The year was 1983 and Todd Fletcher was inspired by some of the pioneers of ambient and electronic music like Klaus Schulze and Brian Eno. Fletcher released his first ambient, electronic music in the 80’s on cassette and his most recent Wake Up Vanishing came out last October. His music on Wake Up Vanishing are dreamy compositions but I would hardly call them ambient. The songs have more in common with TNT by Tortoise than Music For Airports by Brian Eno. Each song has a unique flavor but you get a little dash of jazz here, some experimentation at other points but no matter what the songs feel as if you are resting in a cloud after ingesting too much Vicodin. The music is fantastic headphone music but also works well as background music you might put on while doing work, yoga, dishes, etc. It can be a treat whether you are actively listening or passively appreciating the tones.
The album opens with a progressive forward moving number called “Mojave Jiva,” which centers around the guitar. Fletcher plays a convincing lead but never overdoes it so that you forget about the other instruments. The bass sounds has a vintage 70’s tone that sounds similar to the bass you heard on Another Green World by Brian Eno. The first track was good but not the highlight of the album for me. The second track “Lady Meteor” has a lot of variety and is a couple of shades darker than “Mojave Jiva” and features some reverb laced vocal harmonies that hit the spot. The music really starts to open up with “Mercury.” Even though the drums were low in the mix they added a lot of substance and variety with complex rhythms and rim shots.
“Eveningland” is a continuous wave of comfort and relaxation. The warm organ provides a blanket of solace as the drums are played with minimal amount of energy required. One of the most action-packed songs on the album is “Diablo” which has a vast amount of dynamic range and some of the most intense guitar solos on the album. Fletcher saves one of the best for last with “Quattrocento” which has something reminiscent of a lead vocal line. The drums are played with brushes as the song goes through a number of changes finally leading to its conclusion.
Fletcher’s latest album Wake Up Vanishing is an accomplished piece of music that not only got me interested in what lies ahead but will have me listening to his back catalogue as well.
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