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Taylor, Gregory: Amalgam-Aluminum/Hydrogen

Gregory Taylor is to synthesized music what David Torn is to avant-garde jazz guitar. Both musicians carry an extreme sense of experimentalism and risk taking, supported by effective use of loops, samples, processing, and of course composition. Taylor's Amalgam: Aluminum/Hydrogen was recorded live in Madison, Wisconsin in 2006, and shows his love of gamelan, a kind of musical ensemble of Indonesian origin, typically featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums, gongs, bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings, and sometimes vocals. The word "gamelan" comes from the Javanese word "gamel", meaning to strike or hammer, and the suffix "an" makes the root a collective. The artist uses electronics here to achieve many different effects and sounds, taking you to new worlds with each track. While a piece like "Dada" starts out with ethnic sounding gongs, eventually they give way to ominous loops and futuristic synthesizer patterns that just sizzle and pop. Soothing chimes and gongs sprinkle the mix on "Pelog", while "Nem" features dark and ominous synth washes that just might send a chill up your spine, that continue right into the closing track "Barang". Chilling is a good description of these two pieces, easily the best on the CD. In summary, this is a schitzophrenic release that never seems to have its feet firmly planted in any one style, which for many will be a good thing. Gregory Taylor certainly has a plethora or ideas on display here, and it's up to you the listener to figure it all out.

Track Listing
1 Bem
2 Gulu
3 Dada
4 Pelog
5 Lima
6 Nem
7 Barang

Added: May 14th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Palace of Lights
Hits: 4683
Language: english

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