Wednesday, March 9, 2011
The Solar System
Now to take the tempo down a bit, less frisky, more moody & trippy, I would like to introduce you to The Solar System. Basically the one-man project of Chris Oliver, originally from Detroit, Michigan, now in Warren, Chris was literally born into a musical family. His direction straight into music was pretty much laid out for him, you could certainly say. Learning drums at a very early age and playing drums in various bands kept him busy for years, then later he took up guitar, which he plays left-handed on his lap. Quite amazing already, it gets better: after delving into numerous styles of music, Chris began making his own signature sound of down-tempo, ambient tunes, which he has put into albums and EPs for us all to listen to, experience, and enjoy, all available on his Solar System Band Camp page.
The Solar System's music is all played by, recorded, and produced by Chris himself. The soundscapes are from dreams, light and airy, quiet and comtemplative. Many songs on the album Drawing A Blank are without lyrics, but a few do have words, like the gorgeous Surveillance Cam, which actually has a bit of folk to it. 1a3b4c5d has lyrics quietly sung over a trip-hop beat, always a favorite around DSK. Slightly darker Broken Silence is another highlight, with low keys topping a trippy undertow. Late Night Music, track 9, actually has some psychedelic influence with its Brian Jonestown Massacre-style guitars, then track 10, A Question, slips back into contemplative mode, quite and moody.
Listening to such varied artists as R. Stevie Moore, Tame Impala, Dumbo Gets Mad, Mr. Syd Barrett, Miss P.J. Harvey, and Neil Young, Chris keeps his influences always at hand, even though his music is quite original and nothing like any of the above-named artists. Striving for something atmospheric, he has succeeded with Drawing A Blank. Play it while you are relaxing late at night, needing only some ambient music to help along your escape from the day.
It's been quite a while since we've done a profile here at DSK, so I want to thank Chris Oliver for letting me into his Solar System, and letting me share it with you all, and for telling me what was happening in his music-loving life. Music lovers like we are, we have to stick together & spread the word. Check out The Solar System on Band Camp, Drawing A Blank is the album reviewed here, the rest of Chris's EPs are all there, too. Amazing cover art, by the way. Check it all out.