ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


The Instigations - 2008 - "Soundtracks for Alternative Realities"

(65:27, ‘The Instigations’)


TRACK LIST:                                 

1.  Babylon Incoherently 4:49
2.  The Advent of Mister Dink 3:37
3.  Loose Canons 3:34
4.  Carry on Carrion 3:16
5.  Accidents Waiting to Happen 4:58
6.  Trial of Errors 4:10
7.  Arbitrary Negligence 5:39
8.  Exoticon 12-11 4:34
9.  Hi Lorna 3:42
10. Tashkent Delicatessen 4:09
11. Get Off My Bus! 3:35
12. Hokem-Pokem-Smokem-74 2:22
13. Spyglass-5 4:59
14. 54 Heroes 4:20
15. Famous Last Words 7:43


Owen Green – all instruments 
Amy Pineau – vocals (6)

Prolusion. Originally a band with roots going back to the late ‘70s, today THE INSTIGATIONS is a project name used by Owen Green. Apart from a cassette release in the late ‘80s, "Soundtracks for Alternate Realities" is the first outing (CD-R) under this moniker, issued in 2008.

Analysis. This production isn't your run of the mill release consisting of compositions from an artist or a band seeking commercial fame and fortune, at least not in the regular sense. As the title of this creation indicates, which is further elaborated at the website of this project, the contents are soundtracks: "This one-man production is intended for placement consideration in film, TV and games, etc. It shows a vast diversity from track to track by design.” And diversity we get, that's for sure. Some of the compositions are obviously aimed at games or television, constructed in a manner that makes it somewhat unpleasant or taxing to listen to, but which would have been fine soundtrack music. A creation like The Advent of Mister Dink is a perfect example of this, filled to the brim with weird and funny tunes at once making you think of cartoons and children's TV. Other songs are less specialized in their expressions, and although they easily could work as background music for movies or games they are certainly enjoyable pieces of music in their own right too. Keyboards and synths are essential instruments in most compositions and more often than not we're served multiple melody layers spiced with electronic percussion, samples, sounds and melodic fragments; at times heavily so. Quite often darker undercurrents and lighter, soaring, layers will be present, and synthesized backing vocals is an effect often used as a key ingredient to construct majestic and epic moods. Guitars, in the dress of dampened electric with and without distortion as well as acoustic garb, will flesh out the main melody line, and in a few instances prove this, while the synths add the details. In quite a few instances a strong bass line will be the foundation, and drums are utilized instead of or in addition to electronic rhythms at times. Despite coming across as a production heavily relying on electronic instruments, there's a certain folk tinge to be found here. The utilization of flute and accordion, or at least what sounds like those, strengthens the atmospheric mood explorations that make up much of this production, with strong leanings towards exotic sounds with an oriental or Arabic tinge. These sonic explorations aren't overly complex in basic structure, but there are some tempo changes and a good build up and evolvement of themes to be found. The sheer number of details in the soundscapes results in many complex moments, in particular in breaks or short passages where disharmonies and dissonances are inserted. The melodic and harmonic dominate though, with multiple layers of sounds and melodies for the most part seeing to it that this is much more than a general new age mood exploration.

Conclusion. "Soundtracks for Alternate Realities" is indeed a collection of tunes written with the soundtrack aspect in mind. Many compositions are advanced and adventurous beyond the scope of what one will find in a standard soundtrack though, and rather more complex too. As keyboards and sounds are a key feature, followers of electronic music might be ones most interested in this production. It is a mixed release and as a music-for-pleasure purchase there will be some tracks that will be skipped no matter how liberal your tastes are. The other key audience for this production will obviously be people looking for soundtrack music and as a mixed collection of such this should be a fine acquisition.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: February 2, 2008
The Rating Room

Related Links:

The Instigations


ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages