Programme D'Experience is a recording studio project led by keyboardist/guitarist/programmer Brad Bansner. Bansner is joined by guest musician Parker Canyon on horns and the two of them arrange some really nice instrumental soundscapes that cover a wide spectrum of influences. Encompassing hard rock, jazz, funk and some prog here and there, Thought Molecules is a pleasant little journey to the land of Earcandy.
One piece I particularly take to is the funky, Red Hot Chili Pepper-ish "Science of No Science". Over a Flea-like funk bass line comes a bed of Steve Vai guitar soloing and some Ozric Tentacles style synthesizer burbles. The real kicker is an unexpected bit of sax. "Twinkle" features early Chicago style horns and jazzy guitar noodlings. But my favorite tracks are the last three as they seem to make up a trilogy and hence are the most "progressive" bits on display. "Beyond Experience" is a dreamy piece, with some sweet flute and saxophone interplay. I also enjoy the smoky muted trumpet that's featured here. "Cradle" is the song that officially ends the CD and I love the snaky rhythm in tandem with the melancholy piano theme. I would have actually preferred a bit less electric guitar here as the Vai-like shredding gets in the way of an otherwise excellent song. Look out for the untitled hidden bonus track as it's certainly a keeper. Compositionally, it's a fairly simple piece, but it's probably the most melodic song on the entire CD and contains a lilting theme with gorgeous acoustic guitar and piano.
Thought Molecules will unlikely make it to many top ten lists of 2003, but it's an enjoyable instrumental affair that will no doubt satisfy fans of this kind of music. Personally, I usually find these studio one/two man projects to be cold and sterile but Thought Molecules is thankfully one of the better ones I've heard. Mention must be made of the excellent sound quality as well. Though it is not noted in the CD booklet, Thought Molecules is HDCD encoded for audiophile sound quality.