Justin Walter – Unseen Forces – Album Review
on kranky – Release date 21 April 2017
“There was a definite process used to create this music but at no point was any music ever written or composed. When putting this music together I was often aware of feelings related to density, spacing, silence, and the sense of time pulling back on itself, like trying to stretch a scene and pull on it in ways that distort it ever so slightly.” – Justin Walter
In terms of solo work, Walter’s debut was the 2013 ‘Lullabies & Nightmares‘. This is therefore the difficult second album from the Michigan trumpeter. It’s another exploration of the EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument), which is ‘a rare wind-controlled analog synthesizer from the 1970s’. It’s not the most impressive looking instrument, but it does create an unusual and quite ethereal sound.
“This is a record of melodies, alone and in complex relation. This music is a reflection of both feeling, and thought, as much construction as composition. The recordings of the EVI, as well as the sequencing done using samples of those recordings, are mostly the result of exploring melody through intuition. Harmonically simple, but with a complex pallet of texture.” – Justin Walter
The album opens with the muffled electronic calls of 1001, like daybreak on some strange alien world. It’s difficult not to feel captured by this mood piece, transporting you to another location. The album is instrumental and is about atmosphere as much as anything else. It’s gentle and slow paced throughout but quietly impressive. Not an album to fill stadiums, but with a pair of headphones it creates another world.
2. Unseen Forces
4. End of Six
5. It’s Not What You Think
8. Soft Illness
9. Red Cabin