Solid State Drive, AKA Kev Curtis, is no stranger to the limelight. Composing his first documentary score for the BBC in 1996, Kev went on to enjoy an illustrious career in the world of sync (music to picture). Having written music for programs on; Channel 4, Sky, ITV, Channel Five and The Discovery Channel, Kev has established himself as a go to music producer, for many high powered TV Executives. This has led to the programmes that he has written music for, winning BAFTAs and RTS awards.
When Kev is not busy soundtracking our TV viewing, he endulges in his passion for Leftfield Electronica. The music of Solid State Drive is a perfectly blended fusion of the Orchestral and the Electronic, with Rock influences. Of course being a highly talented multi-instrumentalist always helps in these matters, allowing Kev to record a variety of the live parts of this album himself. Joining the party is also a careful selection of talented musicians. The level of musicianship here is high.
“Insomnia Blooms” was his 12 track debut album released in May 2011. “Sub Symphony” is the follow up album – and it delivers a relaxing, yet diverse ride for the listener.
We had a listen to Sub Symphony. Here’s what we thought:
‘Simon Says’ rumbles along a cobblestone street of percussive rhythms – but it has an elegant serpentine violin sound that laces the broken edges – like broderie on the lip of a black cloak. Blunt strings add a touch of glamour and darkness.
Eery diamond-shaped keys chime clearly in the velveteen atmosphere . A misty “Good Bye Night” vocal is barely noticeable against the patterns and the splashes.
‘Breaths’ is an airy bubble-bath full of quivering gloops and shaking bubbles.
The dark dub-steppy bass-notes contrast beautifully against the angelic female voice that rises before it inspires and shines in equal measure.
A haunting choral adds a level of intrigue. But this is essentially quite a sophisticated thrill.
‘Blessed Song’ starts with a Hendrixy feedback session and some huge grating chords that are fatly fingered. They wallow against the whispering female voice. ‘Fault’ is dirty delirium. It is a muddy rock- number with some peeled-back mocking voice and those desperately dark bass-notes that sink as low as ink.
When you listen to ‘Give An Inch’ you might think that you’ve been transported into a disco in the Sixties. You can hear the white thigh-length boots squeaking, and the mini-skirts rustling. With a wink and a cheekily high “Give An Inch – taking a mile…” chorus. This is one groovy lap-dance of a song.
The album concludes with ‘Utopia’ with some small-choir sounds that are reminiscent of Carmina Burana (Orff). This is a progressive piece. Haunting, enigmatic, twisted. It requires concentrated listening. If you have a dark place of solitude, take it there to play. The cherubic “We are one step away from Utopia…” lyric shines with a silver light onto the – otherwise obscure – slice of Gothic grandeur.
This album is lush, elegant and powerful. The Solid State Drive bumf on their site describes the sounds as “Relaxed, chilled uplifting & moody.” We would adjust that to read “Uncomfortable, chilling, ominous and mournful.” But we adored it, nonetheless.
– © Neil_Mach June 2013 –