Monday, March 21, 2011

review of Encouragements, free song, new music & projects

Flagler Beach, FL 2-14-11

Maurizio Pustianaz at Chain D.L.K. gave "Encouragements" a generous three and a half stars in his review of the album. The general consensus is that the cd is all over the place and, perhaps, incongruous. I did struggle with the assembly of the track lineup. I've always been something of a miniaturist, more comfortable with small, and often get more said with less time. I'm thinking about keeping to the e.p. format for the next few releases, and budget woes be darned. :) Nonetheless - although I'm not quite used to it myself yet (I've only just started to like 2009's "Nativity Set"), I'm excited about this release, the music, and I love that people are digging it.

Speaking of small formats - I'm pretty sure the next one is going to be an all-over-the-place 2 song single! I'm very excited how the tracks are coming out and also about some sweet surprises in the production. The tunes are "I Know It's Coming" and "Meditation in C".

"Out of the Bluez" is a radio and critic favorite, so I've decided to make it the free track.I'll probably make "Forgiven" free over at Soundcloud as well.

Finally - if you're into jazz, here's a video of my trio playing in Jacksonville recently. It's the title track to the "There You Are" cd. Unless I realize the dream of putting a Seven Octaves live band together, the trio is the only way to catch me out of my den. :)

Thank you always for stopping by and for your love & support. Peace! - SO

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

IDMf does it again...

I've been a downloading fool, lately. All legal - net labels mostly. The huge net of fishes I've dragged in has been spotty at best. Contagious beats a-plenty, yes; but inventiveness, originality, intrigue and daring are harder to come by.

I spend exactly no time at the IDM forums, but as a member I still get the emails announcing their new releases. Out of all the net labels, the unassuming IDMf label keeps putting out such high quality stuff - other labels would do well to take notice. A lot of it is not for me, the very heavy, the very dark; but now and then...

"Attraction to Light" lives up to it's name as well as the exquisite cover artwork (Fiona Boylen). When Power Stars Collide never tests your patience with his command over all things glitch, there's almost always something beautiful going on. The tracks often have the fanciful flight of that neon moth on the cover; following some stream of melodic thought, but in a free, elusive manner. The music is written for his much younger brother - from the sounds emitting forth, he loves him very much. Couple this tenderness with funky, glitchy beats, daydreamy idyll-esque moods, and the most fabulous array of sound choices, harmonies and sound samples, and you've got an album that will keep you tuned in for all it's shimmering 35 minutes; and reaching again for the play button. Well done. Go grab it - it's free! - SO

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hymns Electronica

Rare to find electronic music with melodies that have more than 3 notes and aren't repeated to kingdom come, with arrangements that aren't exclusively percussion centered and heavily dependent on pads that do everything for you. True - the melodies were already written for Allosonic - but his reharmonizations, interludes, musicality are mixed in with his own themes and riffs. The sounds are not cutting edge, often they are rather retro, but after spending an hour or two sorting through the many mundane tracks from Soundcloud's christian/electronic groups - these cuts stand out as fresh. The artist self-describes them as loosely melodic trance.

One of my all time favorite electronic albums is Prisms by Jeffrey Lams and John Andrew Schreiner, from Maranatha's Colours series in the mid 80's. I haven't found anything like it since. "Hymns Electronica" is reminiscent of it - with catchy riffs and popping beats setting up the hymn statements. Particularly nice on a few of the tracks is when Allosonic only uses one motif from the hymn - as in "Doxology Three", or extracts a motif from the hymn to form it's own poignant theme, as in "All Hail". "Doxology Three (All Creatures)" is irresistible and uplifting, definitely in my top ten for the year. "Doxology One" also has a very nice synth break and brief solo - beautiful, moody track.

This music is free, btw. Just go to the Hymns Electronica page at Soundcloud. Here is his Facebook page.
- SO

Crowdfunder for the New CD!

  As it turns out, "Record Party" will come out on cd thanks to some generous donations! To assist with what's left to finance...