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Indie Electronics: Michael Chocholak, Neu Gestalt, Rey

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MICHAEL CHOCHOLAK: Alveromancy (CD on Triple Bath)

This release from 2008 features 56 minutes of aggressive sound sculpture.

It begins with waves of rippling noise, dark and threatening, punctuated by bell tones and receding tonalities, all dutifully intimidated by the surging cascade of ominous electronics, a synthesized wall of teeth straining to tear into flesh. Horn-like hints lie deep in the cacophony, evoking a subliminal lament that promises to be a portent of the noise’s inevitable triumph. Fierce pitches enter to duel with the din, struggling for domination, but to no avail--the thematic angst remains steadfast, unswayed, as hostile as ever.

The second track offers a haunting realm of dire drones inhabited by more piercing pitches. Instead of battling, the diverse tones merge to form a field of intense expression. Dense and all-encompassing, this zone swallows the listener and stupefies cognition, plunging consciousness into an abyss beneath dreamland.

The next piece contributes to the downward spiral with grinding noise seasoned by fleeting blasts of an eerie nature: banging, scraping, shooping, all processed until they’ve lost any ties to their earthly origins.

The journey continues, going underneath habitable space into a darkness wrought with tense textures and swelling mechanical growls. Electronic pitches act as sonar beacons to navigate the gloom. But as the descent persists, everything becomes swamped a deadlier murkiness.

Blasts of mutant static usher in the next track, striking out and holding sustained iron ringings at bay. Determined to claim victory, the abrasive hisses repeatedly flex and erupt into harsh outbursts that often sound like bellows of metallic beasts.

Adopting different timbres, the next piece features a similar combat, this time between choppy sounds compressed in upon themselves and the mournful outcries of those metal behemoths. Using contrasts as their weapons, these forces clash, struggle, and ultimately merge into a delightfully thunderous bedlam.

The last track consists of vibrating layers of terse atmospherics visited by an assortment of fearsome pitches, harsh droplets, and sharply delineated impacts.

Intense and articulate, this music has no need of melodies. Its strength lies in its own audacity and the soul-shattering devastation it achieves.

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NEU GESTALT: Altered Carbon (CD on Alex Tronic Records)

This CD from 2008 offers 67 minutes of gentle ilbient electronic tuneage.

Neu Gestalt is Les Scott.

This music blends elements of ambient and contemporary EM with a touch of ilbient glitchiness to produce remarkably dreamy tuneage.

The electronics are gentle and slippery. Background tones manifest as barely audible textures, tenuous approximations of the noise found between spaces.

Keyboard-driven chords possess a languid presence, emerging in the sparse mix to express themselves with grace and generate soothing melodic enhancements.

Percussives are present, but not all of them are the conventional kind. Some rhythms stem from the applications of glitchy sounds looped to establish a tempo akin to flickering diode sparks. These beats are almost seductive in their softness. The more normal examples of percussion are similarly understated, relegated to a vantage deep within the flow where they flavor the music instead of driving it.

The ilbient aspects exist in a carefully restrained equality with the other electronics. Their normal harshness is muted, making them immersed effects swarming under the surface.

These compositions are designed to induce passive contemplation. The melodies are pleasant and fluid, crafted to lull and open the inner mind to itself. The auxiliary effects serve to stimulate cognition during this meditative pacification.

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REY: Innovative Desert (CD on Tele Sound Recording)

This release from 2008 features 46 minutes of thrilling electronic music.

Here we have an odd cultural mix: a Denmark synthesist who’s fascinated with Mexican intrigue, and the music he makes is distinctly devoid of any Latino influences. His electronics focus more on capturing an exotic feeling that exists separate from nationality or cultural trappings.

The electronics are lush and versatile, utilizing strong melodies more than relying on textural backdrops. Each riff flourishes with expressive keyboard definitions which are then boosted by grand rhythms that inject a rock flavor to this instrumental music, producing a progressive sound that is nostalgic concerning the heyday of modern keyboard composers.

The melodies rely on infectious riffs that are enhanced by auxiliary threads, resulting in inventive structures possessing a profusion of intricate layers that converge to attain an inspired sense of awe.

The percussion is integral in achieving this rich sound, providing the compelling melodies with vigorous tempos and escalating the music to a level of engaging character.

This music exudes a grand stamina, not just in the masterfully complex performance but mainly in the might conveyed through the tightly emotional compositions. The songs are structured to snag the attention and lift the spirit, filling the heart with a vivid sense of hope.

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