An accomplished commercial illustrator and designer, Leon Alvarado takes another turn at his second passion, progressive rock music. 2014 Music From An Expanded Universe is his third release, a short EP offering four new tracks and bonus track, a re-recording of Cinemania from Plays Genesis and Other Original Stuff. He enlists some help from prog gurus guitarist Trey Gunn (King Crimson) and Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel) plus help from cyber duo Cyber Zen Sound Engine.
As much as 2014 is progressive rock, it's more akin to instrumental ambient space rock, thanks to the abundance of swirling and whirling ethereal synths and guitars. In other words, it's music perhaps best suited for a New Age book store or your local head shop. Excepting the larger liveliness and progressive compositional depth of Blood Like Read, this is mostly dreamy, spaced out music, to smoke reefer to or to ease you into a nice afternoon nap. (Perhaps, similar to his previous album, he should name his next album Music to Smoke Dope To and Other Original Stuff.) While I'm trying desperately to stay away from calling this ambient stuff boring, the ethereal quality of the music is so airy that once played it disappears like a vapor, offering little remembrance. Nevertheless, and fundamentally, Alvarado and company have superb talent and an abundance of ideas. Whether this music is meaningful or interesting, I'll leave to the opinions of fellow listeners. The creepy Giger-ish sci-fi album will catch your eye.
Musician and composer Leon Alvarado continues his exploration of instrument ambient progressive space rock.
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