Wednesday, October 20, 2010

acid wolf: "moonrider" and "s. kedzie theme"

While I prefer discovering music at the record and CD shops, I am glad that I can sample stuff I might not have otherwise heard if it wasn't for online music sites like Last FM, as well as features on You Tube. Such was the case with Acid Wolf (real name Benn Jordan), while sampling some tunes a year or so ago on Last FM. Hearing his stuff made me wonder why he wasn't more well known, since much of it would certainly appeal to fans of AFX/Aphex Twin, Mu-ziq, Jega and Squarepusher even. Upon further research, I discovered Benn also recorded under the names The Flashbulb, as well as Human Action Network, and despite being known primarily as an electronic music recording artist, he's a self-taught jazz guitarist, playing guitar and drums in the Chicago jazz scene since an early age. Listening to his recordings under various names, it becomes obvious his styles are pretty far-reaching and diverse, almost to the point that you wouldn't have known it was the same musician. My personal favorites are his Acid Wolf recordings, which employ the use of old electronic recording gear like the TR-808 drum machine, and the Roland TB-303 synthesizer. There's a very "classic" sound from these recordings, partially due to the gear, but also, very much in part due to Benn's knowledge of music and composition. The two tracks featured here are from Acid Wolf's excellent ten-year retrospective rightly titled "Acid Wolf Legacy 1995-2005". The "Moonrider" track is a short, sweet, and simple one with a nice, building harmony and subtle, uplifting dance vibe. The video, with it's synched up semi-Tetris-like visuals suits this track well. "S. Kedzie Theme", featured below, has a very Detroit techno-inspired sound, deep, sombre and cinematic, with some sweet freeform jazz melodies working their way in about halfway through. Think Carl Craig's "Psyche" project. So, if you're into good instrumental electronic music, and good music in general, don't sleep on Acid Wolf, or anything else by Benn Jordan.