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John Edmonds - Subzerosonic

John Edmonds - SubzerosonicIf there is one instrument that holds fans of prog and fusion in awe, it is the mighty Chapman Stick.  And its unique mysticism, at least to the non-Stick player, is carried over to those who have mastered the instrument.

John Edmonds B.A. (music) is one of that rare breed of master Stick players.  John graduated from the Grove School of Music in Southern California in the 1980ís with certificates in guitar and composition, and up to a few years ago, taught music and worked as a freelance arranger-orchestrator before moving to the far north.  Now residing in the mountains outside of Anchorage, Alaska, no matter how cold it gets (and it gets pretty damn cold in Alaska), he never wears a coat.  Subzerosonic is, in a way, a tribute to the cold, each of the seven tracks named after some of the coldest places on Earth and beyond.

The title of the album may be cold but the music is just the ticket for getting the blood flowing through the veins.  John uses a Grand Stick, which is a twelve-string affair.  The fret board is slightly wider than that of ten string Sticks but the strings are a little closer together.  I donít know what tuning John uses as there are as many options in this area as there are types of Stick, but the usual configuration is six strings for melody and six for bass, both sets tuned differently (and the bass strings being inverted).  [For detailed info on Sticks, have a look at Stick Enterprises where all will be revealed.]  John also uses synth and programming for this album.

Subzerosonic can be described as ambient progressive fusion with hellishly complex time sigs often combined making it nigh on impossible to unravel but impossible not to savour.  Think of a mix of King Crimson, BB Earthworks, Santana, Zappa, Gong and some of the weird and wonderful electronic sound effects on Genesis The Lamb Lies Down over a light and comforting blanket of cool tribal percussive sounds.  The music is never rushed nor is it slow and all sense of time is lost (but not in the musical sense) whilst listening to the 51 minutes of serious groove.  The listener has a choice; listen intently to every nuance and marvel at the finger tapping complexity of the arrangements, or sit back, chill and just enjoy.

Drift along on the soundscapes of gentle melodies and intricacies that this album has to offer.  Ideal music when in intimate company; dim the lights, light the candles, pour the wine and chill in a warming way.

Further info, MP3ís and purchase details can be found via the links below.

Jem Jedrzejewski

John Edmonds

CD Baby

 

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