Here are some of the more notable albums that passed across my desk this month. Except for Steve Roach, the artists are all individuals who use band-like monikors. While there''s no musical significance to this, it is an interesting coincidence.
ARP: The Soft Wave (Smalltown Supersound)
Original and often experimental-sounding instrumental pieces from ARP (aka Alexis Georgopoulos), all tracked to 2-inch analog tape. The arrangements deftly combine electronic and acoustic textures.
Back Ted N-Ted: The Mirror (Modern Art Records)
A cheerful set of synth pop with plenty of processed vocals and catchy melodies. Back Ted N-Ted is the nom de guerre of Ryan Breen, and The Mirror is his first album as an artist after years of producing others.
Here's an excerpt from the title cut of The Mirror (Modern Art Records) by Back Ted n-Ted.
Steve Roach: Sigh of Ages (Projekt)
The renowned composer/musician returns with another stellar ambient-electronic effort. His arsenal for this all-synth album includes an Oberheim Xpander and Matrix 12, a Waldorf Q, a Nord Lead 2, a Roland JX-3P, two Dave Smith Evolvers, an E-mu E-Synth, and an ARP String Ensemble.
This excerpt is from the Steve Roach composition "The View From Here" on his album Sigh of Ages (Projekt).
Oval: O (Thrill Jockey)
The first album in 10 years from Oval, the project of glitch-music pioneer Markus Popp. The 2-CD set, which was recorded on a “cheap, stock PC” offers 70 pieces of music, many very short. The pieces feature glitchy, staccato melodies over electronic pads and comping.
Download "Ah" from Oval's album O (Thrill Jockey).
Sky Sailing: An Airplane Carried Me to Bed (Sky Harbor/Universal Republic)
An album of pre-Owl City music from Adam Young, for which he used the name Sky Sailing. Melodic, earnest folk-tinged-pop that—like his Owl City material—sounds great, especially considering it was self-recorded on cheap gear in his parents'' basement.
Here's an excerpt from Sky Sailing's "Tennis Elbow" from the album An Airplane Carried Me to Bed (Sky Harbor/ Universal Republic).