Friday, February 17, 2006

Steve Gilmore Reviews: Paradise Decay - I Am Alien

Artist: Paradise Decay
Title: I Am Alien

Outside of Squaresoft you would be hard pressed to find a computer music musician who had found a certain amount of fame creating game soundtracks. Paradise Decay is one of those musicians, the list of games and other musicians who have lined up for his services can seem very intimidating, take a look on his MP3 Unsigned page or his own site for more information. I got to know him a few years ago on another site when I got involved in donating a track and creating the CD artwork for an appeal for his daughter Sarah who had a serious and life threatening illness. It helped that PD came to all this music making lark through the same MOD scene I did (he started out with the venerable Amiga) and was a creative and committed member of many of the same websites I have belonged to. Won't cut him any breaks as far as reviews goes of course, but I am proud to call him friend...

I Am Alien (for me anyway) shows off some of the lessons he learned from Protracker; an attention to detail, a willingness to do things with music that others may consider 'wrong' but that actually work and to elongate an idea to enable the correct sense of light and shade (drama, even) that make tracks work. Alien is much more of a dance track once you get past the extended intro (some two minutes of it) and is littered with the little tuneful melodies that only a MOD making career would have taught you. Being a big, big fan of the legendary Vince Clark (leading light of Erasure, Depeche Mode and Yazoo) it comes as no surprise that I Am Alien features a lot of that producers ryhthmic tricks, in particular the bass and synth sequencing that make this track the joy to hear it is.

I'm not sure how the vocal sample that dots this track was made but it is also undeniably electronic, and fits the track like a glove. Despite my high regard for this musician personally and professionally, there are elements of this track that don't work for me, but that is down more to my dislike of the dance leanings of the track than anything that Graeme (aka PD) is doing wrong. At this stage of the game, this artist is waaaayyy past that stage. What you hear on his tracks are things HE wanted on there and not some newbie mistake. The classiness of the arrangement, and the polish and clarity of the production and mixdown is self evident and anyone who enjoys electronica dance music will just love this little gem to death. I did like very much the pace and style of the instrumentation but there again I would have been very surprised if I hadn't because I also view Vince Clark as a bit God-like and this could well be something he had a hand in putting together.

Highly Recommended electronic dance track, packed to the brim with enjoyment.

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