SONGS FOR WILLIAM
With his third album "Songs for William," Ulrich Troyer kicks off a dub infused trilogy dedicated to the adventures of William, a guitar stomp box.
Over the years, the output of Vienna-born artist Ulrich Troyer is varied and at times quite experimental. For instance, Nok 7(Mego, 2000) soundtracks imaginary cartoons combining digital errors with organic sounds and rhythms of the kitchen. Troyer is also a member of Vegetable Orchestra who play instruments made of fresh vegetables. Further artistic creations includes multiple soundtracks for dance performances and film as well as sound installations.
His new project Songs for William is the first in a trilogy of experimental dub projects which also includes a comic novel called Confessions of a Stomp Box. The storyline evolves around the adventures of William, a guitar effect pedal! Unfortunately the promo didn’t include the comic so this review will focus on the music exclusively, which indeed sounds modest with an illustrative character
On Songs for William, Troyer plays all the instruments himself. He explores his love for dub music and some of its pioneers (King Tubby and Rhythm and Sound). On some tracks, Troyer emulates the 1970’s dub reggae sound adding his own experimental twist. For example Eurocity to Munich has a typical organ-led, somewhat melancholic, reggae vibe. The song’s percussion and sound effects build momentum and bring the track to a noisy conclusion. Following the 70’s mould is Take Me to the Movies Charlotte, an almost conventional dub track spiced up with Troyer’s sound effects.
It should be noted that those effects set Troyer’s dub excursions apart from others. Rather than wielding the reverb or echo controls, some of Troyer’s effects have a distinct, almost industrial sound - whilst others seem to be derived from his work with the Vegetable Orchestra.
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