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Epigene
A Wall Street Odyssey
(self-released)
epigenemusic.com


Singer-songwriter Sean Bigler has created a soundtrack to a graphic novel or a play, finding inspiration from what has been distorting America's burgeoning generations for the last twenty years. Bigler, who goes by the moniker Epigene, wrote and produced the 2-disc, self-released set A Wall Street Odyssey which narrates the life of a fictitious young man named Yossarian.

Yossarian is coming of age. Straight out of college, he becomes a Wall Street broker. Steadily, he grows disillusioned by the job which, he learns, perpetuates corruption and greed to run rampant in society. He goes into debt living the lavish lifestyle of a high priced broker. His life spirals out of control and he is fired from his job. He falls into a depression that causes him to drink until he is unconscious. He becomes a homeless man and his health rapidly deteriorates. His brother finds him and offers him salvation by moving Yossarian into a progressive farming community which resembles the life on a kibbutz.

Yossarian undergoes a metamorphosis - the death of his old self and the birth of a spiritual existence through meditation. It is through meditation that he sees the future - the destruction of humanity. He perceives that the agenda of bank executives and corporate brass are destroying society, thereby causing inflation, unemployment, food scarcity, and the high cost of living. The bottom falls out when the stock market crashes; banks close their doors and Marshall Law is enacted. Yossarian's emotional turmoil prompts him to give up his quest to save the world. He realizes that people must come to their own self-realization. No one can do it for them.

That is the story behind the album and Bigler's music means to bring this message to the public. He relies on electronic-based tracks creating satiny atmospherics in "Looks Life I Made It" and robotic effects and automated jaunts strewn across "Money Master" and "The Catch 22". The techno-pop stylizing of the tracks is reminiscent of Hot Chip. Bigler's vocal rapping in "Take My Head Off" has a spastic punk compression which switches to an ambient netting through "Rabbit Hole". The swiveling ethers of "Losing Everything" are induced with eerie echoes which segue into the dark and moody vapors of "I Eat The Concrete".

The album transitions to a psychedelic folk coloring in "The Settlement of Love" and a rustic country-twang threading "In A Circle". The throng of horns lining "The Farmer's Diary" brightens the album and then slips away in "Nature Spirits" to trump up the rattling flute and organ riffs which resemble a Beatles-que sound. The billowy beats of "The Serpent Mound" infuse a tribal vibe, which morphs into a folksy voicing in "The Jewel In The Sun" and "I'm Gonna Love The World".

Disc 2 is electro-pop oriented with the dance grooves of "Stranger In A Strange Land" and "Back To The Country". Though listeners feel like they are following a play, there is nothing in the album that suggests anything resembling a showtune. The twists in the plot mirror the twists in the melodic patterns like the psychedelic bent of "The Warning" and the electro-pop pulses reaming across "The Conspiracist" which have a machine-made complexion. The soft palpitations arching and ebbing along "To Each His Own" have an Indian accent which emphasizes a trance-like state.

Sean Bigler uses machine-made music to make his point. The album resembles a movie soundtrack or a modern musical where each track takes the listener through another chapter in his book or play. The story reflects contemporary events and the message is one that proposes a remedy for society's ills. Bigler's music isn't original sounding but he uses tones that are familiar to people and he shapes them to narrate his story.

-Susan Frances

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