Wayfarer by William Linton SpaceForMusic.com Records, 2000 http://www.SpaceForMusic.com William Linton is part of the group of electronic musicians based in Tennessee which also includes Tony Gerber, Giles Reaves, and their electronic-rock band “Spacecraft.” Their “SpaceForMusic.com” label specializes in accessible, pop-influenced spacemusic, often soundtracks for planetarium shows. This album follows along these lines, though it tends more toward the all-electronic ambient genre pioneered in Europe in the ‘70s, rather than the rock crossover of “Spacecraft.”
Linton uses lots of soft, deeply reverbed sounds, including pretty crystalline tinkling textures and electronic bells; it is unaggressive, meant to soothe rather than excite. His chords are well-chosen; in the sleepy track 4, “The Private Sea,” he floats softly on billows of dreamy ninth-chords, while other tracks depend on modal and minor “folk” harmonies. He is capable of doing dissonant or atonal stuff, as in track 5, “Strange Tales,” but it is too softly arranged to be truly “dark,” it’s a gentle weirdness. When he starts up a rhythmic section in this track, it moves into a French Euro-sequencer style rather than harder dark techno-ambient. Linton has made a “traditional” electronic ambient album which gives the listener a kind hour of sonic ease and comfort.
Hannah M.G. Shapero 11/7/02
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