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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Jean-Sebastien Cote

Wilderness

Review by Gary Hill

Here at Music Street Journal we've previously reviewed some music from this artist in the past. In that case Jean-Sebastien Cote was one member of a group, Crashride. This new album finds him working solo. The music here is electronic and quite powerful. It's soundtrack type stuff more often than not, but don't take that to mean that it's background music. Sure, it's instrumental and often quiet. It is too interesting to be relegated to play behind some event, though. Perhaps this isn't truly progressive rock (the "rock" part is certainly missing) but it's progressive music and much like stuff from artists ranging from Synergy to Tangerine Dream. That qualifies it to fit under prog at MSJ.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Genesis
Pretty and quite sedate electronics open this piece. This gradually gets louder and more involved, but in a very soundtrack, textural way. There is a definite symphonic edge here. As this reaches its peak I'm reminded of the most dramatic parts of the soundtrack to "2001: A Space Odyssey." This is odd, but also very compelling.
Beauty and the beast
The opening segment and bulk of the track are in that same powered up soundtrack electronic zone. It drops way down later in the piece for something that has a more organic vibe with some hints of world music. It's very sedate and almost tentative at times.
VĂ„tmarks
Very much soundtrack like, there is a creepiness to this number. There is something that comes in shortly after the beginning that feels like some kind of huge beast lumbering about. This really seems like it would fit in the soundtrack to a horror movie.
Alep
There are some intriguing tapestries in this piece. It makes me think of a cross between Tangerine Dream and Synergy in a lot of ways. It's not dark like the previous one, lending an air of hope to the proceedings.
Beautiful racket
This piece is dramatic and quite soundtrack based. It has both electronics and some more organic sounding symphonic elements at its heart. In fact, some of the percussive things are among the most electronic stuff here, while there are decidedly symphonic things at play, too.
Caring to death
Slow moving and sadly pretty, this is more of a melodic piece rather than textural. It could fit into a soundtrack, but it doesn't feel like soundtrack music. This is effective and among the most "song-like" music here. This reminds me of Synergy, too.
Suspended animation
Very textural and electronic, this is also quite pretty. There is an almost sterile vibe to it, yet it somehow conveys sadness.
Impossible meetings
This is especially quiet as it starts. There are sounds that are almost like whale song. In the distance you can hear what sounds like artillery batteries firing. As it continues it gradually starts to become more musical and the volume level rises. The effects start to drop into the background.
Himlens rike
This rises up ambient and textural. It is soundtrack-like, but also very powerful. There is a real beauty and magic to this, despite (or perhaps because of) the understated quality of the piece.
 
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