Review by Matt Wong & Staff
Les Fradkin is a Producer and Composer virtuoso Guitarist and an innovator on the Starr Labs Ztar. He employs futuristic playing techniques realizing Progressive Neo-Classical Rock from the Pioneer of MIDI Guitar. Les captured headlines as the Original Cast George Harrison in the mega-hit Broadway show "Beatlemania" in the 1970s and has played with The Ventures, enjoyed 16 #1 hits at mp3, Composed #1 hits for French Songstress Mireille Mathieu and Latin Pop icon Roberto Jordan, and won several awards from Akademia as well as several other Indie Music Channel Awards, including 2016 Best Instrumental Recording. He is also a member of the Television Producers Music Production Hall Of Fame as a Composer and has also been named one of the Top 20 Guitar Synthesizer players of all time by Wikipedia. Currently, in addition to working on new material, Fradkin's single, "System Crash", is re-emerging as a song for our times.
“System Crash” begins with a percussive drop, followed by an oscillating synth patch that has an almost strings like resemblance. Shortly after, Fradkin begins playing the piece’s melody on midi guitar, using a flute patch. Employing a two handed technique, Fradkin produces a legato and delicate sound that beckons the listener to listen intently.
As Fradkin weaves the intricate melody together, the orchestration of strings and horns gradually grows behind him to maximize emotional response from the listener. The piece then transitions into a staccato section, and drives the piece forward rhythmically. Timpani hits, and flute trills provide an exciting transition for the return of the melody, now being played with an oboe like sound on the midi guitar.
After a run through this majestic section of the piece, Fradkin surprises listeners with vocals and lyrics to the piece. From start to finish, “System Crash” takes listeners on a wild journey beginning with dulcet orchestral melodies, and ending with a rock anthem with burning guitar solos.
The lyrics in “System Crash” were inspired by a vision of the future. With lyrics such as “System Crash, they stole all our hope now we got no cash” and “System failed, large dreams died they were bought wholesale,” the song paints a picture of the current world. However, not only is it a realistic ode to the current situation we find ourselves in, it was written in 2003, making it an extremely accurate prediction of the future.
“System Crash” by Les Fradkin is a powerful and moving piece of music. This work highlights the compositional genius of Fradkin, and his ability to not only compose a memorable melody, and write interesting lyrics, but also his ability to utilize different colors to orchestrate and paint a beautiful soundscape to support the aforementioned melody. In addition to his songwriting prowess, Fradkin is a master of the midi guitar, a rare occurrence in music making, but a powerful vehicle when placed in the hands of an expert such as Fradkin.
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For more information on Les Fradkin, please visit his Website.