Lee Negin - Architect of this Illusion
"Lee Negin brilliantly defines a musical realm that is his alone. He effortlessly forges through the uncharted waters of musical Zen and cleverly orchestrates sound into a vibrant, visceral experience. Mr. Negin is a savvy magician welding a maestro's baton, a mystical boatman guiding the listener on an epic journey through undiscovered sonic terrain." - Lee Crisman, Pluto Radio
Lee Negin is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, synthesist, producer, and recording engineer. A prolific composer and videographer and an early synthesizer enthusiast, he was involved in the DIY movement and Detroit Techno scene in the 1980's when his music received international airplay including by John Peel on BBC Radio. He is listed as an influential artist in "The International Discography of the New Wave" (edited by B. George and Martha Defoe (Omnibus Press).
Recently, in 2010 one of his early tracks, "Nothing Goes Right" was re-released on a compilation from Genetic Music (Berlin). In January 2011, an EP of video soundtracks was released. In February, his CD, “Hungry Ghosts” was released. Recorded in his home studio and mixed in a SSL based studio in the UK, it was mastered by Jon Astley in London. "Hungry Ghosts" was selected by Dandelion Radio (UK) as one of the top 50 albums of 2011 (#32).
“Lee Negin is an eccentric genius. His new album ‘Hungry Ghosts’ – released February 7th – is a mad masterpiece. Negin’s music is entirely his own – an extended part of his person – and has been from the start; he handles all aspects of writing, production, instrumentation, engineering and, occasionally, the vocals. ‘Hungry Ghosts’ is the first of two albums – the second being ‘We Wei’ – Lee Negin plans to release this year through his own label Passing Phase Records. Thirteen atmospheric, leftfield compositions ranging from electronica and rock to world music, all fused with a unique ambience. It’s so unconventional that according to Negin’s website NME declined to review the album, claiming it was “a bit too off the wall” for them. Negin’s production and engineering skills are faultless.... Negin’s trick is to lull you into comfort with one genre then shock you by changing the tone and tempo. ... it’s addictive and blissful. ” - Clive Rozario, AAA Music (UK)
"Hearing this artist's expertly produced work is to experience a vision aimed beyond the realm of pop. ...Negin never offers the same sound twice, employing singers as ensemble instruments and working with sounds in a way that reminds us at times of Brian Eno, Aphex Twin and Wendy Carlos." - Music Connection Magazine
In September 2011, a piece, “Without Reason” appeared on a compilation from Daidalos Records (Chile), and a new CD of ambient/electronica/experimental work, “Wu Wei” was released.
"No Western musician has found so much of the formless energy at the core of Eastern music as Lee Negin has with his new CD, Wu Wei! How long has it been since you've been somewhere in electronica that seemed like somewhere to be? Lee Negin's Wu Wei has an organic feeling seldom found from plugged in music. His music can make you dance from ear to ear in subconscious sing along communal ecstatic campfire circles. There's nothing new in this. I believe I heard this music last year in a dream. I'll grant I've never heard it awake until now. This is a comfortable and familiar, natural world where spirits play Frisbee and all the barbecues seem to be burning Nag Champa. Same as it ever was, but never quite like this on my earthly hifi. Great work!" - Billy Sheppard, Music Critic and Sheep Counter, Billy's Bunker Music Reviews
"(Lee Negin has) composed and created 21st century classical music here. Very cool. I love the way the tracks deliver gentle jolts, then soothe you, lull you, and dispense a bit of bliss just before the layered voices catch your ear to usher in a feeling of alarm, kind of like a kid at his first Halloween party. Perhaps a better analogy is this: the "Wu Wei" tracks place the listener at the foundation of an edifice while it suddenly is undergoing a metamorphosis (like in a Harry Potter movie, or -- better example -- "Inception"). You feel out-of-control for a moment before the ethereal elements come back into play. Very mysterious and awe-inspiring, if a bit eerie at times. The sonic quality of the work is superb, allowing you to just sort of fall into the middle of, or perhaps float above, the very moderne electro/acoustic orchestra that has been assembled for your listening pleasure."- John Scott G
December 2011 saw the release of the CD "Reflections of Waking Dreams." Several digital singles and videos were also released in 2011.
In 2012 there were several releases, including a single (with video) "CYBERiTU" in January; In May, a new album, "Technodelic Transmissions." In September, a new collection of ambient-electronica-experimental work, "Views from the Outer Rim" was released. "Views..." was selected by Dandelion Radio as #22 of the top 50 albums of 2012. Four videos of tracks from this album were released.
In March 2013, Negin released a new album, "The Lunar Collection."
"As will be clear from anyone who's either read this blog or heard my Dandelion Radio shows in the last couple of years, I can't get enough of Lee Negin. There are some electronic artists who dabble in a form that, if you're not absolutely aware to its vicissitudes , will quickly swallow you up and drain very quickly any creative energy you once had so that you, very quickly, become stale and predictable. Lee Negin is not one of those artists.
Negin expertly controls his sounds, never a slave to a rhythm or a preconceived idea. Here, he moves dextrously between the sparse and atmospheric, as in the nine minutes plus of opening track 'Commute', to the rumbling intensity of 'Cosmic Ooze' while still able to step into the sub-tribal beats of 'Cheeze Sticks' when the mood takes him. Throughout, snatched voice excerpts play around the beats like enigmatic satellites of sound with no pre-ordained orbit. In Lunar Collection, even more than in other recent releases from this remarkable artist, you're never allowed to dwell in familiar surroundings for long. The atmosphere around Lunar Collection is light, the hold of gravitational laws tenuous. It makes for a listening experience that's as stimulating and challenging as it is enjoyable.
I've chosen the masterfully ironic 'Spare The Rod' to play in my Dandelion Radio show in April, which will begin streaming on Easter Monday. The track winds loosely structured beats and sound patterns around snatched soundbites dictating moral strictures and battered American conservative mores, pummelling them purely with the weapon of expertly deployed sound structures. In the universe inhabited by this album, no such simple-minded rhetoric can hope to survive: easy concepts are warped and mangled into obtuse shapes, and quite right too.
You've got to be an artist extremely confident in your abilities as well as highly proficient to put together an album this diverse and yet make it hold together as such a sublime whole. Lesser artists would opt for a single style and hide behind its unifying mass, claiming thematic consistency as the greater good. Lee Negin, as we've observed, is not such an artist." -Mark Whitby, Dandelion Radio
Negin currently has 21+ videos on his Youtube channel (two were banned and removed! Cool).
Negin is now designing and purchasing a new analogue modular synthesizer, and he will release new albums and videos in 2013, possibly attempt some collaborations and gear up for a European tour.
Music is available for purchase at iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, Reverbnation, Vibedeck, IndieRhythm, Bandcamp, Nimbit, etc.