The album "Who Is In?" spent 2 weeks in the Top 40 CMJ RPM charts in April 2012 with over 100 radio stations having several tracks on rotation.
The Sonic Adventure Project has been introduced to the Chillout and Downtempo scene through their appearance on numerous compilations like the popular "Café del Mar" series. Their debut album „Exergonic" was a Top 3 Finalist in the Album of the Year 2006 Independent Music Awards. The song "Inner Journey" won a songwriting competition hosted by Song & Film and was nominated for the Hollywood Music Awards 2008. The song "A New Morning" was nominated for the Hollywood Music in Media Awards 2009 (HMMA) and "Hollow (Sine Remix)" was nominated for the 2010 HMMA. Their music has been played worldwide on select radio stations and has been used for TV, film and advertising. For example: Motion pictures "White Noise - The Light", "Solitary Man". TV series "Kyle XY", "10 Things I Hate About You", "The Glades".
Sonic Adventure Project music used in "Solitary MAn" starring Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, Denny DeVito...
"Inner Journey" appears in the Motion Picture "White Noise 2"!
Melody can be a dangerous thing
"Melody can be a dangerous thing. This world is awash with electronic melodies both sublimely beautiful (Global Communication) and hideously cheesy ("uplifting" Dutch trance anyone?). For composers it seems melody is the easiest of elements to catch but the hardest to master. So what's my point?
Into this realm has ventured Sonic Adventure Project, two unassuming Austrians with backgrounds in rock, pop and production for various bands. One wonders if they are on the receiving end of a direct line from God when it comes to dispensing good melodies to mortal beings. On their debut album Exergonic Thomas Viehbock and Peter Koellerer have taken melody to serious heights. They arrange their instrumental tunes into a variety of shapes from ambient piano solos to electro-rock to emotional slow trance grooves. You might call it trance-pop, except that to evoke such a creatively bankrupt hybrid would be insulting.
Those schooled in the sounds of vintage German electronica and classic ambient trance might catch glimpses of its legacy here. The layered melodies of "Circuit" and the epic "Pink Synth" recall Tangerine Dream's best work from the early 80's but with significant differences: the rock-flavoured drum programming is looser and and the
overall sound a little warmer. "Waters In Motion" is a wistful solo piano piece bedded with gorgeous strings. ? You'll hear "Waters In Motion" on this years Cafe Del Mar volume 11, a sign that Sonic are getting some much deserved attention. Exergonic is a beautiful - there's no other word for it." www.ambientmusicguide.com
Let's be clear from the start -- I'm not much for electronica. I like the rich organic tones of electric and acoustic guitars, basses and drums. Piano as well, and some of the warmer-toned keyboards like the Hammond. Only rarely -- as with Yes -- do I find synthesizers enjoyable in any role other than as background texturing. I also, as a writer, have a decided preference for music with vocals and songs that try to tell a story with words and images.
All of which makes my fondness for this album that much more remarkable.
Sonic Adventure Project consists of a pair of Austrian synthesizer wizards, Thomas Viehboeck and Peter Koellerer, and of Exergonic's twelve tracks, only one features vocals. The remainder of the disc is decidedly ambient/chillout in style -- evocative, thoughtful, moderately paced tracks whose supple melodies float in and out and above and below your consciousness as the music plays in the background.
One of the secrets may be that SAP use piano quite a bit, and while they occasionally employ interesting electronic effects ("Memories Of I Am," "Mode III"), synths are just as often used to mimic acoustic instruments -- horns and strings, even a sitar ("Sitarian Supernova"). The overall impression, then, is nearly as symphonic as it is electronic.
There are hints of light jazz in a track or two here ("Above The City"), but overall the songs are all about melody and flow, and free of anything resembling a solo. The one vocal track, "Inner Journey," features luminous guest vocals from Julia Fischer supporting a song that fits in beautifully with the album's overall introspective vibe.
Exergonic is an adjective meaning liberating or releasing energy, a nod to the new age undercurrents of some of these spaciously arranged tunes. But the music is never lacking in substance; these tracks do indeed hum with a gentle energy and tantalizing complexity. This disc is the ideal soundtrack for a quiet evening in a dimly-lit room, working, reading, or otherwise mellowing out. (dailyvault.com)
While it certainly attracts a devoted following, ambient music has a questionable reputation among the music-listening public at large. Of course, many examples of the genre deserve that reputation: too often, so-called ambient music is so passively designed that it's hardly there. It doesn't pique your interest, it doesn't move you; all it does is pass the time while you're sitting in a doctor's office. It's about time, then, that two young up-and-comers gave the genre a good thwacking.
Sonic Adventure Project's Thomas Viehboeck and Peter Koellerer have released several tracks on Cafe Del Mar compilations, but Exergonic is their first full-length. The title is apt -- in fact, surprisingly so -- because although the music never rises above a walking heart rate, it's infused with precisely the sort of energy that's missing from so much other wallpaper music.
Opener "Forty-Two" (a reference to the ultimate answer?) starts on a low heart-rhythm beat that's slowly subsumed by an airy synth. A piano shivers into view, floating effortlessly as the percussion and programming stretch out beneath it. At this point, you can practically hear your subwoofer flexing in anticipation. Finally, the drums break out, only to be reined in. The cycle repeats again and again, teasingly, until at last the synth tone fades out on its own.
"Inner Journey" picks up where "Forty-Two" leaves off -- it sports a similar tempo and a similar vibe, but also features vocalist Julia Fischer's considerable talents. Fischer's voice is light and transparent -- qualities that allow brief flashes of synth to shine through and illuminate every nuance of her vocals.
"Circuit" is surprisingly bouncy, and includes a vaguely anthemic synth riff. As it bobs up and down, spare 909 drums and a funky keyboard melody fill the gaps. The song circles back on itself, layering riff on riff, ultimately creating melodious cacophony.
And so it goes throughout Exergonic: beautiful melodies, expert programming and a chill vibe. If you need a breather, Sonic Adventure Project can help -- but their true charm is in the way they combine their appreciation for relaxation with their ability to keep you tuned in, listening for fresh ideas. (splendidmagazine.com)
Good Things Come Imported...
While the meaning of this group's album means to release energy, it's clear that they do so in a beautiful way ? in a relaxing, thought-provoked trip-hop way. That's right, you can hear moving trip hop, electronica sounds via Zero 7 and Mono throughout this album. You won't hear the usual DiscoveringArtists.com meld of "great lyrics" that "evoke emotion" here, but we think you'll dig this collection. The ambiance here is chill, as the Austrian duo of Peter Koellerer & Thomas Viehboeck create a relaxing album. The song "Inner Journey" on the album was named runner up winners in the VH1 Save the Music contest. It's clear to see that good things come imported.
For the past few weeks, I have given Sonic Adventure Project's first full length release, Exergonic, prime attention, in an attempt to find an angle in which to review this disc. I think I figured it out.
First off, Exergonic is right up the antiFan's alley. The composition, focus, and delivery are far from the MTV mold that so many have become accustomed to. Sonic Adventure Project takes elements from Kraftwerk (mainly) and Pink Floyd to produce music that could chill a fire. The instrumentation is technically tight, but it lacks the pompous bullshit that comes with virtuosos like Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai.
The album contains softer, piano-led numbers ("Four Notes", "Waters in Motion"), synth-orchestra pieces ("Inner Journey", "Double Helix"), and new age techno tracks ("Forty-Two", "Memories of Who I Am", "Mode III"). With this type of versatility, this album could find its way to coffee shops, video games, and Mitsubishi commercials.
Although the album is solid throughout, I think the softer numbers are the strongest tracks on the album, and are the band's best chance at getting noticed. Although Sonic Adventure Project decided to go sans vocals (for the most part), they used the piano to bring the melodies to life. Sometimes an instrumental can be more moving than your typical song with vocals. For example, I doubt that "Four Notes" or "Waters in Motion" would benefit by a vocal addition, regardless of who stepped behind the mic. The other tracks could be praised, but the album as a cohesive whole is much greater than its individual parts.
After listening to Exergonic several times, I'm contemplating buying an Audi, driving to the Pacific Northwest coast, and praying for rain. Do yourself a favor and check this disc out. (Jacob McDaniel - www.rocknworld.com)