Category Archives: Music Reviews

Robert T. – Spectrum Review ★ ★ ★


Robert T. describes Spectrum as:

Spectrum is a series of tracks that have glossy synths and foreboding basses gurgling alongside analog beats. This is a varied album hence the name, featuring many different instruments and tones which showcase my constant search for new sounds and textures. Vinatge samplers and analog hardware meld together in this sonic voyage.”

This sounds fairly promising, but for the most part I don’t hear many interesting sounds or textures going on through much of this release, there are some bright points though which I will go over, so read on.

The album starts off with Format XII, which contains some mid tempo electronic beats that sound like maybe Robert was going for a Synthwave type feel, but the choices of sounds are a little too dry and sound a little too preset-y to make a lasting impression. The second track Cyberfeeder, dives more into minimal house territory, and I think this realm is much more comfortable for Robert T. There’s a nice chill pulse with just the right amount of melody to make you want to move (if I could dance, which I can’t).

L/4,5 is another slightly dancy one, but doesn’t hold up for me as well as Cyberfeeder. Again, there’s the very dry preset sounding sounds that just do not sound very interesting to me. Weisbaden 455 has some pretty cool sounds going on, but doesn’t ever seem to develop into anything concrete. FormatXI starts out as a promising dark ambient piece, but again just seems to develop to full maturity in the first measure, then never really blossoms into anything emotional or that conveys much feeling.

Finally at 380mm, Spectrum starts to deliver. This and Format9 are easily the two best tracks on the album. 380mm it starts out with a purely sinister sounding drone that becomes wrapped in various pulsating arpeggios and hi hats. Unlike most of the previous tracks, this one pulls out a few surprises, sounds morph and fade in and out. And even though they are all still very dry, there’s a more overdriven sound on the snare drum and overall it’s just a cool driving beat.

Format9 takes the overdrive to another level and maybe is the best track on the album. It seems the meaner and dirty Robert gets, the better he is at true experimentation. This track almost sounds industrial at times, though doesn’t fall into the stereotypical trappings of the genre.

One thing I should mention is that Robert T created all of this music in real-time, which can be fun for the performer and at a show, but doesn’t always sound like the most carefully constructed music as an album. Mostly because it wasn’t constructed at all, but more like improvised using various electronics. So for this I give Robert some credit for making and at least listenable album this way. I do think however if he is going to continue on this path, to invest in some multi-fx units to ad some more depth to his textures, as well as maybe creating some more structure ahead of time to keep things from getting too meandering.

3 out of 5. Worth having for the last two tracks along. So go ahead and download it here!

Glass Tongue Trio – S/T Review ★ ★ ★ ★

Glass Tongue Trio are based out of Orlando, Florida and feature Leo Suarez on drums, Chris Moore on alto sax, and Dan Reaves on electronics.

With their self-titled release they deliver an interesting, atmospheric, spacious, and at times, cacophonous improvisational set of free jazz. Even though the nature of the music they are playing often lends itself to tension or aggression, GTT manage to keep things sounding more playful than dangerous.

The audio quality of the recording stands out as sounding quite good. The drums have a very natural, full and organic tone, and the sax seems to sit warmly in the mix without ever becoming too harsh. Reaves’ minimal electronic textures add spice and flavoring over top, almost guiding the minimalist approach to the music.

Reaves told me their influences are rooted in the John Zorn, Tzadik, scene, but I would almost compare what they are doing more with the more minimal works of Sun Ra, or even some of the more experimental music Archie Shepp has made at times.

The high-point of the LP comes midway through track 3, where the sax and electronics mesh together in a textured and chaotic arpeggio. Below, there’s an earthquake of drums rolling the way sand moves under an ocean wave breaking on the beach. After the climax, the sound calms  again to meditative drones then gradually works it’s way back to bursts or sound and eventually to moments of groves and steadiness.

Overall I give Glass Tongue Trio’s freshman release 4 out of 5 stars. If you are a fan of free jazz, improvisational music, or weirdness in general, I think you should enjoy this release. It’s nice how they managed to create a work like this that doesn’t sound anxiety driven, but more curious and contemplative. The only thing keeping this from being 5 out of 5 stars to me, is at times it seems to lose it’s flow, or maybe the connection seems to break at moments between musicians. This could have been remedied by maybe adding a few short non-improvised parts to “regroup” on, or possibly some more careful editing.

Still very worth the purchase if you are a fan of the genre.

Get Glass Tongue Trio – S/T here.