Well, here’s something interesting for a change. Wav-Legion is a collaborative effort from (as the title alludes to) Canadian producer, musician, singer-songwriter, “Wav-Dr.,” and California singer-songwriter, “Bonnie Legion.” The album was made over a seven week period after first connecting on the blockchain music site “Choon” (which admittedly I had never heard of until now.)
Comprised of 13 distinct tracks, Wav-Legion offers an eclectic mix of electronic music fused with a variety of musical elements from other genres. The songs often feature a subtly dark electronic backing, though the actual beat style varies widely from song to song. To give you an example of the kind of fusion we see here, the track heavyweight combines a Terminator style retro electro synthbeat with groovy twists, excellent lounge-like female vocals with accents of trip hop and pop. It’s also a duet where the Wav-Dr has vocal parts as well, delivered in a casual yet effectively hypnotic demeanor. This is a true experimental album. People without appreciation for the avant garde will not know what to make of it. That’s okay, the talent and quality of display here make this music appealing to almost anyone, even if the listeners don’t take full advantage of the deeper meditative forces at work here.
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It was a pleasant surprise to discover that “The Interplanetary Acoustic Team” isn’t a bunch of dudes sitting around playing acoustic guitars (not that I’m all that opposed to that sort of thing.) In fact, they describe themselves as “a group of musical explorers whose mission is to listen to the stars, to record the deep gravitational waves rolling across the wide sweep of time, the voices carried on those waves.”
Their debut album, 11 11 (Me, Smiling) is a creative tour de force. Incorporating collage, retro-futurism, obscure sampling, groovy synthesizers, space ambiance, and occasional guitar, vocals and who knows what else, this album is nothing short of an avant garde, cerebral masterpiece. Others have likened it to the sound of a Kubrick film such as 2001, A Space Odyssey, however, to my ears it’s more reminiscent of soundtracks from late 70’s, early 80’s scifi films, such as Saturn 3(music by Elmer Bernstein) or maybe the movies of John Carpenter. It’s like an arthouse version of Buck Rogers. This music is very meditative, almost entrancing. While listening to this album I wanted to line up my crystals on the carpet, close my eyes and see if I could open a stargate portal through my third eye…
I’m not sure if they used all analog synths for this project, but they certainly have captured the best of “the analog sound.” There’s lots of warmth and just the right amount of tape hiss in these recordings. My favorite songs are the title track, 11 11, and also…Islands in the Cosmos. I’d love this album even on aesthetic grounds alone, but unlike so many avant garde, experimental musical creations, the music on 11 11 (Me, Smiling) is actually extremely pleasant to listen to and very good.
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