Rob Johnson

Having listened to a lot of ambient music and soundtracks, enjoying the work of Tangerine Dream, and Jean Michel Jarre, to name the obvious, it was with intrigue I played “Throw The Sun In To The Sea” by Rob Johnson Music, especially as it is the first completely instrumental album we have received, and therefore the first time I have had to consider reviewing one!

In todays musical landscape it is unusual to find someone who puts together instrumental work outside of Soundtracks into the public domain that is not purely electronic, especially as most of the artists we review are indie-rock or punk. So instrumental work almost becomes niche by it’s very nature. So it has been a very pleasurable expereince sitting back and listening to “Throw The Sun Into The Sea”. I find that albums like this tend to need a quiet space to be appreciated, not easy in a house full of children and animals, so for me the backdrop for the album has been late at night on headphones, letting it take me on its journey.

Rob Johnson

London based Rob Johnson has composed some impressive layered soundscapes such as “Hurricane” that blend acoustic guitar with a soft synth backdrop that I wish at times were more than just a few minutes long as the pull you in and take you on their journey, tracks like “Throw The Sun” seem to be just interludes – but perhaps that’s the Tangerine Dream in me!

But I have found it harder than I thought it would be to write a review of an album not fronted by a vocalist! However, cutting to the chase, I really liked the album. Most of the instrumental albums I have listened to usually flow like a single body of work, irrespective of the number of tracks. However, although the style and tempo do not change dramaticlly between tracks, they still fit as a body of work on this album. I would say that there is almost a number of genres being touched upon to bring its sound together, the new age synth feel of electronica, the acoustic guitar, the strong progressive rockier drum beat holding it together. But these are all layered together beautifully.

Rob Johnson

Things get a little darker for “Monsters” with more obvious synths, acoustic guitar, and keyboards. But still maintain a dream like feel to the whole proceedings. From reading through the liner notes, there is a darker side to this album, I am not sure if it is a broken heart, but coupled with the imagery and the mood are set for, dare I say it again, a dream like quality.

To illustrate this the new album comes in the form of a complete audio/visual experience with 10 short films to accompany the record (which can be found on the website from April 16th).

Rob has managed to find a warmth that is pervasive throughout the album, irrespective of whether it is in one of it’s rockier moments such as the opening or closing tracks, or as a flowing soundscape. Recorded about 2 weeks before Christmas 2011 Rob has shown some tremendous talent with this album, and I am certainly keen to pick up his previous album, and any future work.

Of course, with instrumental work the tone, and journey can be left to the listener and their own mood. Enjoy this journey.

Track Listing
The Wasp And The Flame
The Beginning Of The End
Throw The Sun
Anchors Hold On To Hope
The Real
Into The Sea
The Be All And The End All

“Throw The Sun Into The Sea” is released on April 16th, and is available from Robs website.


Words by Jon.
Music by Rob.
Pictures stolen from his website.

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