Sunstrom Sound

STORMSPACE is the latest LP of vibrant synthesizer-garden harvests from Sunstrom Sound, the electronic exploration project by Seattle music veteran Jason Holstrom. Since 1999, Holstrom has been a core member of experimental art-pop dreamers Wonderful and electro-dance partyrockers USE, while also releasing a shape-shifting array of solo albums under the Thieves of Kailua, Tonight Sky and Sunstrom Sound aliases.

STORMSPACE follows 2015’s 4-LP set Solar Cycle, the ambient series released individually at each solstice and equinox that year. STORMSPACE continues the performed-and-mixed-live recording process Holstrom describes as “musical machines synced and connected, singing along with and through each other in a real moment.” It’s a harmonically rich sound The Stranger has called “profoundly evocative and cinematic,” and this time out, Holstrom focuses the music towards a more beat-driven dub/techno realm by adding expressive chord changes and a powerful low-end pulse.

The result is a thumping yet pastoral album that is perfectly suited to accompany both movement and reflection. It could easily be a soundtrack for a walk through nature or the neighborhood, but the backdrop of puzzle-piece arpeggios, immediate rhythms, and kaleidoscopic synths also reward attentive listening. The dreamy swirl of the title track is almost story-like in its sonic shifts from beginning to end, and the glow-in-the-dark staccato synths of “Interurban Trail” pair with a drum machine backbeat buoyant enough to interest pop fans. Still, the LP is ultimately best understood as functional music. It’s sound for enhancing one’s surroundings, designed to fit into the background or foreground of life’s spaces. Within or beyond the storm.

STORMSPACE will be released on 6/4 via all digital platforms and limited-edition gold vinyl.

 To download, click above. Photo credit to the Holstroms.