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MP3 Ruben Garcia - Maybe Forgotten Forever

Melodic, rhythmic, electronic, ambient, trance-like.

26 MP3 Songs
ELECTRONIC: Soundscapes, ELECTRONIC: Ambient

"Something wonderful and magical happens when Ruben Garcia meets a piano. It happens to me sometimes; it happens to Ruben all the time."

Harold Budd

Trance Port Special Editions is proud to announce the release of the second Special Edition, a 2-CD set surveying the musical career of minimalist composer Ruben Garcia. Over the past 12 years, Ruben has worked with Harold Budd ("Music for 3 Pianos," along with Daniel Lentz), ambient musicians A Produce and Richard Bone as well as guitarists Jeff Pearce and Steve Caton.

Ruben Garcia began his musical career with guitarist Steve Caton in the early ''80s in a duo called Repetition Repetition, a weird collision of Philip Glass meets Jimi Hendrix. Later on, in 1992, Garcia began his solo career with the release of "Colors in Motion," an excursion into many classic electronic music styles, recalling the best of Klaus Schultze and Tangerine Dream pulse music.

In 1993, Garcia, Budd and Lentz collaborated on "Music For 3 Pianos," a six track set, now out of print and considered a rarity by collectors.

In successive years, Garcia has put out several solo recordings: "The Gatekeeper," [a solo piano improv album dedicated to the music of Eric Satie (1994),] "Room Full of Easels" (1996), "I Can Feel The Heat Closing In" (1998), and "Lakeland" (2000).

"Maybe Forgotten Forever" is a collection of old, new and unreleased Garcia tracks. Gathered from his five solo albums are classic tracks from each of those albums, plus six tracks previously unreleased (solo, with Richard Bone, and with A Produce).

Throughout the collection, Garcia''s gift for melody and seductive rhythms shines through, as well as a gift for extended space/ambient excursions that in some cases exceed ten minutes in length. Sometimes unexpected, but always a pleasant surprise, the best of Ruben Garcia''s musical career has finally been collected in one place.




Maybe Forgotten Forever
Trance Port Special Editions (2004)

As career retrospectives go, Ruben Garcia''s "Maybe Forgotten Forever" stands near or at the top of all the rest. This is, to put it bluntly, a staggeringly amazing 2-disc set and reveals just what a versatile, accomplished, and talented artist the man is. I was literally stunned by the time I got through just the first disc of this recording. How Garcia has escaped full-fledged notoriety is, honestly, beyond my comprehension. If you have any love for ambient music at all, I don''t know how you can pass on this album, even if you don''t care for every song (which, given the variety of music here, would be understandable). As a photograph of this important artist''s recorded work so far, it''s invaluable just for the sake of remembrance (hence, no doubt, the title).

Many of the songs here emphasize minimalism, especially on piano. Fans of Harold Budd, and to a lesser degree Brian Eno, will hear obvious similarities; however, lest you think Garcia is merely imitating Budd, my copy of the album (and, maybe every one is like this) comes with the following hand-written inscription inside the jewel case "To Whom It May Concern: Something wonderful and magical happens when Ruben Garcia meets a piano. It happens to me sometimes; it happens to Ruben all the time. (signed) Harold Budd." So, there ya go. An endorsement doesn''t get any more solid than that, does it?

Fans of A Produce already may know of Garcia from his collaborations with the west coast trance-ambient musician. Track one on disc one, "Congas Mmeet The Droner" will underline and bold-face that connection, as swirling synths combine with conga drums and plaintive echoed piano, sounding as if the song was meant to be on A Produce''s "Land of a Thousand Trances." But that''s only one side of this multi-faceted artist. The title track is a gossamer thin tone poem of strings and twinkling tones, anchored by electric piano rich with nuance. "Colors In Motion" reveals Garcia''s adept abilities with overt electronics, as bouncing and dancing retro bell-tone synths pepper a night sky as if stars were blinking on and off against an inky blackness. "Desert Calm" opens amidst ominous Berlin school analog keyboards and sighing synths (the track is curiously not calm at all, but carries an air of palpable tension instead), especially when an assortment of percussive treatments and drum samples beat out a steady mid-tempo rhythm.

However, it is with his piano that Garcia shines brightest. "Rainy Day" is almost too evocative to describe. The piano notes sustain and reverb forever, eliciting every trace of reflection and subtle sadness possible from the sparse melody. This is music tailor made for sitting by the window on a late fall day, when all the leaves are long since fallen and grey skies invite musings on the "might have beens" of one''s life. The cryptically titled "Room Full of Easels" brings together Fender Rhodes (one of my favorite instruments), synth chorales, and bell tones to yield a haunting piece that sounds like walking into a house long deserted yet filled with the lingering "feel" of previous inhabitants.

That''s just some of the songs on disc one. Exploring this album in detail would require too many words. Disc two contains such gems as the opening "I Can Feel The Heat Closing In" (a dark and disturbing track with heavily sustained/echoed electric piano, crackling thunder-like sounds, and an oppressive texture), the stark juxtaposition of Berlin-sequencer and piano on "I Looked Back And Danced With Her Eyes," the spooky yet beautiful piano number, "Eyes Wander," and (as unbelievable as it may seem) thirteen more songs.

Basically, what you have on Maybe Forgotten Forever is a literal treasure house of ambient piano minimalism, quasi-Berlin tone poems, evocative synthesizer soundscapes, and rhythmic/trance-like electronica from the days before electronica was declared a genre unto itself. I suppose if you loathe piano music, you should pass on this, even though I think it''s a mistake of immense proportions. Fans of Budd, Eno and similar artists who don''t have Garcia''s 2-disc set yet should grab their credit cards and get on the internet pronto. Similarly, if your musical tastes run toward the somber, even morose, and darker side of ambient music, but you aren''t obsessed with drones and actually like melodies, you''ll almost certainly love this. Also, Tim Story fans - well, it''s stating the obvious but go out and get this album right now. You can thank me later.

In a perfect world, we can only hope that music as emotionally rich and rewarding to listen to as this will not be "forgotten forever." With that in mind, "Maybe Forgotten Forever" earns (without even needing the second disc of the set) my highest recommendation.

Bill Binkelmam
Wind & Wire

Bill Binkelman
Wind & Wire

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