Crafting a concept album is an incredibly difficult task. Tying together a cohesive narrative across a record’s worth of songs isn’t just daunting, it’s an endeavour that even some of the industry’s finest have failed to do memorably. This task, however, becomes notably more difficult when you’re dealing in the abstract via instrumental soundscapes. That is what Chronotope Project, the moniker of composer Jeffrey Ericson Allen, attempts to do with his latest project, ‘Ovum.’
‘Ovum’ “is a concept album that poetically reflects on the nature of beginnings, seeds, and primordial states of being,” Chronotope Project muses in their liner notes. The project is Allen’s attempt to explore the depths of time and space utilizing complex sonic landscapes. Surprisingly, ‘Ovum’ does this particularly well, conjuring longform instrumental pieces that are worth listening to - an impressive feat.
As with any concept album, ‘Ovum’ is best served by being listened to in its entirety. This is quite the commitment given the length, but it gives the best insight into Allen’s creation. The first track, ‘Olduvai Dreams,’ clocks in at ten minutes, making in the album’s most weighty effort. It introduces a very ethereal, mystifying sound. In this track, though, it’s also a very earthy sound. The sound is chock-full of African tribal influence, Native American flutes and percussion, and so much more.
Throughout its ten minutes, ‘Olduvai Dreams’ proves completely enthralling. The title track, on the other hand, proves less accessible, digging its heels deeply into long, drawn out synthesizer sections. The track is best served by a quality sound system due to its slight variations as time goes on, but it’s definitely more nuanced in its accessibility than its predecessor.
‘Mariposa’ is very similar to ‘Ovum,’ providing a sublime dive into angelic, soft-spoken synthesizers. Some of the instrumentation draws very thin parallels to, perhaps, Nordic influence, but by and large ‘Mariposa’ lacks the earthly qualities of ‘Olduvai Dreams.’ The track culminates into a much stronger finale than ‘Ovum’ as well, one that builds as synthesized choruses and a percussion section enter the fray in a beautiful fashion.
‘Primordial’ is a rather beautiful tune, one that harnesses soft, cricket-like sound effects over soft orchestration. It feels like a combination of ‘Olduvai Dreams’ and its familiarity and ‘Ovum’ and its otherworldly nature.
‘Epiphany,’ too, proves a fairly compelling listen, the synth-driven experience is a fascinating one. The same could likely be said for the finale, too, ‘Starry Messenger.’ It is a wonderful ending that pulls flute back into the forefront, likely to strike a contrast to the first song.
‘Ovum’ is, for the most part, a strong effort. The songs are surprisingly intriguing to listen to, which can rarely be said for ten minute instrumentals. The conceptual part of ‘Ovum’ is very subjective and abstract, but it does do a fine job exploring the dichotomy between earthly and celestial sounds. On the whole, ‘Ovum’ is a treat for experimental instrumental fans worth spending time with on a good sound system.
Blair Coron is a musician and composer residing in Glasgow, Scotland, blending the borders between contemporary classical music, ambience, flourishes of electronics, folk and poetry and with the aid of a string ensemble his primary intention is to create enchanting atmospheres that sets course for introspection.
When he is not performing with the band, he regularly collaborates and composes for those in the other arts with a keen interest in how the arts can be translated between one another. Currently he is scoring the soundtrack to a play by Andrew Edwards (winner of the Roxy Theatre award), which will be performed throughout the whole of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
George D. Stănciulescu is a Romanian electronic and experimental music producer, composer / sound designer and PhD in Philosophy of Digital Music & New Media. In 2005, he founded the neo-classical ambient / avant-garde ensemble Ad Ombra, which consequently released a CD trilogy: Rites of Genesis (2008), Magna Charta Illusorum (2009) and Almost Eternity (2011). In 2009, Stănciulescu started to focus on the more electro-dance oriented sonic dimensions by creating the eclectic electronica music project LeVant, which had its debut CD, Beyond the Masque of Eden (2010). The second album, Knock, Knock, Ginger (digital) came in 2014, revealing an eclectic paradigm that comprises indie electro, trip-hop, contemporary music and art-pop altogether. Since its inception, LeVant has performed acclaimed multimedia shows both as a band and as a DJ at various national & international festivals and venues, with a plethora of featured vocalists and guest artists, ranging from theater and film, choreography, visual arts and so on. LeVant’s releases have been featured in the international underground press, in a number of online publications, radio shows and samplers worldwide.
According to LeVant, “UnFinetude” is a rather special work and probably the most radical and genre-bending amongst the ones he made so far so far. As a sort of “raison d’etre” for its genesis, came from the subconscious challenge he got from various persons asking him what is that? So he thought of creating a digimodern work and this slowly shaped in, thanks to some hours of expanding fantasy, unrelenting encounters with the realm of Illusion and a handful of plugins."
Escuri has been actively producing and performing experimental music in the Philippines. He released several EP which include Parallel Worlds (2013), a compilation of avant-garde analog sound works which took inspiration from the literary works of Haruki Murakami and Kobo Abe; Coloring Book (2015), a collection of purely digital audio works; and ORBIT21 (2016), a collaborative sound work with music producers from California, UK, Texas, Netherlands and London.
His musical works has been featured in local radio stations and publication. His current musical project involves performing electronic music in various settings (public, semi-public and private spaces) in an attempt to explore how these physical spaces contribute to and/or affect sound and performance. In addition, the project also explores how synthetic sounds interact with natural sounds and how this interaction affect the binaural perception of the listeners . Other on-going projects include field recordings with visual artists .
He is part of Pixel Collective, a local group of emerging digital/electronic/analog/lo-fi musicians; and Buwan Buwan Collective, a record label dedicated to unearthing substantial electronic art forms.
A collaboration Purveyr and adidas Originals.
Around August 2016, they roamed around the streets of Escolta, Philippines and did a soundwalk.
This opportunity paved way in exploring field recordings. In the process, they recorded ambient sounds and collaborated with the locals by asking them to do rhythmic beats using familiar objects (coins, hammer, basketball and even coffee machine!)
Like photography, music also has the power to capture a moment, make it eternal and deliver euphoria and nostalgic memories.
A combination of retro aesthetics, enduring lyrics and alt-rock grit.
The best music happens when artists refuse to remain stuck in their own comfort zones and creative boxes. Whenever this happens, they are free to give full range to their vision, and they can really come up with something that’s groundbreaking and personable. This is certainly the case here with Tommy Red and his brand new EP release, “I Wanna Be Exploited.”
Marva Von Theo is an Electropop / Synthwave duo formed in 2016 by the Athens-based singer-songwriter Marva Voulgari and the Vienna-based composer-producer Theo Foinidis.
Their Debut Album “Dream within a Dream” was released early in 2018. The 12 songs on their Album, lean towards an electronic sound that incorporates a variety of influences ranging from the music of the 80’s until today. Darkwave sounds, Jazz harmonies, Rock and Dance drum beats resonate together and mature into something darkly romantic.