Dave Halverson | Apothecary Charms

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Rock: Instrumental Rock Rock: Post-Rock/Experimental Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Apothecary Charms

by Dave Halverson

Dark guitar and otherworldly textures through a post-rock lens, sometimes with a twang, electronics, or robotic orchestra.
Genre: Rock: Instrumental Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. A Quick Dance on a Shallow Grave
3:19 $0.99
2. Scary Night
3:07 $0.99
3. Song for the Chickens
2:54 $0.99
4. The Agonist
3:06 $0.99
5. K
2:20 $0.99
6. Addition by Refraction
2:29 $0.99
7. Postulus
3:59 $0.99
8. Valotti
4:41 $0.99
9. Olivine
2:45 $0.99
10. Shells in the Clocktower
5:14 $0.99
11. In Search of
2:50 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Apothecary Charms contains a number of guitar-based electronic rock songs, and also some songs that are not that, including a jazzy electric piano excursion, an improvised solo guitar piece, etc. My favorite recordings to listen to are often ones that have a lot of range and still make sense stylistically as a whole. I like to create recordings in a similar fashion. One of my goals on this project was to have a somewhat tighter sonic focus than on previous recordings. But, as always, I also wanted to explore new sounds and instrumentation, and move in new directions.

Some of these songs originated with a single sound or phrase, or some improvisation, and were developed from there. Sometimes the sounds were created experimentally. I wanted to have the guitar play a prominent part most times, and I tended to lean back towards that as I was fleshing out the arrangements.



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Apothecary Charms is so unbelievably different than what I’ve heard from Dave Halverson, that I’m really not sure what to think. March Forth was a bit rigid in tradition, from what little I can recall. I mean, songs like “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” done in modern contemporary jazz don’t necessarily scream outside the box. But there’s none of that here.

The first notes of “A Quick Dance On A Shallow Grave” find Halverson straying into unfamiliar waters in the jazz world — distorted guitar. And then “Scary Night” continues the trend in obscuring the traditional boundaries of a genre that’s been shredded by the greats like Charles Mingus and Miles Davis. The emphasis here is definitely guitar, and Halverson’s blend of rock and jazz blends the genres in a way that at times seems slightly experimental.

Apothecary Charms is also an array of soundscapes, from the more pointed, rock-driven jazz of “A Quick Dance On A Shallow Grave” and “Postulus”, to the experimental elements backed by electro-funk in “K”, to the more drawn-out tonal “The Agonist”, and even the more clean… err I say traditional sounding… guitar in “Addition By Refraction”.

For the modern jazz fan, Halverson appeals to the bizarre: Apothecary Charms is not your parents’ contemporary radio-friendly jazz. This is for the true jazz lover and the fan of obscure rock.

Leicester Bangs

engaging, cinematic guitar rock
There are no shortage of instrumental rock guitar albums out there, and many of them are essentially overindulgent drills in soulless fret misuse and / or self abuse by proxy. This isn’t one of them. Halverson utilises samples, synths and what he describes as ‘audio cooking and cleaning’ to produce music which is rich in cinematic atmosphere and dark designs. The emphasis is always drawn to the lavish layers of the production and the overall ‘feel’ of the album rather than Halverson’s obvious virtuoso talents. It’s an unequivocal triumph and like a great instrumental jazz or classical recording, engages the listener throughout, without resorting to the human voice. Well worth tracking down. www.davehalverson.com

Rob F. www.leicesterbangs.co.uk

Progression Magazine

great performances, distinct moods
Apothecary Charms is truly a one-man-band experience, with Dave Halverson playing all the instruments (guitars, bass, drums, keys, and programming) as well as claiming engineering and production credits. The record is composed of 11 generally three- to four-minute instrumental tracks that take the listener on a journey through various styles and approaches.

The opening tracks, “A Quick Dance On A Shallow Grave” and “Scary Night,” are eerie ambient rockers, the latter piece evoking the horror soundtrack work of Italy's Goblin. "Song for the Chickens" has a country feel with an extended guitar intro. "K," "Postulus," and "Valotti" are sleek, funky numbers that feature unique guitar and synth sounds. Ambient synthscapes are featured on "The Agonist" and "Olivine," while the closer, "In Search Of," has an urban, jazzy vibe.

The focus here is almost completely on setting strong and distinct moods, with each piece sounding like the soundtrack to a short movie. Nevertheless, the album is well-paced and presents a unified, lighthearted, and enjoyable listening experience.

-Bill Noland, Progression Magazine