Icicle Blue Avalanche reviews

George Zahora, Splendidezine.com
If you find most experimental music to be too minimal for your tastes, I'm pretty certain you've never heard anything on the Earsay label. Never an outlet for dull or art-wanky compositions, Earsay hits a new high with John Oliver's Icicle Blue Avalanche, one of the most viscerally dramatic discs I've heard in quite a while. Working with MIDI guitar, computer, keyboard and tape loops, Oliver has crafted huge slabs of extremely solid music -- I can't wait to listen to the title track's chaotic blend of prog-rock guitar and randomized computer accompaniment on a surround-sound system. "Copper Flying" is aptly described in Oliver's liner notes as "virtual metal" -- imagine wandering around, mildly intoxicated, inside the world's largest set of wind chimes. "Off the Edge" is a sonic storm of a different type, combining recorded weather effects and instrumental imitations thereof (or at least that's how it sounded to me) into one big seething maelstrom. Oliver's most recent works, "Noh 1" and "InDia", were my favorites -- the former an immersive envelope of techno-shamanistic sounds, the latter a starkly modern meditative work with, as the title suggests, an Eastern bias. If you're the type of person who typically dismisses experimental compositions as dull or self-indulgent, I strongly encourage you to approach Icicle Blue Avalanche with an open mind -- it's a work of quality and conviction, and it's well worth your time.