Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

2

Particle: Accelerator

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
Contrary to prevailing popular opinion, electr(on)ic keyboards are not just for noodling in ever-so-cheesy, toy-like tones. In the hands of the titular leader of Particle, keyboardist/vocalist Steve Molitz, for instance, those instruments are lethal weapons with which, on the group's first album in fourteen years, he sets out to destroy preconceptions about what righteous creations can derive from the intelligent, open-minded use of such devices.

It's not just for show or by accident Molitz' keyboards dominate the sound on tracks like "Wire." Synthesizer blasts encircle the looping here, while electric piano illustrates not just the man's touch for detail, but the fully-evolved means by which this band composes its original music from the spontaneous likes of jams and more structured demo recordings. Much like this dramatic opener, Particle exhibits a distinct evolution for the band, in its current configuration, throughout this (surprisingly). just the group's second studio effort, co-produced by Steve Molitz with Clay Parnell and Particle.

Alternately jagged and explosive even down to the borderline contrived vocoder vocals on the otherwise evocative "All Night," the nine tracks here conjure an otherworldly soundscape, in part through Michael Daum's jagged electric guitar as it complements Molitz' instruments. Think Bladerunner—especially if listening on headphones, a somewhat daunting prospect-but also on comparably softer (but little less insistent) tracks like called "Home Away From Home." Thankfully, bassist Clay Parnell and drummer Kito Bovenschulte bring an earthy and decidedly human feel to these recordings, and not just on the syncopation-laden "Star City,"

This mix of musicianship and studio technique (forged at Applehead Studios in Woodstock NY and game developer Saber Interactive) is not the gimmicky likes of Daft Punk, but the logical extension of groundbreaking work by The Who's Pete Townshend, the late Patrick D. Wright of Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream. And let's not forget Jan Hammer of The Mahavishnu Orchestra, especially during the near-majestic title track here where guitars mesh with synthesizers and vice-versa: this record fulfills the near-mythic status Particle attained on the semi-hiatus that's ensued since its debut album (during which time Molitz worked with the Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh and surviving members of The Doors).

As such, cuts like "Devil's Work" posit Particle as a band with muscle as well as Moogs. It's all in keeping with the kinetic cover art, a deceptively colorful near-3D image that, like "Gustava" and the closing "Bravo Delta," radiates discernible motion in a direct reflection of the sounds panning across the stereo spectrum so judiciously on Accelerator. Little wonder there's evidence of real sweat generated in the playing, recording and engineering of this record, so, in keeping with the atom-splitting overtones of its title, taken together with the band's name, this Particle Accelerator record may simultaneously pulverize and multiply listeners' opinions on such music. This is not your father's (or your offspring's) electronica.

Track Listing: Wire; All Night; Home Away From Home; Devil's Work; Accelerator; Heist; Gustava; Star City; Bravo Delta.

Personnel: Steve Molitz: keyboards, vocals; Michael Daum: guitar, keyboards vocals; Clay Parnell; bass, vocals; Kito Bovenschulte: drums.

Title: Accelerator | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Particle Records

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Accelerator

Accelerator

Particle Records
2018

buy
 

Launchpad

Unknown label
2004

buy

Related Articles

Read Nexus Album Reviews
Nexus
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 23, 2019
Read The Second Coming Album Reviews
The Second Coming
By Daniel Barbiero
May 23, 2019
Read Luminária Album Reviews
Luminária
By John Sharpe
May 23, 2019
Read Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band Album Reviews
Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band
By Jerome Wilson
May 23, 2019
Read When Will The Blues Leave Album Reviews
When Will The Blues Leave
By Karl Ackermann
May 22, 2019
Read Infinite Itinerant Album Reviews
Infinite Itinerant
By Geno Thackara
May 22, 2019
Read Pulcino Album Reviews
Pulcino
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 22, 2019