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Reviews
City Rain - Light Turned On
Friday, August 15 2008 @ 01:00 AM PDT
Contributed by: ZG

Light Turned On

Artist: City Rain United States

Title: Light Turned On

Label: Boltfish Recordings United Kingdom

Genre: Rhythmic Industrial / IDM / Experimental

01 12
02 A Familiar Warmth
03 Back On Track
04 Face For Books
05 Mia
06 Well You Said
07 While I Was Dreaming
08 Click Clack
09 Philadelphia
10 Chasing Leaves
11 Left You A Letter

“Light Turned On” is a debut CD of City Rain, a one-man project of Ben Runyan, who resides in the US and is producing glitchy electronic music, experimenting within IDM and industrial musical domains. He has also been involved in several “Laptop Battles” in the USA where he has achieved top placings. Light Turned On is issued on British label Boltfish Recordings, that has a long discography of IDM/ambient electronic artists and is the one that attracts talented musicians, giving them the opportunity to issue their debut CDs. Apart from “Light Turned On” City Rain issued tracks in digital format on Trance4M8 and on Boltfish as well, appeared with a remix on Obfusc’s “City of Cedar” album and had various other appearances with tracks titled “Click Clack” and “Poker Face”.

It is a very personal album as it deals with Ben Runyan’s everyday life during the year of this album composition. As he comments himself, he used field recordings for its creation – inside and outside of the appartment, to make the sound more organic and natural. He used really different sounds of everyday life – like the sound of rain or dinner preparation, building the rhythms based on jingling keys, playing around the desk and things of that kind, noticing the rhythms of everyday life many people neglect and don’t pay attention to. Apart from natural sounds, this album is sated with artificial, electronic ones as well – the sounds of daily being are surrounded by numerous complex IDM glitches and scratches, slight noises, echoing and dissolving in ambient background soundscapes that are put down into basic and sometimes quite simple rhythm structure which depends on the track. Apart from that one can notice a various usage of acoustic guitar on this album, which was performed both by Ben Runyan (on tracks “12”, “A Familiar Warmth”, “Back on Track”, “Face for Books” and “Well You Said”) and Will Lewis (on track “Left You a Letter”). Soft textures make you think about urban life, a city in different periods of the day and year, transparent, peacefull tracks with a slight touch of melancholy as “Mia” remind the early mornings after the night rain, when the streets are not crowded with people and not suffering from traffic jams. Frequent melody lines, sometimes harmonious, sometimes avantgarde, remind of improvisations. Each track, drawing a unique episode continues the previous one and all together they build up a story, one year of city life, one year of a person, named Ben Runyan.

Thematic cover artwork, showing a switch on the bare wall on the one side and light-bulb, hanging on the wall together with a piece of paper that looks like some kind of a schedule on the other, fullfilled in different tones of yellow and green looks both cozy and quite “industrial”, reflecting the images, brought by this CD, representing both city sights and home moods.

     



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