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Positive Feedback ISSUE 6
UDA - From then to here (1993 - 2002)
Its déjà vu all over again Yogi Berra.
Ever hear some new music and swear that you have heard it before? But you actually hadnt heard it and what you were listening to was 100% original and not the slightest bit derivative. Such has been my experience with UDA from the Suffolk (UK) based Andrew Deeks. His music is instantly recognizable partly because the melodies and textures are so comfortable. Andrew has described his music as having a "euphoric edge" and I cant really improve upon that description.
UDA From then to here is essentially a best of compilation from several of Andrew Deeks home-produced releases. There are wisps of Pink Floyd influence in addition to a slight Vangelis feel at times but overall, UDA is like nothing I have ever heard before. The only reason I mention the Floyd influence is due to the amazing Gilmour-like lead guitar solos that permeate this disk. Is this a Fender Strat or the guitar sound on the Trinity keyboard Andrew uses? I cant honestly tell. Likewise, some of the amazing keyboard sounds have the melodic feel of some of Vangelis best work.
Andrew Deeks is a gifted writer, arranger, producer and musician. The bonus here is that he is also an audiophile. All of the above qualities would be more than enough reason to rate UDA as an undiscovered gem. However, the sound qualities on this disc are also something special indeed. How many discs do you own that excel in both music and sonic qualities? Precious few I would imagine. The UDA disc has an amazingly three dimensional soundstage that reminds me of some of the Q-sound recordings (Roger Waters, Amused to Death is one such example). This disc offers a most immersive soundfield. You are literally swimming and drifting in soundscapes (ala Enya) even if you are listening to two stereo speakers. Who needs 5.1 when you have recordings like this? Theres more―stunning ambience and lushness of sounds. The depth effects are something you have to hear on your own rig to believe. I understand from my e-mail conversations with Andrew Deeks that one of his magic tricks is the extensive use of the Behringer Ultrafex II, a tube-based effects processor that among other things greatly reduces digital glare and hardness. Some of the bass transients on this CD will literally blow you away and have you worried that you might have blown something (fuses, cones, etc)―thats just how dynamic some of Andrews music is.
From then to here really does defy easy categorization as the only other band that has this kind of overall sound and feel is a band that goes by the name of Dreamtronix. As good as Dreamtronix is, UDA is infinitely more interesting and involving. From then to here is sometimes progressive, at other times symphonic - a musical journey that confounds the audiophile in that I usually dissect the sound mentally. With UDA (and most powerful music) the performance pulls and draws you in until a song break snaps you out of your listening journey and you then force yourself to analyze the bass, midrange, imaging, etc.
Its unfortunate that you wont find this CD available at retail or online sources. At present, the only way to obtain UDA discs is directly through the artist by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UDA From then to here is more than "in heavy rotation" in my humble abode, I simply cant stop listening to it. Bravo Andrew Deeks!