[ KEY REVIEWS | SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS
TRACK LIST: 1. Prospect Creek 7:15 2. Oymyakon 7:44 3. Ust' Shchugor 7:13 4. Northice 6:29 5. Snag 6:46 6. Vostok 8:16 7. Olympus Mons 7:29 All tracks: by John Edmonds. SOLO PILOT (to Cold Sides): John Edmonds - Grand Stick; synthesizer; programming Recorded & engineered by John Edmonds (in Alaska).
Prolusion. The number of Solo Pilots has grown again. John Edmonds graduated from the Groove School of Music in Southern California in the 1980s with degrees in guitar and composition. Until the middle of the 1990s, Edmonds taught music and worked as a freelance arranger. He then followed a wilder sense to the Far North, where he lives and records in the mountains of Alaska. "Subzerosonic" is the debut album by Edmonds.
Synopsis. The hero of this review is an all-instrumental album featuring seven tracks named for some of the coldest places on Earth, including the poles of cold in Siberia and Antarctica: Oymyakon and Vostok respectively. All of the compositions here were created within the framework of a unified stylistics, the best definition of which would probably be Space Fusion, which, in its turn, is the derivative of Space Rock and Jazz-Fusion. The music is original and is the product of genuine inspiration. Although Grand Stick and a synthesizer are practically the only soloing instruments here, the possibilities of each of these instruments, and especially those of the first of them, were used a very effective way, so the sound of the album is dense and saturated. Diverse interplay between varied, differently sounding, solos and improvisations of Grand Stick, most of which were certainly overdubbed, develop among as if really cold musical landscapes created by passages of synthesizer. All of this is most often accompanied by the (excellently programmed) parts of drums and other percussion instruments and is typical for the entire album. Here, you'll hear the sounds of bass and electric guitar, and also those of piano, vibraphone, and even semi-acoustic guitar. Most of the tracks on "Subzerosonic" are filled with a positive hypnotism and contain quite eclectic arrangements that, moreover, develop almost constantly. Only Oymyakon and Ust' Shchugor (2 & 3) contain the pronounced melodic lines and a few repetitions, which, though, concerns only the central theme of each of them. The prevalent colors in the musical palette of the album are electric blue, dark blue, and violet, and the piece that is especially rich in varied colors and shades is Vostok (6).
Conclusion. May I insert a banal observation here? Thanks! "Subzerosnic" is a very promising debut album. The combination of spacey symphonic structures and those typical for Jazz-Fusion presented here sounds fresh and is certainly worthy to be heard.
VM: June 12, 2003
[ KEY REVIEWS | SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]