...Overjoyed, Enraptured, Entranced by Lancaster, PA's HAPPY good is a little bit dayglo, a little bit gloomy; upbeat, but mellow and trance-y. It's the best of all possible worlds, created with the most modest of means.
...Overjoyed, Enraptured, Entranced starts off with the weird alien metallic resonance of "La Persistancia de La Memoria" and a rigid motoric beat. It's post-punk with a psychedelic light show - mechanical, yet still human. This blend comes to full fruition on "Electric Cigarette (Secondhand Mix)" the lead single that has been garnering much love and attention from college radio with its fluid blend of the organic virtual as David Speakman's stuttering disco guitar lines keep the party going, while the distant and dreamy vocals cast an understated mellow mood over the proceedings.
The introspection and romance continues with "La Petit Requiem" as swirling synth organs glow like a sunset, bringing to mind the instrumentals from David Bowie & Brian Eno's late '70s prog art pop. "The Organist" brings some weirdness, and a slight bit of humor, with its church bell chimes and huge cathedral pipe organ. There truly is something for all lovers of artsy electronica and post-punk.
Incredibly, ...Overjoyed, Enraptured, Entranced was almost entirely recorded on Propellerhead's Reason, a powerful sequencing program that was top-of-the-line in the late '90s that, nonetheless, doesn't get much love as professional audio software. It's mainly used by bedroom producers, despite the fact that it is packed to the brim with bells and whistles.
Much respect to David Speakman for taking the time to master the tools of his trade just proving once again that amazing material may be created from the most humble tools, and also reminding us jaded musicians and producers that the microprocessors we carry in our pockets are a million times more powerful than the most advanced studios from the late '70s to the early '80s.
Of course, many producers take this processing power as an excuse to fill every cubic centimeter of the stereo field with details, making bloated and messy productions, where it is impossible to focus on a single element - the auditory equivalent of a Gore Verbinski film. Speakman never succumbs to this temptation keeping everything sparse and minimal, using every instrument to full effect. He's an excellent musician - a more-than-adequate guitarist and bass player - in addition to having the right production and sound engineering instincts.
...Overjoyed, Enraptured, Entranced is a party, albeit a subdued one, that works well at dusk or in the early AM, getting pumped for your day while still remaining contemplative, leaving your dreams intact, carrying them forward into the bright light of the day.
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