Hologramatron is a 21st Century protest record with songs featuring biting, sometimes brutal, commentary on the state of the Western world. It's a musical response to contemporary social, political, and even spiritual realities. The disc draws inspiration from a musical continuum spanning art rock, psychedelia, metal, ambient, world music, trance, and funk.
The cast of players joining Cleveland comprises some of the most respected musicians of the avant-rock scene, including bass innovator Michael Manring; drummer Celso Alberti (Steve Winwood); pedal-steel iconoclast Robert Powell (Peter Gabriel, Jackson Browne), vocalists Amy X Neuburg, Deborah Holland (Stanley Clarke, Stewart Copeland), and Harry Manx. Other renowned contributors include Turkish electro-acoustic guitarist Erdem Helvacioglu, percussionists Gino
Robair and Rick Walker, and cymbalom master Michael Masley, a.k.a. the infamous "Artist General."
Cleveland wrote all of the songs on Hologramatron, with the exception of two covers- Malvina Reynolds' anti-nuclear proliferation anthem "What Have They Done to the Rain" and Joe Meek's iconic "Telstar." Bonus tracks include remixes by Evan Schiller ("Lake of Fire") and Forrest Fang ("Abandoned Mines"), as well as an alternate mix of "You'll Just Have to See It to Believe." Grammy Award-winning engineer John Cuniberti mastered the album.
Cleveland is all about sound- from his guitar playing to his compositions to his production- and it's the deeply layered, highly nuanced, cutting- edge sonics that unify his wildly diverse material. Cleveland's earlier work was more ambient and impressionistic (Mythos, released on Larry Fast's Audion label, received rave reviews in Option, Jazziz, and Stereo Review) and his last recording explored instrumental world fusion (Volcano garnered accolades in All About Jazz,
Abstract Logix, Innerviews, and Progression)- but Hologramatron pushes multiple musical envelopes simultaneously.
In addition to playing acoustic and electric 6- and 12- string guitars on Hologramatron, Cleveland utilized a prototype of the revolutionary Moog Guitar and both acoustic and electric GuitarViols- hybrid bowed instruments tuned like a guitar- along with myriad effects processors and alternative playing devices such as a Chinese erhu bow, Masley Bowhammers, and the Ebow.
Barry Cleveland is also the author of Creative Music Production: Joe Meek's Bold Techniques.
"[Hologramatron] has really bowled me over, so much so that yesterday I had to remain sitting in the car long after I arrived at my destination and long after the complete album had finished playing … An artistic rock album in the best sense of that term, with multilayered influences... Exciting from start to finish... Honestly, this year I have not heard a better album." -Sal Pichireddu, Babyblaue- Seiten
"In other news, I recently received a copy of Barry Cleveland's Hologramatron, new on Moonjune Records. I listened to it five times yesterday, and serial listening is rare for me. While it is not overtly avant, I think it is a great release." (Pick of the Week) -Mike Borellas, Avant Music News
"Layers and layers of ominous energies float and coruscate, wilding lines flit and glow, the entire affair brings back the halcyon era of Vitamin L and Mary Jane, nights given to opium dreams and cloudtripping. Cut right away to 'You'll Just Have to See it to Believe,' dive into the swirling patterns and wormholes, and you'll find it hard not to replay the cut 10 times in a row." -Mark S. Tucker, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange (F.A.M.E.)
"Art rock with passionate intensity, like a rude new beast with Robert Fripp's body and the roaring head of Phil Ochs slouching towards Bethlehem to be born... This album yells "Theater!" in a crowded fire." -Billy Sheppard, Billy's Bunker
"Cleveland's guitar work [on Hologramatron] is exceptional and vital to these songs. Whether he is cranking out metal riffs, creating atmospheric layers of sound or finessing melodic leads, it is all top notch … Please do yourself a favor and check it out, I guarantee you will not be disappointed." Score: 4/5. -Jon Neudorf, Sea of Tranquility
"Ominous arrangements that betray hints of everyone from Robert Fripp to Tool to (even) the Residents abound on the disc, but they're somehow presented in an accessible fashion. Hologramatron is an effective collection/synthesis of folk-protest song, rhythmic/textural explorations, soundscapes and inventive reinterpretations of classic songs from half a century ago." -Bill Kopp, MusicScribe
"The music offers a blend between jazz-rock and alt-rock. Nice textural work, good vocal arrangements, interesting melodies. I WILL try to get to know [Barry Cleveland's] work better after listening to this surprising Hologramatron." -François Couture, Les Services redactionnels Manche de pelle
"I seriously doubt you've heard a CD as powerful as this one of late... [Cleveland] is totally unique and doesn't conform (in any way shape or form) to what your aural vision is for what a guitarist should sound like... Hologramatron" gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from me, with an 'EQ' (energy quotient) rating of 4.97." -Rotcod Zzaj (Dick Metcalf), Improvijazzation Nation