I LITERALLY SLEPT through this one, so when I woke up, I played it again, and ended up dozing off once more. Eventually, between catnaps, I got to listen to the whole thing.
Boring? Not really, but because it comes across like a virtual soundtrack to a virtual movie – or perhaps a computer game – it fails to engage fully, either sonically or emotionally.
Which is kind of sad, because there are some recommendable facets to Imagineering, the second album from Wellington electronic musician Jeramiah Ross. He has an uncanny way with melody, and considerable skill and subtlety at entwining different sounds, and sending them wafting from speaker to speaker.
Ross is a genuine one-man-computer-band, and the way he dresses his compositions with both pleasingly insect-like electronic sounds and conventional faux-orchestral tones can be hugely appealing.
Sadly, the sentimentality of his sound palette at certain junctures can be rather off-putting, and he comes up with tones at times that almost mimic pan-flutes, an unforgivable transgression that lends some of the tracks a sickly new age patina.
Ross presumably makes most of his loot from video game soundtracks (his soundtrack to the Playstation 3 game ‘Shatter’ is apparently “multi-award winning”), and Imagineering sounds like it. It’s never less than pleasant, but never builds up any steam or drama, and after awhile, simply becomes aural wallpaper.
Sonically, there’s nothing overtly wrong with it. Wispy synthesisers buzz between the speakers, but there’s no sense of projection, along with a sense of being contained, and it’s neither as deep or as textured as it could be. That, however, will probably not be a problem for its projected market, who will doubtless listen to it on computer speakers, or headphones.
Some will no doubt think Module’s latest a real jewel and hauntingly lovely, but despite hints of real promise, and obvious talent, it left little impression. GARY STEEL
Music = 3
Sound = 3