I presumed that Blow Up Hollywood would be considerably different than what ultimately is the norm on “Take Flight”. “RKK” is the first glimpse that we as listeners have into the mind’s eye of Blow Up Hollywood, and this 90-second track covers considerable musical ground. An atmospheric composition, “RKK” acts as the gateway into “Take Flight”, providing a sample to curious listeners for how the rest of the title will turn out. This microcosm of the full album’s aims and goals gracefully moves into a more wide-open track in “Eos”.
Calm and a little bit cold, the longer run time of this track over “RKK” gives Blow Up Hollywood the canvas that they need to flex their musical wings. Where there seems to be considerable cohesion enjoyed by the different parts of the track, I feel that Blow Up Hollywood’s strongest suit has to be their ability to create distinct musical tangents in the course of one effort. “Phoenixes and Pheasants” enjoys a length between that of “RKK” and “Eos”, while taking listeners on a much different journey than they have had up to this point. The use of repetition during this track is an innovation for Blow Up Hollywood. What could rapidly become stale and played out is changed just enough to keep listeners firmly in their seats for the next few tracks.
Where instrumental, more electronic-based music does have some problems keeping things shaken up over the course of an album (some eighties Tangerine Dream efforts, along with “In Blue”-era Klaus Schulze), I feel that a work like “Solace” showcases exactly how talented Blow Up Hollywood is. The composition starts out similar in fashion to a wave crashing on a beach or a bird glides through the air. As the track continues, there is dramatic progression and even a narrative that works its way through the track’s 275 seconds. While each of the tracks can be enjoyed in capsule format, I would exhort anyone with some time on their hands to spin “Take Flight” and really focus on the nuances, nooks and crannies that Blow Up Hollywood have laid out here.
Top Tracks: Phoenixes and Pheasants, John C Lilly
Blow Up Hollywood – Take Flight / 2010 Self / 11 Tracks / http://www.blowuphollywood.com