J.B. Lee — We Know You Can Hear Us, Earthmen
((Not on label) no#, 1996, MC)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-02-01
An interesting and somewhat haunting musical expedition, Lee performs the six instrumental compositions here on programmed synths and sequencers using a variety of instrument voices. It took a couple of plays to get in the mood, as well as to get past the overall sequenced feel of the performance — yet the writing is what shines through in the end. The dark and oblique nature of some of the tunes sometimes recalls the best of Goblin's soundtrack material, or even Japanese band Ars Nova. On other tunes a neo-chamber feel prevails, occasionally injected with a zeuhl rhythmic style, and a slight eastern feel. Multi-layer counterpoint in an edgy shade of dark comes to the surface on "Vengeance Divine," perhaps this is what Univers Zero would come off like with a steady drum and bass beat driving their tunes. "GG1 Pennsylvania Railroad" is another that puts a great evolving theme into a memorable groove. Even some Oldfield influence creeps in on the closer "..And There Was War in Heaven." Overall, Earthmen stands very strong as a collection of solid compositions, but any of these tunes would benefit greatly if they were arranged for, and performed by a full band.
Related artist(s): J.B. Lee
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