5. Inside Castle
6. There Is Pop
7. Blue Mint
8. Red Light
9. Crystal Sun
10. Strange Wave
released May 8, 2015
Electronic music approximately 35 years after bands like Kraftwerk opened the magic box. A lot happened since then and it seems all is said, done and invented. However it is almost surprising that new things still pop up here and there when it comes to electronic music production. The reason for this can probably be found in the almost unlimited possibilities that electronics and computers offer to the artists and of course in the unwritten law that there are no boundaries that can't be crossed. So, even after all this time, it is great to see that the creative development keeps on going and going no matter if it is house, deep house, techno and most of it all: Listening electronics. "Synthetic electronic sounds, Industrial rhythms all around".
Let's focus on Ricardo Tobar: Born in Chile and now residing in France, Tobar picked the "creative border crossing" as the common thread for his album "Collection". Musical experimentation and crossing musical borders - Tobar refers here directly to the style and sound of the great new-wave-bands of the 80s and 90s. With the help and influence of their new electronic instruments (that often met classic rock guitars) the post-punk-electronic-movement turned almost everything upside down. No matter if the result was moody and mysterious or romantic and hedonistic, all sounded new and different back then and paved the musical path for a whole generation - the reverberations of that episode are noticeable until today.
Tobar plays with the musical approach of the post-punk-era, he mixes, merges and experiments fearless with styles and moods. He creates a wide range of "own styles" and even dives into abstract sound fields - listening electronic in best form! Ricardo Tobar breathes the air of his own musical universe and is not refering to the typical styles of this genre - you won't find any Detroit, Berlin or Sheffield reference here. Although produced in France, Tobar's album doesn't have anything of the sweet and lovely french listening touch. It also won't beam you into the north of England and the grey and cold Sheffield winter like so many other electronic albums try to do.
"Collection" contains full compositions, sound collages, experimental sounds and even proper beat based tunes. Tobar rather creates than produces and is presenting a bigger picture with his collection. Many electronic music artists are trying to do this however Tobar delivers a collection with an impressive range and it seems he did all this in an almost nonchalant way. He plays and combines his instruments and sounds at the same time very sensitive and harmonic but also brave and dissonant without risking to be inaudible at any point. He creates atmospheres by using electronic sounds and layers. Listening to the sound of "collection" almost appears like reading an acoustic book. This album is full of interesting sounds and ideas and is far from being boring or even too demanding.
Besides the mystic and experimental side "Collection" also contains energetic and trippy sounds. The expressive "Angora" is full of energy and captures the listeners imagination. In contrast to that "Crystal Sun" appears almost like a big after-hour anthem. With "There Is Pop" Tobar presents even a strong and ripped tune - banging and challenging. You see, there is place for everything here in "Collection". There is an introduction, the main part and an ending - as mentioned before: An album like a book, like an exciting book on top of that! "Collection" comes with musical chapters rich in variety and with quite some surprises.
Looking back at 35 years of electronic music it isn't easy to claim that we never heard something like "Collection" before, however we hardly can think of anybody else who compiled an album with such an amount of taste and entertainment like Ricardo Tobar did it here. This is for sure not just another musical assembly-line-product and we salute Tobar for the result that cannot be categorized the easy way. Tobar worked hard for this album and this is noticeable from start to end. He used his machines, synths and computers in full effect and presents a "Collection" that exactly functions like it is. Not a single tune on this album can be left out. This album is Ricardo Tobars musical portrayal and with holding so much energy, it will shine on for a very long time.