Title: Direct To Video
Artist: Chris Zabriskie
Release Date: 2015 Jan 02
Genre: Ambient / Electronic
License: CC BY
Label: Self Release / BandCamp
Chris Zabriskie goes Direct To Video on his tenth release (not counting the 2009-2014 Compilation). Hailing from Orlando, Florida Chris has been releasing his works on BandCamp for the last five years, and has established his works as re-use and remix friendly.
Chris Zabriskie Goes Direct To Video
Which makes this for a bit of a different review. Most of the works that I consider are designed by artists to be directly listened to by an audience. And, while this work does fit that category, there is a second purpose to Chris’s work: the licensed re-use market. Which Chris seems to have mastered. His clients include (quoting from his website):
…PBS, adidas, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Major League Soccer, Nissan, The New York Public Library, Gawker Media, Mother Jones, NPR, Brown Jordan, Mashable, Nvidia, The Museum of Modern Art, and many more.
In addition, Chris is a supporter of Creative Commons to the level of giving speeches / presentations at conferences on topics such as Creative Commons, remixing, and independent music.
But enough about Chris’s credentials, let’s talk about the music on this release. The opening track is a march. Yes, I said it is a march. But it’s not an a parody of a marching band, or some kind of processional (although it could be used as one). This is a march that is injected with layers of arpeggios and sequences that give it an other-world like feeling. And, in a respect there is a bit of humor to the piece, as it is the title piece of this release. Which I take it as a reference to a movie being “marched” direct to video release.
Perhaps the tracks that I find the most effective on this release are ‘I Don’t See The branches, I See The Leaves’ and ‘It’s Always Too Late to Start Over’. They are simple, minimal pieces that have a wonderful cinematic feeling to them. The kind of simple pieces that you can get lost in, just mesmerizing.
The funniest title on a track goes to ‘I Want To Fall In Love On Snapchat’. But, seriously, if we are talking about Snapchat, wouldn’t the track only be 20-30 seconds long, instead of four minutes?
But when I listen to this as an overall work, I can’t really say that it makes me feel like I am listening to a work that is trying to engage me. It has a feeling of a collection of tunes that are minimal, simple, and mostly inoffensive. There’s nothing that really challenges me, nothing that makes me feel anything too special about or towards these works. They just seem kinda average.
Chris Zabriskie goes Direct To Video with a collection of tunes that are mostly average. The title track, ‘I Don’t See The branches, I See The Leaves’ and ‘It’s Always Too Late to Start Over’ do stand out, but the rest of the work could be best described as decent and inoffensive, but nothing exceptional. Fortunately, these works don’t have to be exceptional. They will find their place in soundtracks, and other uses.
I have to applaud Chris for his work to support independent musicians, and Creative Commons. The kind of dedication he shows is something that should be inspiring to anyone who is trying to make it as an artist.