Saturday, June 14, 2008

Saratoga, And Yet Another Review Of The Dino Soars

Now that it's summer, I've been languishing in the heat, staying indoors to avoid the scorching sun.

Now that I call Saratoga, CA my home, it's been different dealing with the dry heat as opposed to the breezy mildness of Berkeley. Not bad, just different.

It's been about two months since The Dino Soars was released, and since then, I've been taking care of my own personal business, not having time to worry about the music stuff.

Today was a little different.

The sun set red, with all the wildfires happening in the area. The sky was muddied with the haziness of dark beige smoke.

The picture in the sky almost made it seem as if the world was ending. Sitting in a car, whisking by the scenery, it made me feel peaceful and yet paradoxically, restless. Distracted by the moment of beauty, by the ugly, overbearing tan of the sky framing that bright red jewel of a sun, I was able to slough off that burden of routine and make me think once more of the music.

How was my album doing?

A quick search revealed the following:

"On The Dino Soars, Stegosaurus Rex presents an interesting collection of homemade electronica. Unlike most bedroom computer-made albums, The Dino Soars jumps across styles, touching on hip-hop and house beats, downbeat trip-hop, electro-pop, and even a bit of experimental, droney electronica. (more >>)

Where the album really shines is with the more beat-oriented tracks. Opening song "East Bay Kickback" starts the album off strong with a great sample and a solid drum beat, making it the kind of song you would hear in your head while drinking a beer outside on a warm Oakland evening. Another standout track is "Six Sixteen." A great sample and solid hip-hop beat drive this track as it steadily moves through the opening string loop to a chopped-up vocal chorus and back again to the string loop as it is filtered out.

The album also features some great uptempo tracks. On tracks like "Polar" and "Fleeting Disco Do," Stegosaurus creates great disco-style house. Catchy samples that he cuts and rearranges as the song progresses, solid bass lines, and some good 'ol techno beats make these tracks dancefloor-worthy.

Where this album doesn't work as well is in the less beat-oriented and vocal tracks. These tracks especially lack in production value. The sounds are thin and dull compared to the earlier mentioned songs and have a hard time fitting in with the rest of the album sonically. A little more cohesiveness throughout the album and a step up in production level could put Stegosaurus Rex on the same level as a lot of the stuff on Ninja Tune Records." (-Glenn Jackson, NASCENT)

Of course, I had to open up a cool beer afterwards to refresh myself, in an instance of life-imitating-art-imitating-life. East Bay Kickback indeed.

Yet another Friday the 13th conquered.

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