I am an active member over at the IDM forums LINK. A member who goes by Fidelium recently released an older album of his entitled Believe Me This is Home and I thought I’d take a stab at reviewing it for him. I have always listened to music very critically so I figured why not put that habit to good use. I plan on doing this for other members of IDMf if they would want me to. So onto the review….
An album of well crafted atmospheres and subtly effective melodic work, Believe Me This is Home, is a soothing and unobtrusive listen. Not to be mistaken as a boring album, it is a release that creates a comfortable sonic space for the duration.
Some words from the artist: The album was inspired by a lot of the guitar-driven ambient/electronic projects I was listening to at the time, such as M83 and Sigur Ros. All the music was actually finished in 2005, and I planned on releasing it at the time but things don’t always work out the way one expects them to. I decided about three months ago (October 2009) that I was going to finally get it to the world, and since the material is an older version of my writing style, I also decided to give it away for free.
The material was originally written in Reason 2.5, but in the update I used both Ableton Live and Protools 8 to add to the thickness of the instruments, replace some of the drum beats and samples and master the album.
Now- on to the music.
How to Mic a Smile- Haunting pads introduce this song and set up a nice soothing atmosphere. The melody that arrives at around a minute conveys a sense of sadness, but also hope. The song builds from there, then returns to a sparse texture leaving a lot of room for the listeners ears to search the subtle atmospheric elements. The texture fills out toward the end as the piece reaches its triumphant climax followed by a well-placed vocal sample.
Peace Rest in Peace- Rhythmic synth elements open this one up and as the song moves on more layers are added helping to enhance the initial creepiness. When the drums enter the song stays true to its initial mood. The piece lacks a prominent melody, but this song doesn’t need to rely on one to be an effective mood setter.
Holographic Field Shimmers Waves- This one gets right into it, with a slow moving airy lead. Creative drum and percussion programming compliment it nicely throughout. Again, a great use of space and texture in this song. The piano adds a great organic feel to this song and is a nice contrast to the more electronic elements found throughout the album. A powerful middle section really makes this song shine in my opinion. The panning and variation in the drums is nice and executed well. At three and a half minutes the song takes another turn, but continuity is maintained by the piano line. The song fades slowly into nothingness….
Fibrilated- Vocal sample and manipulation right off the bat into a down-tempo, very relaxed vibe. Another song that doesn’t need to rely on an in-your-face melody, instead the listener is presented with a spacious and textured mood. The song moves to a sparse texture supporting an emotive violin type melody then back into the thickness of the beginning section. The song seems to convey a feeling of satisfaction.
What’s the point in waiting- Another well constructed atmosphere intros a driving synth line over more well-programmed percussion elements. The harmonic progressions imply a sense of movement to somewhere mysterious perhaps. When the texture is thinned a tension arises and gives way to a sinister synth line and poly-rhythms. A real creeper of a song that leaves me a slightly confused.
Believe Me This is Home- Robotics lab, with mad scientists fidgeting about, gives way to fireworks in space. Or something like that. A huge beat comes in around a minute to support a mechanical melody that definitely has some bite behind it. The song continues along this path for some time allowing the listener to become very comfortable in the environment. The drums drop out leaving just the flying robots to push the listener further away from reality.
—-So there you have it. Hopefully this will inspire you to download his album. It really is a great listen.