Quiet Revolution Rough Mixes

My Friend John Neumann, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and recording artist is at it again. You might remember him as having previously scored an arrangement of Yes’s Tales From Topographic Oceans for string quartet.

Now he’s working on a new album or original material. The working title is Quiet Revolution. He’s posted some rough mixes here.

I like John’s songwriting style a lot. He is variously introspective, dark, hopeful, and funny, and ties it all together with a tasteful palette of synthesizer textures, loops, ambient sounds and real instruments. His sound is evocative of Peter-Gabriel-era Genesis and John-Wetton-era King Crimson, but he has his own thing going on too. Fans of modern legit music will enjoy Harbingers of Spring in particular, which recontextualizes a classic Igor Stravinsky riff and features some smokin’ bass playing.

The songs are pretty far along (although admittedly I don’t know what he might be thinking of changing around structurally or in his arrangements), and tend to need just minor tweaks like balancing some levels, or adding some effects to the vocals, or a bit of EQ or compression here and there. I find that after working on writing and tracking a song, you tend to get so close to it that you can no longer the subtle nuances of the sound, and it’s good to step away for a while once you’ve hit the rough mix, and come back to it with fresh ears once you have a bunch of songs done up to that stage. John seems to be taking a similar approach with this set.

Anyway, give it a listen an enjoy, and watch for the final versions of the songs coming together in an album later this year.

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