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Jazz Serpentine by Peace Junkee

Peace Junkee is the brain child of Neil Robinson. Born in Liverpool, England, Robinson has self-released and produced this collection of atmospheric music closely akin to Tangerine Dream, but with catchy beats and a very overt sense of groove in the jazz realm. All of the music is synthesizer generated and created and played by Robinson.

The release opens with "Peaceful Oasis," a nice light tune perfect for driving with the top down. The synthesized vibraphone lead placed on top of a heavy cymbal-driven drum loop creates a pleasant and scintillating effect. "The Rainmaker" is much more on the spacey end and thus closer to Tangerine Dream. The thing that distinguishes each of these tracks is the strong evidence of uptempo drum loops, which help to move the music forward. If Robinson does nothing else well on this recording, his drum loops are well chosen and perfectly suited for the melodies he places on top of them. On "But Secretly We Thirst," the third track, there is a long section in the middle of the track where the drum beat is taken out. The result is a dreamlike shifting pattern of sounds that sit comfortably with each other.

If there is a problem with the disc it is the repetitiveness of the tracks. There is just not a lot of diversity from track to track. Not that Robinson doesn’t have musical chops, a single listen to "On The Edge’s" wonderfully agile and quickly flying keyboard lines will instantly prove just how adept and accomplished he is with his keyboard chops, but on the whole the sounds from track to track are very homogenous. The melodies are truly nice, but they don’t stand out apart from each other as one listens through the disc. In the end, the recording is nice and Robinson has real talent in not just creating wonderful dreamlike sequences, but also with regard to his musical accomplishment. Taking the disc for what it is will certainly make many listeners pleased.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Peace Junkee
  • CD Title: Jazz Serpentine
  • Genre: Electronica
  • Year Released: 2009
  • Record Label: Self-Released
  • Tracks: Peaceful Oasis, The Rainmaker, But Secretly We Thirst, On The Edge, Au Naturale, Weed Or Flower, Ragged Mountains, If Only, Lord Free My Soul and Afrique!
  • Musicians: Neil Robinson (all programming and performing)
  • Rating: Two Stars
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