Stuart A MacKenzie - Thursday, Sept 11, 2008
  Distant Activity
distant activity art Review of Adam Fielding's Debut CD
Distant Activity

Genre: Electronica & Dance

Artist Site:
Playtime: 56.32 minutes
Tracks: 10

If an artist can create an inspiring piece on a flat canvas, Adam Fielding adds a third dimension and creates a dynamic and evolving musical environment.  The songs on Distant Activity extend a warm hand and invite you in for an hour long journey. Sit back and enjoy the rich landscapes, sights, and sounds!

I first met Adam through the Reason user group several years ago.  He is an energetic musician who loves his craft.  It has been inspiring to know Adam and his music.  He has an ability to create rich evolving music without the music being overly complicated or heavy.  He draws you into the "painting" and then reveals layers as you move into the song.  This creates his signature expansive and evolving pieces.  I remember the first song I heard by Adam.  It was a song called Full Circle (Solar Mix).  Adam shared the song in its "raw" Reason project format for anyone who was interested.  I was new to music production and was taken back by how he was able to create a captivating and moving piece by innovating with the "simple" building blocks he had.  He was able to create evolving and interesting landscapes in his music.  Artistically I admire Adam for his ability to do this.  Adam's skill is honed and showcased on his debut album Distant Activity.

Fielding's debut album Distant Activity contains 10 tracks that blend a warm continuity of nostalgic electronica intertwined with a unique style Adam brings to the table.  It has found its way into my heart as one of those humble but revolutionary pieces.  It is very warming and easy to listen to, but it introduces new musical elements and ideas that maintain your interest in the CD.  Over a period of time of listening, you realize the music has evolved to a new place and you appreciate it for something more than what it originally provided.  This CD is reminiscent of how I felt about BT's Emotional Technology.  Distant Activity showcases Adam's ability to keep his music interesting without falling into a melodically repetitive drone.  The entire CD is a well woven collection of intelligent music for your mind and soul.  The CD's bass line and beats provide the right mix of energy without tiring you out, while the melodies paint rich textures and expansive multidimensional atmospheres.


The title track, Distant Activity, opens with moving pads which swell into a melodic bass line.  Fade the bass, swirl the pads, and queue the opening vocals, "All our dreams are turning up roses...".  The wet reverbed lyrics continue while the pads and reintroduced bass take your mind on a journey through the stereo landscape.

Distant Activity is followed by the melodically upbeat Aurora.  Aurora provides more vocals with several verses and chorus.  It highlights Fielding's ability to use his vocals as a musical tool.  The vocals have a processed edge of precision while maintaining a very natural feel.  Fielding uses reverb  and other effects as precision instruments to paint his vocals and leave selected phrases hanging suspended in musical space.  He then masterfully blends it with an incoming or exiting riff.  Fielding works unique sounds into the melodic transitions of his songs.  Aurora employees a unique "creaking sound" and stutter effects to transition from verses to chorus and back again. His attention to minute details in transitions sets his music apart and contributes to its ability to embed itself deep within you.

Travelling Light is an upbeat instrumental.

Don't Look Now opens with pads and vocals.  The vocals lead into a growling electro-bass which lays down and continues with a more funky bassline.  Fielding again uses vocals as an additional unique instrument by hollowing out some vocals and using them as pads.  The song crescendos with a soaring vocal pad, "I won't look back...", grounded by the growling bass and acoustic piano.

You're On Your Own provides echoing lyrics with swirling pads and acoustic piano.

Aeon is a great ambient piece that brings to mind the phrase, "music for the space traveler."  The piece could easily be at home in your local planetarium, with its thick futuristic pads bouncing off the projected images of swirling galaxies.   

I Am Falling is a melodic piece with a strong bassline.  The song incorporates traditional strings.  

Wildfire opens with a backdrop of pads and then introduces a strong and present melodic bassline which makes you sit up and draws you into the texture of the song.  The bassline maintains its steady melody while it transforms and evolves through manipulation of its harmonic content.  A simple processed guitar riff is introduced and echoed throughout the unfolding journey Wildfire presents.  Wildfire is one of those unique pieces of music that through its seeming simplicity allows your mind to look inward and create a vivid and textured landscape.  If you close you eyes, you can imagine it as the backdrop to a motion picture where you are flying just a few feet off the desert floor toward an object floating on the horizon just out of site.  The evolving music keeps you on the edge of your seat aching to see what will be revealed as you continue toward the object on the horizon.

The CD closes with Nostalgia.

Adam is a great artist who cares about music.  In my experience with him on message groups, he is always willing to provide feedback and mentoring to other artists.  It comes across in his music; his music is important to him and it is very personal.  I would put Distant Activity up against any piece of work, commercial or independent.  It is well recorded, mixed, produced, and mastered.  He has created 10 honest and inspiring tracks.  I have turned several friends of mine on to Adam's music and based on what we heard, we all had the same sentiments... "Adam, please let us know when we can buy one of your CDs".  Finally our time has arrived.  Adam is a talented musician who has put a lot of himself into this CD, probably more that we can ever imagine.  I am thoroughly enjoying Distant Activity and look forward to what he will conjure up next.  I have been listening to Distant Activity for the past few days at work and around town and it is quickly joining the ranks in my "Most Played" playlist.

Be sure to check out Adam's work!

- defconx

Distant Activity by Adam Fielding

Distant Activity - Adam Fielding
Track Listtime
Distant Activity7:20
Travelling Light4:56
Don't Look Now5:51
You're On Your Own4:55
Busy Lives6:51
I Am Falling7:30
Total Running Time56.32

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