steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"Strange Lives" CD

Innova Recordings

Genres: ambient electronica, dub, electronica

American Composers Forum
332 Minnesota St. E-145
St Paul, MN 55101

July 15 - 21 2002

While Strange Lives is broken into nine tracks, comprising over fifty minutes, I like to think that it operates best as a whole. Not only do the pieces flow into each other seamlessly, but the moods and emotions, although unique for each composition, form a sort of epic when played in their entirety. As each track is given its time to play out, the power of the album accumulates, and as more and more is piled onto your ears, you are left with a large agglomeration of sounds and feelings. This "agglomeration" represents a whole variety of musical moods and textures - from dark, ambient electronics to upbeat technoid rhythms - all put together as one unlikely record.

While many of the instruments on this album were played live for the recording, Strange Lives remains a largely electronic album, simply because the synths and samples tend to take the lead in the music. While the synthesizers are mostly used abstractly, the samples (coupled with the bass guitar) are often used to supply the music with a beat - as is especially evident on "Sir Froederic Dub", an aptly-titled dose of dub. This conglomeration of classical instrumentation and electronic blips and beats is a wonderful success, and the music succeeds as a beautiful amalgam of electronic sounds.

While Metaphor may owe a bit to Bill Laswell, The Thievery Corporation, and various other ambient electronica outfits, the band chooses to revel in their influences, rather than sound unoriginal or stale. If calm, yet dark, electronica is your game - then you owe Metaphor a listen; Strange Lives is pure electronic bliss.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 52 min 12 sec; 9 tracks; distributed by Tower; released 2002]