Monday, 11 April 2011

Dan Pound - Medusazoa

Read review at Morpheus

March 2011
Smooth, oceanic ambient electronica.
Medusazoa is an album of warm, fluid, mostly beatless synth environments. Drifting pads and velvety drones waft and mass around emergent pulse formations and rhythmic digital fragments. Liquid clicks and flecks trickle against synthetic vibrations or burble alongside repeating motifs; lazy scale patterns meander upward, downward; peculiar disturbances rustle and murmur and there are occasional sussurant flushes of turbulence. A downtempo beat arises midway through the title track, lazy and uncluttered; beguiling watery purring sounds cycling around. Some tracks centre mostly on the ponderous heave of layered drones, the flutter and flicker of rhythmic ephemera deep within. Others have subtle melodic elements: hypnotically repeating motifs; sparse piano phrases, electric guitar touches; these buoyant centres of regularity suspended in sequential tides or wandering afloat through ambient densities.

The title track opens with a luminous, repeating synthtic chime motif echoing upon an undulating low drone. Soon the melodic repetition drops off and an ambient bed opens out as if the listener has strayed into deeper water. Here a variation on the previous motif begins to well up with more of a piano sound, evolving and meandering until a second evaporation. Now a distinctly different liquid environment emerges that is more suggestive of surface water or at least of the presence of trapped air: laps and splashes rippling about a sybilant purring noise that recurrs in organic pairings establishing a loose rhythm. Drfiting piano notes once more provide intriguing melody, deep single tones and lazy higher runs. At around this mid point of the twelve minutes fifty three seconds of Medusazoa a serene beat fades in, simple hihats, programmed snare and lazy kick building around the nodding measure of the pulsing purr. For a while now this dreamy rhythmic pool of lilting piano melody floats in blissful reverie until the beat ebbs away at around the nine and a half minute mark. The purring remains a while upon a much more distant memory of percussion, reverberating piano phrases thinning out upon a low drone echoing the introduction until stillness. A very relaxing composition, highly evocative of the underwater environment Dan is summoning up and the delicate life forms upon which this album concentrates.

Gear List analog modular system; Nord lead 2; Korg R3; Yamaha AN200, Korg Electribe; Dave Smith's Evolver; Roland XP-10, Fender Stratocaster, various effects, processors and sound shaping equipment..

Medusazoa arrives in a jewel case with a single sheet insert. Artwork is all of saturated blue hues with soft-edged jellyfish forms hanging transparent in mid-distance. The front cover features a beautifully orange lit specimen, curling streamers and slender tentacles arcing in a graceful curve below. On the rear cover a number of the creatures form a loose cluster; some luminous and distinct, others vague, transparent. Track titles are here with times alongside, also website details and an email address. Within, the insert flip side presents an almost circular aspect with geometrical horseshoe shaped organs pinkly lit. A concise gear list sits here at the left foot. Behind the disc itself a veined close-up image, highlighting the inconsistent densities of these intriguing lifeforms.

US based Dan Pound has a discography as long as your arm and a musical resume to match. Having classical training for piano, guitar and double bass, Dan is an experienced composer for orchestra. He also has degrees in recording engineering and electronic music technology and currently specializes in producing music for film and multi-media. Dan works from his own studio and releases his music via his own recently established label Pound Sounds. This latest release, Medusazoa presents seven mid-length tracks ranging from the four minute six second Living Fossil to the fourteen minute plus Tentacles. Promotional material explains that this music was "made to accompany the fluid movements and colorful bio-luminescence of the jellyfish, flowing and drifting with the currents". Sound samples can be found on the Dan Pound website as well as a further description of the music.

My personal feelings about this album are simply that this is exactly where I need to be right now musically and creatively. I finally feel like I have come into my own as an artist. No compromises or expectations. Just pure expression.
This is exactly the kind of music that I would listen to, even if it was not my own.

Get ready for your own liquid space aquarium music environment.
Based and built from analog modular synth drones, patches & effects, this is pure underwater dream zone music.
Made to accompany the fluid movements and colorful bio-luminescence of the jellyfish, flowing and drifting with the currents, the blend of sounds are surprisingly organic in their textures, and mix well with crustacean-like effects and poly-sequential, fractal rhythms & pulses.
Expansive, slow moving, aquarium-like environments are penetrated and felt deeply here.

Instruments used:
Synthesizer dot com modular system, Nord lead 2, Yamaha AN200, Korg Electribe, Dave Smith?s Evolver, Roland XP-10, Korg R-3, Fender Stratocaster, various effects, processors and sound shaping equipment.

1. Liquid Body 12:38
2. Under Her Spell 5:09
3. Living Fossil 4:06
4. Medusazoa 12:53
5. Tentacles 14:02
6. Bioluminescence 9:56
7. Currents 12:35

Inspired by the movements of fluidity and bio-luminescent colors of the jellyfish, this is an all out analog excursion of ambient liquid space.
Get ready for deep liquid space immersion with Medusazoa.


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