J.A. Deane


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Even though J.A. Deane has collaborated with many American avant-garde musicians, his solo albums are few. Sadly, his most accessible is also one of his less interesting. Nomad is an untypical release in the catalog of the label Disques Victo. There is very little "avant-garde" material here, the music belonging mostly to ambient, even new age instrumental music at times. Deane's ten-minute pieces have evocative atmospheres and make extensive use of samples and loops, a technique that was quickly becoming very common even at the time of this album's recording. The result remains accessible and, to tell the truth, pretty linear and lifeless. The help from a handful of guest musicians is not enough to make this cake rise. Nomad has very little to do with Deane's exciting Solo Dino, a much more challenging album of experimental ambient. Here he manages to get some nice grooves going (the last part of "Dark Heart," for example). "Wolfrun/Priests" uses a theme by Leonard Cohen and is the most convincing track. But the programmed drum loop in "Standing Wave" and the annoying voice samples in "Last Supper" just don't cut it. Nomad is a disappointment.

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