Rolan Vega – Documentary

Rolan Vega

Like a child experimenting with water colors, Chicago’s Rolan Vega displays a similar enthusiasm with ambient electronic music. But also like a child experimenting with water colors, his so-called synthesizer vignettes lack design and are produced for the artist’s self-pleasure rather than with an audience in mind. And so the tracks on Documentary turn out to be little more than dull, minimalist electronic sketches.

Over the course of the disc’s forty minutes, the fifteen tracks include various droning warbles, dawdling buzzes and static washes coupled with synthesizer swirls and chirping electronic noises, without including any distinct melodies.

These electronic sound montages are mostly unemotional and unimaginative and lack any of the charm that is usually associated with ambient electronic music. The liner notes suggest these short instrumental pieces are “home-recorded, four-track-tape inflected morsels of sound”, but you have to wade through some refuse to find the few morsels.

Given the variation of sound effects and electronic experiments from track to track, the lack of any song structures and the simplicity of each sketch, this disc seems more like a sampling from a school project for an electronic music class than a legitimate electronic music album.