Adventure, Spotlight

The X-Structure: Music for a Great Adventure

I don’t separate art. It all blends together. When I took a drawing class, the professor noted that my sketches had a story to go with them. She made some savvy suggestions on artists I’d love (Hello, Redon). When I write fiction I picture the scene and I include visual details. It’s not a room, it’s a grey room and the lady’s wearing blue.

Everybody doesn’t roll that way.

But at least one group of musicians out there does, and you should all listen to them. They’re called the X-Structure.

The X-Structure

I’m not sure how I heard of them. It was last year, online somewhere. They offered a free version of their previous album, Liberation. I don’t seek out a whole lot of music these days, with 400 digitized CDs plus Pandora and Tubalr showing me new stuff. But the X-Structure caught me.

If I had to give it a genre I’d call it ambient but with meat on its bones. Spacious sci-fi sounds arc over a haunted landscape. This music carries mood like a virus.

Now here’s a tip for any creatives out there: when I become a fan of your work, I become a fan. I will spread that shit around. Maybe it’s because I blog. I know how hard it is to get your work out there. A tweet and facebook share means something, in a way that “I love your work” just can’t match. If you love it, feed it… make it bigger… help it grow.

So I tweeted, shared, and talked very publicly about the X-Structure. I told people to go check them out. Then life moved on.

Until last week, when this tweet came in:

@Starrzan:

@Rogue_Priest Here’s something to accompany you on yer quest. My gift to you, The X-Structure’s new album Wild Places. http://t.co/F3vzfjhL

I was en route to kayaking. I managed to shoot off a thank-you tweet, but only today did I finally get to download it and give it a listen. And?

This is the soundtrack of the Great Adventure.

Found in Wild Places

As the band says on the release page:

As with all of our albums there is always a story… each track has its own specific story which ultimately forms part of the larger story of the album. This larger story being an invitation to take the road less travelled, knowing that you have what it takes, a true heart, to stay the course… and something greater behind it all.

The Road Less Traveled is also the name of the first track, and while that phrase is overused in commencement speeches (and probably lyrics), here it’s encoded in tantalizing, beckoning sounds from somewhere up ahead. The synths draw you forward, promising nothing but no way back. And you go anyway.

The rest of the album takes you scene by scene down abandoned beaches, through overgrown highways and into places most people won’t ever go. The release page offers a written storyline for each track, but you won’t need them: you can feel the narrative in the sounds. It’s tangible.

Starrzan, X-Structure’s front man, bills himself as an adventurer and explorer. Whether it’s him or the character he’s created, his music proves he knows his way around that calling. I’ve never heard songs that so perfectly evoke the feeling of being alone on the road, outside, the breeze in your hair and only the spirits to keep you company.

I recommend you check it out. Wild Places is available for free:

The X-Structure: Wild Places

As with all promotions on Rogue Priest, I do this only because I believe in the artist: I’m not getting paid. If you like their sound, tweet about it or Facebook it up.

Listened yet? What do you think?

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9 thoughts on “The X-Structure: Music for a Great Adventure

  1. Again, I am honoured to receive such a gracious and inspiring review from you. It makes me want to make even more music that will inspire others. And that is my goal with my music. To inspire.

    As you say, this album, and for that matter all of The X-Structure’s music, speaks of adventure and the adventure of life, with all its fine intricacies. I am indeed an adventurer in real life and the music is born out of this spirit of adventure, aided of course by spirit of the Most High. ;)

    Just a small correction, which you don’t need to make to the post it’s just for your information, Liberation was in fact The X-Structure’s 15th release with Wild Places being the 16th album. And some more inside information to a fan, a friend and a fellow adventurer, The X-Structure is actually just one guy with 4 virtual selves, Starrzan being the most outspoken and good-looking of the bunch. (Well he thinks so at least) If you have any nice lady friend then tell them about him. ;)

    So yeah, check out the other albums too whenever you get a chance as there is quite a diverse range of songs and moods in there. My hope is that if a person likes at least one of my songs then I am happy and my music has been a success. Not everything in my music is perfect but that is life and every step prepares you for the next, and ultimately for something great.

    All the best with your Great Adventure. I will be cheering for you from this side of the world, South Africa to be precise. I am also taking on a solo adventure soon, a 5 day trek across the Table Mountain range near Cape Town. It will be epic.

    Until we meet again(maybe on an adventure one day).

    Peace be with you.

    Starrzan and the rest of the gang.

  2. *Amazed* !!! My heart is leaping, but in a way that fuels that longing hurt I get when I’m about to sit down and do some serious drawing. Thank you for sharing this, Drew. I never turn down your recommendations… because they never disappoint me.

  3. Rua Lupa says:

    I liked the music, but I couldn’t help but think of how it would sound with violins, guitar, hand drums, pan/tank drums, shakers and flute instead along with chanting, all with the same rhythms and layering. It was so easy to picture it that way. I often thought of adding poly-rhythms as I was listening. It is honestly difficult for me to get into techno, as whenever I hear music I want to be able to play it with solid instruments that don’t need to be plugged in. I want to be able to dance to it by the fire light, and hear it in the distance as I sleep under the stars. Not to mention I’m of the thinking, “Pitch your i-pod, listen to the Wilderness Sing!”

    • I would love it if Starrzan incorporated some of that stuff. I do thoroughly enjoy electronic sounds, but I can see how some more physical instruments would add nice layers to it. That’d be moving in a more Dead Can Dance direction though, and also involve more band members, neither of which may be his style.

      • Rua Lupa says:

        There are some musicians that play multiple instruments, but play them separately to record, then layer them afterwards. Regardless, I totally get how this style of music allows more freedom of movement and would suit an adventurer’s style. Which is awesome in itself.

      • Aye, I am rather impatience when it comes to finishing off a creative endeavor and, although possible, it would take way to long for me to record each instrument individually to get to a finished song. I also do not have an adequate recording studio nor do I have the instruments to do the recordings withg. ;)

        Composing music electronically gives me so much more freedom in the creative process, this is especially key for a single artist who composes music in an ensemble-sounding format.

        Mentioning Dead Can Dance, they have definitely had a big influence on me musically. :D You should check some of the new stuff I’m working on. Got some nice DCD sounding vibes going down.

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