ALBUM REVIEW: SONIC FEAR – “HORIZON”

 

 

The electronica realm of music is gaining momentum by the minute. EDM, or Electronic Dance Music, is now a central theme of nightlife and the party scene. While some of this music is meant for a dance floor, full of energized party goers, some of this music is more meditative and rich. This music can be more thought provoking than, simply, a great beat and synthetic melodies. What makes Sonic Fear unique is his experience as a composer of chamber, choral, and other music to be played amongst instrumentalists. There is a hint of a modern classical music style present in his electronic EP, Horizon, which makes it undeniably fascinating to listen to. It’s much more than a few dance tracks; it’s meant to move you and make you feel as if you’re temporarily removed from this world.

Opening with “Somewhere Past the Horizon” perfectly demonstrates the idea of electronic music as more than just dance music. The way the sound begins to build, yet still remains airy and open, is strikingly beautiful. It’s extremely well crafted and because of that, the listener is taken on somewhat of a journey where each nuance is highly anticipated. A journey where every musical decision is well thought out and makes sense as it progresses. The futuristic sound is optimistic, hopeful, and very appealing.

Some of the tracks are more upbeat; yet still not necessarily a dance track. In the elementally diverse, “Someone I Used To Know,” there is enough consistency in the song for it to make sense, yet it changes form several times. Similarly, “Purely A Myth” exhibits form changes and adds in some vocal sampling. In “Peace Within,” the pace is slowed back down to allow for a more dreamlike approach. The electronic melody is subtle, allowing the reverberation to shine through. It’s truly a relaxing experience listening to this track. The song is story-like, even without the use of words. It introduces elements early on that transform and become something else, only to revisit those original elements later in the song. At that point, it feels familiar and safe, which is a nice, complete feeling. “I’ll Be Your World” relies on the piano, along with the soaring electronics. We are introduced to a vocal sample, featuring Veela. This introduction of a voice-heavy track is a sweet surprise, as we have already become acclimated to not being guided by vocals. The track fits right in, nonetheless, as Sonic Fear uses his complex arranging techniques to combine the vocal track with a breathy and percussive vibe.

The album ends with “Ubiquitous and Natural,” which is probably the most complex, from a composition standpoint. Besides the faster pace, there is a lot going on, melodically. There is a catchy high-pitched melody that is interwoven with very rhythmic electronic pieces that add to the power of the track. This song is very rhythm-centric, not only because of the obvious percussion, but more so because the melodies have a driving quality. The album concludes with that high-pitched electronic melody ringing out, signifying that the journey is complete. Sonic Fear creates much more than electronic beats with an accompanied melody; he uses his deep compositional knowledge to weave together samples and keyboards with his original content. It is through his musical decisions that we are provided a more meaningful experience, as the listener. If you’re ready to listen to Sonic Fear’s Horizon, get your best noise-cancellation headphones out, relax, close your eyes, and enjoy the ride.

Article: Alex Feigin

 

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