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Daniel Avery

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I <3 Daniel Avery.

I dig the new tune. Not extraordinary, but certainly good.


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Not really fond of the new tune. It's far from the level of Drone Logic or Water Jump


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He has lost his soul  :-\.

I bet all songs will sound like some boring minimal techno tracks.


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Meh.

A very disappointing follow up to an album that, at the time, I was very much in love with.

I've not really listened to it much recently though. Perhaps a testament to its true worth.
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Second album about to drop on Friday. Surely a matter of hours before it leaks. It's getting pretty good reviews so far. The track below is the third we've heard from the album, along with Slow Fade and Sensation. Clear sounds promising in snippet form but when you hear the whole track it doesn't really develop much. In fact Clear came out on the Sensation 12" back in 2015 as mentioned in the first post of this thread. So it's not really that new.
I still rate the first album and would love this to be a good follow up, but so far I'm using these examples to keep my expectations low-ish.

https://twitter.com/phantasysound/status/981454557627772928

*EDIT* Here's another track: Projector. I quite like this.

« Last Edit: Apr 05, 2018, 01:42 by Skyscraper »  
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So I'm not meant to reply to my own post because kittens will die. Is that the etiquette?
Well I've never been a cat person, so f**k em.
Thoughts on Song For Alpha.

The reviews so far are great. I guess it's an album that appeals to critics but I doubt it will appeal to the masses. A bit like one of those Oscar winning films like Moonlight that few people actually go to see.
Avery has decided to represent the parts of his life on the way to and from the dancefloor, rather than on it. Early morning as he rises for a trip abroad, or indeed the end of the night as he departs from the DJ booth and heads home.
The result is at times hazy, and certainly less than banging. But hey, he's gone for a theme here, let's give him that.

Opener First Light sets the tone. A moody minute and a half of beatless distorted synth wash. Either Daniel's catching an Uber to the airport or Prometheus has landed. One of those.
Tracks 2 and 9, Stereo L and Slow Fade both qualify as slow head-nodders. Stereo L stands out more, with it's 303 space groove that would sound at home on Leftism nestled amongst the likes of Melt and Half Past Dub.
Projector's soft melody sounds great for a minute or two, and it would probably make a fantastic ring tone, but over the course of its five minute run time it starts to get boring. Similarly, Clear has an immediately catchy "melody" that would be great as a bridge or as the intro/outro of an Orbital tune, but it's not really enough to stand up by itself.

2015's Sensation actually feels like a standout here. For starters it has "that" sound we heard on Naive Response in 2013 (probably inspired by Paul Woolford's Erotic Discourse), and then those high pitched synth chords come in, all distorted and moody. And they remind me so much of Blade Runner 2049. It's almost as though time has caught up with this track, so it sounds more current now than it did upon first release.

Citizen//Nowhere has a moody melody underpinned by a distinctive hard boiled drum groove that could have been borrowed from the Art of Noise. The closing stages featuring just the drums will wake you up, but then you'll wonder why.
Diminuendo brings more harsh sounds and is probably the closest thing to a full-on rolling techno track that the album can deliver. It's like the soundtrack to a sci fi horror club scene. You could dance to it, but not with much joy as you'd be too busy looking over your shoulder for the Alien that's about to devour you.
Glitter also has enough beats and pace to dance to. It reminds me a bit of Simple Minds' early years when they made instrumental dance rock tracks about travelling through Europe. But again this feels like it's been filtered through a cold space Sci Fi movie. Not exactly hands in the air stuff.

Closing track Quick Eternity is perhaps the most intriguing. Starting with a chiming mini-melody that reminds me of the early 90's (Unfinished Sympathy?), underpinned with a 126+ BPM beat, it then brings added chords that threaten to bring the track towards joy and hope! Sort of. The Chords slowly distort and the beats seem to get subsumed underneath, perhaps representing the end of the night as tiredness threatens to overwhelm. Around the six minute mark a looped electronic sound that reminds me of the "wooooorld" part of Underworlds' Spoonman starts to overwhelm the rest of the track until it fades (in fact this end-noise sounds like something else but I can't quite put my finger on it at the mo. *EDIT* The closing seconds of Under Ice by Kate Bush is probably the thing).

There are several interlude tracks dropped amongst the main players: TBW17, Days From Now and End Note. All of which suggest experimentation, and lots of listening to old Warp records but they barely qualify as...anything really.

On Drone Logic, Avery managed to remind us of little bits of other peoples' stuff without sounding like he directly plagiarised anything. To some extent he's done the same here. But this time it seems he's been listening to the Sabres of Paradise's more experimental tunes, Leftfield's quieter numbers, and tiny bits of Orbital. I'm tempted to accuse Avery of borrowing his distorted synth style from the BR 2049 soundtrack, but perhaps he actually precursed it with 2015's Sensation and then kept going. Song For Alpha is an album that probably makes the critics feel highbrow when they play it - it's aimed at your head rather than your feet. There certainly isn't enough joy here for anyone to take it to their heart.

If the album had been released as a bonus disc with Drone Logic, or even a sort of stop gap between proper LPs, Avery would deserve praise for doing something different. But exactly four and a half years since his debut it was time for a "Main Event" album, not a side order. Where's the beef? 6/10.
« Last Edit: Apr 06, 2018, 00:54 by Skyscraper »  
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I hear some Boards of Canada in here.
Eight or over.


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Completely agree with you Skyscraper.

It's such a wet album. Lots of hazy synths placed into an expansive background layer through reverb. Even the drums on a most tracks are somewhat reverby or eq'd to be low key - distant. It's a shame because although I felt it was the simplicity of the construction in Drone Logic that made it super appealing, the songs also had an immediacy to them. Straight into the action. Simple rhythms and melodies with little deviation, but no need to deviate because they're where they need to be already. On Song for Alpha it feels as simple, but the tracks are building to something that never comes. Sometimes they aren't even building, they just noodle around for a few minutes.

It's nice. The textures work for a rainy walk around the city, but it's entirely forgettable and as a result I don't think I will pay much attention to any further output from him. Shame.
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There was a lot on this album that reminded me of Aphex Twin.

Diminuendo stands out for me, and it feels like I could have found it alongside Isopropanol or some other 90s warehouse track.

It's not entirely fair to judge an artist's new work by work that artist has done in the past, but the comparison that I see here between Song for Alpha and Drone Logic is that the latter felt much more intentional in the structures of the tracks--each song felt distinct and clear, and the direction was much more noticeable.

The tracks on Song for Alpha all seem to have a certain "balance" to them that is good, but they don't go anywhere. The worst thing I can say about the album is that it feels flat--you flip on the album but it doesn't really take you anywhere.

With that said, if you're looking for a certain constant mood, the album does a good job of keeping you there in that mood amidst all of the filtered creations.

I'll give it a few more listens and I hope that I get more out of it as I listen to it, but so far it's only moderately enjoyable and nothing on the album screams at me to hit repeat.


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Daniel Avery and Alessandro Cortini’s new track ‘Illusion of Time’, taken from their forthcoming album out 27th March.



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I wasn't blown away by the first track from this collaboration, but it's nonetheless quite nice.

I have, however, been listening with great enthusiasm to Song for Alpha B-Sides and Remixes. God damn some of those tracks blow me away, especially Hyper Detail. He's got some absolutely fantastic acid lines. Dark and wonderful.


 

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