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Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

Saul Stokes OGGs

Saul Stokes recently posted three downtempo tracks at the kahvi.org netlabel, all for free download. Combined, they comprise an EP, titled This Road Is Glowing. “Spirals from Zurich,” with its slow build and its riff slightly behind the beat, resembles, of all things, Radiohead at its most glimmering. “Thick Streets” slows things down further, with a gurgling underbelly and the long, simple tones of an anime soundtrack. The EP’s title cut is its most metronomic. Like “Thick Streets,” it changes as it proceeds, its character darkening, giving way to something more through-composed, more heady and steeped in narrative. Rich, grey clusters swoop overhead — are they inbound motifs, or the thematic equivalent of grace notes. A piece modulates up, or down — is this the beginning of a steady slope, or will it modulate back where it started, returning the piece to song form? The three tracks are varied and long enough, between six and just over nine minutes, that each listening reveals something new. (The label is at kahvi.org, and the EP is located here.) One note: these are all in the Ogg Vorbis (or .ogg) format, which means, among other things, they don’t play on standard iPods. (More info on the format at vorbis.com.)

By Marc Weidenbaum

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