GORMUSIK: Fun in Outer Space (AND a surprise)
Ferocious Guitar Wizardry
Well, HE (Gordon Bennett, AKA Gordo, AKA GorMusik) says the music is “Progressive Rock Symphonic Rock Prog-metal Classical Space Tripping Jazz Fusion Cinematic Orchestral Melodic”…
And I say…hmm, pretty darn close.
I’m going to take a close look at his first GorMusik full-length album, “Fun in Outer Space“.
AND a Surprise
Which I’ll get into a bit later. Just to build the suspense a bit.
“Fun in Outer Space” was released in June, 2015, and I say that to suggest that this release date is an important factoid, pointing to some of Gordo’s character strengths.
Yes, it’s five-and-a-half years ago (as of this writing), yet continues to hold genuine musical values- like pioneering, exploratory, strong musicianship, compositional skills, spaciousness…
On this album, Gordo does it all- compose, plays all instruments, makes all the sounds, produces, records, engineers- and says with characteristic wit, “No keyboards were harmed…” while making this album. Or USED, for that matter.
Gordo levitating his axe
And That Too is Important
Upon first hearing, I in my reviewer’s wisdom KNEW there were keyboards, KNEW it.
The organ. Synthesizers. Bass pedals. Orchestrations. Choral sounds.
Nope. Guitar synthesizer.
Which makes describing the music tricky- since the exact instruments and vocals are actually ‘sounds’ in digital reality.
Yes, it’s complicated.
Back to Character Strengths
And I refer to THESE- things like kindness, compassion, loyalty, hard-working, faithful, committed to family- since it clearly suggests how he approaches music and music-making.
It’s no secret to anyone who has tried, that writing, playing, practicing, composing, recording, editing, mixing, and all of that claptrap- takes TIME and lots of it.
Energy. Commitment. Equipment. Space. Isolation in which to concentrate and focus.
Meanwhile Life Goes On
There’s the wife, the kids. The need to earn a paycheck- since much to your surprise- progressive rock doesn’t tend to make a musician wealthy. Which means a day gig, usually.
Time to tend the yard, keep up the house- that sort of thing.
True, some musicians might tend to put these trifles on the back burner- rock and roll widow or widower, anyone?
So, Fun in Outer Space
What I hear is awe, wonder, amazement, reverence- in these nine tracks.
Energetic guitar work, striking orchestrations. Heavy and light progressions. Cosmic psychedelic sounds. Menacing, sinister, playful, light-hearted, dark music. Flowing compositions that develop, grow, subside, evolve, change, return…and end.
I like track 5, “The Cosmic Universe” and track 6, “Alpha Centauri” best. Although certainly all tracks have much to commend them.
“The Cosmic Universe” is a terrific orchestral piece that certainly belies Gordo’s love of classical music. It’s difficult to tell that this is NOT done by an actual orchestra- the violins, cellos, brass, tympani, string bass- all sound ‘real’, and full, and rich, and vibrant.
“Alpha Centauri” uses authentic organ sounds, use of clean and distorted guitar lines, heavy guitar riffs, synthesizer lead lines, creative use of left and right space, dual guitar lead lines…a fine, fun piece.
Each title has that outer space theme, and one can believe Gordo spent time developing the entire album with the blazing, explosive work of planets, asteroids, black holes, dark matter, and stars birthing/dying- giving inspiration.
Signal the Stars
Now, the Surprise
True, GorMusik released “Fun in Outer Space” in 2015. Still timely. Still impressive.
“Aftermath” however, is some of his latest work.
Let’s consider this fifteen minutes-and-change track- it deserves it.
Gordo reported he wrote this one in the framework of world-shaking events, like the pandemic for example, going into his composition.
I thought some real growth in composition and musicianship were on display with this track.
Some added crispness with the explosive opening passage, vibrant, dramatic drum sounds, and a sinister progression, with complex patterns in the rhythm section. I dug the bass guitar riff which rockets along only to erupt every so often into a ridiculously difficult lick.
Gordo’s insanely fast, musically challenging guitar work is highlighted, both in sighing tender passages, and in faster shredding that is almost beyond belief. There are guitar harmonies, which I also love- and these are tough to pull off.
Then, that ridiculously realistic orchestral passage- leading back to energetic guitar arpeggios…
And ending with bright sequencer synthesizer sounds.
Because of Gordo’s priorities and character strengths, he may not have achieved some of the heights he might have reached in the musical world- the fame, money, plaudits- that I think he has the capability and talent to achieve.
Gordo participates in numerous projects- check out his website (links below) to see the range and value he’s added to other musicians.
In my world however, Gordo has my love and respect- and his music is world-class.
I'm a musician, writer, chaplain, and progressive rock enthusiast. Almost everything about this genre interests me and sparks my creativity. I write, perform, and record music as well. View all posts by Stephen Conrad
DECEMBER 7, 20201 COMMENTCINEMATIC, JAZZ-FUSION, ORCHESTRAL, PROGRESSIVE METAL, PROGRESSIVE ROCK, SPACE TRIPPING, SYMPHONIC PROGRESSIVE ROCK; EPIC
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