Album: How We Saw Tomorrow
The future starts slow. In the early American century it was envisioned as an ordered place made pleasant through conventional family roles and material possessions. Nowadays, staying the same is the new getting ahead. We live in a place where digital media operates just outside the realm of time, and the future only promises advances in technology we do not yet know we want. How We Saw Tomorrow (41'41") is the very interesting title of a CD by Sonogram, Todd Gautreau's more downtempo music project. The nine tracks each dwell briefly in a different time zone. It is difficult to imagine anyone dancing conventionally to this music. While the more kinetic category of pieces qualify as Electronic "Listening" Music, they were designed to energize the mind more than the body. One composition will include repeated boozy bass guitar plucks underlying vaporous cyber samples and breathy played tones. In another programmed percussion adds some force, propelling the piece along its gentle musical arc. Alternate works incorporate reverberant piano notes, electro-organ leads and Mellotron melodies above lazy snare drum runs and deep synth bumps - attaining a mild forward motion. The dreamy Ambient tracks energize in a different way. With their graceful stillness and faux-primitive sonics these realizations achieve probing psychological effects yet are resilient to conclusions. This music has always been instilled with a sci-fi ideal of tomorrow. Each succession of musicians rebuilds the genre by giving it a new history-erasing identity as a genre of the future - floating on air and reaching for the sky. How We Saw Tomorrow affirms Gautreau as one of the light musical brights of his generation. Possessing a keen sensitivity towards the complex weavings of feelings and moods capable of this most open of styles - with him out front we may feel confident that the future's mind will not go blank were the plug to be pulled.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 11 April 2013
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