For not having much music experience or gear Joe Trickey makes decent electronic music. While his songs aren't particularly innovative or comparable to some of the best in the genre he has a good start and hopefully his effort The Tide Factory can be considered his humble beginnings in the years to come. His electronic compositions are warm and revolve around electric piano, warm pads of ambience and minimal percussion. Unfortunately, nothing sticks out in the mix and it often ends up sounding like a bunch of presets you would find in a keyboard. The drums are sometimes too low in the mix and are predictable while the piano is redeeming at points and other times lacks any innovative qualities. While he occasionally finds decent pads of sounds like on “Sunset Balloon” he also implements pads that sound generic. In this day and age they are so many ways to manipulate sounds the last thing you want is for the listener to be able to figure out what presets you are using.
The first song “Silver and Dust” isn’t a bad song. It contains a lot of fuzzy tones that are fun and quirky. It’s completely inoffensive but also not engaging. The unfortunate thing about the song is the mix itself. The kick drum in particular has no meat on it and provides no thud while the hi hat is much too prevalent in the mix. “Next Stop:Tomorrow” is one of the better songs on the album because of the melody and his choice of synths. The song utilizes warm tones and lead synths. “Sunset Balloon” starts off with the most promise. It starts with a rising synth that is layered with another wash of white that sounds great. It gave me the first hint of emotion on the album. Unfortunately it falls apart rather quickly and the song transforms into a completely different sounding piece. HIs transition was confusing especially when things were starting to sound good. The best song on the album is “Glider” which ultimately gives me hope that he will improve. The song revolves around a nice piano part, appropriately unique synths and a rather standard beat. The song changes enough to keep you interested and almost engaged with the performance.
While Trickey needs to improve his structure, palette of sounds and mixes, but he has talent. For playing music for less than a year this is a decent start. If he keeps on improving his strengths and starts to create more original sounding material, his future efforts should be better.
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