Bubble | Mars and the Toucan (s/r)

Quite simply, this is the best electronica work I've ever heard by an unsigned musician.

 

We're not in the habit of reviewing CD-Rs by unsigned bands, but if anything deserves an exception, it's this amazing electronica outing by Canadian artist Bubble, aka John Sobocan. Quite simply, this is the best electronica work I've ever heard by an unsigned musician. It's a staggering 77-minute CD that combines glowing, Eno-esque ambience, layered acoustic guitars on a few tracks, and occasional soft rhythms into a thoroughly listenable, mood-altering platter.

"Fungi" features looped insect sounds in a mesmerizing manner accompanied by a lulling beat, "Roller" offers a shimmering six-string soundscape, and "Backyard" is an absolutely beautiful ambient piece combining orchestrated drone with wind chimes. And the keyboards on "DRW" sound like little ripples on some sonic alpine lake.

Honestly, this 18-song gem is almost as accomplished as similar works by Eno and German electronica genius Pete Namlook. Mr. Sobocan, you've got the "organic bliss" thing down pat—now go get yourself signed, sir. You are certainly talented enough. A | Kevin Renick

RIYL: Brian Eno, Pete Namlook

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