Adam More is the product of being classically trained as a composer and performer before falling in love with the sound of synthesizers. Recorded on his home computer in Toronto, Canada, More has created an expansive sonic landscape through the use of software. He writes by stacking sound on top of sound before going back and cutting out everything that doesn't sound like the song he's working on. In the music you can hear the freedom he feels in creating only for his own enjoyment. It wasn't until he had a pile of music on his computer that he decided to share it with the world. We can all be glad he did.
The album There Is Life begins with swirling clicks and pads that fade in gently before they fill your ears in “A Violet Cubic Sunrise.” This lays the foundation for a melody that is reminiscent of Ralph Vaughan Williams' “The Lark Ascending,” giving the illusion of movement and fluttering wings. “Mango Popsicle Sunset” opens with a trippy drum beat and chilled-out synth tones that sound as delicious as the track's title implies. Whales and sharks getting in each other's way are brought to mind in “Ocean Migrations,” followed by the title track, “There Is Life.”
Easily the strongest of the six, “There Is Life” makes perfect use of found sounds and radio samples to create a mammoth atmosphere that begs you to walk around in its borders. “Games” begins with a pulsing, rhythmic chord progression that feels like the beginning of a large sports event before falling into a world of whimsy and some of the creepy levels from Super Mario Brothers. It's a perfect study in dissonance and competing melodies.
The album closes with the expansive “Upward Clock Barrier,” which sits comfortably at 15 minutes and 52 seconds long. Now, that's a long time for the best of musicians to hold a listener’s attention, made even more difficult by the fact that, save the radio samples, this is a completely instrumental project. The track is held together by a constant, driving beat and also by the fact that nothing really happens until over six minutes into the track. Even though nothing really happens in this song until then, it still manages to hold my attention. This is the work of a very talented composer. There is just enough happening in the chord structure to keep my musician's mind interested in what's going on. All of that to say, this is a good album to listen to late at night. It's got just enough happening to keep it from being a sleepy snore-project while still maintaining a mellowness that suits those hours when your eyes feel like sandpaper.
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