Track53 - Swamp FM

When Frank Dambra of Track53 recently reached out of the blue and offered his latest work we couldn’t wait to hear it. Of course it turned out to be incredibly heady and a perfect fit for AH. So here’s Swamp FM with its trippy mix of electronic compositions and jazz piano steeped within an absorbing bog of ambience.

Since writing about others music can be such a challenge I asked Frank to possibly elaborate on his process as an artist and if there were any concepts or details he’d like to share. Seeing that his response is far more interesting and relevant than anything I’d write, let’s just let this be the introduction to Swamp FM.

Programming synths and making electronic tunes is so ingrained into my patterns of living that it's hard for me to be objective about how I approach making a song. I gave up social life for skateboarding when I was 12, and electronic music and cannabis replaced skateboarding when I was 15. I can say that I'm thankful for my uninterrupted power supply. The basic motif of With Resos was written during a high wind winter storm and the u.p.s kept the studio running while the lights flickered and the wind howled. So many times I've had something going that I really like and some sort of power failure or random program crash sabotages it. I would suggest to anyone who is channelling heavy material to invest in one because outside forces will conspire to ensure that piece does not live on earth.

About 4 or 5 years ago I started getting into classical and jazz piano. I spend most of my time with the piano now and less with synths and computers. I realized electronic music in its exploration of timbre must be grounded in timeless musical forms like melody, harmony, and rhythm. When I do make electronic music now it's easier and feels like a video game. I was showing a guy my stuff at a cafe and he complimented how unlike other electronic musics my compositions were not tonally arbitrary. You can hear some jazz attitude in Lawn Boy and the muted piano stab in With Resos but it's restrained and thoroughly steeped in ambient. Mongoose has these ecstatic waves and like a Clyfford Still painting alludes to a continuity that is beyond its edges. There's really no change until the end when the string melody takes on a darker angularity and the pad sound sort of crumbles into a metallic space.

Frank Dambra

It’s a shame to think that so many good works have been lost to power or program failures. What hasn’t been destroyed and has made it to be released certainly makes up for the losses. Let's hope this uninterruptible power supply means we’ll be hearing even more tunes from Frank in the future.

For continued updates follow Frank on his soundcloud.

— Scott


July 11, 2015
ambient, piano, jazz, trippy, boundless, heady, restrained