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James Bloedel — Taurus
((Not on label) no#, 2011, CD)

James Bloedel — Old Rocker
((Not on label) no#, 2011, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-06-18

Taurus Cover artOld Rocker Cover artAs the technology of electronic music advances year to year, it seems that artists are moving on to the next nifty toy before they have time to really explore the ones they already have. But there are some who have the good sense to hang onto their toys and really learn what they can do. There's also the cyclic resurgence of "vintage" or "retro" sounds, whether created on vintage gear or reproduced on newer machines. James Bloedel, formerly of the duo Basilwink (covered elsewhere on this site), may use both techniques (or neither, I suppose) but there's certainly a dated sound to his music. In this case, "dated" is not a put-down. There's a real charm to some of these sounds from former days - heck, there's even a whole sub-genre of electronic music dedicated to using and/or imitating old Atari game consoles. Bloedel's not that much of a purist, more a synthesist (in the sense of synthesizing different things together), but listening to this music, I'm often reminded of that first flowering of computer game music. I'm also reminded of that unpredictable Finn Otso Pakarinen (Ozone Player). This is electronic music that doesn't fit comfortably into the standard classifications - it's certainly not Berlin school, dance, techno, ambient, or New Age. It's all very catchy and tuneful, with humorous touches that don't overwhelm the listener with silliness. Old Rocker runs a little further afield, with a couple of tracks that don't feature as much melodic or rhythmic material, instead containing manipulated white noise, environmental sounds, erratic percussion and the like. Listeners interested in this little diversion from the usual streams of electronic music might well enjoy this, with the best introduction being Taurus.

Filed under: New releases, 2011 releases

Related artist(s): James Bloedel

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