Tony Stoufer,
One Swell Foop
(Absolute Obscurity, 1999)

One Swell Foop is a pleasant CD of relatively lively electronic music. Although primarily ambient in sound, it's got some rock elements -- both a distinct beat and melody -- that differentiate it from so much ambient music and make it a good choice as a background to other pursuits.

I admire Tony Stoufer's ability to achieve a range of sounds here, working alone as he does. I'm fascinated by the way electronic technologies now allow individual artists to explore on their own, and create their own idiosyncratic work that sounds exactly as they want it to sound. Stoufer makes good use of his ability here, and the album is interesting and varied.

I do wish the liner notes had been more detailed. Stoufer tells us nothing about the equipment he uses, nor does he share any information about the pieces on the CD. With intriguing names like "Nudie Suit," "The Magnificent Catastrophy (sic)," and "Politician's Love Song" I would have enjoyed reading a bit about how the titles relate to the music.

I'm not too familiar with the electronic or experimental music scenes, so I'm not sure how One Swell Foop fits into its genre. I do know I liked it -- it's fun to listen to, and great to work to. If you've been bored by ambient music or put off by the esoteric experimental stuff, I suggest giving this album a try.

[ by Amanda Fisher ]
Rambles: 20 August 2001



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