Steve Greene is no stranger to moody synthscapes. His work in Voyag3r as the man behind the wall of synthesizers and keyboards has proven rather fruitful, particularly on the band’s previous full-length, 2016s prog rock opus Are You Synthetic? Last year Greene released his solo debut Electronic Dreams For A Holographic Existence. That album centered on heady, slow-churn sci fi synths and textural soundscapes. It was a brilliant piece of sonic goodness.
Now Steve Greene is starting a new music series titled Distant Transmissions, where Steve travels to different locations and using only a minimal setup lets his surroundings inspire improvisational musical pieces. The first in the series is the mysterious and hypnotic Distant Transmissions : Kona, Hawaii.
The best way to experience Distant Transmissions : Kona, Hawaii is to put on some headphones and close your eyes as you hit play. It’s a very visceral 30 minutes. There’s an organic quality to the minimal synth setup Greene took with him to Kona. It’s this beautiful meshing of two worlds, both sonically and literally. Analog synths buzz and fray the air, while Greene trades his everyday Michigan surroundings for lava rock destinations in the middle of one of the largest bodies of water on the planet.
“Through The Gateway” feels like some great discovery amidst the Pacific blue. Part ancient and part futuristic, it’s a track that feels as if two worlds are colliding. “A Fog Engulfs The Coast” puts you on a beach in the middle of the Pacific Ocean as a white wall of precipitation takes you over. By contrast, “Blue Skies, Black Rocks” captures some of that fun-in-the-sun feel with island rhythms and upbeat vibes.
One of the highlights here is the excellent and epic “Lights In The Sky”. It’s a noisy and engulfing epic that is part sci fi whizzes and noisy dissonance that sounds like making contact with some ancient race of creatures, and hints of dread of the unknown. It’s a song like this that truly adds the mystery and intrigue to a project like Distant Transmissions.
Bells and rain accompany Greene on the final album track “Island Ambience”. It’s the perfect coming together of man and nature; electronic and acoustic(acoustic being the sound of the island.) It’s a perfect ending to a beautiful and mysterious musical journey.
Distant Transmissions : Kona, Hawaii is a grand beginning to hopefully a very fruitful series. I have only one question for Steve Greene regarding the next installment: when do we pack?
Distant Transmissions: Kona, Hawaii is available now. Grab it here.
7.8 out of 10