Music Reviews

Artist: Damien Olsen (@)
Title: Elecktronische
Format: CD
Label: the burgundy chamber
Rated: *****
Damien makes a big deal about being a Buddhist. Most musicians who make a big deal about their religious affiliation seem to be making the statement that their spiritual depth results in better music. Or maybe he just wants to sell his music to other Buddhists. I don’t know. I just don’t see any evidence of any spiritual depth at all. Or maybe I just don’t get it because I’m not an insider. This starts with an attempted marriage of experimental electronics and piano, and like many marriages, these two don’t always get along. There doesn’t always seem to be a good pairing sonically, as if one was simply put on the top of the other (if you’ll excuse the visual suggestion). At times the piano work is more interesting than the electronics and vice versa. In some pieces they don’t seem to live in the same space acoustically, making this a forced juxtaposition (which I have to admit may be the point since I’m not privy to the composer’s intentions). If that was the case, score one for the composer. Much of the electronics work harkens back to pre-digital synthesis or very early digital (or is this just the lazy use of presets?). There are some interesting electronic soundscapes here so its not an altogether waste of time.

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