REVIEW: Thomas Simon – “Sound Scape”

By Mike Ventarola

Chain Border

Sound ScapeOne of the most refreshing things about being a music reviewer is locating artists who excel in their music making craft. One can’t help but champion the accolades for their work of hypnotic and entrancing sonic passion. Thomas Simon is a new name to this reviewer, though he is not new to the artistic community by any stretch of the imagination. His music has been featured on commercial and college radio, commissioned for film soundtrack work and even featured as part of a number of multimedia events around the globe.

Overture/outro kicks off this CD with a rather darkly morose element of tension. It is pervasive, as though one is walking down a corridor, not knowing what will jump out. Insane immediately splices into the reverie with a trip hop yet industrial style rock hybrid. Rather than singing the vocals or growling them like so many others in the genre, Simon utilizes a sotto voce effect. This implies the fleeting thoughts within someone while also giving rise to an element of physical movement at the same time.

Dead Hero was tagged as goth-worldbeat. Outside of Dead Can Dance, very few have managed to successfully create such a hybrid. Simon does rise to the challenge rather flawlessly. The track is drenched in midnight darkness yet percussive enough to provide a sentiment of something sinister lurking within the jungle. The sotto voce singing once again expands upon the experience. Soothe creates a lush instrumental journey that entrances the listener. While it is quite reflective and meditative, it still conveys a sensuality in the darkness.

Night Run is another instrumental track, however it is much more somber and emotionally heavy than the previous tracks. While the songs before this were dark, they skirted at the top edges of abyss. This track enters the unknown with trip hop and moodiness with lavish doses. Stalking is part of the soundtrack Black Wine. More information is available at www.blackwinethemovie.com. It is even darker and more malevolent than the preceding piece. Beneath the notes are layers of tension, anticipation and calculation. It is understandable why this was included in a film, as it does jog the mind with emotional triggers to stimulate the imagination.

The Disposal is yet another track from the Black Wine soundtrack. It opens with dark anticipation, causing the listener to unconsciously hold their breath. Similarly to A Murder of Angels, this track utilizes odd sound effects with buried notes to evoke impressions. It then veers into a slow trip hop groove that marries all of it together in a creative hybrid between the percussive and the malevolent. Altered Planet pushes a bit more of a rock styling that delivers a simple lyric that wherever we go, “there’s nowhere to hide.” Here we are also treated a bit more to Simon’s actual vocal talents that is conducive for such rock styles.

Galaxies adds touches of rock and darkness in yet another hybrid. Jill Simon adds her vocals to this track and certainly has one heck of a career ahead of her in the underground if she continues to pursue this passion. Her vocals combine the element between the sweet ingénue and an angst ridden young woman on the point of emotional breakthrough. The Calling was described by the artist as hard rock, ambient goth. It is reminiscent of early goth/punk hybrids and works very well as a track meant for club exposure. Simon’s vocals are stretched further and we realize that he embodies an unlimited source of creativity and talent.

Thomas Simon introduces listeners to a myriad of his musical works from all fronts. This particular CD encompasses tracks from his former project Love Alien as well as added tracks from films and previous recordings. Rather than presenting a full CD full of darkness or ambient work, the sequencing of the various genre hybrids worked well to carry the listener and maintain one’s interest.

Contact Information:
Post: Endorphin Records, 12 East 14th Street, Ste. 3E, New York, NY, 10003, USA
Phone: (917) 482-7381
E-Mail: suszinka@hotmail.com
Web: www.mp3.com/ThomasSimon

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