Tim Reynolds & Michael Sokolowski: Soul Pilgrimage (Breezeway Records, 2021)

June 22, 2021 at 7:55 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Tim Reynolds & Michael Sokolowski: Soul Pilgrimage

Yes, that is the same Tim Reynolds who plays lead guitar in Dave Matthews Band. Regardless of how that sentence (or this video) makes you feel, this is a decent album of spacey electronic pieces recorded with collaborator Michael Sokolowski via filesharing rather than together in a studio. Reynolds plays guitar and effects, and Sokolowski helms an extensive arsenal of hardware and software synths. It starts off in a space ambient vein, but soon adds different elements and textures. The three-part “Soul Pilgrimage” suite takes up a huge chunk of the running time, and first part “The Itinerant Mind” has a few unexpected beat drops and synth diversions, as well as some cavernous vocals. Nothing here moves at a fast pace, but it doesn’t follow any predictable structure, and it’s full of surprising moments. “Freighter Hop” has a babbling-brook synth rhythm and super plush guitars, and a delicate melody that could’ve easily come from a 2000-era Morr Music record briefly pops up. Reynolds generally plays cosmic, exploratory tones, but there’s some more melodic flashes as well. The last four tracks are shorter pieces, with the brief “Aerotrain” coming close to the indie electronic vibe again, but with more twisted guitars, and “Homunculus” hinting at synth-funk. I’m not sure how different the album would’ve sounded if the two musicians were recording everything together in the same room, but there’s a sort of disconnect that also contributes to the spaciousness of the album. It sounds like spontaneous jams, yet there’s also parts that seem to cut in suddenly that might not have been there during real-time performances. Even as background music, it kept me guessing.

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