It's time for another music review!
John Morley writes to us today and sends in his latest project, Fire Giver, for review. Fire Giver is a work in progress, with a few more tracks which are not done yet and which John is working on at the moment. John is known as @lux_seeker on twitter. Some history of how John got into music:
I have been interested in music since I was a kid. I played trombone in a school band and learned piano as well and then played Guitar. I remember getting my first "vinyl" copy of Morton Subotnick's "Sidewinder". I was so impressed that it was possible to make all these sounds I had never heard. From that time on my interest in electronic music grew. I learned a lot of jazz and music theory from a local jazz musician Frank Varrichio. I think its my jazz experience that has made my music more performance based. My keyboard technique is more my own than taught and influenced by guitar. The influence of jazz improv Is why I use Ableton Live and also why I have an interest in Audio Cubes. That and the influence of Mark Mosher. After college i bought my first synth, a Kurzweil K2000. Much latter i got my first soft synth Absynth and i was pretty much hooked after that.
John's gear list:
Moog Voyager incl. Expander
Korg M3 with internal Radius
Full collection of Moogerfoogers
Roland FC 300 Foot controller
Novation Impulse MIDI keyboard/controller
Percussa Audio Cubes (x2)
John about his gear:
There are a few other things but this is the Equipment I use. I don't use the tenori-on very much.
As for soft synths, I have Native Instruments Komplete but mostly use Kontakt, Reaktor and Absynth, Pianotech, Izotope Iris. I have the Live Suite. I have used operator the most. I have a pretty extensive sample library of 8dio Sound Iron and Sonic Couture samples.
I have Alchemy (I use this a lot), U-He Zebra and Diva, Electra X, Rob Pappen's Blade. I have also used Reaktor Prism and Razor the most.
For effects I use Live's effects and Guitar Rig plus Izotope Spectron. I love Guirar Rig and have the Vintage Suite and channel strips for mastering.
About fire giver
"Fire Giver" is an album I am working on based on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - The New Prometheus (hence the name "Fire Giver". It is also an exploration of some of the societal issues raised by romantic writers such as Shelley during the industrial revolution. The album is a work in progress and a few more tracks have to be added before it's finished.
Now onto the review of Fire Giver:
This beautiful and slow moving track features metallic lead synth sounds, which constantly seem to blend into each other and move around, cutting through your head and surprising you each time you think the track comes to a rest. The higher pitched and bell-like sounds are supported by layers of interesting and ever changing lower frequency rumble and filtered noise. I can imagine this track would be perfect for a horror or sci-fi movie or TV series, which takes place in a forest. I can hear Scully calling Mulder in one of the X-Files episodes …
The track is supported by a powerful synth bass sound (Blade). The breathing sound layered over the track adds drama, and combined with the pads and synth leads creates pictures in my mind as one can see in the movie Dune, written and directed by David Lynch. Paul Atreides climbing up a hill, taking a rest and looking over the landscape, or perhaps awaking from a nightmare. I love how the heavy and powerful bass sound is blended together with digital sounds on this track, such as bright bell pads.
The track clearly features more recorded sounds than the previous tracks. The recorded sounds have been processed in interesting ways, looped, layered, … I can even hear some use of granular processing on this track. The combination of how the track evolves and the sounds used on the track makes this one more experimental in nature. It's one of my less favourite tracks on the album, although the track is very well structured, produced and there are some very original sounds used on the track.
This track retakes the ideas of Seconds Thoughts (see above). Second Thoughts was a fairly relaxed track, and although there was a degree of drama, this revisited version takes the initial drama a few steps forward. The growling, rolling bass of the Moog synth is again accompanied by the breathing sounds, atop which aggressive lead synths take the track in a more definate direction than is the case with "second thoughts" above. It feels almost like this track can come before "second thoughts" as it is even more dramatic and has more tension, so you could argue that it depicts more of the "struggle" of the main character in a film than the non revisited version. Towards the end of the track the sound becomes more drone-like, with elements of flutes and contrabass sound.
Fire Giver is developing into a great album and I can highly recommend adding the tracks already there to your playlist, and sending your comments and feedback to @lux_seeker on twitter or soundcloud. The production on this album is well done, with an interesting combination of analogue and digital sounds. We look forward to listening to the next tracks, which will be uploaded quite soon:
Do you agree with this review or not? Post your comments below! And send us your music for review. Until next week!