• Dante Tomaselli: Out-Of-Body Experience

    Dante Tomaselli: Out-Of-Body Experience
    Released by: Dante Tomaselli/Tunecore
    Released on: July 4th, 2019.
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    A wave of synth noise opens Astral Projection, the first track on Dante Tomaselli’s latest collection of soundscapes. Carpenter-esque keyboards kick in, the pulse of the track quickens, and samples of a countdown mix in with computer or robot noises – and then we hear from Vincent Price. It builds in tension as the stereo pans swirl around you. Three-and-a-half-minutes later and you’re left wondering where you are – it’s seriously trippy stuff, the kind of music that takes you on a strange journey. It also sets the stage for what’s to come.

    The Lighthouse is a shorter track and more jovial in tone and in sound than the first one. It’s lighter, but still heavily layered. This track, like the others on the album, is best enjoyed with a good pair of headphones or on a good quality stereo system because the stereo effects worked into the mix really play a huge part in the music’s effectiveness. From there, we venture into the two minute Starburst, which is just as spacey as the title implies, though it shifts gears into something far dancier around the half way mark.

    Synesthesia jumps and throbs from the get go, and like the opening track is seems to move in waves, anchored by a palpitating rhythm the charts and keeps a steady course for ninety-seconds. The Gate is a darker composition, three-minutes of synth-heavy mood that gets more than a little tense as it expands its sound with choral vocals, laser effects and samples. This segues nicely into The Snake, a two-minute track that opens with a digital growl of sorts as the synths almost instantly rise to the occasion and close in on you. Again, sporadic sampling is used here, but it’s the layers and speed of the keyboards and synths that really create the bulk of the sound the Tomaselli has conjured up here.

    Scorpio Rising is a quick, minute-long assemblage of tweets and whirls and beeps set across a constant, mid-tempo backbeat that leads into The Gift, which also clocks in at a minute in length but which is denser and thicker than its predecessor, a bit less structured and a bit more chaotic. Death Ship, possibly inspired by the film of the same name, follows suit, also clocking in at a minute. Up next is The Evil, a two-minute track with lots of early video game style sound effects worked into the mix, which contrasts with the choral vocals that are laid down in carefully chosen spots and the samples that are layered in, courtesy of the Reverend Jim Jones (which actually makes this track genuinely frightening at times).

    Venus is a ninety-second track in which sounds build on other sounds to speed up and slow down, ultimately creating a fairly hallucinatory experience. With The Dark, we get two-minutes’ of UFO and alien inspired vibes, the samples used in the opening make that clear – and it works, this sounds like something that came from outer space. Earthling runs a minute-and-a-half and is a bit calmer than most of the other material, but still spacey and appropriately weird. Kraftwerk, which lays bare another influence in its titling, is ninety-seconds of krautrock worship that clearly pays tribute to Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider and it’s pretty fun.

    Moving towards the end of the album, things once again get a bit darker. Ghosts is two-and-a-half-minutes of moody, strange and at times reasonably unsettling noises, beats, samples and synth stings. Door To Hell opens with some demonic voices, distorted, unearthly sounding. The track then turns into a mass of sounds and the next four-minutes are spent weaving and dodging between a basic synth pulse and the aforementioned voices, all of which creates a track sure to create an aura of genuine unease. Last but not least, the album closes with The Pit, a two-minute montage of samples, strange noises and an almost carnival-esque, simple keyboard sounds.

    Produced over the span of a year in Tomaselli’s home studio and mastered over four months with some help from sound engineer, Don Olson, Out-Of-Body Experience is intentionally more melodic than his other albums but no less creative or bizarre. There’s definitely the intent to conjure up the mood of late seventies/early eighties genre film scores here, and it’s done very effectively. The production values are fantastic and it’s remarkable how clean and detailed this recording sounds. Those who enjoyed his earlier and more avant-garde recordings might be a bit taken aback by the change in direction here but give it a shot – Tomaselli does what he does here very well, offering fans an amazing soundtrack to a movie that doesn’t exist.