Legend Music Demo by Guy David (Review)

If you’re familiar with Plone or Boards of Canada, you should know what to expect from David.
Legend Music Demo - Guy David

I won’t delve too deeply into the legend behind Legend Music Demo. Suffice to say, it deals with a race from the land of Xaria called The Gnome, and their struggle against the Dark Lord Dnuos and his minions. If that doesn’t sound like a bad Dungeons & Dragons scenario from my high school days, I don’t know what does. And trying to listen to this CD within the context of its “story” does more harm than good, the concept dragging down its execution, as it were.

In other words, when I listen to electronic music, winged lizards and graveyard zombies don’t readily leap to mind.

If you’re familiar with Plone or Boards of Canada, you should know what to expect from David. No mad sequencer mishaps here. Rather, the intent is to create beautiful, even nostalgic pieces of sound. David takes that basic idea, starting off with atmospheric intros, and gradually layers rhythmic and melodic elements over the song’s course. Overall, David’s arrangements are quite good; rarely do you get the feeling that a sound is simply “tacked on” or used just because it sounded cool at the time.

Fuzzy analog tones start off “Under Water” before an undulating bassline, distorted percussion, and guitar-like sounds begin to fill in the spaces. “Gnome Work” begins with airy sounds and faux-strings; however, toybox percussion and fluttering, chiming synths are used this time, keeping in line with the “fairy-tale dance” music that David tries to make (and no, it doesn’t sound anything like Joy Electric).

The demo’s weakest spot is “Winged Lizards” (which coincides with Dnuos unleashing a fleet of winged lizards against The Gnome). I’m guessing that David wanted to generate an atmosphere of suspense and danger. After all, we’re talking about winged lizards here. However, I was just reminded of the music from Bowser’s castle in Super Mario Brothers.

If I have one overall criticism to make, it’s that David’s music feels a little, well, hokey, especially when trying to work in the storyline. David has some great musical ideas going on, and you should always focus on your strengths. If I had to tell David to choose between his storytelling and his music, I’d say focus on the music; leave the stories to Tolkien and Lewis.

This demo, along with more of Guy David’s music, is available via the Internet Archive.

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