Certain songs seem to be crafted with the intention of pushing music to new heights. These releases challenge our preconceived notions of what music can be, what it can accomplish, and how we engage with it. Ambient music, particularly in its extreme forms, has been at the forefront of this movement for decades, eliciting both passionate support and strong opposition among listeners. Forward thinking creatives like Alan Labudde, a multi-disciplinary independent artist based in Knoxville, Tennessee, who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, continues to expand the boundaries of music and contributes to the great divide between creativity and accessibility.
A quick excursion through Alan’s work, which is published on multiple platforms, including YouTube, unravels his wide range of influences and styles. He is known for blending elements of ambient, industrial, drone, downtempo, classical music, as well as traditional ethnic musical flavors into his work.
He is also uses unconventional time signatures, complex rhythms and melodies, and his manipulation of sound synthesis and effects. Quite simply Alan Labudde cannot be put into any one musical box.
There are a handful of bold artists that fit into the above-described aesthetics of subversive boundary-pushing intensity. Perennial mind-benders whose music is as uncategorizable as it is awesome.
That said, everything Alan Labudde touches brims with clarity, creativity, and a hefty amount of personal charisma. His high reputation of quality contributions sees no diminishment in tracks such as “Borsta 4”, “Mornan”, “GeoCello”, “Fugue difficile”, “In the tigers mouth”, “Flunking”, and “Motifelia”.
While many of the aforementioned tracks rely on textures, tones, melodic motifs and enchanting atmospheres to engage the listener, surprisingly enough, “Flunking” is filled with rhythmic insistence and unstoppable groove, showing a completely different side to Alan Labudde’s musical endeavors.
His work here is absolutely fantastic, rushing over our brains, down through our souls and right into our feet which will start moving. All completely unexpected, considering the previous song’s I listened to.
The oriental sounds of “In the tigers mouth” is as intriguing as the use of the cello is on the minimalistic “GeoCello”, and the guitar flourishes on “Mornan”. Regardless of whether you like these songs or not, they are conscious compositions, and every aesthetic choice
Alan makes in them, is deliberate. Moreover, it’s always important to remember that experimentation is only as meaningful as its creator makes it, and Alan Labudde is as capable, talented and seriously focused as they come. Approach his compositions with an open mind and you’ll find that the skill of this creator shines through.
If any of the above sounds even remotely intriguing, I heartily recommend that you give Alan Labudde’s musical releases your undivided attention. There isn’t another artist I’ve heard over the last year that can be compared to him, and that’s already a good thing even before you hear the music.
Alan is an artist swimming against the current of mainstream music, attempting to create something that is fresh, accomplished, and exciting to listen to. If you are at all curious, give him a shot and you might be surprised by how much depth there is in Alan Labudde’s music.