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Jesse James Allen’s New Retro Synth Exploration

Jesse James Allen's New Retro Synth Exploration 1

Jesse James Allen is an accomplished composer, producer, and recording artist. He is a multi-award winning sound designer with a thirty-year resume in the video game industry. In 2021, the multifaceted musician launched a new series of themed instrumental solo albums.

Regular readers of The Static Dive will remember Jesse James Allen’s previous celestially inspired projects. In 2021 he released Cassini: A Musical Tribute, inspired by NASA’s 20 year Cassini project to explore Saturn. A year later, he delivered Stories from our Sol, a solar system spanning musical and spoken-word epic.

In the Company of Machines is the brand new album from Jesse James Allen, released worldwide via all major streaming services on July 4, 2024.  As his previous work explored the cosmos, Allen’s new LP is an exploration of the history from which his music sprung. 

The project was born when Jesse decided to mix up his production environment by replacing his traditional software-based Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) with a Native Instruments Maschine. The move transformed his process into a more physical composition and performance experience. The new tactile process ultimately led to a musical shift as well, as the composer gravitated toward the “anything goes” early days of electronic music production.

"It was an era when it did not matter what was used to make the sound as much as how you used it. It was the wild west of sonic exploration and possibility."
Jesse James Allen

The record opens with the ethereal keys and pulsing analog arpeggios of the title track, setting the mood for this synthy cinematic scene. New wave meets classical on piano/synth duet “Chaberier”. “Gear of Time” continues that marriage, introducing timpani percussion to a wall of analog synths and swirling arpeggios.

Allen returns to the stars on “The Celestial”. The track opens with a lofi and 8-bit intro before sliding into a downtempo dark-pop dream scene. “Through the Valley of Ice and Fire” is as epic as its title, from the extended dark ambient intro to the cinematic percussion and haunting sampled choral vocals. The record then looks again to the sky for the deep space ambience of “Orion” and the Hollywood-ready “Dawnbreaker”.

“Nightfall in Formentera” features the beautiful stylings of flamenco guitarist Don Soledad accompanied by both organic and electronic elements as they lay down a sultry and percussive Latin groove. Inside into Within follows, mixing synthwave chords with pizzicato koto melodies. “Fata Morgana” closes the set with fittingly cinematic closing credits.

Check out In the Company of Machines in its entirety below, listen on your favorite streaming service. You can also hear “Nightfall in Formentera” on the Deep Dive : Jazz & Classical playlist and “Fata Morgana” on Deep Dive : Chill. Follow the links below to connect with the artist.

Connect with Jesse James Allen