By David Schultz
Very rarely do you get to listen to someone who is truly unique. Gideon Freudmann is one such artist. Having performed on albums by the Nields and Dar Williams (in particular, her The Pointless, Yet Poignant, Crisis of a Co-Ed), he brings new sounds to the electric cello. Hologram Crackers is his fifth nationally distributed CD since 1995, a pretty impressive resume by any standards.
All the music was written, arranged, performed, and produced by Freudmann. Fourteen of the 17 tracks were recorded in one pass of the tape using digital delays and looping gear to create the overdubs without conventional multitracking. This gives a rich sound that simply boggles the mind.
Many of the tracks on Hologram Crackers are reminiscent of Mike Oldfield of Tubular Bells fame (theme from The Exorcist), notably Backlit and the energetic Excursion. Other songs branch out away from conventional instrumental music, borrowing more from traditional folk music (Back Porch), children's music (Robin Hood Changes His Oil), and electronic music (Haunted Merry-Go-Round).
The title track features an urgent bow-played lead underlain by a funky bass track, making it one of the most accessible tracks on the album. Molecule, on the other hand, really does sound like a visit to the subatomic world.
Freudmann is a true innovator in instrumental and atmospheric cello music. I found this album an enjoyable and intriguing listen. The album works either as background music for reading or for the more serious student who might listen more critically.
Edited by Jonathan Colcord