DECAYCAST Reviews: Robert Schneider “Songs For Other Worlds” (Cloud Recordings, 2022)

mynameisblueskye reviews Songs for Other Worlds by Robert Schneider

The Elephant 6 collective: let’s discuss the legendary psychedelic pop collective for a minute. As the story goes, Elephant 6 is a group of artists and bands who come together to share their love of making music inspired by bands in the 1960s. Elephant 6 is filled with bands who have their own creative spin on the psychedelic pop genre. If i were to ask you which artist is the standout, which one would you say? of Montreal for the endlessly prolific Kevin Barnes tackling idea after idea, genre after genre on a yearly basis? Neutral Milk Hotel for releasing an album that is the most unanimously loved in the inside rock/lo-fi genre, In an Aeroplane Over the Sea? The Music Tapes for Julian Koster’s ramshackle and decidedly lo-fi compositions using instruments such as the banjo or the saw? Any answer will do, but my pick would be that of Robert Schneider.

Robert Schneider is a leader of the power-pop band Apples in Stereo who released an album named New Magnetic Wonder years ago. On said album, Robert Schneider introduced a new musical invention: music composed using the non-Pythagorean scale. To get a better explanation, I suggest searching “Non-Pythagorean Music Scale” where Schneider himself not only breaks down the music, but also demonstrates with a song named “Sun is Out”. (On the same channel, you will also see him composing music using prime time signatures, but I digress.) This year, Robert Schneider himself put together an album of music that uses said non-pythagorean music scale, and  your enjoyment will depend upon your curiosity concerning the many things you can do with music. An curious and experimental ear, if you will.

Out of the gate, “Space Song of the Blue Sky” sounds exactly like music you would imagine if aliens were to have created the music, but is made with circuit bent synths. Largely, the music ranges from atonal ambient (“Composition No. 6”, the classical/synthwave fusion of the title track) to almost the dark end of new age (“Song for Whales”, the droning “Non-Pythagorean Prayer”, which sounds like a more tuneful version of when your ear rings in complete silence). A song like “Clouds on a Mountain” sounds like it would really soundtrack a suspenseful video game, if the opportunity presents itself with how dissonant it all feels and sounds. Oftentimes, such invention does yield bright and uplifting results, such as the luminous and calming “Song for Sea Vegetables”.

Albums like this is likely to be dismissed as a curiosity for those used to more conventional practices, but if you are willing to open your ears up, Songs for Other Worlds will expose to you some interesting musical treasures.https://cloudrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/songs-for-other-worlds-2

-Mynameisblueskye

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