Adam Forkner


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[[[[VVRSSNN]]]] (pronounced "version") takes on the little-explored interface between pop, new age, and computer dance music, with a more human face than most such endeavors allow. As the title signifies, Forkner's approach to music-making has aspects in common with those used by reggae artists who create "versions," or variations of tracks and songs, by layering and stripping away various elements. Much of the record was created with computerized technology, to be sure, but there's also a good deal of guitar and voice. These usually aren't used in the service of conventional songs on this disc, but in keeping with the spirit of K Records, there's an engaging humility -- a quality that is a lot rarer in technologically crafted music than it is in the more standard rock bands that K more often releases. The tender, modest vocals (often looped) are like less pretentious alterations of the new romantic approach, and sometimes are even folky in nature. While the melodies aren't blockbuster, they're capable of being both appealingly naïve and haunting. At times, this also ventures into serene murky instrumental passages that tread on new age, though on the most attractive borders of that genre. The synthetic beats might be the least impressive part of Forkner's arsenal, but they do keep the beats moving adequately in the more pop-driven segments without getting monotonous.

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