Trying to combine all the elements of electronic music with lyrical content can present a problem. That is particularly true if the artist includes the elements of pop, ambient and lyrical soundscapes. Basically, it all can turn into an oversewed mush, like a fresh, cold lemonade with too much sugar in it. Or, if you will, it turns into a bad side of the New Age genre.
To make such music work, the artist needs to, well, control the sugar levels. Artists like Jean Michele Jarre or Vangelis were able to do it at times, while at other times they went into sugar overload themselves.
This brings us to Nicholas Gunn, an artist that might be a familiar name to followers of the melodic electronic music genre and his latest release Sound Condition. After all, he has 21 albums under his name.
Gunn is obviously an experienced guy, who studied at the British Royal Academy of Music, on one side, but ventured into dance music with ease too. On Sound Condition he goes for striking the balance between his classical training, ambient electronics, and electronic pop, trying to pin his goal somewhere in the center of all these sounds.
And that is where his experience and knowledge come in very handy. Whenever you get the feeling that Gunn is veering too much to the sweeter side of New Age, he moves into another direction, making his melody/electronics combination work, like on the title tracks. In some ways, his sound here reminds me of the better releases by former Tangerine Dream member Peter Baumann.
“If 2020 were to have a soundtrack, it may sound like this,” Gunn says. And he actually makes the point, since his melancholic tones on Sound Condition have more a bittersweet than overly sweet taste.
Nicholas Gunn – ‘Sound Condition’ Reaction
On 'Sound Condition' Nicholas Gunn strikes a good balance between electronics and melody, not an easy task to always pull off.