Sonic Adventure Project

Starmill Records, 2004


REVIEW BY: Jason Warburg


Let's be clear from the start -- I'm not much for electronica. I like the rich organic tones of electric and acoustic guitars, basses and drums. Piano as well, and some of the warmer-toned keyboards like the Hammond. Only rarely -- as with Yes -- do I find synthesizers enjoyable in any role other than as background texturing. I also, as a writer, have a decided preference for music with vocals and songs that try to tell a story with words and images.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

All of which makes my fondness for this album that much more remarkable.

Sonic Adventure Project consists of a pair of Austrian synthesizer wizards, Thomas Viehboeck and Peter Koellerer, and of Exergonic's twelve tracks, only one features vocals. The remainder of the disc is decidedly ambient/chillout in style -- evocative, thoughtful, moderately paced tracks whose supple melodies float in and out and above and below your consciousness as the music plays in the background.

One of the secrets may be that SAP use piano quite a bit, and while they occasionally employ interesting electronic effects ("Memories Of I Am," "Mode III"), synths are just as often used to mimic acoustic instruments -- horns and strings, even a sitar ("Sitarian Supernova"). The overall impression, then, is nearly as symphonic as it is electronic.

There are hints of light jazz in a track or two here ("Above The City"), but overall the songs are all about melody and flow, and free of anything resembling a solo. The one vocal track, "Inner Journey," features luminous guest vocals from Julia Fischer supporting a song that fits in beautifully with the album's overall introspective vibe.

Exergonic is an adjective meaning liberating or releasing energy, a nod to the new age undercurrents of some of these spaciously arranged tunes. But the music is never lacking in substance; these tracks do indeed hum with a gentle energy and tantalizing complexity. This disc is the ideal soundtrack for a quiet evening in a dimly-lit room, working, reading, or otherwise mellowing out.

[ For more information, visit Sonic Adventure Project at www.starmill.at]

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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