CL 014CD CL 014CD

"A beguiling, classic new release comes to Community Library this spring: Documentary, the debut album by solo artist, Rolan Vega. Synthesizer expert, art-film aficionado, and enthusiastic upstart of Chicago's vibrant electro/synth scene, he has compiled years' worth of his favorite synthesizer vignettes into a comprehensive debut album. Is Documentary a collection of works for actual short films and media, or an attempt to pay tribute to the synth epics of media music's past? The answer is, ultimately: both. Most of the music in Documentary was written as live scores for short films, including Vega's own Super 8s. But at the core of this effort, one finds his love for 'library music' (the anonymous, public-domain music composed for UK media in the '60s and after), as well as the synthetic, futuristic theme music of 1980s American Public Broadcasting programming. But like all ComLib artists, Vega is too individualistic to simply be re-enacting musics of the past: all kinds of extra elements leak into Documentary, making it a work that straddles the line between classic and alien. Vega's ambiguous, dream-like presentation and tendency to shift between shorter, passing pieces -- as we think of them, vignettes -- gives a sense of constant motion and change. These vignettes are not TV-studio enabled audiophilia; rather, these are home-recorded, four-track-tape inflected morsels of sound. Vega has collided the melancholic, low-fi aesthetic of early '90s Bristol artists like Flying Saucer Attack with the epic, arpeggiating ambience of synth maestros such as Michael Stearns, Richard Pinhas, Biosphere, and TONTO. A few of his tracks even resemble the sand-blasted melodic noise of composers like Tim Hecker or Chris Herbert. Rolan Vega's mixed-up revisions of anonymous media music, and his recombination of lo-fi experimentalism with synthesizer majesty hits a perfect spot for us, and we hope it does for you as well."