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Indie Electronics: Blutiger Fluss, East Bay Ray, Praguedren, Erik Seifert, TL0741

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BLUTIGER FLUSS: Extrema (DDL EP on Pinnacle Records)

This release from 2009 offers 31 minutes of harmonic electronic music.

Blutiger Fluss is: Jeff Hutchison and Jim Duede (both playing synthesizers, keyboards, and effects).

Two tracks explore ambient soundscapes with a spacey edge.

Track 1 (10 minutes long): floating texturals establish a dreamy mien laced with auxiliary atmospherics that inject a sense of motion through vaporous environs punctuated by languid keyboard notes designed to evoke a cosmic presence. Rising through this gaseous milieu, delicate pulsations emerge and coalesce into substantial melodics.

Track 2 (20 minutes long): bubbling diodes blend with airy tones for an opening that leads upwards to a sparse but expansive auralscape drifting through interstellar space. Keyboard hints evolve into prominence and mature into heavenly chords that endure with stately grace, glistening with sedative power and lulling the listener. A progression occurs, but it is subtle and unhurried, moving through nebulous regions where the differences are akin to swirling vapors. The piece concludes with a return of bubbling sounds.

These compositions are strongly rooted in classic electronics in which harmonics play a more vital role than energetic melodies.

This release is exclusively available as a digital download from iTunes.

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BLUTIGER FLUSS: Moons of Jupiter (CD on Pinnacle Records)

This release from 2009 features 73 minutes of spacey electronic ambience.

Blutiger Fluss is: Jeff Hutchison and Jim Duede (both playing synthesizers, keyboards, and effects).

These cosmic soundscapes transport the listener to deep space with haunting textures and delicate electronics.

In track 1, the tonalities exhibit twinkling properties laced with additional textures that sweep into play and thicken things without adding any density. Rarefied keyboards drift into the mix, producing soothing chords that undulate softly and interact to generate a region of lush dreaminess.

In the second piece, an urgency seeps into the passive electronics, as surging pulsations become counterbalanced by an eerie rotary presence. A tonal foundation swells to immerse this contrast and effectively enhance the orbital passage. Auxiliary electronics provide a subtle drama reminiscent of falling prey to the moon's gravitational field.

The next track features an intro of icy tones of fragile mien, ringing with languid definition. Eventually, organ chords surface to demonstrate a tenuous presence that endures with pacific results for a protracted period. Just before the piece ends, the chords achieve a faintly discernible melodic stance.

The last piece possesses a gritty opening with undertones of mechanical malfunctions. This bleary discord slides into a stretch of sashaying tones that settle into an auralscape of crystalline drones seasoned by deeper chords of a remote nature. These elements coexist rather than clash, resulting in a pensive mood that abides with pleasant persistence…until a conclusion of periodic gurgling occurs in conjunction with the bleeping of radio signals.

These compositions will appeal to audiofiles who prefer their ambience to be steeped in astrophysics instead of philosophical implications.

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EAST BAY RAY: Labyrinth (CD on Manifesto Records)

This CD from 2009 offers 35 minutes of pleasant electronic music.

East Bay Ray (best known as the guitarist with the Dead Kennedys) plays guitars, keyboards, and drum programming. He is accompanied by Bana Witt (on vocals), Bonnie Kirkpatrick (on cello), and Ward Abronski (on saxophone).

Guitar is the dominant instrument in these soft tunes, but do not expect searing pyrotechnics; instead Ray teases gentle chords from the strings, endearing melodies that strive to sedate with their sparse depth. In some instances, tape manipulations transform conventional resonance into pulsating passages.

Keyboards provide crisp melodies that are often toylike in their definition. At other times, they function as textural backdrops for guitar stylings.

Rhythms are generally rare here, appearing in only a few pieces.

The cello and saxophone (each appearing in single tracks) injects a foreign mien to those pieces. The cello provides a moody undercurrent for the one lyrical song, while the saxophone introduces a mournful jazzy disposition to a track.

One track features vocals that examine the allure of tragedy in interpersonal relationships.

These compositions are all brief and to-the-point. They also tend to limit themselves to single instruments, creating a minimal quality that focuses attention on the performance. While some of the pieces exhibit upbeat tendencies, the majority of them explore moody terrain.

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PRAGUEDREN: Painting over Scenery (CD on Dank Disk)

This CD from 2010 features 52 minutes of soothing electronic music.

Praguedren is a pair of Czechs: Tomas Effliger and Sector Seventeen, with Gerard Smith (on bass on five of the fifteen tracks).

Amiable electronics craft courtly tunes marked by hints of rhythm.

The electronics are a combination of moody atmospherics and wobbly keyboard expressions. The texturals represent firmaments of vaporous definition, generating brooding infrastructures in contrast to the other electronics. Blooping effects slither through the mix, lending a chittering undercurrent.

Keyboards produce languid sweeps and stolid chords that linger like embers drifting on warm breezes. In lieu of nimble key fingering, the riffs possess a smoldering demeanor with lasting resonance. These shimmering chords flow in concord with the ethereal background tones.

Languid percussion plays an integral role in these tunes, establishing unhurried rhythms that suit the somnambulant character of the music. The beats are often purposefully artificial, which only serves to enhance the tunes' exotic appeal.

Averaging three minutes in length, these compositions offer succinct melodies with no filler or extensions. The tuneage is gentle and downbeat, evoking soothing responses in the listener.

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ERIK SEIFERT: Core (CD on Pleasure Sound Music)

This CD from 2009 offers 75 minutes of intellectually stimulating electronic music.

The focus of these compositions is CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) and their work with particle accelerators. Using crystalline electronics in conjunction with snappy e-perc, Seifert has done a superb job capturing the soul of these scientific apparatus. The tunes (each one dealing with different machines) evoke sophisticated equipment in tandem with mankind's thirst for quantum knowledge.

The electronics are smooth and slick. Dreamy texturals establish lush backdrops that serve as platforms for electronics that glisten with chromium luster. Clever mechanical traces exist as auxiliary expressions amid an undulating bevy of very accessible melodies. While retaining a celestial quality, the main electronics exemplify a tasty balance of deep technology and sincere humanity--meaning they will appeal to technocrats while not suffering a lack of emotion.

The gist of these melodies are generated using keyboards in a pleasant manner, producing riffs that flow with gentle energy. Diverse sonic threads are established and coaxed to blend as the tunes progress, resulting in appealing tapestries.

The percussion is sultry and pursues serpentine tempos which provide the music with cerebral locomotion. Remaining submerged in the mix, these rhythms are never too obtrusive that they overwhelm the songs.

This music's pace is generally relaxed and devoid of harsh elements. Central themes are achieved swiftly, then toyed with via variations, keeping the tunes fresh and engaging.

The album includes a song by Stefan Erbe which has been reconstructed and remixed by Seifert. With spry beats and nimble keys, this piece tends to exhibit bouncier tendencies than the rest of the album's material.

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TL0741: Magnetic Injuries (CD on HC3 Music)

This CD from 2009 offers 62 minutes of abrasive electronic abstractions.

TL0741 is Pat Gillis (on synths, effects, and tape manipulation). He is accompanied by Bill Warford (on voice on one track).

This tuneage embodies an aggressive presence that balances noise with mesmeric properties. Gritty sounds are generated and released in flowing bursts that somehow manage to bestow the grittiness with an engaging quality. Piercing notes are established, then mired by auxiliary sounds that lend the shrill notes depth as they swell to dominate the stage.

Grating sounds blend with stormy resonance, punctuated by periodic outbursts of electronic intensity. Textures are generated, then bent into distorted structures. Mechanical growls are arranged into pulsating streams. Harsh rotors create atmospherics of ominous mien.

While no traditional percussion is employed in these pieces, there are instances of languid rhythm approximated by the use of eerie impacts.

Melody is hardly an issue here. Instead, Gillis strives to express moods of sonic stress laced with hypnotic character. This selection of musique concrete toys with harmonic definition buried amid a resolute dedication to otherworldly airs.

While previously released, this reissue features ten minutes of new material.

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