Perry Frank: Music to Disappear

frank_disapprReleased in 2012, Perry Frank’s Music to Disappear is a collection of songs the composer posted to various sites (YouTube, Soundcloud, etc.) in 2011. These pieces range from pleasant New Age songs to interesting electronic-music excursions with an ambient feel, with a bit of straight-up post-rock in the mix. This, particularly with some tracks being stronger than others, can make it a bit of a mixed bag on a start-to-finish listen, but Frank’s range of talent extends equally across his styles, so as part of a shuffled mix or even shuffled on its own, Music to Disappear can really shine. You’ll come across “Landscape of A Twilight Lamp,” which carries a little echo of Steven Halpern in its keyboard structures, but mixes in an interesting depth of background sound. It feels like a sad song interspersed with echoes of memory. Very moving.  Its followup, “Song for the Afternoon,” pairs a Windham Hill-type guitar song over coursing synth backdrops. On “Another Place Another Time,” Frank opens with acoustic guitar, adds in other instruments to build to a romantic swell, then hands it off to piano. There’s a long pause mid-track, and it comes back in a more ambient form, quiet pads and long organ chords, once again building back to reprise the melody, with a little extra swagger. New Age fans will eat this one up. For pure fun, there’s the considerable charm of the folk dance that is “The Ballad of the Late Clock,” overflowing with Mediterranean flair. (I felt like shouting “Opa!” once or twice.) “CandleLight” is the rocker here, a song I can’t get enough of. It’s packed with power-pop guitar and wears its hooks on it sleeve. Once it gets going, it’s just flat-out energetic and comes to a great close. The biggest surprise here is the closing track, “Pleiades Star Cluster,” a spacey (obviously) and somewhat ambient piece that begins as a whisper, drifting on pads and what sounds like more field recordings. Late in the track it changes gears; Frank drops in an almost dubstep-type beat (I’m reminded of AWOL Nation’s “Sail”), and a wobbling melody ushers the ride home. Guitars and high chords offer up a borderline-Floyd kind of feel as it powers to its endpoint. Certainly the best track here.

Variety is the spice of Music to Disappear, and Frank’s ability to hit all his styles well puts a lot of promise on future, perhaps more focused releases. For now, I’m content to shuffle this one into my mix and see what Perry Frank serves up to me next.

Available from IdealMusik.

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