vibrant enhancement.

Some vocals are present, in natural form and filtered through computerized treatments.

These compositions display an adroit adeptness at utilizing diverse aspects to achieve music of appealing demeanor. A sense of drama is drenched with modern flair.

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SOILED: SlothMotion (CD on Elm Lodge Records)

This release from 2009 offers 34 minutes of bizarre electronic music.

Soiled is Marcus H.

A quirky array of assembled sounds conjoin with electronics and rhythms to produce ambient tuneage seasoned with often abrasive touches.

The electronics are an odd mixture of soft texturals and more strident effects, resulting in a curious pastiche that eludes easy codification. There are dense tonalities and nimble keyboards (elements found in conventional electronic music), but then a bevy of glitchy sounds bully their way into the mix, providing an edgy punctuation normally found in ilbient recordings.

A variety of instruments contribute to this flotsam. In one track, a pensively strummed guitar is counterpointed by bleeping diodes over a mellifluous atmospheric foundation. In another, an assortment of bouncy keyboard riffs are dogged by pulsating artificial insects, a clash that gives birth to sprightly rhythms. One piece features drums supporting a gritty approximation of a gloomy pop tune complete with ultra fuzz guitar.

Parts of these songs are ambient with delicate soundscapes wafting on pacific breezes, then grating embellishments emerge like flotsam collecting into an eclectic sargasso of sounds in unlikely coexistence. Imagine musique concrete with a predilection to allow melodies to emerge from the crunching morass.

These compositions exemplify an attempt to inject ilbient songs with traditional elements, a fusion that results in an engaging combination of disjointed elements coaxed into a melodic cooperation. Any attempt to lump them all together into one genre is simply impossible, as Soiledís creativity wanders all over the musical map. The unifying thread is the musicianís determination to explore uncharted territory in pursuit of sonic entertainment.

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TRANSCEND WITH TIME: Through Memoryís Perception (CD on Tarnius Music)

This release from 2008 offers 62 minutes of pleasant electronic music.

Transcend with Time is Mark Mendieta.

Keyboards operate with drums, guitar and bass to produce instrumental tuneage that combines contemporary electronic music with progressive sensibilities.

While some texturals are present, the electronics are mainly keyboard oriented. Riffs are established and then layered with secondary threads to achieve an ethereal density. A symphonic presence is liberally employed. Grand piano dominates many of the pieces with ponderous moods.

Percussion supports the melodic body with conventional rhythms.

Subdued guitars are relegated to a vantage that is immersed within the keyboard flow. In some instances strummed chords emerge on an equal basis.

These compositions exemplify a fusion of progressive music and new age. The composer canít seem to decide between pacification and an expression of drama, resulting in tunes that stridently seek to convey a ponderous serenity.

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