Rick Jeldy, driving force behind the Altered Echo project, also produces his own music. ‘Of Storybook and Sound’ is his latest release, published through the ever-sublime IDMf netlabel. It chronicles Jeldy’s arduous journey in achieving personal change. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances that gave rise to this EP, you can read about it in the included pdf document titled ‘A Version of Me’.
All instrumentation on the first four tracks of this five-track EP exudes a haunting, creepy atmosphere. While the combination of children’s voices and reverb can’t exactly be called ground-breaking, it has never failed to make an audience slightly uneasy, and it certainly doesn’t fail now, either.
Drum elements are mainly of the breakbeat variant, and they complement the previously described feeling of unease very well, without smothering the sense of depth and space. My two favourite tracks on the EP are ‘Contemplation’ and ‘The Last Analysis’. Somehow they remind me of Big Bud’s ‘infinity + infinity’.
Mornings have long been the go-to metaphor for hope. And the closing track by that name introduces this element into the equation, creating a noticeable break in style with the previous tracks. Musically speaking, it’s my least favourite of the five tracks on the EP, but that’s more just a personal taste characterized by a love for minor chords, literature for the chronically depressed and an appreciation of beauty in all things dark. But that’s based purely on the physical form of this release, not taking into account what it symbolizes. Truly, one can only be happy the track is there. ‘Morning’ retains the children’s voices as an anchor point to the rest of the release, but uses them in an entirely different context. New, but never unfamiliar.
RFJ has molded his personal experiences into a strong IDM release, which is dark and eerie, deep yet stimulating. Highly recommended.
RFJ – The Last Analysis
This review was originally published on netlabelism.com, an online music magazine covering netlabel culture and releases. I was editor for the magazine from January 2011 until December 2014.