L. Gaab: Mask of Promise L. Gaab (as in Abe) is a mysterious performer. His music, available on Morphosis Music, reflects that persona with its dark atmospheres and experiMENTAL colors. Mask of Promise is an extremely diverse musical adventure. The symphonic nature of L.'s electronic ministrations allows this album to fit many different moods and settings. He paints with a broad brush on many different canvases. So, while this CD fits neo-classical, contemplative, atmospheric and visionary formats, its strongest ties are to experimental dark minimalism. There are some extremely chaotic avant-garde riffs with swirling and frenetic paces. L. juxtaposes those riffs with symphonic pastoral ambience. It is a very enigmatic soundscape. Deep listeners will get lost in L.'s curious soundworld. He does not promise a return trip. This is L.'s finest effort. His progression is steady and his learning curve is steep. He just keeps getting better and better. ~ Jim Brenholts, EER-MUSIC.com L. Gaab: Peripheral Visions L. Gaab creates music that is best suited for deep listening alone in the dark, preferably with headphones. Peripheral Visions is a set of mysterious minimalism that walks the edges - the edge of darkness, the edge of sanity, the edge of forever and the edge of the edge. L. continues his enigmatic ways on this CD. so, listeners still have no concrete clues as to what is going on here. The only clues are in the music and the track titles. Those clues are subtle and overt. The music is mysterious, almost sinister. The titles are subject to interpretation - and to misinterpretation. L. takes deep listeners to all of the aforementioned edges. He does not provide round trip service so listeners must fend for themselves to get back. That is half the fun of this mystery. This is a cool trip to the fun house. Take it alone! ~ Jim Brenholts, EER-MUSIC.com
History All at Once Morphosis Resurrections All by Larry Gaab Privately produced, 2000 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Chico, Calif. Phone: (530) 342-0460 These three albums by synthesizer independent Larry Gaab all arrived simultaneously and are all dated 2000, so I will treat them together. Gaab uses synthesizers and electronics almost exclusively, with only a couple of sounds from acoustic percussion here and there. The three albums are quite similar, and if one had to classify them, they would be considered “dark ambient.” Gaab is an inventive sound-shaper; he uses combinations of creepy microtones and usually minor, melancholy tonal chords. In general the sounds he produces are quiet and not grating, though they are often ominous and spooky. The trouble with Gaab’s material is that it lacks continuity. Even with ambient and other minimalist-type music, you need to have some sort of sequence or repetition to move it along. The three albums here, though, just putter from one sound to another, with only occasional rhythm or tone sequences. There seems to be no form; it seems to trudge along and never gets going. It is possible that the producer of these pieces experiences much more meaning and structure in them than the listener; if so, he has failed to communicate that meaning, despite the opaque (and graphically unreadable) track titles. Every so often, Gaab does manage to get a rhythmic and harmonic sequence running, or a particularly pretty or interesting sound. The third album, Resurrections, has more of this than the other two. With these moments, Gaab’s sounds turn into at least a workaday sort of ambient. But he doesn’t follow through it just peters out and sinks back into the bits ‘n’ pieces strung together which characterize most of the material on these albums. Gaab has the potential to turn out a kind of dry, sarcastic rhythmic ambient along the lines of Richard Bone, but he will have to seriously work on structure and focus before he gets any further. HMGS ratings: History All at Once : 2 out of 10 Morphosis 3 out of 10 Resurrections 4 out of 10 Hannah M.G. Shapero 5/30/01
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