“September” by RJ Valeo
Shuffling Manhattan-bound electronic experimentations.
RJ Valeo will be a name familiar to few on the electronic scene, but this is all about to change. After a split release with Acoustic on Thomas ‘Opiate’ Knak’s respected Hobby Industries imprint in 2002, RJ began crafting a mini album for Type which took the meticulous rhythmic explorations heard on his Hobby Industries release to vast and unexplored lands.
With the current explosion in electronic music, it is often difficult to find music which stands out from the crowd. With ‘September’, Mr. Valeo chooses to stand back from the crowd, observe it, then fly overhead!
Each track, while maintaining continuity, caresses the listener into travelling fresh and exotic lands. Whether it is hip hop, sleazy electro or a gritty digital landscape, the delicate balance of emotion, logic and machine is always maintained.
We are all aware of the world’s obsession with media and entertainment, and how one aspect of our culture can feed upon another seemingly unassociated part. The influence of the cinema on music has never been disputed, but RJ wears this influence clearly on his sleeve and these six tracks are most adeptly defined as pure cinematic indulgence.
From the detuned urban washes of ‘Jarus’ and the sci-fi hip hop crunch of ‘Cypher’ to the dark night-club flicker of ‘Saturday Afternoon’, that widescreen venue is always just our eyelids away.
The album finally draws to a close with the spiritual and melancholic ‘Black Ice’. A fitting end to this thoughtful and meditational record, an album which does not stifle, but aids and encourages creative thought.
While listening it is hard not to visualise exactly what this music would look like with the accompaniment of a cathode ray pulse, and that is exactly what the music is about ; putting the imagination to work and absorbing the power of sound.