Here’s another example of an artist releasing his music in the end through perseverance, something he wished to do for a very long time.
UK-synthesist Nik Owen Jones has had a love of electronic music since the mid 70’s when he heard “Oxygene” for the first time on a tired cassette when he lived in Jeddah as a youngster. Experiencing the ‘80’s and the advent of electro-pop, synth bands and new romantics, he became fascinated with sound and the art of creating sound using synthesizers. A stint at college studying music and sound engineering gave the exposure to equipment so he started building a studio of his own from 16 years old.
After having played in several bands doing covers, self-penned songs and musical directing in theatres, Nik returned to his first love electronic music. That’s where “i/o” (a computer term for interface what you put in and what you get out) started to take shape. A slow start with “Despair (An Ending)” -written at a low point in Nik’s life and also a reflection on what life is- being the first to be written followed by “Summer Daze” the album stalled. A visit to David Wrights “E-Scape festival” though made him determined to get the album finished. Hence Nik started to write in earnest and worked in the studio designing sounds and building the tracks using a mixture of analogue and digital synths plus an arsenal of soft synths to complete the sound he always envisioned.
The music -dealing with the concept of our relationship with the world and exploration- is a journey, taking the listener on a musical painting to hopefully fire the imagination and emotions of the individual. Well, the expertly mastered and produced 10 tracks stir a lot of emotions and are uplifting in a lot of places. Blasts of energy are released on the upbeat “Theory” (inspired by science and our relationship with physics and how this has influenced our lives) and the aural trapezium “Pandora” while one rides the reflective avenue on “Pale Blue Dot” for which Nik was given permission to take the Carl Sagan’s speech as inspiration and write his own to deliver the message that he wanted but then read by Nik’s wife Rebecca. The heart warming “Summer Daze” simply delivers a state of happiness, the feeling of homecoming and being at ease.
The groovy, energy-driven “Lux Flux” (a very near Loom-track) is another excellent piece of work with a lot of captivating elements passing by as it unfolds. The transparent sound design of “Visions” following next features a nice nod to contemporary TD, while the emotive, general-melodic title track (once more providing the musical interpretation of what you put in and what you get out) rounds out the beautifully produced, mixed and mastered album aptly.
The only thing I regret is the fact the physical release of “i/o” is not a factory-pressed cd, a format it deserves for sure.