Brooklyn-based electronic music composer and producer Frank Cogliano recently released his experimental tour-de-force album, Computers of the World, via IDDA.
Talking about the album, Frank shares, “I wrote this album in the weeks leading up to the lockdown in New York City in January – February 2020. The last moments before the world had changed. And I was thinking about my early years recording on 4-track Tascam and a Yamaha keyboard and a Squier Strat, and thinking about that time, when consumer computers and dial-up internet were shaping and about to change the world. So, I am digesting all of this nostalgia and finding sounds from old VHS recordings and experimenting with video art on an old Sony TV with an analog video synth and I came up with this album. A mashup of all my different interests, with the only overall rule, that it has to sound good to me, whether it jumps from genre to genre or not. Playing with the conversation between technology, analog circuitry, and organic instruments, in a way that is pleasant for me to listen to. A soundtrack to a film goes through many moments and styles so I imagine the album in a similar way, creating a general vibe without being boring. I find single genre albums to be painfully boring.”
He goes on to add, “One last thing about the timing, many people are wondering why I didn’t finish the songs, or why I have so many. They are all finished ideas, though many of them are short because I am also structuring it in a way that reflects the current state of our collective attention span, which is extremely fast and extremely short. I tried to compress as much emotion and musicality in as short a period of time as I could.”
Frank Cogliano lives in New York City. He composes and plays guitar, guitarviol, bass, piano, drums, banjo, pedal steel guitar, and many other traditional and non-traditional instruments.
Frank began his career as a session guitarist in New York with members of the SNL house band, while at the same time touring internationally with his band Sugarbad. His productions and compositions have been featured in Oscar-winning films and many television series.
Comprising 17-tracks, entry points on Computers of the World include “Downtown,” which opens on washes of oscillating colors riding a mid-tempo rhythm. Shooshing and whooshing tones give the tune the feel of an active city.
“Brainscape” merges hints of jazz with R&B savors as luminous, ghostly synths inject the tune with kaleidoscopic coloration. Whereas “Sheets to the Wind” glides forth on an undulating rhythm full of fluctuating sounds.
Eerie and spine-chilling, “Pet Ghost” reveals trickling waves of oozing synths traveling on a measured rhythm. A personal favorite, “Peace 2,” rolls out on tropical flavors, including hints of reggae and soft surf pop. Sensuous ripples infuse the song with cool, seduction. Listen closely to the swanky guitar on this track.
The shimmering hues of “Next Day” conjure up futuristic landscapes, like something out of Blade Runner. The final track, and the longest on the album, “Peace 1,” conjures up memories of Guns N’ Roses’ “Civil War,” drifting slowly on a fat bassline accented by melancholic blues filaments.
On Computers of the World, Frank Cogliano delivers tasty experimental music, expressing a wide variety of stylistic categories.