samedi 27 août 2011

GUSTAVO JOBIM: Trapped in a Day Job (2011)

Trapped in a Day Job was literally conceived during Gustavo Jobim’s working hours by means of a small (only 250 kilobytes) software synthesizer, TS-404 V1.05 Beta. This software is built around four layered independent sequencers, each assigned to a small, also independent, synthesizer. So the TS-404 is aimed at creating short rhythmic loops or fat synth lead lines, which the musician can use for other arrangements. After some experimentation on this software, the Brazilian tones sculptor discovered its full potential within long minimalist musical pieces. And so Trapped in a Day Job got out of its embryonic state. Using the four sequencers ensemble for both rhythmic and melodic patterns, in a continuous, repetitive play, Gustavo Jobim concocted quite a syncretic album where the music leaves the way to a palette of videogames tones which roll in circle through a pleiad of metallic pulsations.
"Let’s Fly" opens this eclectic album of Gustavo Jobim with heavy and resonant pulsations which evolve on a long minimalist structure liven up by chords which turn in loops. Chords which subtly stretch their harmonies on a hard, stroboscopic and robotic tempo where heavy metallic pulsations sound as extraterrestrials' suction cups in a kind of techno that Kraftwerk would deliver on vitamins boosted with LSD. And if there is a key point in this extreme pandemonium is this subtle permutation in harmonies which untie us from a redundant geometrically musical figure. Longer, "Moebius Tape" is also much harmonious. The musical skeleton always rests on metallic beatings which resound to forever and a day, but the limpid sequences pour with a more beautiful fluidity and form a strange paradoxical harmony with its multiplied doubloons which shape a curious automated ode, making forgot its pulsating metallic skeleton. Afterward we fall in a series of short tracks where are hiding beautiful jewels, as "Cat in the Blender" of which the naming says everything. We really have the impression of hearing a cat mew of pain on a heavy, metallic and pulsating rhythm. The harmonious and rhythmic structures are in constants permutations, giving thus more wealth to Trapped in a Day Job. "Nightlife in Mars" goes a bit out of the pulsating structure to offer an odd musical structure, taken directly out of video games, as on "Arcade Times" and its frantically loops, which recall me Plastikman’s musical automate and minimalist world.
After the brief interlude of "Arcade Times" we dive into "Mindbender" and its semi spectral and semi alien structure where chords spin of a symmetric way in a minimalism universe of discord. If I ventured, I would dare a comparison between Mike Oldfield and Conrad Schnitzer. "Icecream Waves" is the softest track of Trapped in a Day Job where chords swirl without constraints on a delicate structure reminding Richard Pinhas' universe on East-West. Beautiful and melodious, but always minimalist and robotic, less violent than "Let’s Fly" and less harmonious than "Moebius Tape", "Inside the Machine" ends this musical essay with a long track with loops and chords as well pulsating as repetitive on a structure to subtle unexpected developments. Permutations strongly nuanced which amaze because of their spontaneity and unpredictability. If it can seem long at the beginning, it subtly changes and evolves for its entire duration. And these fine changes that we didn’t expected make the charms of Trapped in a Day Job.
I read on Gustavo's site that this album would have been a continuity of Cluster works, which incidentally I don’t really know to do such a comparison. But I find many others references which have jumped to my ears, such Daft Punk, Con Man (Conrad Schnitzer), Plastikman and Kraftwerk. Trapped in a Day Job is certainly a strange opus where the musicality can seem doubtful, even if unmistakably present, which demonstrates that from a simple thingy we can manage to create great things. For Kraftwerk fans, it’s a must. And for those who are of curious nature, it’s an album which is amply worth the time we take to listen it especially when it’s free and available on this site:

Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream

You can learn much more about G.J. and download free music on Gustavo's website:

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