Title: Swan Diving
Release Date: 2015 Jan 20
Genre: IDM / Electronica
License: CC BY-NC-SA
Label: Onyudo / BandCamp
Pixelgypsy goes Swan Diving for his first all-new release since Almost Home in 2014. This release was born of college life and his move from Maine to Vermont.
This review also marks a new start for Chris Pickett, aka Pixelgypsy, as he joins the CerebralRift as a staff writer. His first review will be released tomorrow, and it’s very good! Welcome aboard Chris!
Pixelgypsy: Swan Diving
This release starts with 802 – a shifting rhythmic track, and a wandering bleep / bloop kind of line. It’s almost as if the rhythm is leading you on a trip someplace, but the bleep / bloop is stuck in a pattern. Like moving through life physically on one level, but mentally being stuck in the same pattern.
Endless is a very early Tangerine Dream / Klaus Schulze style work. Synthesizer oscillators repeat a series of patterns / sequences repeatedly. Each oscillator being set to a slightly different frequency produces a shifting pattern that seems to be endless. All of this is going on over a simple drum beat. This really is a track that could be endless as the patterns could just keep repeating until the synthesizer (or computer in this case) died. Totally mesmerizing track.
Asleep On Church is the shortest song of this release, and has the feeling of an impressionist sketch of an event. 3am Walk takes us into the middle of the night, where you feel totally isolated from everything around you. Two long tone lines give the feeling of the person being isolate from the noises that are distant in the background.
Defend The Sky has the feeling of more modern IDM / Electronica. It feels like a piece Abyssal Plains could have produced. At it’s core there is the idea of having to protect an oil supply, which one imagines might be threatened by an air bombing attach.
Meanwhile, Sentinel is a has a more immediate feel with the line “The alarm has ended. But at any moment there may be another. The only way to meet this threat is eternal vigilance.” Seems to be a statement on the internal part of ourselves that needs to be vigilant against threats internal and external at all times.
This release caps off with Welcome To Vermont, a piece that reflects the artists feelings about his relocation to the state, This drone style work shifts across a stark, and darker pallet than the previous works. Which is understandable given the move to a new place, with new challenges, and the need for vigilance. It sudden cut off suggests that this is only the start and there is more to come, but the artist is uncertain what is coming next.
Overall this is a really great listening experience. Pixelgypsy has worked at producing a range of styles within his works that work well together. Mixing old and new styles he has reached a ground where he is building a broad vocabulary of elements to work into his pieces to make them original and unique.