Matt Olson has been writing, recording, and performing music for 18 years. As founding member and guitarist for hard rock bank Rearview Mirror in the late 90’s through the early 2000’s, Matt had the opportunity to record an album with legendary record producer Steve Lillywhite (U2, Rolling Stones, etc.) and tour around the USA. Since then Matt has continued to focus on writing and recording music through a variety of solo and band projects including: Brahman Shaman, Objective Subject, The Camp David Singers, Analog Spaceships, and Moth Mountain.
A few months ago Matt’s project, Random Tongues, released the five-track Ep, “EP1”. “Sinking Ships”, the song that opens “EP1” literally swirls in the room as it oozes from speaker to speaker; it’s even more impressive when played through headphones! The track funks, howls and bellows, morphing into stylish, almost classic 70s progressive, keyboard-driven rock.
An outstanding recording, “EP1” switches moods from ethereal and emotional to dark and bitter. The use of electronics, synthesizers, vocoders and other instrumentation works really well, while being totally removed from the current synth music doing the rounds at your local club.
Each vocal track and subsequent layer of harmony on this Ep is superlative in its own way, but what really shines on “EP1” is the instrumentation. Think of Tangerine Dream meets Pink Floyd, meets the Alan Parsons Project and you’ll get what I mean.
There is something hypnotic, maybe slightly retro, in the overall ‘analog’ sound of this Ep, which holds that something special (memories of a musical era gone by perhaps). Whatever it is, “EP1” possesses an entrancing, yet easy-on-the-ear quality that many progressive and experimental artists would die for!
“EP1” really is a beautifully crafted suite of ideas, starting with the lush and beautiful track, “Well Enough Alone”, which is probably worth the price of the entire Ep alone! The track showcases a diversity of musical and tempo changes, within one song. The arrangement is nothing short of brilliant, and enticingly atmospheric.
Another favorite, and absolute standout track, is “Passage of Time”. It is a calmer, reflective piece, with a sweeping melodic and harmonious arrangement on top of a rolling rhythm.
The merging of traditional and modern, organic and electronic, analog and digital has been discussed many times. Few artists seem to capture that ‘feel’ as well as Matt does here. “EP1” appeals to listeners today, as much as I’m certain it would have appealed to music fans during the seventies, eighties or nineties. It is simply timeless in its approach.
Matt Olson aka Random Tongues’ work is never trite or clumsy and it always sparkles with genius. Each track on this Ep will resonate with a different part of you. As “EP1” progressed, track after track, I felt as though I was receiving an intellectual and spiritual deep tissue massage, while being transported in a time-machine!
If you like intelligent music that demands active listening, this is for you!