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Javier Miranda

Progressive Electronic

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Javier Miranda Strange Imperfection album cover
4.26 | 22 ratings | 4 reviews | 67% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2021

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Opening (2:01)
2. The Days of Our Lives (9:40)
3. Swarm Days (9:34)
4. Interlude (2:47)
5. Keyholder (5:50)
6. State of Mind (9:07)
7. Ending (3:19)

Total Time 42:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Javier Miranda / keyboards, synths, programming

Releases information

Digital album, Self-released, bandcamp

Thanks to rivertree for the addition
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JAVIER MIRANDA Strange Imperfection ratings distribution

(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(67%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(24%)
Good, but non-essential (5%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JAVIER MIRANDA Strange Imperfection reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars Only a year after finding his way on to the musical playground as a solo artist, the Galician musician JAVIER MIRANDA returns with his sophomore release STRANGE IMPERFECTION which finds him once again merging the world of Berlin School progressive electronic with myriad musical forms intertwine and hypnotize the listener with a set of seven tracks that capture the essence of a classic vinyl era album with a running time of just over 42 minutes.

Basically following in the footsteps of his debut album "Mirror Games," MIRANDA once again mesmerizes with his magical synthesizers that he brings to life in a somewhat familiar way as he mines the past classics for basic ideas but then adds the Spanish touch to things with a stronger devotion to rhythmic cadences and percussive accoutrements, a trait oft eschewed from the old school German maestros who instead unapologetically devoted their off world experience to layered synth runs exclusively.

STRANGE IMPERFECTION is neither STRANGE nor IMPERFECT at all really. Perhaps if this is your first introduction to the world of the world of ambient music or dark progressive electronica then sure this could be considered strange but for anyone who has taken in a fair amount of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Kraftwerk or Jean Michel Jarre then this will be quite a comforting album as its not as extreme as any of those artists at their most creative. In fact this is more or less a very calm, relaxing and pacifying album compared to its predecessor.

Out of the seven tracks on board, three sprawl past the nine minute mark thus leaving MIRANDA plenty of breathing room to craft post-rock styled cyclical loops augmented by subtle changes in pitch, ambience and atmosphere. Shorter tracks like "Interlude" provide a slightly more agitating effect with heavier emphasis on the bass grooves while seemingly incongruent higher pitched synth loops dance in defiance. Tracks like this are the most authentically Berlin School with similar tones, timbres and programming techniques.

"Keyholder" provides a drumbeat so prominent that it takes things into progressive rock territory however don't expect guitars or bass. It's a simple drumbeat accompanied by a haunting ambience before being joined by a hyperactive key stab session. Sounds a bit motorik in fact like classic Neu! "State Of Mind" sort of reflects the entire album at hand that being catching some sort of cosmic wave and rolling with it. The track also delivers a series of Berlin School keyboard workouts only augmented with a percussive backdrop as well as a tapestry of contrapuntal synthesized sounds. "Ending" provides the perfect melancholic finale with a circuitous piano roll in a dueling fashion.

JAVIER MIRANDA certainly captures the essence of classic progressive electronic music of yore all the while adding just enough melodic touches to ensure an instant connectability and situates the elements in such a way that it sounds innovative and fresh. Progressive electronic is a difficult style of music to review actually. It's a cerebral type of collection of sounds that either resonates or doesn't. For this particular release it certainly does as did his excellent debut. It has become clear from this sophomore album that MIRANDA is by no means a one trick pony. His breadth of synthesized textures is wide and he knows how to paint impressionist artworks of sound. Very cool.

Review by BrufordFreak
4 stars The Berlin School gets an upgrade.

An artist from Spain who is new to me, Javier Miranda's ingenious and cracked-glass 21st Century perspective and reinterpretation of old-school electronica sounds and styles is quite refreshing, if also a bit unsettling.

1. "Opening" (2:01) lots of brilliantly treated sounds give this opener a very dystopian, futuristic, Blade Runner 2049 feel. Even the old-time upright piano that breaks up the synthesizer party in the second minute feels as if it could be old-man Deckard playing an out-of-tune piano in his antiquated hotel. (4.5/5)

2. "The Days of Our Lives" (9:40) slow, simple and melodic, this song opens with some slowly developed layers of synths that cast their beautifully hypnotic spell on us--until the three minute mark, that is, when programmed techno drums with their bullet-ripping bass pedal burst onto the scene and begin to dominate in an almost humorous A-HA-like way. When they cut out at the end of the sixth minute, we are left with what sound like the shards of a broken song as piano, guitar, organ, and other instruments repeat their little riffs as if each in their own worlds--the timing of each track seeming to drift off into differing universes and yet, somehow, still feel cohesive and whole! Fascinating! "Drums" return, Mellotron-like choral bank enters beneath soloing upper-register synth. It's cheezy, like a lot of the 80s were, but somehow, at the same time, charming. (17.5/20)

3. "Swarm Days" (9:34) manipulated and pure piano sounds play a series of arpeggi in an eerie cross between Mike Odlfield "Tubular Bells" and other horror genre theme musics that use warped and contused childhood for their themes. Children's piano joins in during the second minute only exaggerating this effect--especially as the children seem to be drifting off into different directions. The rising tension begs the question: Will they collide and conflict or will these self-isolating behaviors continue? In the fifth minute a unified (MIDI-ed) middle-range keyboard and metallic percussive join the party, but their angular, idiosyncratic "song" seems to have a pacifying effect. In fact, the other "children" all stop (to listen?) while MIDI stumbles on. In the seventh minute, even MIDI is faded out--replaced by a bass-range synth and then, later, echoed in the background (as if from another room). Still eerie but beautiful. And cinematic. The slow-shifting two chord synth wash beneath all of this is actually quite comforting--like the calm and steady presence of older siblings or parents. (18.5/20) 4. "Interlude" (2:47) euphonium-like synth steadily pulsing away its melody line is soon joined by angular melody played by banged up/mentally unstable circus calliope. (4.25/5)

5. "Keyholder" (5:50) super-fast arpeggio sequence from some small chimes is joined by another early techno/70s drum sequence and then other synth washes and arpeggiating riffs. Sounds almost like something from an early TALKING HEADS studio session. IN the fourth minute the drums back away for a bit while some keyboard arpeggi float to the fore, but then they return in full with "heavily effected electric guitar"-like lead instrument soloing in the front and center with a few long-sustained notes. (8.5/10)

6. "State of Mind" (9:07) slowly patterned MIDI-Gamelan tubular bells are slowly joined by the rising of a series of four GENESIS-like Mellotron choral bank chords. Broken Mellotron calliope chords join in during the third minute. The "modernization" of effected Mellotron play seems such a twisted "tribute" to early KING CRIMSON and GENESIS and other bands whose music may have been dripping in 'tron. At 4:12 the 'trons desist and a new set of sequences establish themselves in a weave before electronic bass drum steps in with a Disco beat. The weave continues to add instruments, thickening the soundscape. When "snare"and "cymbals" join in, the beat becomes more akin to the straight-time beats on Alan Parsons' I Robot album. Some shifting in the eighth minute reveal a new sound that sounds very much like the early electronic music of JEAN-MICHEL JARRE. (17.5/20)

7. "Ending" (3:19) three heavily treated piano notes, each played over four equal measures, ad infinitum, in quarter notes in a Largo 4/4 time, over which more heavily-treated shrill piano notes play. I find myself reminded of Harold Budd and Brian Eno's "Chill Air" from Plateaux of Mirror as well as both "Home" and the final song from the second disc of David Sylvian's Gone to Earth, "Upon This Earth". Nice. (8.75/10)

Total Time 42:18

While there is a definite cleverness to the creativity of Javier's music--his treatment of old, traditional synthesizer sounds is definitely 21st Century (as is his unabashed exploration of interpretations of mental illness perspectives)--is cutting edge and ingenius. There is quite a little nod to Brian Eno (and Harold Budd's) going on here--especially to his Ambient and Music For Films albums. At the same time, I'm not sure if an album of interpretations of instability, nostalgia for adolescence, and childish perspectives on the world is enough to be called dazzling much less earth-shattering. I, for one, will await Javier's magnum opus.

B/four stars; an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection--especially if you love Berlin School electronica and have been waiting to see where 21st Century artists can and will take it.

Latest members reviews

5 stars STRANGE IMPERFECTION, is highest quality, composed and performed with synthesizers and sound effects in digital programming. He has created an electronic, new-age, psychedelic and space rock style. The best track is "Keyholder". Powerful passages with a multitude of sounds, like marimbas, that it ad ... (read more)

Report this review (#2598882) | Posted by Luisbombin | Sunday, October 3, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The second effort of the composer and multi-instrumentalist from Lugo (Spain) Javier Miranda, revises and refines many of the ideas raised in his first album," Mirror Games ", and does so from a more coherent stylistic perception and a solid sound design. "Strange Imperfection" is, despite the ... (read more)

Report this review (#2597888) | Posted by higgins | Thursday, September 30, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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