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Sone Institute – A Model Life

Front & Follow

This gives me the gargles. It reminds me a little of the tone behind James Ferraro’s Far Side Virtual (it doesn’t sound much like it at all) in that it’s like Roman Bezdyk has found himself unable to distance himself from the music he’s riffing on. This seems respectable, seems right, seems like these aural artefacts (I’m talking about library music, mostly) ought to have a little bit more respect in themselves, rather than simply as cultural signifiers or soundpools for discerning (pillaging) Hauntological hordes and wraiths but… then we’re faced with the slightly uncomfortable question: do these sounds by themselves really offer us that much?

This album is great in parts and then in parts it’s (mere) library music. Maybe the ‘mere’ is snobbery; maybe there’s gems to be found in unadulterated library music (“after all, Tod Dockstader…” etc) but if there are gems in library music per se, why listen to something that isn’t library music and is intended (perhaps) for something quite different? This is an album, this isn’t (I think) simply intended as something to be used, as something by definition incidental.

There’s undoubtedly a lot of skill here and a lot of real playing and many of the tracks, especially in the latter half of the album, find their own bouncing frequency but then there’s often a scything, cheesy guitar /organ sound to derail you and send you back to thinking: what if this were library music? Could we tell that it wasn’t? For this reason, the tracks work better alongside words; the spoken/sung passages help to clarify, even if they in fact lend a gauzy surrealism that matches the beautiful sleeve. I like the words. They make sense of this album and elevate it.


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