Rob Levit - "Anatomy Of Ecstasy"
(Symbol System Music 2004, SSR 0402)
From Aural Innovations #29 (October 2004)
To start with this is a double CD of over 40 tracks, God help me!!!
Rob is a guitarist, composer, poet, painter and educator. He is Artist-In-Residence at the Maryland Hall for Creative Arts and he has picked up a number of awards and grants in the same fields. It states on the bio that he has an extensive back catalogue of material with other projects as well as a solo artist. However, Anatomy of Ecstasy to him represents most completely the intellectual and spiritual process that he engages in as a Human being.
To an extent he is right because over these 2 CDís there is nothing but electronic glimpses into a mind at work, and that mind is talking to you through sound and is informing you of emotions and feelingís through the tracks. The tracks range in length and change directions from drum & bass to Tomita styled stuff in moments, and the paths that they weave are all relevant to the electronic atmosphere buff. But I must warn you the it is drum & bass in a lot of places and other shite beats throughout seem to take over to produce exactly what it is, one guy sitting at a computer messing around.
I liked some stuff but thought some of it was a bit bland and found myself skipping tracks. But I may add that it was the tracks with beats on that I did not really like. Yet I found most of the mellow atmospheres suited me down to the ground, very spacey. I thought that the sound was good and the canvas painted in places showed vibrant colour and clarity and depth. The work and time spent shows dedication and the whole of the CDís takes the listener on a definite journey when listening through headphones. It is just a shame that most times out of ten these atmospheres are spoilt by drum & bass beats.
CD 2 starts with the cursed beats mentioned so I skipped it. I found a mellow barren place which I enjoyed... Shite beat skipped it... Interesting... Fucking drum & bass skipped it... Skipped it... Hodged along to it... Interesting atmos... I could go on but I feel that it is similar stuff to CD 1 so therefore can sum it up quickly. It is computer music of the drum & bass variety, and it has few interludes of hard-core electronic meditation. The majority is in the vein of Roni Size and cohorts of the British drum & bass/jungle explosion of the early to late 90ís. It is a style that still has not progressed any further from the moment of its creation, and I find it dull and simple if you know programming. There is very little variation in the tempo of the beats and with the advent of home PCís it is achievable by almost anybody with a grasp of music. That is not taking anything away from Rob because as we all know there is good music and bad music, and Robís music is good music. It is earthy, spacey, atmospheric, mellow, hectic, jazzy, drum & bassy, light and dark and full of interesting moments. The only thing that I don not like is the beats. The sequencers are fine, the synths are weird and organized but the beats batter my head.
For more information you can visit the Rob Levit web site at: http://www.roblevit.com.
Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reviewed by Albert Pollard