One of the perks of reviewing independent music is the discovery of a heretofore unknown musician whose work possesses distinct charm and enthralling promise.
1000psi (aka Paul Garlitis) is such an indie band. There are two releases, one featuring lively pop tuneage, and another that superbly explores a darker side of contemporary EM.
1000PSI: 1000psi (CDR on 1000psi Records)
This release from 2009 offers 57 minutes of spry electronic pop music.
Lush keyboards and snappy e-perc generate a bouncy temperament in which an electronic mien is applied to pop tunes.
The electronics are often simple, but that simplicity actually works to the musicís advantage. Growling textures are tempered by relatively shrill leads. Those leads tend to be key-driven with fingers nimbly triggering pleasant riffs that sparkle with an affable charm.
The percussion is wholly electronic. Sometimes the beats sound natural, but the majority of the rhythms are expressed in a manner that is distinctly synthetic. Again, the music literally benefits from this artificiality.
Guitar provides a sultry snarl for a few pieces. The riffs are relaxed, yet vivid with a delightful puissance.
These compositions possess a wry cheer that is laced with somber intonations, balancing that joy with cerebral sobriety. While the instrumentation tends to be elementary, the sounds are used to express melodies of thoughtful depth and animated complexity. A few tracks explore more sedate territory, but even here the mood is optimistic instead of dark.
1000PSI: Heavy Water (CDR on 1000psi Records)
This release from 2009 offers 59 minutes of solemn electronic music.
A darker sensibility is found on this release, as the tuneage explores denser terrain with portentous electronics and solemn rhythms.
This time the electronics possess a more refined character. Airy textures generate pensive clouds that fill the sky but donít entirely block the daylight. Momentous delivery replaces the prior releaseís bouncy pop aspirations. Even when the tempos stray into more lively turf, a sense of cerebral exposition remains. Sweeping keyboards establish panoramic vistas of understated beauty.
The percussion is ponderous and contemplative, perfectly fitting this abstruse music. While the beats remain generally sultry and sinuous, there are instances in which higher velocities engage the rhythms, resulting in vivacious ebullience.
Two pieces utilize heavy metal guitar to establish an endearing growl that blazes with smoldering potential. On these occasions, the percussion rises to a suitable level of agitation to support this harsher state.
Excellent execution and engaging melodies conspire to make these tracks thoroughly satisfying examples of contemporary electronic music. Haunting moods are generated and then tickled into passages that stimulate enjoyable euphoria.
While stemming from the dark side, these compositions have no hostility or animosity. Instead, their intensity is carefully restrained, resulting in tuneage that is more reserved than dire. Aspects of optimism lurk in the mix, coloring the sober melodies with the promise of solutions just around the corner. Many of the tracks feature melodies of gorgeous appeal.
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