Channel Dark – El Wire Pacifier’

Insomniac Jonathan Maxwell found that he could counteract his inability to sleep was by making atmospheric electronic music. An electrical engineer by day, Jonathan creates under the pseudonym “Channel Dark”, his official debut EP, ‘El Wire Pacifier is set for release in October.

A classically trained pianist, Jonathan Maxwell always felt pulled towards symphonic music, but in high school his tasted changed somewhat, and he found his focus moving to guitar and drums,. He immersed himself from 1998 onwards in playing live music with various bands, with his musical versatility allowing him to play many different genres of music. In 2013 however, he returned to the keyboards when his insomnia threatened his sanity – and started exploring electronica, in an effort to help him find sleep.

Jonathan’s studio, in Tukwila, twenty minutes south of downtown Seattle, is where the magic happens, and following research into the concept of inner peace, and how one might move towards spiritual peace in a technology burdened world, he started making his celestial sounds. Channel Dark’s music is soothing and therapeutic, and Jonathan immediately found his singles being buzzed about in blogs such as Music Connection and Rudeboy.

The six track EP feels as if it borrows heavily from the synth legends, from opening track, ‘Don’t Care About It’, which reminds us of the gorgeous synth stylings of Vince Clarke, then ‘Taller Skies’, track 2, which is very Gary Numan-like. ‘Thunderbird’ is where Channel Dark’s style comes into its own, a more contemporary sound, and a unique vocal technique which appears at once to borrow from middle eastern music and modern EDM.

Track 4, ‘Where The Monsters Are’ is light and airy, with a strong beat echoing Jonathan’s vocal technique.

Featured track ‘Feather’ is reminiscent of Brian Eno, and the strong stabbing beats and gentle keyboard tinkling are at once both soothing and stimulating.
Final track, ‘You Can Be’, is the perfect album ender, with a far-away feel and ethereal vocals, as if to lull the listener to sleep. It’s hard to think that this is a debut EP – Maxwell’s professionalism and obvious talent makes it a very enjoyable listen.
You can find Channel Dark online on his official website, and Twitter. ‘El Wire Pacifier’ is out in October.

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About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email lisa@essentiallypop.com

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