signatures II. (feat. zsolt galántai)

by computerchemist

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about

“All too often an album arrives in the Soundscapes Office accompanied by the press ‘blurb’ declaring that the artist has ‘stretched the boundaries’, or ‘created a new sound’ and other such bold and sweeping statements. However when Dave Pearson, (aka Computerchemist, or should that be the other way around?), said “Because this is a little more crossover I thought you might be interested”, I was a little sceptical, but not too much as I’m heard from Dave before and knew that he wasn’t afraid to do things ‘his way’.
Signatures is a double album, released as two single albums, that may sound a little strange but please read on and you’ll soon know why!
Signatures I is very much an electronic, synth or whatever it is called these days, fans dream, opener Caterpillar Pirouette starts with a solid sequencer driven base, but soon grows and the ‘unusual’ begins to show itself. Guitar, bass and drums, yes real drums from Zsolt Galántai, really do change the listening perspective of the music, but remains an easy listen for an electronic music fan!
This first album really starts to show its true colours, (or should that be kaleidoscopic rainbow of ever changing mood and colour?), with Dobdub, drums to the fore with a more laid back jazzy feel, but never quite crossing over into full blow jazz, smooth, intricate and interesting.
The epic Zsoltmatic is a piece of music that I find hard to describe, it has just about everything, from thunder and rain, a slightly 80’s feel to a sequencer opening with a drifting keyboard gently over riding , but then the drums kick in and that is a whole new ball game! Is this Prog Rock, Kraut Rock, Psychedelic or something else? I don’t know and I don’t care, it is certainly more interesting than a whole collection of albums by the so called ‘superstars’ ( who sold millions of records of bland repetitive tripe!), of this genre and certainly pushes things beyond the ‘bleeps, whistles and farts’ criteria. Here again, Dave isn’t afraid to do things differently, drums drive, guitar soars, bass binds it all together, but there is still that ‘electronic’ element, simply marvellous.
The album continues in this vein, just when you think Dave and Zsolt have ‘calmed down’ and are allowing you to relax into the album along comes Six Phase Mains a slightly, dare I say it conventional almost commercial opening, soon expands its horizons and unfurls into to a classic track with a bit of a twist, that twist being pure Computerchemist. Hard to put this into words, so you’ll just have to buy it and listen for yourself.
Onto Signatures II, certainly the more ‘conventionally’ progressively influenced of the two parts of the album. Strangeness in 13 I had a sneak preview of from Dave sometime ago, but the track still delights, from slightly ‘Oldfield’ opening piano, again a subtle under pinning from the drums and the guitar drifting in and out, leave you wanting to hear more!
Goodbye Moszkva Ter, picks up the pace, maybe a little Ozrics or Hawkwind in psychedelic mode? I don’t know and to be really honest, don’t really care, why try to compare a work that is quite openly and honestly going to defy ‘normal’ musical boundaries?
Commution is probably the stand out ‘proggy’ track, King Crimson, meet ELP, throw in Jimi Hendrix and your favourite prog drummer and you’ll get the picture. There is a bit of surprise moment in this one, but you’ll have to listen for yourself, but trust me, I don’t think it has ever been done before!
Signatures may have a few moments where you go, ‘oh that might be’, or ‘that’s so & so’, but it never really sounds like anybody else. Prog Rock influences and styles are there but they’re, I want to say ‘mashed’ but that isn’t right, blended maybe better, together in a pretty unique way.
Blimey this is a bit of a rambling review, sorry, but it is a double album!
OK, to try and sum this up, Signatures I & II is an album that really does push the boundaries, without ever being ‘weird’, just to make an impact. Yes conventions are stretched, twisted or just totally thrown away, but the album has continuity, a strong melodic core, time changes, crunching and then soaring guitars, driving rhythms, for once I think that this is a collection of tunes that really does have something for everybody, but don’t expect an easy, comfortable ride, this isn’t EM, it isn’t Prog, it isn’t full on rock, but it has elements of all and will challenge your music listening sensibilities, stay with it, and you will not be disappointed. If you are, give up listening to music now and play tiddlywinks all day instead. Simply marvellous!” – Paul Baker (ARFM Soundscapes), Classic Rock Society Magazine Issue 194 (March/April 2013)


"Der Name Computerchemist tauchte bereits vor über zwei Jahren im PNL auf. Danach war erst mal nichts mehr von David Pearson zu hören, der hinter dem Pseudonym Computerchemist steckt. Nun ist er zurück mit einem zweigeteilten Projekt, das mit einer Besonderheit aufwartet. Pearson, der hauptsächlich an Synthesizern agiert, aber ebenso Gitarren und Bass bedient und für Sequenzer Programming zuständig ist, bekommt nämlich tatkräftige Unterstützung. Und wer jetzt billigen programmierten Rhythmus erwartet, liegt völlig falsch, denn der Gast ist Schlagzeuger. Und dass dieser Schlagzeuger nicht nur mal eben zum Einspielen von einigen wenigen Parts ins Studio gekommen ist (übrigens in sein eigenes Zsolt Studios), zeigt sich nicht nur im durchweg kompetenten Schlagzeugspiel, sondern auch in der Tatsache, dass – bis auf den jeweiligen Abschlusstitel – sämtliche Titel als Gemeinschaftskompositionen entstanden.
Dave Pearson lebt schon seit geraumer Zeit in Ungarn, und so erstaunt es auch nicht, dass der drummende Gast aus Ungarn stammt. Es handelt sich hierbei um Zsolt Galantai, der bereits unter dem Projektnamen „Rusty Gold“ ein Progalbum veröffentlichte. Zsolts Mitwirken macht schon einen Unterschied. Wer elektronische Musik mit der Begründung ablehnt, dass programmierte Rhythmen einfach mies klingen, muss die Grundeinstellung überdenken – denn hier klingt dies definitiv anders. Entsprechend wird dies auch auf dem Frontcover gewürdigt: dort heißt es nämlich „Computerchemist ft. Zsolt Galantai“.
Beide Alben enthalten jeweils acht Titel, die Aufnahmen stammen jeweils aus der Zeit zwischen Juli 2011 und August 2012. Seinen auf früheren Alben präsentierten Stil hat Pearson nicht grundlegend geändert. Die Arbeit an den Tasteninstrumenten bildet die Grundlage, bei einigen Titeln übernimmt die elektrische Gitarre eine dominante Rolle. Das erinnert – nicht ganz überraschend – an einigen Stellen an Tangerine Dream, aber Computerchemist ist weit mehr als einfach nur ein TD-Abklatsch. Da sind nicht alle Titel gleich strukturiert, sondern es werden verschieden Facetten präsentiert. Es gibt die üblichen Symphonik-Ausflüge, bei denen auch wieder Mellotronsounds eingesetzt werden, aber – wohl auch dank Galantai – einige Titel, die auch mal Jamsession-Charakter haben.
Beide Alben sind empfehlenswert, wobei auffällt, dass bei Teil 2 noch mehr Wert auf Abwechslung gelegt wurde. Dort werden auch Jazz-Einflüsse wie auch rockige Parts eingebaut. Anspruchsvoll. JM
(„Signatures I“ WE 10, JM 11, „Signatures II“ WE 11, JM 12)” – Jürgen Meurer, Progressive Newsletter Nr. 77


“Think you’ve heard everything music has to offer? Think again. Improvised, psychedelic, electronic, prog rock. Sounds interesting? Better believe it. Dave Pearson and Zsolt Galántai stretch musical boundaries to their limits. A powerhouse double album from two inspired musicians in their prime – a merging of instrumental electronic music and prog rock with a touch of metal at times.. all with crazy time signatures” – Bruce Gall, ARFM Sunday Synth


“On his new two-disc release, Computerchemist (aka Dave Pearson) tries an interesting strategy. He gave drummer Zsolt Galántai sets of time signatures to follow, then had Galántai improvise what were essentially long solos. Pearson then went back in and, in tried-and-true Computerchemist fashion, attacked them with the dual weapons of progressive rock and Berlin school concepts. The outcome is a long stretch of fiery, flaring, feel-good tunes that will have you turning up the volume. I will gladly confess to being a huge shill for Pearson’s guitar playing. It’s inspired and passionate and howls with a classic rock ‘n’ roll lack of restraint. These discs give plenty of that, particularly the second. Strangeness in 13 kicks off that disc with Pearson grinding out soulful solos while a piano slyly offers up whispers of the beginning of Tubular Bells. This leads straight into Goodbye, Moszkva Tér, which is essentially Pearson and Galántai strapping you into a chair and pumping a constant stream of high-grade art-rock adrenalin straight into your veins. Then the man gets downright aggressive with his axe, strangling screaming banshee wails out of it for Floor Zero. Meaty keyboard chords fill in the background. On the first disc, Pearson hits the guitar mark when he revisits an old track in Landform 2012. This is a perfect blend of guitar and sequencer, Pearson holding long, soaring notes heavy on the reverb. Pure, gorgeous Berlin. Zsoltmatic is another nice guitar track with a bluesy edge.
The other element to Signatures is Pearson’s spot-on sequencer work. He lays down neat geometric patterns for the drums and guitar to flow over, their stringent borders just able to contain the energy. Analog lovers will eat them up in all their T-Dream-influenced glory. (Here, we go back to Zsoltmatic and its followup, Corporatosaur, as prime examples.)
It must be said that, to some degree, Signatures is a Must-Love-Drums offering. They’re here, they’re big and full of fills and flare, and Pearson doesn’t relegate them to the back seat. Which means, admittedly, that sometimes they take over and the two sides of the equation feel like they don’t entirely align. It becomes more like a game of catch the drummer. I like the playful charm that runs through Broken Daliuette, for example, which starts off with a feel like a lost Oldfield track, one of those pieces that meanders around an old folk dance. (Excuse the two MO references in one review.) But when Galántai hits the scene, it feels like the drums are vying for an undue amount of attention attention. The closing couple of minutes, where Pearson comes more in line with the framework of Galántai’s staccato attack, work better. These just-off-kilter moments are far more the exception than the rule on the Signatures discs, but with the drums given so much prominence, it stands out a bit when it happens. When everything comes in line, however, as it does in most cases here, it creates huge, exhilarating, face-melting gobs of prog-fueled joy. Come and get it.” – John Shanahan, Hypnagogue


“The new double album ‘Signatures I & II, by much talented Dave Pearson (aka Computerchemist) reveals both krautrock, electronics and progressive rock at it’s very finest. Starting with ‘Signatures I’, we will travel into the world of krautrock for sure, especially the first half of the album it’s very evident. It’s like listening to some of the best ‘Tangerine Dream’ music from the early 70′s. It strikes you immediately that the mighty ‘Computerchemist’ has been influenced by this supergroup to a large extent. And while the first half of the album is TD oriented in many ways, the later half is aching much more towards the sounds of ‘Ozric Tentacles’ if you ask me. The cosmic shimmering sounds along with the powerful drumming takes place, it’s almost like listenng to a one-man Ozric army. Dave certainly knows every trick in the book, and with this album he has eclipsed himself once again.Very tasty intricate cosmic rock from start to finish.
As we move along, we get to his other album called ‘Signatures II’. This album (being my fave of the two) is leaning much more towards electronic rock. But the obvious oozing sounds of Ozric Tentacles cannot be escaped!. Just listen to the amazing piece Floor Zero and you’ll be in for a lush treat for sure. The very tasty sounds of the guitars and ethereal synths will leave you quite breathless I’d say. My favorite track on the album without a doubt!
Pour a bit of ‘Ozric Tentacle’, then add some tasty Pink Floyd sounds mixed with some classic Tangerine Dream textures. Stir well, then add a bucketload of Dave Pearson’s own imaginative style. Shake again and stir it well, and you’ll have the latest Computerchemist masterpiece. I would easily and without a doubt recommend this double album to listeners who crave for an infectious and adventurous Berlin-influenced journey, with a dash of prog rock thrown in the mix.” – Kristian Persson, Tangram’s Music Blog


“Computerchemist aka/ Dave Pearson has released his most interesting album to date, in no small part due to the excellent drumming of Zsolt Galántai. For me the whole album is interesting, with excellent drumming, tasty sequencer work, very interesting bass lines and some excellent and well placed guitar work by Mr. Pearson. Highly recommended!” – Greg Allen, author Klaus Schulze: Electronic Music Legend


“What a start to the new year for Dave Pearson, aka Computerchemist, with a new double album ‘Signatures’. It’s hard to fit it into a certain category, sometimes we hear raw Krautrock and other times it retains a more electronic stance with sequences and percussion working in harmony, throughout. Production is first class, but the strength throughout the discs is the dynamics of the music diving headlong into a musical whirlwind of meaty real drumming from Hungarian musician Zsolt Galantal and the embellishment of Dave’s strong powerful guitar chords and sequencing. For more adventurous progressive EM fans, hang on to your seats and enjoy the ride.” – Mick Garlick, Sequences Magazine


“Well executed, uplifting, yet laid back Berlin-influenced electronic music, with some Prog and jazz-rock overtones, intricate but tasteful drumming and some very interesting guitar work. Will be getting regular spins here at Progzilla Towers!” – Cliff Pearson, Progzilla Magazine


“En estos tiempos que corren es muy difícil encontrarse con un artista totalmente implicado en la música que compone. Y es difícil porque la tecnología facilita mucho la tarea de un músico que no es hábil con su instrumento. Estamos ante un caso distinto, porque la música de Computerchemist, alter ego de Dave Pearson, es un diestro ejercicio compositivo donde la más mínima intención se refleja de forma totalmente profesional, dada la habilidad técnica en la utilización de los instrumentos musicales.
Desde 2006, Pearson ha evolucionado de una manera tal que ha inventado un nuevo género musical al que dedica toda su atención y cariño. Digo que ha inventado un género, pero no desde el punto de vista de la innovación, lo afirmo categóricamente desde el sentimiento y el cuidado que pone en todo lo que hace. Y esto se refleja de manera perfecta en este último trabajo, Signatures, del sintetista húngaro, que no es sino un enorme esfuerzo musical hecho de modo profesional y lleno de emoción. Sería muy fácil definir su trabajo como herencia del krautrock, concretamente de la escuela de Berlín, mucho más cercana al jazz rock y al rock progresivo aunque sus composiciones trascienden mucho más allá.
Estamos ante dos obras maestras del siglo XXI sin ninguna duda, y no soy yo el que lo tiene que afirmar de forma tan contundente y vehemente. Sencillamente el tiempo pone a cada uno en su sitio y Dave, un amanuense de la música de nuestro tiempo, sabe cómo utilizar todos los recursos que tiene en su mano para regalarnos parte de su vida en estas composiciones. Influencias variadas que van desde el rock espacial al rock electrónico alemán de los setenta, en una especie de amalgama sincera de propuestas floydianas y de Tangerine Dream. La riqueza de su música es inconmensurable y el listón está tan alto que no creo que podamos llegar a escuchar algo de calidad tan noble como este trabajo, presentado en forma doble independiente, que es el disco que nos ocupa. Pero Dave ofrece otra vuelta de tuerca con la incorporación de un batería físico, en la figura de Zsolt Galántai, miembro de Ossian, para experimentar una evolución cualitativa dentro de su obra musical.
Por supuesto que nos vamos a encontrar ritmos secuenciados y ambientes espaciales, pero desde un punto de vista totalmente original, puesto que unas veces correrán a cargo de los sintetizadores, otras el bajo se erigirá en protagonista y en muchas ocasiones la secuencia estará marcada por la batería sobre la que trabajarán el resto de los instrumentos. Pero además, estamos ante uno de los guitarristas más competentes de toda la historia del progresivo en cualquiera de sus épocas. Con un estilo totalmente Gilmour, cuando no se trata de secuenciar fragmentos musicales, la guitarra fluye y se desarrolla en espacios de una belleza que impregna el disco de categoría de clásico. Un dominio absoluto de los espacios y los silencios, proporciona un protagonismo a la guitarra que se sumerge en paisajes sonoros de incalculable belleza.
Signatures se nos presenta en dos volúmenes independientes, como ya he dicho antes, y cada uno de ellos aborda situaciones totalmente distintas. Mientras que el volumen primero se centra en un rock espacial de tendencias clásicas, el segundo, que no eran más que temas descartados en las sesiones de grabación, se instaura como un tributo clásico a la era más espacial de Pink Floyd, con lánguidas guitarras, oscuros ambientes y muchísima intención musical.
Si en Signatures I el recuerdo va dedicado a Klaus Schulze o Tangerine Dream, en Signatures II el tributo sincero de un artista dedicado va dirigido hacia David Gilmour y Roger Waters en su etapa más creativa de la primera mitad de la década de los setenta. Pero yendo más allá, podemos escuchar, y de qué manera, ejercicios espaciales de formatos cercanos al jazz rock, o experimentos que parecen surgidos de Mike Oldfield, “Broken daliuette”, sin olvidarnos de evidentes homenajes pensando en King Crimson, “Commution”, todo ello bajo el prisma instrumental de este dúo que transcurre por mundos oníricos de elegancia suprema. Destacar temas me parece absurdo puesto que el conjunto de composiciones tiene tal calidad que ninguno de ellos podría prevalecer dentro de esta obra maestra.
Signatures es un doble trabajo lleno de esperanza musical en estos tiempos tan modernos que nos toca vivir. La tecnología está bien si se sabe utilizar y Dave Pearson pone su corazón en cada nota que emite para obsequiarnos con un trabajo honrado, contundente, emocionante y directo, producto de un sentimiento totalmente musical que ha sabido evolucionar desde formas electrónicas clásicas para desembocar en una música estimulante, poderosa de melodías e inteligentes arreglos que hacen de estos trabajos una obra intemporal e imperecedera.
La combinación de teclados, guitarras y batería es una perfecta simbiosis alejada de convencionalismos, que convierten esta música en una obra de arte, un lienzo musical lleno de matices que explora cada rincón de la mente del oyente para dejarlo absorto ante la continua emotividad expositiva, que no hace sino destruir todas las fronteras establecidas en un género que necesita músicos como Dave Pearson para consagrar el género a lo más alto del Olimpo del Arte con mayúsculas.
Computerchemist es el resumen fiero y fiel de una época de declaraciones musicales que luchan por salir de la mediocridad de los conformistas. Un pedazo de Historia y Arte por el que merece la pena luchar.
Desde este momento me convierto en un incondicional de uno de los genios surgidos en los últimos años. Gracias Dave por tu dedicación y tu regalo. Ya lo he dicho en alguna ocasión: Set the controls for the heart of Computerchemist.” – Jose Luis Martinez Arilla, Descubre LA CAJA DE PANDORA

credits

released 06 January 2013
Dave Pearson: keyboards, sequencer programming, bass & lead guitars
Zsolt Galántai: drums

Artwork and design: Angiewoman

All composing, mixing and mastering in the digital domain at terrainflight hungary and zsolt studios budapest between Jul 2011 and Oct 2012
Written & produced by Dave Pearson & Zsolt Galántai
Tracks 1-7 ©℗ 2013 Dave Pearson & Zsolt Galántai, track 8 ©℗ 2013 Dave Pearson
Terrainflight TF008
Terrainflight is a trading name of Each2 kft.
SZERZŐI KIADÁS

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computerchemist Hungary

Computerchemist is the ongoing solo project of Dave Pearson.
ARFM DJ Bruce Gall has remarked on the crossover style of his playing, invoking comparisons to electronic artists Tangerine Dream, Jean-Michel Jarre, Klaus Schulze, Kraftwerk, and the progressive sounds of Pink Floyd and David Gilmour solo work, Ash Ra Tempel, Mike Oldfield, Steve Hackett, Brian Eno and King Crimson. ... more

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