Showing posts with label News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label News. Show all posts

Monday, April 18, 2011

Terramecha Part IV - Retrieval

I'm jumping over to Part II for today's song analysis, so I apologize in advance if you get confused as to what's going on. I'll try to be as clear as possible. At the bottom of this article I have posted the link to a rough draft of Retrieval.

Part I (Blood) of Terramecha deals with a spaceman/spaceship that are hired to track down the source of a mysterious beacon in the far reaches of space. They take off from home base, see a few things, have a few encounters, and are ultimately killed ala "planet collision" after they have discovered the source of the beacon (Terramecha). This is where part I, Blood, ends.

Part II, entitled Rust, is a look into the world of Terramecha. First, I should probably explain the Blood/Rust relationship (as if it isn't pretty obvious). The first half of the album deals with an organic lifeform as the protagonist, most likely a human, and blood represents the aftermath of his death. The same goes with rust, being the results of a dead machine. This dichotomy also plays into the general Gel-Sol universe, Gel-Sol being a dichotomy too (liquid vs. solid). In case you didn't know, I generally try to implement this dichotomy strategy into a bulk of the Gel-Sol material. Organic vs. mechanical, beats vs. ambience, serious vs. funny, minor vs. major, etc. My goal in general with the Gel-Sol project is to create my own universe, full of different worlds and systems that allow me to make whatever I want, yet still being a part of the Gel-Sol world. I pursued this idea, because I think conforming to one genre of music is stupid and does not allow for any artistic longevity. Plus, doing one thing is fucking boring, and it's good to keep your listeners on their toes!

Retrieval begins with some sort of scout robot appearing on the surface of Terramecha to check out the spaceship wreckage. Then, a giant door opens in Terramecha where hundreds (if not more) of machines emerge from inside the planet, all being somewhat unique, but still classifiable into groups. I want to convey that these machines are similar to humans, not physically (bi-peds with 2 eyes and 10 fingers), but in the sense that there's different races, and perhaps cultures. After surrounding the fallen spaceship, the machines, in perfect rhythm and order, join together to form a giant transport around the spaceship so it can be taken below for examination. The scene ends with Terramecha slowly swallowing the spaceship/transport with the previously mentioned scout robot following behind, making it through the door just before it closes.

The version of Retrieval below is a very rough draft, with some structural elements laid out to give an idea of how the piece will progress. It starts off with some abstract ambience/sound effects, and mechanical rhythms fade in to convey some sort of order amongst the machines. The rhythms gradually get more intense with the addition of a pulsing sub-bass to convey the merging machines, and then music breaks, gets its bearings, and trudges along, depicting the spaceship being transported below the surface. As I mentioned before, there's a scout robot that initially checks out the situation, ok's the rest of the machines to retrieve the wreckage, and follows the transported spaceship back below the surface. Musically, I'd like to depict this little guy, but I'm not sure how I'm going to approach it yet. Does he make little R2-D2 noises? Does he sound like Wall-E? Do these things even have voices? Maybe they speak in tones. I guess I got a lot to think about.

A lot of the parts in Retrieval were created using various Reaktor ensembles and random midi generation, mainly from the Reaktor ensemble Spiral. Spiral uses variations on a spiral pattern to create random patterns that can be conformed to a specific key, allowing you to create anything from long flowing soundscapes to super-fast arpeggios. You can even trigger sample banks or drum kits, making for some interesting results. I used this technique extensively on my last ambient album, K8EMA. Most of the time, I wasn't even concerned about the harmonic material being triggered by Spiral. I just made a lot of noise, tuned it where necessary, and hit record. I then mixed those recordings together in a serendipitous fashion, where everything appeared to work out (I'm making it sound a lot easier than it really is). Retrieval has actually been played in two or three of my live sets, but under the name Spores. When I first started writing the piece, I initially thought this piece would have to do with the eventual downfall of the machines inside Terramecha, rusting out and dying due to the organic spores that grew out of the spaceman's blood. I then decided this particular piece of music was much more suited for a retrieval mission.

So, what does the spaceship look like? I don't know that yet either. In Lem's The White Death, the spaceship is described as a "giant goblet, its stem embedded in a pile of boulders and its concave cup, which faced the sky, crushed and punctured in a dozen places." This description gives the sense that the ship has a classic "rocket" look, with the main engine taking up most of it's mass, and located in the back of the ship. Spaceship design has evolved quite a bit since the early 70s, so I'm not sure if this classic shape is what I have in mind for this story. I'm not sure it matters at this point, but I do think about it. What I do know is that the spaceship is relatively in one piece, to show the impressive merging of the machines into one unit so they can effectively transport the spaceship below the surface for evaluation. I like to think of this mechanical merging as a sort of "modular Transformer," where many machines can combine to make a custom mega-machine to suit their needs.

Stay tuned for my next blog! Not sure what I will talk about next. Perhaps I will go over another less-developed tune...

Feedback welcome as always! Drop me a line!
Terramecha: Retrieval - draft 041811 by Gel-Sol

Yer Pal,
Gel-Sol

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Terramecha Part III - Aurora

Today I will be talking about the song Aurora, one of the very first songs I put together when I began conceptualizing Terramecha. At the bottom of this article is a live version of Aurora, from a gig I played at Nectar, a Fremont neighborhood bar in Seattle. Early versions of Aurora didn't have the thick, liquidy bassline and the synth lead, so I chose to post a more mature version of the song.

Aurora is what I consider one of the "observational" pieces on the album, not really having anything to do with the main story, but more of a description of what the spaceman/listener might see on the way to their destination. In the case of Terramecha, the spaceman and his trusty spaceship are cruising along at impossible rates of speed through the galaxy when they come across a beautiful and unique planet called Aurora. In a nutshell, Aurora is really just a giant sphere of eye candy, emitting flares of continually changing colors, much like the Aurora Borealis. From a visual standpoint, I see these light flares moving in almost slow-motion, with the spaceman in awe as to what he's witnessing. The song itself has a slow, trudging feel and builds up slowly with an eventual bassline and synth lead joining in. From there, the idea is to increase the intensity with the addition of more frantic drums and a heavy vibrating bass. At this point in the observation, the spaceship is at it's closest to the mysterious planet, and something is affecting the ship's electronics, causing it to malfunction. This malfunction could also affect the spaceman, perhaps by putting him in a trance or making his "circuitry" go crazy. Musically, I want to convey the idea that the spaceman/ship's electronics are flipping out, and that our protagonists must leave before there's any serious damage. I also envision these light flares as having sounds associated with them, so the planet itself is giant, psychedelic, music-making disco ball/lava lamp. It just seems like it would be a badass scene in a movie!

Where Aurora fits on Terramecha is the first side of the album, most likely the third song. The adventure has just begun, we're on the road to our destination, so why not do a little sight-seeing on the way? Aurora has showed up in my live sets more than a lot of songs, because it was one of my typical collage pieces, and is fun just to mess around with different mixes. However, over the years the general structure stayed the same; the piece builds up in intensity, themes are introduced, a bridge part breaks things down, and then I bring up the intensity again with faster percussion elements until the song sorta peters out. This is most likely how the album version will end up too, but I would like to integrate some more recently-acquired techniques to get my idea across more effectively.

When I first started working on Terramecha, I was messing around a lot with the Metaphysical Function ensemble in Native Instruments Reaktor. You'll probably see me mention Reaktor a lot in future posts, because Reaktor is one of the main pieces of software I use to create sounds. Metaphysical function is a really unique sound generator for making amorphous scapes by mixing tones together, and often the results are complex and often discordant. It also had another feature where you could play an audio loop and run it through filters, reverbs and a cool little resonator. I ended up making a ton of new loops out of this little sample mangler and some of the percussion loops you hear, as well as some of the scape material, were generated using that unit. Some of the sounds at the beginning of Aurora have an almost Asian sound, which I think gives the piece an exotic feel, like you're seeing something for the first time.

That's all I got for now. Stay tuned! I might jump over to the Rust side of the album for my next blog.

As always, feedback welcome. Let me know what you think!

Terramecha: Aurora - live 041608 by Gel-Sol
Yer Pal,
Gel-Sol

Friday, April 15, 2011

Terramecha Part II - Forward

Where better to start with Terramecha than the beginning? At the end of this article I have provided a link to a rough draft/sketch of the opening piece of Terramecha, simply named Forward.

I chose the name Forward for several reasons. One, it sort of conveys that I (Gel-Sol) is moving on, hopefully into new, exciting musical territory. Two, it marks a new adventure for our spaceman. His spaceship has just notified him that she's detected a communications beacon somewhere in the depths of space. I'm not sure what this guy does exactly yet, but he works for some sort of corporation and is hired to scout out unexplored worlds in search of resources. I know that's extremely vague, and there's no physical way a human could cover such territory in a lifetime, but hey, it's science fiction! Suspend yer disbelief! The third reason I chose the name is that it is a synonym of "foreword," and this piece represents a sort of an explanation of what is about to happen. Obviously the music will not be blatantly telling the listener the information, but I do want the song to convey that an adventure of epic proportions is about to begin.

The draft I posted below is comprised of samples I have found, online and from other sources, and original music. The lead melody was created using the GForce M-tron Pro Mellotron emulator. Being a huge progressive rock fanatic, I have always been a sucker for the Mellotron. It's kinda creepy, and has a very organic almost out of tune sound. Apparently real Mellotrons are a real bitch to keep in tune, but the M-tron Pro allows easy tuning, and has a ton of great sounds. You will probably see me mention the M-tron a lot in my posts, as I use it quite a bit for scape generation and other melodic purposes. The lead melody itself in Forward is somewhat reminiscent of Also Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss, the infamous intro music to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. The beauty of Also Sprach Zarathustra is that with each cycle of the melody, the mood of the piece gets more intense. My goal with Forward is to achieve the same effect, with the song seemingly disintegrating into the next piece after an epic climax. At the moment, the piece is a little stiff. Things that might help counter this would be to make the lead melody a little more organic, and to not place the drum hits so dead on the one-beat. Clever placement of the various tracks in different parts of the spacial plane would help to create more depth too.

The very beginning of Forward starts with a distant drum, appearing to get closer before the rest of the music abruptly comes in. Part of that was inspiration from the beginning of Blade Runner, and the accompanying score from Vangelis, however I don't really want to rip off that idea so literally. The scene I envision in my head during this first section is our spaceman hero walking down a hallway, about to enter the interstellar launchpad where his ship is about take off. The repeating and crescendo-ing bass drum represents slow-motion footsteps, muffled as if the spaceman has already donned his space helmet or some sort of headgear. I would like to integrate some slow heavy breathing also, to infer some tension before takeoff, for the spaceman and the listener.

By the end of the piece, the spaceman is now in his spaceship, ready to take off. The sounds of computer noises and machinery fade in to set up the next piece. I have had several ideas for what this piece of music might be, but I still haven't found the perfect fit. To me, the second song on an album is extremely important, as it sort of gives you a sampling as to what the rest of the album could be like. But that's for another time...

Thanks for reading/listening! Would love to hear your feedback!
Terramecha: Forward - draft 041411 by Gel-Sol

Yer Pal,
Gel-Sol

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Terramecha Part I - Rebirth and Process



Hello again.

This post is kinda long, but I have to get some things out of the way first. Future posts will be more concise, including audio samples and art.

I don't blog very much, yet I have always had the intentions of blogging regularly because I thought it would help me solidify musical ideas. I do write down notes daily, but they aren't really the sort of ideas you would commit to something like this; they look more like a grocery list of ideas. I also suck at writing, and have a hard time coming up with cohesive thoughts, so I'm hoping these posts will eventually help me out in those regards.

In 2010, I released three full-length albums; two on independent labels, and one as a free download from this very site. The first two albums were ambient in nature, and the third was a massively-low brow vs. WTF? sample collage, taking mostly from shitty B-movies. I really should only say this once (but I know I'll say it again), but my plunderphonic sound collages are FAR MORE ENTERTAINING than any of my music albums. They just are. The problem is that nobody wants to listen to audio entertainment that isn't "music," so only a few people tuned in. I think it's music, but what do I know? Anyway, Gel-Sol releases have been more ambient in the last few years, with the exception of a few digitally released remixes, which again, only a few people heard. At the end of 2010, after I finished Plunder a Raging Moon, I began thinking of new music ideas for Gel-Sol. I knew I didn't want to do another ambient album. The ambient-soundscape aspect will always be in my music, so it's not like I want to ditch it entirely, I just want to do something different.

Beats. That's the obvious component that would separate any new music from last several ambient releases. I work with beats all the time, from sampling loops from albums, to creating my own from scratch. Initially my first post-ambient idea was to do an "anti-ambient" album, one that was mostly beats and rhythms, void of any scape-like material. I was also given stems of dance music tracks from Seattle's Innerflight Records, in hopes of recording an "original" Gel-Sol album using Innerflight's source material. I spent a good part of the summer/fall of 2010 composing ideas for this album, but I was ultimately unhappy with the results for the most part. That's not to say this project won't be completed, it very well could. Just not right now. I think my main obstacle with beat-related music is that a lot of it is very structured and programmed. The way I generally write music is to make a lot of noise, record it, extract the parts that I like, and try to make them fit with other similarly generated parts and put them together in a collage format. What I like about this method is that happy accidents occur, and some things just end up working together. Programming songs with set parts and heavy arrangements are tedious, and I have always been against the idea of presenting my music live the way it sounds on the album. This concept was brought to my attention by bands like King Crimson and The Orb. Why would I want to play a song the same way twice? I like the idea that a piece of music can be amorphous in it's different recordings/performances, but still be the same song! So my music up to now lacks dramatic section changes (for the most part) and super-detailed programming. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's a bad thing, but I am now considering including more of these elements because well, I haven't tried that yet!

Which brings me to the main focus of this article. In the summer of 2006, I had begun work on an album called Terramecha, which was supposed to be a follow-up to Unifactor. In my delusional mind, I thought of Terramecha as my Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (fantastic 1975 Genesis album), an ambitious concept double-album that would blow everyone's minds, and I wouldn't have to get a real job again. Like I said, DELUSIONAL. Material was written that summer, and quickly integrated in to my live, "improvised" shows. Creatively, this was a great time. I had been settled down in Seattle for about a year, met some great people who were supportive of my ideas, and was getting booked to play shows more often. My good friend Kevin Hoole had a few places where he dj'd around town, and always invited me to play, whether it be a Gel-Sol performance or just to dj. What was hilarious is that most of these "gigs" were at restaurants, and most of the patrons had that "what the hell is this shit?" look on their faces. In fact, I believe that's the general consensus with any project I am involved in. Well, I say it's cool shit! Stop being a robot asshole and get the fuck into it!

By 2007, I had easily a double-album's worth of material, plus numerous live recordings of a bulk of the material. Some of these recordings had been posted online shortly after they came out, but the links are now defunct due to whatever reasons. I will most likely begin posting some again in future posts. In February of 2007, my first niece Izabella was born. As a gift to her, I wanted to write an all-ambient album for her, so she could sleep and dream to it at night. The album eventually became IZ, and was released in 2008. Well, this completely sidetracked Terramecha, and thus began my purely ambient phase. I still played a few shows using my "beatier" material, and a few more pieces grew out of those performances, but Terramecha wasn't where I wanted it yet. A lot of the pieces were/are in place, but I couldn't settle on arrangements, and I was beginning to doubt my whole collage method for arranging these pieces. I felt every song on the album needed to sound different, while contributing to the whole of the story, much like a movie. I had tinkered around with the idea of reoccurring themes to help keep the story together, but at the time I didn't have any concrete musical themes developed, at least ones that would work in other songs.

Then there's the story itself. In 2005, I read short story by Stanislaw Lem, author of the book Solaris, which was made into two awesome movies, the epic 1972 Andrey Tarkovskiy version, and the more concise 2002 version directed by Steven Soderbergh. The name of the short story was called The White Death, and dealt with a spaceship found on the surface of a planet inhabited by robots. I really shouldn't give away the "twist" of the story, as it's a good short read, and I highly recommend you check out Lem's work. But basically, the inside of a planet is completely inhabited by machines called Enterites, and they find the wreckage of a spaceship on the surface of the planet. The outside of the planet is barren and rocky, and employs a sort of force field around itself in the form of giant meteors/asteroids. This is to protect the planet from outside intruders, namely humans. The leader/creator of the Enterites had his whole race exterminated by humans, so it's caution is not unjustified. The Enterites then retrieve the spaceship and take it below for examination. Opening the spaceship door required a password of some sort, and the robots eventually discover that the code is "Vengeance." They find no evidence of a crew except a small puddle of blood, which spreads a virus amongst the Enterites, leaving them to rust and die. This is the real "twist" of the story; machine kills man, man kills machine, the cycle complete. But as a bonus sort of twist, it is revealed that the creator/leader (Metameric) is the planet itself, and dies along with it's creations. I also like that the White Death itself is an organic lifeform, so perhaps it might one day evolve into something more than fungus, continuing the cycle.

With Terramecha, I wanted to loosely tell this story in two parts; Blood and Rust. Blood, which tells the first part of the story, would be about a lone spaceman who's spaceship has detected some sort of beacon in the far reaches of space. A lot of the music in my mind would be setting up the exposition, or just observations from the spaceman/spaceship's point of view. Perhaps a narration of what it would be like to be alone in space, while on a mission to find the source of the mysterious beacon. Another character in the first half of this story would be the spaceship itself, sort of a tribute to HAL from 2001, but with much different motives. For example, this spaceship would be "female," there to assist the lonely spaceman and help him with his mission. I feel she should be somewhat sexy too, in order not to take this project to seriously. I'm lousy at taking things too seriously anyways. Unlike her HAL counterpart, my female spaceship is attracted to the beacon, i.e. falling in love, whereas HAL was killing off his crew members in order to complete his mission. I'm not completely sure how I would convey this musically, and I don't necessarily want to do it blatantly, because I like the concept of the listener deciding for his/herself as to what the song might be about. I believe there's ways to use vocal samples from whatever sources (tv, radio, movies) to convey a loose idea as to what may be going on, but I haven't really thought about it much yet. Getting back to the story, the spaceman and his bodacious spaceship locate the source of the beacon, a dark Planet called Terramecha, and are subsequently "shot down" from space, where they crash and perish.

Part II, entitled Rust, begins much like in The White Death, where robots that inhabit Terramecha come to the surface and retrieve the space wreckage. Like Blood, a lot of the music on Rust will be a sort of observation of this world. What are these things (robots)? What do they do? What does the core of Terramecha look like? Who is their leader? I know you can't really show what these beings look like through music, but I hope to reveal that through visual art to accompany the album (I won't get into that now). Also, like The White Death, the robots will eventually search the fallen spaceship, find the blood puddle, spread it's disease, and rust out the whole planet, which is a giant robot itself. So yeah, in a nutshell, that's it!

I am now ready to continue (and hopefully finish) this project. Right now I have no plans with record labels or anything. I don't even know if that's the right way to go about it in this day and age. I would really like to release this thing on vinyl with a gatefold sleeve and some kickass art. Colored records (red for Blood, brown for Rust) and all that shit. My first two albums are quite collectible and worth a few bucks online, so I'd like to continue to make things that people would be proud to have in their collection. Obviously I'd like to do a cd release too. There's no doubt about it that people like to have a physical product that they can hold in their hands, with accompanying art that makes the whole album a meaningful experience. It's not like people are making any more money with digital sales, in fact it might be more difficult to be heard in this digital age, because it's harder for people to get intimate with your product. I'm by no means against digital sales and piracy for that matter. I'm glad at least someone is giving me a chance! But when I'm listening to a record where the whole album is great, and looking at the large, clear artwork on the gatefold sleeve, I am much more in touch with the music, and feel like I'm now in [insert band's name here] universe. Listening to an album should be like watching a movie. You devote all your attention to it, and listen to it as a whole. That's a fantastic experience you don't get from a lot of music these days, due to the desire for quick singles and money. I wont get into money right now. There's none to be made with what I do anyway, and I refuse to compromise my art, which is the sole thing on this planet that I have control of. I will need to raise money in some sort of fashion in order to have physical releases made and distributed, but I will talk about that at a later time.

So yeah, that's about it for now. Like I said, future posts will be more concise, and have samples and art. I will get into more technical details about Terramecha, including gear and techniques I'm using. I figure this blog format will help document the making of an album, and perhaps some things will be learned!

Thanks for reading! I welcome feedback and discussion on any of the topics above, as well as future posts. I'd really like to know what you think!


Yer Pal,
Gel-Sol

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gel-Sol: Plunder a Raging Moon

(album photo by Franklin Jenkins)


Happy Holidaze from yer pal, Gel-Sol!

Well, it's been a productive 2010, and I'm pleased as punch to present my latest release, Plunder a Raging Moon! Over an hour of Plunderphonic insanity, this album is a non-stop, stream of consciousness barrage of crappy movie samples and other audio snippets. It's fun to mess with people's heads, you know?

I must mention something important regarding this piece, and Plunderphonics in general. If you do not pay attention to what's going on, YOU WILL NOT LIKE IT. I'm not saying you will like it if you do pay attention, but chances are the piece will make more sense if you do. I know "paying attention" is particularly difficult in this fast-paced, A.D.D. world we live in, but I personally see this as a problem. As a result of people not listening "to" music, they listen "at" music, and in turn we have all this shitty music out there that overshadows more deserving music (I stole that first part from Robert Fripp, but he said it better than me). Of course there's other factors that contribute to shitty music, but I won't get into it…for now.

My point is that if you sit down with the sole purpose of listening to music, you will be rewarded more than if the music is there to compliment a more "important" purpose. Whichever path you decide to take, you will probably think I'm a jerk. I can assure you that I am not. With that said, share Plunder a Raging Moon with your friends and enemies! Share links of it on your Facebook page! Tweet about it, I don't fucking care! But most importantly, listen to it. If you can't make it through the whole thing, that's ok…there's already tons of pussies on this planet, so you should fit right in.

Oh yeah, this is VERY NSFW.

If you'd like to donate some money to yer pal, Gel-Sol, please click the PayPal link below or PayPal me at gelsol@yahoo.com. An incredible amount of time went into putting this thing together, and I am an unemployed sack of shit. I also have several other Gel-Sol freebies at gel-sol.com, including Gel-Sol's Adventures Beyond the Plunderworld, and various Gel-Sol live shows I've recorded over the years.

Thanks and enjoy! Have a sooper holiday season and a fantastic new year!

Plunder a Raging Moon (mp3)

Yer Pal,
Gel-Sol






Tuesday, October 5, 2010

KIDS FOR TOMORROW - NEQUA (new album from my other project)



I'm a little late on this one, but earlier in the year Upstairs Recordings released the second album from my Kids For Tomorrow side-project. The album is called Nequa, and is a continuous ambient/experimental journey sculpted out of improv sessions from the previous year. My main co-conspirator for this release was Nils Whitmont, who can rock the sandals/sock combination like no other. He left the city to go be responsible or something...hopefully he'll come to his senses and come back to Seattle someday. Other collaborators include William Mempa, who was on the first KFT release Deployer, Chris Haines aka Crispy aka Leave Trace, and Scott Johnson, all-around jack-of-all-medias.

I'm not really gonna try to describe the album. It's kinda weird. There's little sections that go into other little sections, but sometimes they go into bigger sections. It's definitely not yer typical pop song format, or long epic piece sort of thing. The album (like most of my releases) is meant to be listened to as a whole. So yeah, check it out!

Nequa was released digitally by the fine people at Upstairs Recordings in Vancouver. You can get Nequa through iTunes, eMusic.com, Zunior.com and Beatport.com

And feel free to check out a sample from Nequa here:

Chun Quoit (mp3)

Yer Pal,
Gel-Sol

K8EMA review from Textura

http://textura.org/reviews/gelsol_k8ema.htm


Gel-Sol: k8ema
Psychonavigation

Seattle-based Andrew Reichel describes k8ema, his follow-up to 2008's IZ, as the “newest planet in the Gel-Sol universe.” Spacey k8ema certainly turns out to be when it carves an explorative path through seventy minutes of psychedelic ambient soundscaping beamed in from the Vangelis and Tangerine Dream universes. Written (as was IZ) for Reichel's niece, the album is an unabashedly synthetic affair that stretches immense washes across softly pulsating skies. Occasional voice samples punctuate the material's lush, symphonic surfaces, and beats and choirs (celestial and children's) are heard in isolated instances. Micro-organisms and glissandi chirp amidst the music's layered tones, and each piece flows into the next, making the album feel like an epic, never-ending dreamscape. The album lifts off with eight galaxial minutes of New Age-styled whooshes, washes, and swirls (“Abyssinia”), before settling into a serenading, slow-motion drift through the cosmos (“k8ema”). Track titles such as “Spirit Guide” and “Halo of Stars” are consistent with the music's oft-soothing tone, but it's not all lightness and sparkle, however. Some welcome grit and grime gets under the fingernails of “Peacetime Fortress,” and brooding moments arise during "Panta Rhei" to offset the heavenly radiance. k8ema often plays like a sonic transmutation of 2001: A Space Odyssey and, during its darker moments especially, the dystopic visions of Blade Runner.

October 2010

Yer Pal,
Gel-Sol

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wanna follow Gel-Sol on Twitter?

http://twitter.com/gel_sol

We'll see how in to this I get...Twitter really seems like an excuse for everyone to make an ass out of themselves!

Yer Pal,
Gel-Sol

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Data Breaker: Gel-Sol Approaches Orblivion



Many thanks to Dave Segal from The Stranger for writing this article!

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/data-breaker/Content?oid=1847110

Gel-Sol (Seattle producer Andrew Reichel) is this town's reigning Orb fanatic. Dr. Alex Paterson's long-running ambient-dub-house collective has spawned several disciples worldwide, but Gel-Sol can stake a claim to being one of the finest in the tradition, balancing serious musical chops (he's a staunch prog-rock fan) with witty spoken-word samples over four albums.

My introduction to Gel-Sol came with Music Made for You... and by You I Mean Me (recorded in 2003, but reissued by the esteemed and now-defunct UK label em:t in 2004). The disc lays out a luxurious banquet of rich synth swirls, languorous bass lines, and slackly funky beats. This is music for long-attention-span owners and those fond of subtly unhinging the doors of perception. It's deep and plush, poised between the chill-out room and the opium den—except for "Numby Numbs," which is an uncharacteristically revved-up cut animated by jagged rhythms and sprightly yet stabbing keyboard riffs. But Music Made for You is mostly geared for lounging in style, stratospherically. Ladies and gentlemen, we are floating (and giggling) in space.

As for Gel-Sol's dub credentials, they could receive a boost depending on the outcome of his entry into Choice Cuts' Horace Andy remix contest; Gel-Sol interestingly reworked "Watch We" from Andy and Ashley Beedle's Inspiration Information album. (The winner will be announced on the Choice Cuts website.)

Recent live gigs at the Church of Bass and Re-bar have found Gel-Sol delving into ambience that's aswirl in glittery vapor and redolent of beneficent herbal vibes at the former, while the latter finds him creating a churning, dubadelic soundscape. Both sets represent some of the region's most supremely heady head music.

On Gel-Sol's "Skub," a 2009 single on the local Innerflight label, however, his production shows a more up-tempo tendency, though it still doesn't move at techno/house's brisk clip. Rather, it's a chunkily percussive, dubwise funk track with a mutedly beautiful melody and chilly synth tones forming a halo around the rhythmic bustle. This looks like an interesting new direction for Reichel.

As for his current endeavors, Reichel says, "Most of my recent live material is music for a future release, a double-length concept album called Terramecha, that's about a planet inhabited by robots. I'm also working on a follow-up to [2008's] IZ (written for my niece), because I got another niece on the way."

On top of all of this, Reichel is nearing completion of Gel-Sol's Adventures Beyond the Plunderworld, which parodies the Orb's debut album in the form of a collage of movie/TV/radio dialog snippets that touch on scatological, sexual, pharmaceutical, and musical matters. You'll eventually be able to hear it online for free. Speaking of which, you can hear some of Gel-Sol's music at www.myspace.com/gelsol and www.soundcloud.com/gel-sol. It's all very absORBing.

Yer Pal,
Gel-Sol

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Quick Update: 11.19.08

Hello People!

I thought that when I switched over to this blog format, I would be more active in posting things...turns out I'm not! I guess I'm not really in to posting my opinions on things, or blabbing about my private life (which is extremely boring BTW).

I just wanted to let you know that I am working on music almost every day and plan so release some excellent music in 2009! More specifically, I am working on the Kids For Tomorrow album, and the next Gel-Sol release, Terramecha. Stay tuned...

Hope yer all doing well, and have a great holiday season!

Yer Pal,
Gel-Sol

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Album: IZ

I am pleased to announce the release of my 5th album (3rd under the Gel-Sol moniker) IZ.


"The follow-up album to 'Unifactor', 'IZ' explores new musical territory for Andrew Reichel in the orchestral/ symphonic vein. The listener may detect elements of artists like Stars of the Lid, Global Communication, or The KLF, but the entire experience of 'IZ' is completely original. Guitar loops, mellotron sounds, and lap steel all help enhance the organic nature of the music."

You can purchase IZ online through iTunes, eMusic and Beatport. Visit Upstairs Recordings for all the links.

IZ will be released on CD next week courtesy of Psychonavigation Records in Dublin.


Yer Pal,
Gel-Sol

Monday, March 24, 2008

Greetings from yer pal, Gel-Sol!



So basically it's a pain in the ass for me to update my gel-sol.com website (and I'm lazy)...it hasn't been updated in over 2 years. Which is why I am now starting this blog. I wanted to build my new blog with another reputable blog company, but apparently the server space I have been graciously lent does not support the software. Oh well...which is why I am here!

My goal is to eventually get www.gel-sol.com to route automatically to this site (or whichever blog I end up using), and to keep the site updated regularly with news, free audio downloads, and occasional randomness.

In the meantime, feel free to stop by my current website at www.gel-sol.com, where you can download lots of free music! You can also check out these other fine Gel-Sol related sites:

Gel-Sol on MySpace
Gel-Sol on Virb
Upstairs Recordings
Psychonavigation Records

Anyways, thanks for stopping by!

Yer Pal,
Gel-Sol
www.gel-sol.com