Monday, December 13, 2010

Michael William Gilbert Paints Aural Soundscapes of Beauty

According to what I read Michael William Gilbert was taken in his formative years with the music of Varese and Pierre Henry plus the music of India, Africa, and Japan. Since the '70s he has been forging his own brand of electronic music, culminating in his latest CD I Can See From Here (Gibex 006). The early influences are embedded somewhere in his approach, but there is a decided contemporary, post-previous sound to what he does in 2010.

These are rock-inflected soundscape pieces that are aurally rich, melodious and almost visual in their immediacy. Guitarist Peter Kaukonen puts in a nice appearance on one of the pieces. The rest are Mr. Gilbert performing feats of musical wizardry by himself. That does not imply that the music has a "solo" sound to it. On the contrary this is a full ensemble of musical voices. The sources are electronically generated or sampled; they are transformed in quite imaginative ways.

This is music where world and rock grooves underpin the melodic envelopes, and that factor should help make the music accessible to a wider audience.

It is a fine outing. The music is engaging, lush and cavernous in ways that put you into another zone. Kudos to Michael William Gilbert for that!

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