BT - Emotional Technology
Wed 24th Dec, 2003 Music Reviewsin
This is the fourth album for house music producer Brian Transeau (BT). BT grew up outside Washington D.C. where the first evidence of his musical talent manifested as mastery of composers such as Chopin and Bach by age six. A great break in musical direction came when he heard electronic music as an adolescent. His musical career spans over a decade and his achievements in the production and film industry are a list too long to detail. Having moved out the limelight he enjoyed in the mid-to-late nineties, this release is a strong personal statement from the producer with BT singing on six of the thirteen tracks.
The sound of this latest cd is best summed up by BT “It’s a huge leap forward for me,” says BT, “I’ve grown as an artist, a vocalist and a producer, which is all reflected in the new album. Not only did I sing on six tracks, I also experimented more with traditional and aleatoric/contemporary string writing, and break-step beats, and learned more about coding for proprietary sound-design systems such as Kyma.”
The insane sounds that are embodied in the short intro are perhaps a suitable preparation for the original sounds that are contained in this cd. Knowledge of Self kicks off with a huge bass line breaks track, with nice clean production and great vibe. Superfabulous is a great vibrant track with amazing vocals by Rose McGowan and Scott McCloud. Somnambulist features a clean 2 step beat and excellent use of alternative sounds in the percussive style sequencing resulting in some nasty dirty sounds. Force of Gravity has a feel reminiscent of the old BT stuff with its chilled light trance elements pushed along by a rocking bass line.
Dark Heart Dawning soothes away with relaxed acoustic guitar and BT on vocals, until it suddenly busts into heavy distorted lead guitar at the breakdown. The Great Escape presents some delicious atmospheric breaks sounds over soft piano with beautiful vocals by Caroline Lavelle. Paris was written together with Jody Wisternoff from Way Out West this track boasts electronica flavoured house sounds with a punchy bass line and the odd string of MCing. Circles is possibly the only out of place tune on this cd which ventures far into the realm of mainstream rock, a bit too much like Limp Biscuit for my tastes. Last Moment of Clarity is a beautiful tune with vocals by Karina Ware; the punchy bass adding a great vibe to this trance flavoured track.
The light trance atmospheric sounds of Communicate make this tune a clear highlight, in my opinion, with trance legend vocalist Jan Johnson on vocals. The next two tunes, Animals and The Only Constant is Change head in the direction of rock ballads. Both tunes featuring some amazing vocals, live percussion and tasty guitar work. Overall, many of these tracks have a mainstream electronica feel to them but every single one is amazingly produced and guaranteed to contain some unique elements. BT talent is undeniable and demonstrated a production, musical, and even vocal perspective. With this release BT has shown that he is not only a talented programmer but also an extremely gifted musician.
Out now through Mushroom Records.
2. Knowledge of Self
5. Force of Gravity
6. Dark Heart Dawning
7. The Great Escape
10. Last Moment of Clarity
13. The Only Constant is Change