ITAL TEK is, substantially, one Alan Myson and he comes from Brighton, although
I could discern little of the scent of the seaside in his album 'Midnight Colour'.
This is music for the night sky and the stars (seen from the end of the pier
at 2am perhaps?) Music to drift away and dream to, although some of the
dreams are a little darker and potentially more dangerous than others.
It never ceases to amaze me what it is possible to do with a few well-organised
beats and the imaginative and judicious use of synthesisers. Mr Myson is better
than many at creating tangibly affecting and vividly realised sound-worlds.
Before listening to a note the track titles give us a few clues with regard to the
territories through which we will be travelling : 'Moon Bow', 'Satellite', 'Moment
In Blue', 'Heliopause', 'Infinite', 'Restless Tundra' (erk!) All this might lead us to
anticipate a listening experience akin to one of those dreadful meditation-by-numbers
CD's which can invariably be found in New-Age shops up and down the country
(you know - the one with the photo of an open lotus flower floating on a pond
on the cover!) but despite the titular limitations this is music of considerable
imaginative power and intellectual prowess. (The possibility of its use as a background
to trancendent reflection should not be entirely ruled out however!)
The gentle ebb and flow of 'Talis' is a particularly interesting example of Mr Myson's
ability to integrate a number of divergent motifs into the same arrangement.
The softly shifting rhythm and haunting vocal fragments clash charmingly with
the slightly de-tuned gamelan-like elements. The composition goes in no particular
direction in the nicest possible way and would offend neither man nor beast.
'Subgiant' sounds as though it may well have been recorded in a cave. The brooding
bass-line and dripsy-dropsy water-like effects slither and sparkle in the depths.
The spirit of Shriekback seems not a million miles away on 'Strangelove V.I.P.'
Although thematic variation is kept to a minimum the number still manages to
engage our interest and attention whilst lulling us into a semi-hypnotic state.
'Heliopause' has got a bit more life in it. The beats actually get quite cheeky here
and there! We've had Water Music, now it's time for Air to take its turn. The
richly-layered synth textures are as fluffy as pink clouds in a late-summer sunset.
The absence of untoward development in the arrangement never quite becomes
a hindrance but it's a close call here and there. A very pretty piece nonetheless.
You're probably getting my drift by now so I shan't ramble on.
'Midnight Colour' has got a lot going for it. Whilst clearly not music to grab you
by the hair and hurl you around the dancefloor, it would almost certainly act as
a good backdrop to a cold November evening, propped up on the sofa, in front
of a crackling log fire, with a good book and a big glass of half-decent Burgundy.
I'll drink to that!