Friday, April 6, 2018

Music Review:
Daniel Avery
"Song For Alpha" (Mute)

"Song For Alpha" opens with ambient hues and it feels as if this album has these shorter tracks in between the longer ones and they have a more ambient than electronic feel.    The second song goes into electronics with a nice melody and in some ways I'm feeling this like Owl City.    "Projector" has these big organ tone feels with drum machines and what feel like cymbals but might also be synth as well.   This is the third song on "Song For Alpha" and it's really what won me over on this album.

Those ambient hues are back on "TBW17" and then "Sensation" has this feeling like "Go" or "Run Lola Run".   This sound comes in which reminds me of a jawharp and Pong.  This also feels a bit like CDX.    Shakers come in next and then lasers only they sound like a door closing (which will make more sense when you hear it).    "Sensation" just drives and ends on that lone beat.   Ambient hues return at the beginning of the sixth song- "Citizen_Nowhere"- but they are not the entire song this time.   A distorted drumbeat which is on the edge of industrial somehow makes this song feel so chill.

The rhythm picks up on "Citizen_Nowhere" and the song has some modem feels to it but it's just very different-- not just different for this album, but for all electronics in general.   You could dance to this and then it winds down like it broke down.   A steady unce unce beat now.   Some higher tuned, upbeat tones.   I like the way "Clear" moves and as I'm listening to this and am halfway through I can't help but feel the weight of this album already.  If I was going to put this on cassette, I wouldn't think of the first seven songs as being "Side A" but I feel like they would need their own cassette as this would be a double cassette release (It is on double vinyl as well)

Deep, darker beats start things off on the second half of this album, which would be either the second record or Side B if there was a cassette.  They bring in synths and them cymbals and drums as this has a faster pace to it, something like the soundtrack to "Resident Evil".    There are also a lot of rapid claps in this song and I'm really getting into the groove.   Everything starts winding down and just as each element slowly found its way into the song, it slowly saw its way out and that was such a stellar example of solid song structure.

"Days From Now" is full of more pleasant tones, slowly coming through in peaceful harmony, such as you might lull a baby to sleep.   But for some reason it also really reminds me of that episode of "Bojack Horseman" that takes place underwater.   "Embers" comes crashing through in ambient waves, but not like the ocean.    Beats return on "Slow Fade" and the synth sounds like it's singing.   The bass is really pounding on this one.    But then it kind of slows down, fades out and the bass comes in even bigger with the cymbals on "Glitter".

"Glitter" does take on a certain rhythm, like a New Order song.    There are these angelic ohms and a sort of jangle as well- it creates quite the treat when the three different tempos combine.   The jangling at some point turns into this stomping, like someone is hitting something and maybe they are.  Maybe it's a fight, maybe it's a fly.   It definitely feels like I heard this song in a movie where some group of misfits were pulling a heist- I wanna say robbing a house of someone they knew through a friend of a friend- and they all got into this small car so it looked comical, you know, like a clown car.   But it's not possible.  This is just the music making me think this way.

"Endnote" is not the last song, but it is eight seconds of someone singing.   It sounds like the words are "come here" but I don't know-- I'm terrible at captchas.    "Quick Eternity" however is anything but quick as it clocks in at just over eight and a half minutes.   I was typing up a review earlier today where I said I don't really pay attention to numbers in songs and such but I suppose that wasn't accurate as I seem to be quite concerned with them here.   Cymbals, bass, what sound like wind chimes on a patterned loop and ohms make up this peaceful and yet altogether frantic at the same time song.  It's relaxing like you know you have a certain time to complete your task but you're okay with that; you'll get it done.

Everything begins to quiet down at the five minute marker.   The beats become barely heard all the way back there even as it just seems to be these ambient ohms now.   Synths come through in an up and down way as the ohms even fade out and we are now down to one element again only this time it is an element which was not previously featured.   I did believe this track would end on those ohms, just kind of fade off into the sunset, but this has added some sort of new level to it all.    That seems to be the theme of Daniel Avery though: take what you expect and "Song For Alpha" will go above and beyond that.  

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