15 October 2014

Andrew Reddy - The Other Master, album review

Andrew Reddy. The Soundscape expert! 
That's my new title for him now. It's taken me so long to write this review because I found myself lost in his music.

Before I do go onto the review, I just want to give you a few words from Andrew himself because I think it's important that you read what he has to say about his music.

    'I am an independent artist and producer from Kildare, Ireland. Taking inspiration from a diverse spectrum of music from bulgarian folk through mainstream rock all the way to avant-garde, I am releasing my debut solo album which is a collection of dark ambient and minimalist instrumental tracks.
    The Other Master was created with the intention of capturing the serene moment just before sleep and twisting it, immersing the listener in an almost dream like state infused with tension and unsettling uncertainties. The music is mostly improvised, capturing a stream of consciousness that allows the listener to explore anguish, doubt ,frustration and regret, all experienced against a backdrop of somnolent drones and unsettling textures. The album is a collection of conflicting emotions and moods, balancing serenity and dissonance in order to create broken lullabies that reflect an introspective meditation into a troubled mind.
    When composing the album I sought to take myself out of my comfort zone; I worked in styles which I had not previously listened to extensively and avoided listening to during the creation of the album in order to create an album that free from any direct influences of other artists or any preconceived ideas of what the album should sound like. I restricted myself to centering the songs around keyboard instruments which I had not played before and I also used 24TET tuning on 'The Other Master-Despised', a tunings system which had not written in before.'
Okay. So now you know what the album's all about, let's get on with this shall we?

As an acoustic musician and an acoustic music consumer, I've never really bonded with an electronic track before. I've usually relied on the combination of melody with lyrics to really connect with a song. But this entire album completely captured me. As I lay with eyes closed, headphones on and distractions forgotten I have become completely immersed in the sounds that surround me.

If you've ever seen Spike Jonze's 2013 film Her you may be familiar with its incredible soundtrack. Well some of the piano here in Reddy's record brings me back to the tracks in Her. I wouldn't say it bares much similarity, Reddy's music is like nothing I've heard before, but there's something about the melancholy and yet at-peace atmosphere that is created that makes me compare the two.

The record itself is only seven tracks long. But it all adds together to make up the best part of an hour. That's the perfect amount of time to take a step back from the world and just absorb the sounds.

It's with thanks to Ossuary, the almost 20 minute long track, that the album reaches its length. The first two minutes or so bring memories of that terrifying indie game Amnesia The Dark Descent. Remember that? It's a really haunting track that ebbs and flows like the wind and I have to admit that sometimes as the bass sweeps in and the high end sounds become more erratic I'm getting a little creeped out. But I love it!

Now, we have played the opening track to The Other Master on our podcast before so you may be familiar with it. However, without listening to it in the context of the rest of the album you really can't get a true sense of its overwhelming fullness.

This album fills the whole spectrum. It fills your whole headspace when you listen to it. It leaves you with no blanks. And even though it has a very horror feel to it (especially the 35 second track 'A Breath'), there's something quite meditative about the album. And the slightly off-tune The Other Master - Despised.  Damn that track is spooky. It's the music equivalent of old porcelain dolls in an abandoned house. Seriously man. Woah.

I could go on and on. But quite frankly, I don't want to. Because the longer you're reading, the less time you're giving yourself to experience Andrew Reddy's genius.

The whole thing is available to stream, just click play on the widget above, and it's only cheap to download so you really can't go wrong. Just do it. You won't regret it.

Man I'm creeped out right now.
This is so good.

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