piano is where it all begins. pure and simple.
Reviewed by Joshua Bratton (absorb.org)
with his last release 'double density' ep in 1999, alex graham has kept us waiting anxiously, but his new album 'the blurring of trees', melts the heart and cleanses the soul. at a length of nearly 50 minutes and 11 tracks long, it's the best album, transitionally (never pausing between songs), i've heard in years. this album could be classified in the 'idm' genre, but i find that the best albums are left unclassified.
the opener 'the tuning of miniature modems' puts you in front of your computer angrily wanting to tune that annoying sound out of your mind, but on the other hand, you start to feel what this album has to offer. 'has been trying not to wonder' totally changes your well-being and puts you into a deep subconscious from which you cannot escape, nor want to. the track is quite lengthy at eight minutes and seems to be three different songs unless you pay attention to the synth in the background.
'a funeral for a pink elephant ear' grants your wish on hearing a short, yet emotional piano piece that satisfies, but never lets go. 'drowning cricket quartet' and 'strangelove offline,' remind me totally of something that came from autechre's 'ep7', but with a different twist. 'le elancholia' is the perfect centerpiece. it is an orchestration of measures that is not defined in most electronic releases of recent years. if the producer wanted a specific emotion (as in the title of the song), i believe he succeeded quite well. 'emori dixon renamed' seems to be a perfect ending for a beautiful album.
with its complex programming, ambient textures, beautiful orchestrations, and groovy rhythms, this would easily make my top ten electronic releases of this year.
finally, i believe i've found an electronic album that almost anyone could listen to and enjoy. as time goes on, i would like to see more of alex graham, but hopefully not in another four years. i will leave you with one last phrase: "nothing is over programmed, everything is beautiful."
- Eskmo - Let Them Sing
- Ikonika - Smuck
- Geiom & Shortstuff - No Hand Signals
- Starkey - OK Luv
- Raffertie - 7th Dimension
- Ceephax Acid Crew - United Acid Emirates
- Kuedo - Dream Sequence E.P.
- Starkey - Ephemeral Exhibits
- Neil Landstrumm - Lord For £39
- Distance - Repercussions
- Last Step - 1961
- Mrs Jynx - The Standoffish Cat
- Venetian Snares - My Downfall (Original Soundtrack)
- Meat Beat Manifesto - Autoimmune
- iTAL tEK - Cyclical
- Mary Anne Hobbs - Evangeline
- Venetian Snares - Miss Balaton
- Various Production & Virus Syndicate - Apollo/Neva Argue
- Sunken Foal - Fermented Condiments
- Sunken Foal - Fallen Arches
- Venetian Snares - Detrimentalist
- The Gasman - Superlife
- Eero Johannes - Eero Johannes
- Virus Syndicate - Sick Pay