UWE GRONAU: Thoughts of Tomorrow (CD on Gronau Music)
This CD from 2014 offers 59 minutes of jazzy electronic music.
Gronau plays keyboards. He is joined by Clemens Paskert on drum loops, drum programming, and sounds.
Electronic music with strong modern jazz overtones.
The electronics provide a lush range of sounds for each keyboard riff. Sounds vary with ease, but a direct piano motif is frequently utilized to emphasize the music's humanity. Meanwhile, a plethora of alternatively crafted sounds mark the other keyboard threads, even including a classic fusion organ fore a touch of modern ragtime.
The multi-layering of these keyboard threads results in a delightful density. Their interplay is crucial in concocting each song's individual melody. Dreamy passages lead to vibrant outbursts of jubilation.
Percussion is very vital to these songs, lending them appropriate locomotion, aiding in their bounce. At other times, the percussion adopts a jazz cafe flair with slushy tempos.
Other instruments appear...like a guitar--pleasantly strummed in one instance, funkily snarling in another--or an almost subliminal bass.
These compositions serve as a gateway to a variety of sprightly realms bristling with catchy melodies and slick performance. While generally lighthearted in character, these jovial riffs are periodically accompanied by more intense chords which only serve to enhance the rest of the music's celebratory nature. The shimmering melodies are alive with optimism.
TWOFISH: Zero Crossing (DDL on Twofish Music)
This release from 2014 features 40 minutes of interesting electronic music.
Twofish is: Harry Richardson, Charles Humble, and Mark Chitty. They are joined on a few tracks by: Heather Meyer (on vocals), Wee Alice (on violin), Barney Weston (on sitar), Bill Stewart (on additional guitar), and Alica (on cello).
Feathery electronics and vocal threads are given a boost by a rhythmic undercurrent.
Crisp electronics establish fluid riffs that undulate with each other to generate flows of an urban character. Keyboards trigger the majority of these chords.
A degree of rhythms are present, but mostly synthetic and restrained to a level that motivates but never overwhelms the music. On a few occasions, the percussives muster some verve and velocity, but still they tastefully guide instead of intrusively dominating. In later tracks, conventional drums provide lighthearted tempos.
One might think the strings would lend a classical edge to the music but instead their influence is almost Romany, evoking haunting hillsides at night. In one piece, the guitar establishes a sultry presence amid chugging electronics. In fact, guitar plays a vital role in the last few tracks, contributing an almost romantic quality (especially in tandem with some tablas).
Some vocal effects are utilized as a nonverbal instrument, punctuating things rather than running as a choral thread (although the crooning appears in this role too). And some radio transmissions creep into the mix to lend an alienation flair.
These compositions pepper contemporary electronics with a bouncy quality that remains out of techno turf, but still invokes quite a tasty agility. The melodies are strong yet sinuous, kind of infectious. An odd measure of combining highbrow electronics with a modern almost-beatnik sensibility results in some rather inventive tuneage. Eastern sentiments take over for the last track with serpentine rhythms, celestial crooning, delicate guitar strumming and mournful cello, all nicely embellished by an electronic wash.
TWYNDYLLYNGS: Horgon Fantasy (DDL EP on Twyndyllyngs Music)
This release from 2014 features 30 minutes of mellow electronic music recorded live at Electro-Music on September 6, 2014.
Twyndyllyngs is: Bill Fox and Howard Moscovitz.
Delicate electronics produce tuneage of an ambient nature.
Track one begins with a tracery of texturals that set a pacific mood for delicate keyboards which perpetuate the calm and usher in a selection of high-end pulsations. Some synthetic strings embellish the slowburning electronics, further defining the tune's somber temperament. Some additional keys offer a selection of sparkling chords that fail to liven things beyond the already-established serious outlook.
The next song furthers this attitude of sonic sobriety with lacey atmospheric tones in conjunction with softly whispering electronics. This ambient motif soon spawns some more substantial activity, as the keys grow spry and explore a mounting melody, supported by auxiliary electronics pretending to be space guitar. The elements congeal to produce a bouncy tune with retro influences. As things progress, the pace briefly quickens and the notes swell to a more demonstrative posture, generating a smoldering composition that combines twinkling keys with an astral riff...before everything sinks back into a gentle flow of faux strings and shimmering tonalities. A degree of tension is introduced as the factors churn in a region between ambience and oomph, uncertain which mode to take. The music seems determined to resist any urges to erupt, preferring to languish in a mellow zone of anticipation.
Track three is a bonus piece, and it continues to explore the sonic template of ethereal threads seasoned by lightly piercing notes, creating a lingering feeling of solitude lost in the mists.
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