‘Expanses (Teenage Synthstrumentals)’ album,
July 27, Electrik Gold.
In preparation for the true follow-up to his debut studio album ‘Songs from a Toxic Apartment’, Los Angeles-based performer/composer/producer Ethan Gold releases ‘Expanses (Teenage Synthstrumentals)’, the other bookend to his recovery from a head injury, sitting opposite his recent release ‘Live Undead Bedroom Closet Covers’. A different kind of plumbing of the depths of his musical awakenings, ‘Expanses’ is a record made in Ethan’s teenage basement, of gurgling, murky, flawed lo-fi ‘synthstrumental’ paintings, which bear no resemblance to the electronic music of today. Organic synthesizers hand-played and 4-track recorded, with titles that reflect Ethan’s longing for the natural world, with references to lizards, insects, and mossy pools. On occasion playful and driven by primitive drum machines, now and again teeming with life as if the synths were giving birth to algae and tadpoles, the album journeys through imagined landscapes of Earth and ends, in the last two tracks, in a cold and lonely place…
For the uninitiated:
Gold, native son of San Francisco, grew up in the hangover that followed free love – son of Beat-adjunct writer Herbert Gold – and was raised with various step-families by his mother Melissa, who was tragically killed in a helicopter crash with the legendary rock promoter Bill Graham. For Ethan, the escape was always into his songs and the dreams where he hears them.
After producing and arranging Elvis Perkins’ blog-hyped Ash Wednesday, moonlighting as bass player in his brother Ari’s folk party band the Honey Brothers with Entourage star Adrian Grenier on drums, and scoring his twin’s feature Adventures of Power, Ethan quietly self-released his debut in America to underground acclaim:
“…brilliant cover versions…urgent and intense…” Shindig
“…unhinged, but weirdly compelling…” Uncut
“Emotions delivered with an unfiltered, glaring legibility” Pitchfork
“…packed with his very own variety of passionate grunge-folk, his underplayed vocal style only adding to the appeal of the whole.” The Arts Desk
“The most interesting record I’ve listened to in the past 5 years.” Rock N Roll Experience
“Haunted” Glide Magazine
While working on his next film score in New York, Ethan fell in a freak accident at a warehouse, sustaining a significant head injury. He lost the ability to speak and to do complex tasks like sound engineering and found himself returning to his childhood influences and writing even more.