Fallen is the project of one man ? Andrew Fryer from the UK. He has been releasing a handful of CDRs on his own label Dizzy Records for quite a while now, but unless you?re willing to contact him over the phone or via regular mail, they?ll be rather hard to track down ? which is really a shame, considering that the music on this new CDR is no short of amazing.
The music of Fallen is in the tradition of such late 80s/ early 90s British ambient ?post-rock? outfits such as Bark Psychosis, A.R. Kane, Laika, Insides and maybe the most underrated of them all, Butterfly Child, although ? as the (over-used) expression goes ?, it truly picks up where those left off some 12 years ago.
To remain short, this is a re-interpretation of ?pop? music that is situated at the crossroads of a multitude of influences and sounds. It owes as much to a post-punk ethos as to a low-fi kind of ambient music that has been filtered through a slight electro-pop sensibility, partly inherited from these years of cross-pollination between British rock and electronic dance music.
The CDR begins with a very short drone-like motif, before the first song discreetly makes its mark. It has all the late-night urban melancholia that is commonly associated with the aforementioned artists, but there?s a calm, yet assured presence behind it though.
A great attention to details and textures enables us to go beyond a mere referencing of sorts and get the most out of the music as the vocal and instrumental arrangements give a heightened sense of emotional resonance to the whole thing.
The combination of jazz-like rhythm tracks ? programmed with great precision ? and very subtle layers of keyboards and sampled sounds is able to establish a dreamy, yet lively mood as a few isolated organ notes gracefully bounce off each other every now and then.
Fryer displays an ability at using samples (piano, voices, etc.) in the most original way. Be they looped, treated and/or reversed, they are used sparingly and with great care and add singular rhythmic and colourful signatures to the pieces, while sharing in the creation of some highly poetic sound structures.
The songs featured on this CDR also have this slight electronic ?pop? feel which I already alluded to. It helps maintain a delicate balance between a yearning for a certain serenity and an intuitive knowledge of drama ? a somewhat carefree, yet slightly paranoid attitude that can be only be expressed, in my opinion, through this particular music.
In addition to such wonderful songwriting, a few gorgeous electronic drone reveries also punctuate the record. They contribute in giving the music its own breathing space, through which one can decide to enter and be receptive or not.
In this respect, the final track is absolutely superb. The feeling of dignified solemnity that comes out of these chords played on a beautifully-textured organ establishes a mood which is reminiscent of some of the most restrained moments of Talk Talk?s ?Spirit of Eden?, while the ghostly, yet assertive presence of a sampled female voice gets the music to another dimension entirely.
Beyond the mere appreciation of this actual CDR (which is limited to 25 copies), I urge every person who has rather been intrigued by the comparisons and descriptions that I made in this review to get in touch with Andrew Fryer as his voice remains truly unique even amongst the huge variety of today?s contemporary sounds.
(This CDR is not available for purchase online, but can be purchased directly from Andrew. His contact info is: Dizzy Records, 3 Rye Street - Eastbourne BN22 7PN U.K. Phone : 01323 732914) 8/10 -- Francois Hubert (28 August, 2006)