Record Reviews

Andrew Steck: Inner Loop / Outer Loop

(Independent) Filling over 145 pages of ledger lines, composer Andrew Steck’s Inner Loop / Outer Loop leaves no detail overlooked while taking a rock album approach to constructing orchestral arrangements. A combination of Sibelius, NotePerformer and Studio One software, this is a one-human score—written, recorded and mastered by Steck. With influences that range among the traditions of classical, electronic, experimental and global music, it helps to follow along with the liner notes for thoughts behind each song. Some tracks are forthcoming with their inspiration, such as “Cucumber Water,” a string-heavy arrangement intended to be a sonic refresher, and “Tango Arcana,” a tribute to Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla. Highlights include “100 Nowheres,” which feels like a surfy mid-century spy film soundtrack, and “The Big Stage,” an atonal melody written in reaction to the madness of the world in the past year. Officially released in late November, the album is expected to become available on vinyl in February and will be followed by an EP of orchestral cover songs.