For every 10 electronic musicians/DJs who migrate to Seattle, it seems a few depart from it. Two talented producers who’ve left our city since 2006—Prince Charming (Josh Darlington) and Son of Rose (Kamran Sadeghi)—have new albums surfacing around the same time, both of which deserve your attention.
While dwelling here, Prince Charming released three full-lengths for the revered dub/hiphop/illbient label WordSound. He also co-led Lovecraft Technologies, a brilliant collective of musical misfits that imploded due to personality conflicts. Darlington moved to L.A. to further his film-industry credentials and is surely infecting Hollywood with his subversive ideas, even as I type. On the sly, he's also recorded Lapis Lazuli (Karlrecords; www.karlrecords.net), a limited-edition LP/CD.
Prince Charming's stylistic promiscuity and innate sonic exoticism make his music hard to categorize but easy to enjoy. At once seductive and sinister, playful and ominous, his productions reflect a polymath's knowledge and a hedonist's pleasure principle. On Lapis Lazuli, PC puts his distinctive touch on film scores, dub, illbient, and myriad ethnic musics. One standout is "Zebrine Polymorphous Blues," a triumphant, eerie piece that posits the RZA scoring a Dario Argento horror flick. "Spider Scorpion Conch" launches triphop into heretofore-unexplored alien territory. "Pomegranate of Vice (a Supergeometry Symphony)" blows up film-noir soundtracks to gargantuan dimensions and adds skewed funk beats and machine-gun fire.
Throughout Lapis Lazuli, Prince Charming lavishes an array of exciting, fresh sounds while evoking unusual atmospheres. His ambitions are grandiose, and he achieves them with an uncheesy, big-studio flourish.
Son of Rose's All In is the prolific micro-sound producer's fourth album under that moniker (he recorded Through Thickness under his own name), and the first for his own Blanket Fields label (www.blanketfields.com). It continues his tradition of forging tracks that are fantastically tactile and spacious, using piano, EBow, drums, and live electronic treatments. "Falling Forward" starts the album with beatific shimmering drones and what sounds like pitched-up wind chimes. It's understatedly gorgeous and calming, conjuring a mystical healing-music sensation. "Movement Transposed" sounds like an altered dulcimer or harp riff ka-chinging amid steel-wool whorls, while "Toward Sensation" is a stellar, metallic drone, akin to Charlemagne Palestine's Bösendorfer organ, honed to a needle-sharp tone. "RADii" is quite possibly the sound of Saturn's rings forming. "Fragrant" evokes Xenakis's oblique atonal thrusts and corkscrewing diminuendos; it's a kind of a skeletal, electroacoustic dub and a disturbing anomaly from the rest of the disc.
All In—which was partially funded by the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs—is a superb addition to Son of Rose's impressive canon. It wouldn't be surprising to see Sadeghi soon doing his own soundtrack work—probably for documentaries on the secret life of sea creatures and/or the daring adventures of microorganisms.