Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Joshua Wentz - Now is the Winter of Our Disconnect

This is something I stumbled on by pure happenstance. I was visiting my parents for the holidays, and there was a foot of snow on the ground. I decided to make a seasonally appropriate playlist and after I finished selecting the music, I named my little compilation Winter of Our Disconnect. I felt like my creation could use some accompanying art, so I entered the words into a Google image search and the sleeve for this is what turned up.

I was a bit peeved at first, because I liked my little literary play on words. Then I noticed Wentz was offering it for free download. I figured I might as well check it out; there may even be something on it that would fit the vibe of my mix.

I love the internetz.


Wentz, it turns out, is a singer/song-writer type, whose style blends song writing with classical, jazz and electronic influences. The six songs included here vary a bit, but they all share an almost tangible wintery-ness and production as cold and pristine as new fallen snow.

Simple, unadorned piano and an Art of Noise-y synth sound introduce the first song, Something. Upright bass, brushed drums and jazzy flourishes of keys, make this love song (one of the only tracks with vocals) the “warmest” moment on the EP. Later, on

Injuctioner, Wentz’ piano glides sleigh-like over icy, warbling synth bleeps, an upright bass line and live drums, which have been chopped up drum and bass-style. It’s a lovely piece of atmospheric D&B that would have been right at home with LTJ Bukem and Wax Doctor. Whiteout - also relatively uptempo - has a much more straight forward groove. Rolling synthetic bass, Melodica and step-y drums accented with jingle bells, frame its glistening piano arrangements.

The slightly creepy feel of Tundra Kingdom reminds me of a Boards of Canada interlude. It's a drum-less piano and synth piece, that lives up to its namesake; evoking the forlorn solitude of a desolate wind-swept plane in the dead of winter. The album’s final song Exit, is a beautifully simple piano piece – less than a minute long – that fades gently into the frigid night.

Score! And the even bigger score was stumbling on Alone Tone, a site that allows artists to share their music with the world on the condition that it be offered for free. Not for how much you want to pay or after you sign up for their service, but free.


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