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Alexander - 5x5
MP3 EP 2014 | Silber 166
5 tracks, 5 minutes
: Press Release
: Digital Booklet
: Listen to the EP on Bandcamp
: Listen to the EP on Spotify
After the Spring
All in the Past
“5x5” is a collection that needs to be played at the highest possible volume. Strange beasts of sound these things explore a broken kind of funk. The samples that run throughout the tracks do so completely aware of the freedom they give been given. Kaleidoscopic in nature Frank Alexander takes on a variety of genres from dance to industrial to jazz.
Frank Alexander starts off the collection with the surreal dance of “Armageddon Disco”. Early on the song possesses an industrial edge. With the passage of time this hard edge is smoothed away. Underneath the initial grit smoother sounds are hinted at. “Bottoms Up” takes things in a playful direction. The use of fanfare, the flexible bass lines, and the whole thing glides on easily. Rushing through the tempos are nimble things which bring the song to a sudden stop. For “After The Spring” Frank Alexander moves into more traditional terrain. While maintaining his keen sense of timing the song spreads out, the tempos slow down, and the guitar work displays a sense of earnestness. “All In The Past” takes a jazzy approach to Frank Alexander’s sound akin to that of an updated wordless Steely Dan song. Ending things off on a dreamy note are the blissful tones of “Martian Waltz”.
Overall “5x5” is an eclectic collection. With many varying twists and turns the work is able to merge many different elements together into a colorful whole.
~ Beach Sloth
Experimental artist/producer Frank Alexander releases an imaginative format EP, 5x5, on North Carolina's Silber Records. Delivering 5 songs in 5 minutes, this EP blends elements of post-rock, shoegaze, ambient, electronic and jazz into a format that passes all to quickly. Grab this one before it's gone.
~ Floorshime Zipper Boots
Prog rock bassist, Frank Alexander, best known for his work in Triplicity participates in Silber’s 5 in 5 project, and on his EP, each song takes up a different genre, and the EP’s first single “Armageddon Disco” which is comprised of room-rocking 808-style beats, swirling electronics punctuated with bloops, beeps and bleeps and pairs that with sinuous bass. it sounds both contemporary and incredibly futuristic — as though it’s the sound of the impending apocalypse. Might as well dance when the shit hits the fan, right?
~ William Ruben Helms, The Joy of Violent Movement
US artist Frank Alexander is a veteran musician with a career that has been ongoing for 30 years or thereabouts, currently active as one third of progressive rock band Triplicity. I don’t really know how much or if he has released any further solo material, as this EP, “5×5”, is the only one I can find information on easily. This EP was released by US label Silber Records towards the end of 2014 as a part of their ongoing 5-in-5 conceptual range of EPs, where the concept is to create a 5 minute long EP with a total of 5 compositions.
One aspect of this productions worth noting is that Alexander works slightly outside of the box for this series of EPs as his take has been that the playtime should be between 5 and 6 minutes long rather than clocking in at 5 minutes sharp, so that the total playtime for this production is 5:59. In terms of the music itself, this production opens with a lively disco going synth pop affair, underscored by a firm and partially industrial oriented rhythm foundation. Three of thee following four tracks all hone in on jazz and jazzrock in some way or other, with funky bass, guitar and rhythms respectively, accompanied by lively and delicate brass bursts for the second and fourth tracks respectively, while the concluding fifth song revolves more around an arguably waltz-oriented piano motif and various surges and bursts of eerie, futuristic synth details. In between these more jazz and jazzrock oriented escapades the third track is more of an elegant pop music affair, with wandering acoustic guitars, gentle brass details and ethereal electronic effects.
All in all this comes across as a compelling production that should have a fairly wide appeal, and while a liberal taste in music is warranted to be able to enjoy this production, an affection for easygoing, catchy jazzrock is probably the most warranted quality needed.
~ Olav Martin Bjørnsen, House of Prog
Silber continue apace with their 5 in 5 series, the remit simple and to the point, each invited artist showcasing 5 tracks in five minutes with four such gems being unearthed and unveiled in time for the party season the first of which by Frank Alexander of whom information about is very scant with even the Silber dudes just briefly noting ‘prog rock bassist – industrial noise to smooth’ which I must admit as vague as it might first sound was enough to have our interests piqued. By smooth we are assuming they are referring the smouldering disco funk purr emanating throughout succulently dipped into what can only be described as trip hopping lounge industrialonics, of clues the titles are hinted in the titles ‘armageddon disco’ coming on like some hulking and lolloping cosmic craft bitten by the early 90’s baggy bug and threaded in all manner of divinely retro soupy grooves. Better still ‘bottoms up’ impishly time travels back to the 70’s to zap Shaft into a glitter adorned future alter ego only to drop him into the middle of a retro cinema Pearl and Dean soundtrack. ‘after the spring’ our favourite moment here hooks aboard the tail feathers of a youthful pickled egg era Go Team again found crafting 70’s summer sizzled soirees while the equally flirtatious ‘all in the past’ smooches up to the lost 60’s hued noir jazz sounds of L’Augmentation a retrospective of whose catalogue is due to arrive here any day soon. Rounding up the pack ‘martian waltz’ is pretty much as it says on the tin a gorgeously dinked time flip back to cosmic pop’s golden age – Raymond Scott admirers will be suitably smitten.
~ Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience