ANDREAS AKWARA: Klangbild (CD on Scare Records)
This release from 2011 offers 62 minutes of quantum electronic music.
Cosmic electronics are seasoned with rhythms to explore the nature of matter as vibrations.
While generally soft in character, the electronics exhibit a decent range of authority, with expressions running the gamut from gutsy bass tones to crystalline embellishments. Vaporous tones establish a rather active atmosphere that is the foundation for a plethora of sprightly electronics consisting of lead riffs attended by a glittering host of enhancing effects. (At one point, those effects adopt an organic flair, sounding almost like warbling birds of a cybernetic genus.) A bevy of cosmic sounds persist in surfacing, maintaining a quantum presence in the gentile tuneage.
Keyboards are expansively utilized to concoct the melodies, flavoring the streaming harmonic undercurrents with lively behavior.
Percussives play a vital role in a number of the tracks. But while there is an amount of rhythm boxing lending subtle oomph to a few tracks, the majority of tempos are achieved through the sly application of non-impact pulsations looped to approximate beats.
These compositions are a wonderful soundtrack for physicists who want to kick back and escape from their research by immersing themselves in music that attempts to analyze the quantum definition of matter. The melodies are fluid and captivating--and constantly introducing new variations to the flow, keeping things engaging. A majestic sensibility is predominant in this music, attributing the atomic level the respect it deserves.
THE GLIMMER ROOM: A Diary of Occurences (CD EP & DDL on A-Frame Media)
This release from 2010 offers 39 minutes of haunting electronic music.
Airy electronics are boosted by pensive piano and sprightly e-perc.
Ethereal texturals establish haunting backdrops for more prominent electronics which exhibit stately restraint in their delicate manifestations. As dual backgrounds mesh and undulate, the melodies unfurl with elegant charm, sparkling as if illuminated by an afternoon sun.
While the atmospheric tonalities generate wispy foundations, piano unveils the main themes of these songs. The mood is sober but not dark, evoking bygone days of leisure. The gestalt of these sonic aspects results in tuneage a few degrees more animated than ambience, but still comfortably soothing.
Crisp e-perc lends fastidious propulsion to some tracks, but the rhythms are suitably subdued and pleasantly unintrusive. The majority of pieces are sans beats--dreamy and supple.
Inspired by a dream of living in a rambling 1900s country house, these compositions capture a gossamer feeling populated by forgotten ghosts. The tunes immerse the listener in this spectral realm with graceful ease, a calm that is quite infectious (and liberally sprinkled with a touch of lively melodies). A touch of orchestral strings gives the finale a thought-provoking touch.
JEFFREY KOEPPER: Arctisonia (CD on Air Space Records)
This release from 2011 offers 73 minutes of frigid electronic music.
Delicate auralscapes consist of a plethora of synthesizers producing electronics of a frigid nature.
The general mood is one of relaxation. The electronics are crafted to sedate as they mesmerize, with melodic structures of gentle definition tempered by gurgling enhancements. Chords are established, coaxed into infinite sustains, then tinkered with to produce fragile variations in tandem with auxiliary harmonics.
Keyboards are utilized to embellish these soundscapes with more melodic characteristics. Riffs are handled in similar fashion to the background tones: patterns are generated and allowed to gradually evolve through variations of tender definition.
One track ("Avalanche") is nearly 21 minutes long. This extended duration affords the sonic components ample opportunities to evolve and accrete into a luscious composition of rather spry keyboard riffs with an undercurrent of tenuous (almost ominous) tonalities.
Rhythms play only an incidental role in this music, and those that are present are understated and relegated to vantages deep within the sparse mix. These tunes concentrate on a flowing nature that would only be disrupted by locomotion.
While this music bears a wintry flourish, the compositions bear evidence of meticulous craftiness as the tunes unfurl, maturing from simple repetitive structures into lush specimens of interweaving cycles.
DAN POUND: Medusazoa (CD on PoundSounds)
This release from 2011 offers 71 minutes of gently pulsating electronic music.
While Pound's releases usually feature a mixture of natural (albeit ethnic) instruments with hard technology, this time his gear is exclusively synthesizers.
The electronics are soft and enticing. Harmonic textures blend with a series of auxiliary electronic pulsations to create a melodic vista of submerged definition. The tonalities are soft, yet display a sneaky sense of power, the type of influence that by the time you notice it you are deeply bewitched by the ethereal environs.
Ah, but it's not all swaying tones. Keyboards are utilized to flavor the commodious passages with touches of sinuous grace. A few pieces are blessed by celestial piano. But the music's strength invariably resides in the interplay of sighing atmospherics and how the lead chords often mirror their exquisite substantiality.
Percussion is generally absent, leaving most of the tracks to shine as pensive structures of rarefied air. While one track does feature percussion (albeit soft), most tempos take the form of chittering effects that lend ticking punctuation from their carefully immersed vantage.
The compositions are inspired by the fluidity and luminosity of jellyfish, and the tunes excellently reflects that intention. The music's aquatic nature is subtly enhanced by watery effects hiding in the mix. A satisfying immersion is in store for all.
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