We Substitute Radiance is an eclectic and unusual sounding collaboration between two likeminded musicians. Lid Emba aka Atlanta Georgia based Sean Moore & Bob Crane aka Ryan Huber from Bloomington Indiana became aware of each other's talents through their mutual association with Stick Figure Records. After listening to each other's music the two decided to team up to see what they could come up with and the results are the six compositions that make up this disc.
Back in the day this type of long distance partnership would have been a logistical nightmare and almost next to impossible to say the least. With the advent of digital technology the ability to send music files back and forth easily has made these kinds of collaborations practically commonplace. So while both Moore and Huber worked on their respective pieces of the puzzle separately, they actually opted for the old school approach and exchanged their files back and forth via snail mail. In any event while this approach may have taken them longer, the results on We Substitute Radiance appears to have been worth the extra effort because together they've crafted a seamless and coherent union of their own individual styles and made it come together as one.
The listener is gently eased in to the duo's unique sounding sonic explorations on the opening track "Toxic Utopian". Cast amid a swirling ambient backdrop a multitude of various different sounds enter into the fray as cold mechanical guitars carve their way through the electronically tinged murk. The second cut "Birdbrain" initially assumes a more minimalist approach fueled only by a basic electronic percussive element. This one plods along at it's own pace before gradually opening up, but is aided only with the odd bleep and blurp which come off as something you're more likely to encounter in a video game soundtrack . "Ryan's Bender" is a more upbeat and primarily all electronic number that incorporates elements of post rock, while "Braille Phantom Braille" finds the duo once again returning to their predominantly more minimalist & ambient sounding musical canvas. As if the listener hasn't thoroughly enjoyed the ride thus far the duo definitely saved their best for last with the final two tracks. Things get a bit funkier on "Stampeder" which is another richly layered composition that features an enormous amount of throbbing beats amid a swirling vortex of pure electronica, and the final track "Flying Undead Overhead" which clocks in at a staggering at nine and half minutes, is nothing short of 100% pure, tripped out synthetic bliss.
The avant-garde stylings of We Substitute Radiance will appeal to the listener who appreciates a broader scope of music as a whole. By drawing from a wide variety of genres, such as indie rock, electronica and industrial, along with elements of ambient and drone, Emba and Crane have ultimately crafted a very diverse and enriching musical landscape.
1) Toxic Utopian
2) Bird Brain
3) Ryan's Bender
4) Braille Phantom Braille
6) Flying Undead Overhead