Let me introduce you to Austin Rockman. A composer of electroacoustic music specializing in electronic production and sound design, Rockman is also a multi-instrumentalist performer and – from what one gathers – a seriously insightful young man. He is releasing this debut album without fanfare, after searching for his own creative uniqueness in a protracted “try-and-discard” period. I’m glad to report that the experimentations yielded meaningful results.
Eight tracks, not overlong but still granting the necessary time to get semi-comfortable in our solitary scrutinizing of the acoustic perspectives. Thus the “boredom factor” is discarded pronto, in favor of vivid apparitions whose level of evocativeness is on par with the personal depths from which they were born. Variable resonant ambiences in lo-fi settings; friable reiterative cycles pulsing from their guts; commingling of supernatural projections with tones of uncertain origin. These soundscapes float like a strange jellyfish in sulphurous waters, amalgamating the organic and the ethereal in satisfactory fashion. As much as naming names is silly, fans of Jeff Greinke’s early output and, in general, of artists consistently mixing field recordings, minimal harmonies and intermittent luminosity in mainly starless skies should have no problem in welcoming Rockman’s suggestions.
As he himself writes, “we must have trust in ourselves, somehow”. It’s indeed the only means of survival in stressful conditions, and there’s no question about sonic osmosis as the ideal counteragent against a potentially lethal, otherwise unexpressed despondency. Plum God is a beautiful reminder of human fragility, and a welcome breath of fresh air in an environment too often symbolized by a seductive superficiality.