By Lisa Waugh
There’s a lot to enjoy and bathe the brain in on Williamson’s Backesto Park, the artist’s homage and shout out to his San Jose neighborhood.The 14 track project is result of two years in the studio. Electronic, cinematic, and very much a hypnotic record (Williamson’s fifth), Backesto Park offers up something new with each listen. It’s warm, smart, and every track is its own wonder.
Having had his work featured on Joss Whedon and Cameron Crowe’s projects, tracks like “Protozoan Sunrise” demonstrate why Williamson is perfect for the screen. That particular track blazes like a digital sunset, eery and beautiful. Every track could easily support a narrative. There’s a liquid pacing throughout the record.
Wade Williamson, a native Texan, made his way out to Northern California in 2000 and found that his eclectic musical bent was welcomed with open ears. Surprisingly music is not Williamson’s day and night job. And his style of music creation requires attention as each track comes in three little acts, mini movies with small scores.
“I often find that my music is good for studying and coding. For my day-job I work in information security, and have spent lots of time doing malware analysis, and I naturally work with a lot of software developers. My stuff gets plenty of spins in these situations when working and need to focus. I’m sometimes described musically and even personally as cerebral, so maybe that is a good fit,“ Williamson says.
That’s very true. Listening to his record while writing about it felt like a breeze. I think I’ve found another go to artist for the writing day. The end result of Williamson’s crafting stirs an irresistible need to sit and take it all in, piece by piece, nuance by nuance. That automatic meditative response to his music is Williamson’s magic. The artist explains some of the ingredients that could possibly produce that effect.
“I also tend to like a little noise in my music. Whether samples from old records, guitar buzz, and just environmental sounds and noises that I record out in the world – I just like having some sounds from the real-world in my music. “Walking Home” and “Aiming for Light” is named for and includes a recording of a walk in the dark while camping. “Wade and Bonnie’s Craft Room” kind of takes my love of natural recording to its self-indulgent extreme because it is an ode to and filled with the sounds of the home studio – guitars, analog synths, my wife sewing a dress, and yes, maybe the occasional cat.” That quote is one of the reasons I love everything about this artist.
Why Williamson’s neighborhood needed such a tribute is based in the way he feels about the blended cultures that comprises it. Italian, Mexican, Vietnamese, Japanese, and other ethnicities come together as a glorious and rich swirl in Backesto Park. Williamson is inspired by it and draws from it with deep love. Every neighborhood should be so lucky.
This is the personal studio work of Wade Williamson, who accounts for all instruments and production. Wade plays both guitar and keyboards.
Production: Wade Williamson
Backesto Park Tracklisting:
1. All Thanks to Paul
2. Homeward by Flagella
3. Protozoan Sunrise
4. Fast Moving Shadows
5. Safe Return From the Howling Void
6. You Don’t Understand
7. Jellyfish Hustle
8. Let’s Learn Japanese
9. Walking Home and Aiming for Light
10. The Pawnksatoney Fill
11. Aspiring Mooncropper Seeks Work
12. Wade and Bonnie’s Craft Room
13. Things Worn Smooth
14. These Broken Day Blues