Joel Zarders aka St Eriks Street is based in Omaha, Nebraska and recently released The Outprocessing. The concept for the album was one of the more unique ones I have heard in recent memory and worth repeating. He explains, “it is named after a task in the military that involves leaving the base you are stationed at or leaving the military altogether. I am an Air Force veteran and ‘outprocessed’ in the winter of 2018.
The music is instrumental and for the most part revolves around synths, guitar and electronic elements. I thought there were some similarities to the band Boards of Canada in that the music was often pensive, atmospheric and beat heavy.
The album starts with “Spaced Out” which is a killer track. This song reminded me of one of my favorite instrumental hip-hop artists - Prefuse 73. There is a good amount of reverb and instead of revolving around one particular melody there are multiple melodies to wrap your ear around.
“Farnam Blues (Revised)” is more ominous sounding in a number of ways but also oddly serene at the same time. I enjoyed the juxtaposition and also the way the different elements melded together on this track.
We get into slightly different territory on “Dodge Noir, Pt. 1.” There is more focus on the detail of the sounds and also more space that allows the song to breathe. I liked how the percussive elements trickled in.
“Dodge Noir, Pt. 2” however is more haunting and is led by a sub bass that is surrounding airy pads. Next up is highlight “Maxing Out on Love” which is where there is a burst of joy and optimism. There are more high frequencies and it feels like a celebration in comparison to the previous tracks.
We get back into the details with “Sending a Signal'' while “Lady of Lourdes’” has a unique focus on what sounds like synth strings. Last up is “Hanscom Groove'' which is oddly playful but off-kilter. The emotion was gray which was cool and reminded me of Amon Tobin.
My only critique was this release had a very in the box type of feel to it. I wanted a little more organic quality at times.
This is a good album and it flowed really well. I know this is his first album under this moniker but hopefully it’s not his last. Take a listen.
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