Earnest Woodall, 13 Cyberhome: http://www.thewoodallcompany.com/ Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org A self-described musical Blair Witch project, Earnest Woodall's 13 is a compellingly dark and fascinating work of art produced on a fairly slim budget. Woodall skillfully blends such seemingly disparate elements as percussive/electronic loops, Schulze-like ambience, minimalism, jazz piano, chamber music, and a highly developed and unique melodic sense. Prog fans who like groups such as Univers Zero, Art Zoyd, and especially Daniel Denis' solo works should get this album. Every song on this CD is a success, a masterfully focused glimpse into the frightening unknown. Swamps are painted with low wind instruments, jungles with loops of mallet percussion, funerals with flute and synthesizer. The vast quantities of instrumental textures (all handled by Woodall himself, although he probably sampled some) are put to purely perfect use. The compositions themselves are well-developed and delightfully unpredictable. Woodall has had experience with film music, which somehow makes sense although his music works extremely well removed from any visual or narrative context (much like innovative film composer Bernard Herrman). Woodall is not needlessly dramatic, and can be quite detached during one part of a piece and then hit you with something heart-rendingly beautiful soon after. The most disappointing thing about this album is that turning it over reveals a green-tinted CD-R bottom. This is a composer of uncommon caliber, and he deserves better. Highly recommended. ~ this has been ~Jon~ Dharma
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