organic pastoral electronic music
Traces of Pearl
Peak in sub-genre #15
Peak in sub-genre #30
From the shale-lined shores of Lake Superior, this is music written for the moments just before dark when there is only enough light to see silhouettes. It gets called "organic electronic music" or "folksy electronica" or, more frequently, "electronic pastoral." Stephen McAlister and James Nye employ the hypnotic chord progressions, childlike melodies and ethereal textures that mark bands like Boards of Canada and Four Tet. Music in which shifts in synthesized sonic texture and coloration do the work of imagistic lyrics, suggesting place, narrative, meaning. Clearly influenced by the pioneering sounds of The Orb and Brian Eno, Idyllic evokes a 21st-century pastoral, a sense of the temporal and spatial collapse of the distance between city and countryside. This is for the smaller moments.
We are graduate students in Chemistry at Northern Michigan University. Few places are as remote as the U.P. of Mich. While doing undergrad work at another school, Stephen came across the entire Brian Eno album collection on vinyl stashed away in a production closet of the college radio station. He 'borrowed' the records and then dug up an old record player. Hours after hour of listening by the two have made an impression. Maybe more. As Stravinsky pointed out "A good composer does not imitate; he steals." Stephen eventually returned all the Eno LP's.....reluctantly.
The Orb, Brian Eno, Four Tet, Boards of Canada