Monday, November 4, 2013


Oliver Arditi recently took the time to give a listen, and thoroughly review several albums out on Sassbologna, including my album 'Andor(/)' follow the link to check them out and check out Oliver's website if you are interested in finding some new music or reading some of his other writings(fiction, poetry).

'This entire album is performed straight to tape (or whatever recording medium was used) on a Roland MC-505 groovebox; Cory Peak chose to use a particular set of simple, rounded timbres that gives it a distinct 8-bit vibe, although the machine is considerably more sophisticated, and a much more powerful synthesiser, than the devices that gave rise to that genre. The point is a similar one, as well: in an era of expanding technological possibilities, where the range of options available to electronic music producers on even the tightest budgets is dauntingly vast, defining a closely constrained set of creative boundaries can be empowering rather than limiting. In fact this is a lesson that artists in every field have to learn: focus is a necessary pre-requisite to any kind of a coherent statement. In the case of / (Andor) there is a consistent sound across all thirteen tunes, and a pretty consistent compositional approach, which is equally a function of the particular characteristics of the groovebox, adapted as it is to the lyric formal demands of the pop song or the dance tune. Within the boundaries of that creative zone, Peak makes a methodical exploration of the possibilities afforded to a stylistic dialect of funky, minor-key synthpop and electro, without recourse to vocals. ‘Kraftmerk’, with which the album opens, reminded me of the atmospheric soundtrack to the classic FPS game Doom II, to which many hours of my early twenties were sacrificed, and that combination of melancholy with driving muscularity is a touchstone for the whole recording. Sometimes the musical focus is on texture and timbre, as in the contrasting clean and dirty sounds of ‘Booz Hound’, sometimes it’s on the groove, as in the jerky, staccato ‘Pump’d’, and at other times, ‘Runawayz’ for example, it’s melody at the centre of things. Whatever the weighting, these are all compositions in the round, however; they’re simple enough tunes, but they all have enough interest in each musical dimension, and sufficient contrast with what precedes and succeeds them, to keep the attention of the listener for the relatively brief period that they request it. / (Andor) skirts pretty close to the limits of my tolerance for such a narrow field of sonic materials, but it sticks to the right side of that line, and doesn’t outstay its welcome, despite its relatively hefty running time. It’s a very pleasing and atmospheric listen, and it’s great to hear music that foregrounds its author’s creativity so baldly as the hook on which it hangs. In his guise as the idiosyncratic hip-hop micro-label Sassbologna, Cory Peak has established his interest in music of a truly independent bent; with / (Andor) he shows he can walk the walk as well as he can talk it.'

No comments: