Revew by Bill Binkelman from New Age Reporter
Di Evantile and his first album, Rhetorical Digression blew me away with its amazing diversity of electronic music, old-school retro EM, chill-out, and a few other related subgenres. The CD’s look and lack of liner notes had me concerned at first, but upon the first playing, I realized I was in capable hands. The sound samples I had heard before soliciting the CD were pretty good, but even with this brief preview of the album I was unprepared for Di Evantile’s exceptional adeptness at covering many types of ambient and electronic music with such self-assuredness.
“A Point to Nowhere” celebrates retro EM with a combination of Berlin school and associated synths. Whirly-gigging keyboards, a mysterious sounding background sequence and an overt air of spaciness underscores the song’s title. Contrast that with the disturbing fluidity and glorpiness on “Mirror of Chaos” with a forlorn lead synth, muted piano notes, dripping/dropping noises and eerie voice effects, all on top of a haunting drone. “The Wind Became Stronger” morphs from an electronic spacemusic/ambient prologue into a burbling percolating sequence with associated weird electronic effects scattered here and there. As the track builds, Di Evantile adds more layers, a blast of synth flute and tribal-esque vocal snippets, all of it culminating in a miasma of hand drums and percussive beats which may remind you somewhat of Michael Shrieve’s “Transfer Station Blue.”
“One-Click Blues” transitions to a more contemporary chill-out motif, featuring heavy thumping bass beats, way cool Fender Rhodes-ish reverbed solos, trap kit rhythms, and plenty of swirling keyboard embellishments. The skitching beats and abstract yet melodic electronic spaciness of “Impulse of Silence” might remind some listeners of the darker songs from Depeche Mode’s Violator, such as the similarly titled “Enjoy the Silence” or “Halo.” One of my favorite tracks on this CD is “Downtown,” a slice of jazzy snazzy funky chill-out that chugs and pumps along with some of the coolest blending of synths and bass beats I’ve heard in a while.
“Adrenaline Switch” mines the same type of rhythmic ambient as Todd Fletcher does under his pseudonym psychetropic. Both artists explore a cheerful high energy fusion of assorted peppy beats and flowing melodic synthesizers which paint visual images of futuristic landscapes abuzz with activity. Closing out the album is the non-rhythmic ambient/spacemusic tune, “Behind Existence,” with its lush layers of flowing keyboards, synth pads and ebbing/flowing SF-ish washes.
One might be tempted to opine that Di Evantile is a mere imitator of the artists mentioned above (or others unspecified), but nothing could be further from the truth. While I hear some artistic similarities scattered throughout Rhetorical Digression, the mere fact that a single artist can be influenced by so many diverse artists and carry it off so well on a single recording leaves me impressed, to say the least. Honestly, most EM and ambient artists are influenced by someone anyway, so what’s the big deal? If you enjoy a broad spectrum of both retro and contemporary electronic music (with a little more emphasis on the latter), this CD certainly deserves a shot at being added to your collection. I sure hope this is not the last we have heard from Di Evantile. Highly recommended! Rating: Very Good +
Review by Dub_Ninja from SubsonicTemple
“Rhetorical Digression”presents listeners with a truly other-worldly experience. Just bordering on the truly abstract with minimal yet rich soundscapes, not conforming to any commercial standard, Di Evantile starts the musical journey with a few tracks that touch on the fringes between the dream-state and the waking conscious.
The opening track “A Point To Nowhere” certainly reminds me of the electronica of old. The influence of Jean-Michel Jarre is strong here, yet at the same time the strange lonley soundscapes are fresh and seem to hint at where the reast of the album is headed. On the opening tracks, rhythms almost form and are pushed away into nebulous clouds of ethereal pads and angelic synths. However, each track seems to bring more cohesion and more structure. One of my favorite tracks “One-Click Blues” has a sexy lush groove made to chill in the late nate or early hours. With a solid groove and beautiful cosmic echoes (remenicent of Lonnie Liston Smith) here makes me realize just how far we have come from formless to form.
Yet even here the comsic echoes remind us that we have not gone very far. My other favorite tracks on this beautifully cosmic album would be Adrenaline Switch and Sourse of Radiation. The last track “Behind Existence” takes us back to the beginning where we are once again treated with a lush dreamlike landscape of sounds with a smallest hint of a structure to sail us to our next destination. Individually some of these tracks may seem disconnected, but as a whole this Album flows wonderfully from beginning to end. While its deep cosmic relaxing textures may present a problem listening to in deep traffic Di Evantile has put together an excellent CD to chill or relax to.