Thursday, April 17, 2014

Drift Through The Pages Of Jowie Schulner's Emotronic Diary

Jowie Schulner has finally released his album containing tracks going back numerous years that he's been waiting for right moment to share with the world. In Emotronic Diary Schulner has created a sixteen track tome of synthual pleasures that realises an individualised vision in each chapter. The scenes created in each track are intimated with great care and one feels the composer has really put himself 'into' the music.

Emotronic Diary as a title really captures the theme of the work as songs feel like cherished sketches of Jowie Schulner's first hand experiences, some of which I know first hand go back to 2011, some tracks possibly even further back. It is rare to find such emotional investment in a record and it is something the requires a great deal of understanding of one's self and how that can translate into a created representation. Like all true artists, Schulner does this with much skill and the constructions are a wonderful window into his muse.

'Sweet Lake's Lullaby' opens up the album in a fashion that is spectacular in scope and vision. The structures sweep through atmospheric hazes and enunciate themselves with airs of futurism and reflections on retro synth worlds coalescing into one. This continues delightfully into the refined beauty of 'Emotions' as stylised patterns are given organic warmth that reverberates within rising synthphonies as a pale reflection in limpid pools of reminiscence. The nostalgic aspect is given so much more presence via the delivery of the melodies in these opening pieces that one's sensitivities are laid bare and exposed to this eminently soulful music.

Jowie's mood turns wilder in track three's OutRun-esque 'Suspicious'. The momentum flows and doesn't become unbridled; instead it explores the nuances of the imploring lead melody which is apologetic and pleading for forgiveness. The melodrama plays into into darker aspect of human emotions titled 'Complexity'. Not darker in the sense of foreboding or menace, but in its inwardly focused tone that asks many questions of which there are no easy answers.

After this internal collapse we reside for a time in 'Sorrow' and the pleading synth melodies now cry out with pounding fears removing all solace and the loss's weight looms above, unbearably heavy and threatening to cancel out the skies of hope forever.

It doesn't take long for things to begin looking up though and the bright cheer instilled in 'Butterflies' rekindles love and faith with it's early 90s harmonies that flutter and bounce with verve and colour. The vintage sounds return with glorious vengeance in the follow up piece 'At The Heart' which serves as one of the most elevatory high points on the album. Synth Romance is the order of the day and the swelling, sustained melodies intimate electric passions and dizzying desires, utterly sumptuous in its luxurious presence and richly rewarding.

'Sunset Chase' is next and the well controlled pace allows for instruments to get supercharged and accelerate into the violets and oranges of the sunset. Melodies sweep left and right; over and under each other, in a duel of automotive elegance. Jowie throws a bit of a curveball next with the multifaceted 'I Arp You'. Layers of sound are arranged with superb nods vintage sounds while haunting refrains phase in and out audible dimensions. The sounds are captivating and work together with much harmonious gracefulness as the engine's roars fade into the night.

When I first heard 'Two Hearts', many moons ago now, it became very quickly one of my favourites pieces of music Schulner had created (the top spot always being reserved for his thus far unreleased masterpiece 'Friends Forever'). His spiralling melodic style is brought into sharp focus against energetic percussion in an epiphany of uplifting aural wonder. 'A New Day' follows 'Two Hearts' in a fast paced continuation and really rocks hard as a companion piece that free-falls into verdant synthelation and completes the experience.

Keeping the rhythms pumping hard and excitement on the edge of combustion is 'Bad Rain'. Channelling some darker forces this track does indeed feel like it's cut from a much more morose cloth as the free-fall turns into a downward spiral. Orchestral strings enforce the monstrous gravitas of the situation as a long fade out makes you wonder what is in store next. And right out of leftfield comes 'Spark' to add an entirely new dimension to the record. Early house structures are given a coat of ChipTune-esque colours and the synthscape takes on a CRT glow as scan lines divide thousands of colourful pixels into a fiery space joyride. The tone of this piece is marvellous as homage and modern aspects meld together into an all new experience.

To round out the album 'You Will Never Be Alone' becomes a jubilant anthem, buoyed by rising passages of synth magic that just continues to rise higher and farther into the heavens and beyond. The final piece, 'L.R.S' creates a montage like atmosphere of reflection upon all the Emotronic Diary has explored. Simplified elements recall past experiences and dreamlike elements make those memories feel like a wonderfully familiar fantasy.

Werkstatt Recordings presents Jowie Schulner's Emotronic Diary on their Bandcamp page here and this album is not just an important work for Jowie Schulner but also the scene in general. Jowie has created a magnificently structured experience in this record that incorporates wonderful new ideas while retaining an 80s glow that lights up the entire synthscape. This abum comes very, very highly recommended from Synthetix.FM and is a record that will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride of gorgeous synth magic.

Synthetix.FM will be taking a short vacation until I return to regularly scheduled programming on the 29th of April. 

No comments:

Post a Comment