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Messages from the Ionosphere[CD]
Messages from the Ionosphere is the third solo album by Chicago-area songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist Diane Marie Kloba. It is her second release on Striped Shirt Records. For those unfamiliar with Kloba's prior efforts, the music is generally in a minimalist modern rock idiom, built on a foundation of guitar and percussion. Since Messages from the Ionosphere is an extensive album (23 songs and nearly 73 minutes) it also includes some forays into other musical territory like beat poetry, psychedelic experimentation and even a touch of bent jazz. Urgent vocals are backed with hip-hop style shouts that serve as a 'Greek chorus' to the song's drama. Despite the 'outer space' title of the CD, the Kloba's goal with the recording is to positively affect the 'inner space' of her listeners. She found herself disappointed by musicians intentionally creating angst-filled songs so that angst-filled listeners could agree; she chose instead to keep her songs hopeful so that even the anguished might be reminded of their own capacity for happiness. And, despite the positive angle, Messages from the Ionosphere is not merely new-agey peace-and-love fluff: Much of the album was produced while Kloba's father faced the end of his life after a fifteen-year fight against cancer. The songwriting was fueled by Kloba's own effort to make an enlightening experience out of her loss. Kloba' s lyrics continue to include references to space and astronomy, yet a great strength to her lyric writing is her ability to put cosmic and cosmological concepts into a personal light. Subtle humor is also injected throughout. As was the case with in her previous two CDs, Kloba played almost all instruments on the recording herself, multi-tracking to create the layered arrangements. Kloba continues to reject the use of samples and loops in her recordings; all parts have been played real-time on real instruments. Since fans have been requesting concerts, she is currently assembling a band to do a series of live performances in support of the recording. Prior to Messages from the Ionosphere, Kloba released I Kid You Not, which was only available through her website, yet managed to receive regular airplay on university and independent radio, and even earned a mention in the 2004 'Pazz & Jop' critics' poll in The Village Voice. Prior to I Kid You Not, came the self-released This is Worth Something (a brief collection of lo-fi home recordings). Through the 1990s, Kloba was a member of modern rock quartet The Silent Workers whose recorded legacy includes the 1992 EP Good Fate and the 1997 CD Quark. (Still Available on CD Baby!) Although not officially disbanded, The Silent Workers have been on hiatus since 1999.
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