While John Michael Zorko has been dabbling in and creating various types and styles of music for nearly two decades, the first official release as Falling You was brought to light in late 1998. Many that remember the peak of the mp3.com days will remember this project and their dominant presence there. During this time Mercy was released and brought this dreamy ambient music to the world. Seven years passed and the prominent dark ambient / gothic label The Fossil Dungeon picked up and released Touch in the spring of 2005. Since this time he has remained active though not through his formal label, but rather through the simple licensing of Magnatune. Over the next five years he release two more albums in the form of Human and Faith. 2011 brought us his fifth release Adore, continuing the spellbinding musical journey.
Falling You is comprised of much more than John's dreamy soundscapes. The project is something of a collaborative effort and features dreamy vocals and lyrics from prominent female ethereal artists. These include "magicians" as he calls them, Dru Allen (This Ascension), Victoria Lloyd (Claire Voyant), Aimee Page, Jennifer McPeak and many others. With the combination of John's unique experimental ambient styles and these vocalists, the result is a masterpiece in each track.
Besides these albums he has contributed to a number of documentaries, performance art collaborations and independant films. Check out more up-to-date information on this project as well as sound samples and latest info on the website links below. Falling You has long been a prominent force on Gothic Paradise radio including back in the very beginning on mp3.com. We expect they will continue to be so and hope all of our readers and listeners will enjoy.
Adore - Review
2011 is proving to be a great year for new music and this album is a definite highlight. Here we have the latest work from this project continuing with dreamy ambient ethereal and captivating guest vocals, but taking a huge step into the more aggressive and upbeat styles. This may be the album that breaks the mold for this band from the soft, dreamy soundscapes to something more aggressive with grinding guitar and heavy beats or more upbeat in a dream-pop style. Though I have to say that from start to finish, somehow it's still all recognizable as Falling You with many of the same talented guest vocalists lend their talented voices on this work. Spanning only nine tracks, we have a slightly shorter, yet intense set of great music.
The album kicks off with "Blessed", with haunting ambient soundscapes that slowly build and flow with the addition of guitar and the equally haunting vocals. While exact credits are not given, I'm so familiar with the guest vocalists with this as well as their other projects that I believe I can match them up. Anji Bee is a newcomer to this project lending her soft, sweet voice to create such a soft, sweet piece. At this point we get a taste of the new upbeat dream-pop sound from this project with "Champagne". Suzanne Perry's vocals are a perfect match, very similar to the style of her latest project Melodyguild with the soft upbeat sound layered with guitar and a nice, moving beat. Taking the listener on a roller coaster ride of emotion we're brought to "Firestorm", a long (10 minutes), extremely haunting piece with the unmistakable sire-like voice of Aimee Page. This piece digs into the deepest, brooding, haunting emotions as we start off slow with layers of ambient soundscapes that give way to a fast-paced, subtle beat. The intensity gradually grows on all fronts through the vocals, through a heavier beat, added instruments including a grinding, heavy guitar that becomes more prominent later on the album as well. This brings us to something of a climax and softly drop and fade off into the title track to the album "Adore". This soft dream-pop piece introduces us to Victoria Lloyd lending her vocals for a sound similar to one of her other projects Claire Voyant. This style fits well on this album and with this project's overall style as well, remaining soft and dreamy for the most part over a subtle beat and various ambient layers, including that grinding, chilling guitar that starts to pop up more frequently as we move along.
At this point we hit something of a mid-point and heavy climax to the album with that grinding guitar and a heavy rock beat and style coming forward and taking over on "Song of Summer". It's all tamed by, yet matched well with the strong, beautiful voice of Erica Mulkey for a fun masterpiece that long-time fans can still enjoy for the overall ambient layered soundscapes still present, yet introducing us to a new side of this project that we've slowly built up to this point. Marking something of a downward spiral back to the haunting, dreamy side of this project, we have a dark, instrumental piece in "Bloom" that very slowly moves along with ambient layers as a backdrop to the slowly grinding guitar. This does give way to one last fast-paced heavy piece in "Moving One". With Dru Allen's vocals and the layers of guitar and fast-paced rock beat, I felt like I was listening to classic This Ascension all over again, definitely a perfect addition to this album and a great overall dynamic that fans of this classic project will really enjoy. Falling back to the soft ambient dreamscapes, we have "Shed No Tear" with once again the perfect vocalist for this piece with Summer Bowman. These soft, subtle sounds are accented and driven home once again by the harsh guitar that through the layers of ambient sounds, still mixes well. This softly fades away to the finale of the album "Alchemy". This (along with many others) quickly became a favorite of mine as well as for listeners on our Ethereal radio show, featuring various spatial, futuristic ambient sounds slowly building and flowing, gradually moving along over a subtle beat. Here we're presented with Kirsty Hawkshaw's soft, sweet voice bringing this piece to life and luring the listener in one last time before it all gradually fades away, leaving the listener breathless and longing for more.
Overall this is an excellent album, not exactly what you would expect from a project steeped in the world of dreamy ambient music, yet still fitting perfectly within that style and breaking boundaries through dream-pop, rock and related genres in between. Definitely worth picking up and enjoying.
Faith - Review
Keeping up the pace in releasing great music, after two years of more hard work we're presented with this new album. From the artist's web page, the thematic approach to the question "What do we do when everything crumbles around us?" is addressed here across eleven spellbinding pieces with a duration of just over 70 minutes. Released digitally on Magnatune, this is another great work in a long series of beautiful ambient and ethereal music.
Once again we're treated with beautiful ambient soundscapes given new life and meaning through the vocals and lyrics from many guest "magicians", many we're familiar with from past albums. These come in the form of Dru Allen, Aimee Page, Amanda Kramer, Jennifer McPeak and new guest Shikhee. The album drifts along beautifully, starting with "A Warning to Giants" which is a soft ambient piece with minimalistic style as a backdrop to Dru's vocals that softly caress the airwaves. Seemingly without ending, the soft piano structures continue along with "Given" which has quickly become a favorite with the dreamy vocals and dreamy piano which take on a voice of it's own. These caressing soundscapes continue to move softly along throughout the album, leaving the listener mesmerized as we drift along through "Amy's Song" listing over nine minutes and then through the harsher, more experimental music of "The End Before The Winds". This more experimental style is offset by the sweet, soft vocals of Suzanne Perry taking a more prominant role on this album. However, jumping ahead just a bit to "Cover Me", this slightly harsher style is reflected nicely in Shikhee's vocals. Known for her work with the heavy goth/industrial band Android Lust, it seems we could expect nothing less than the slight, heavy electronic and experimental industrial sounds on this piece accented by her siren-like, yet angst-ridden vocals.
Jumping back a bit on the album to "Freefall" as a favorite, I just don't think it would be a Falling You album without the unique vocals from Aimee Page. This piece is definitely a favorite from this album even if it does go on for over eleven minutes. The intense emotion in the vocals is matched by the dreamy synthesized orchestral compositions as we drift along slowly through the ebb and flow of this piece. Over the course of more than eleven minutes we're pulled into this appropriately named piece, feeling emotionally torn apart through the vocals and the music that varies from soft ambient, spatterings of experimental and heavenly ethereal. The upbeat trip-hop piece "Milk and Honey" after the slightly experimental "Cover Me", provides a slightly uplifting respite from the otherwise emotionally drenched pieces. Continuing on with dreamy ambient music meats experimental break-beats on "Wicked", the vocals are again upbeat and fun for more variety through music and vocals. We drift on into the deeply soft ambient piece "...And The Rains Come In Waves" with Suzanne Perry lending her beautiful dreamy vocals as their own layered soundscapes over the mixture of ambient atmospheres and experimental guitars. The album slowly begins to close with "All Is Not Lost". This is a perfect piece for this album that brings hope and comfort through the beauty of music and Aimee's unique vocals, turning grief and despair into love and hope. And the short finale to the album is a reprise of "Amy's Song" to bring it to a close.
Overall, this is a deep, emotionally captivating collection with the themes of hope that shines brightly through the thoughts of loss, grief and despair brought to light through absolutely beautiful music and angelic vocals. A great addition to any collection.
Human - Review
This is the stunning third album from this project released in 2006. Remaining true to the mix of soft ethereal and ambient music, this new work takes the listener on a spellbinding journey through a relaxing world of haunting beauty. Nine tracks move gracefully along for nearly an hour for a full and complete masterpiece.
Dru Allen's guest vocals start us off with "Destiny Trip", a moving piece with soft, yet a solid beat and various experimental ambient sounds forming a backdrop to the heavenly vocals. The album takes us on a haunting trip through seemingly otherworldly atmospheres with many of these layered, soft and sometimes experimental ambient and electronic sounds. Dark ambient structures move slowly on some pieces such as "Bring Down The Stars" with Dru's haunting vocals featured once again, or following right after in similar style "A Bird in a Cage" with Aimee Page's uniquely recognizable soft vocals and broken, strong vibrato. Hearing Erica Mulkey on "Verenka" with her siren-like vocals over her talented cello is a great treat and fits perfectly with the rest of the beauty on this album. It wouldn't quite be the same without Jennifer McPeak and her contributions on a couple of pieces with her smooth vocals. And we even get the spectacular treat of Suzanne Perry's lush charms with no real lyrics, but rather "vocal sound poetry" as the artist puts it on the concluding piece to the album "An Angel, Ameliorate".
We've highlighted the vocal contributions which are excellent and really complete this album. The music in and of itself is spell-binding as well across much of the disc and coupled with the vocalist, nearly every piece becomes a masterpiece in it's own light and each fits perfectly into the album as a whole. Drifting and floating across the ebb and flow of the music across each haunting piece is the sensation that makes this project such a favorite ambient ethereal here at Gothic Paradise. Favorites stand out from time to time though the album is quite homogenous even with the occasional infusion of more upbeat electronica and break-beats on a few pieces. Some of these favorites include the introductory piece "Destiny Trip", the dark ambient soundscapes of "Bring Down The Stars" and "A Bird in a Cage" along with "Varenka" and the spell-binding finale "An Angel, Ameliorite". I think we have here another excellent work that fans new and old will absolutely love.
Touch - Review
If the reader happens to be familiar with this artist and the debut release Mercy, then this album is everything that can be expected from that disc and more. The production on this album is superb mastering by the prominent ambient artist Robert Rich. The presentation in the beautiful digipack is classy with beautiful photography and the booklet includes lyrics and information about each track. These notes are great especially for identifying the vocalists that differ from track to track.
Every track on this album is a virtual embrace of comfort and a soothing carress. From Dru's first haunting vocals on the introductory track "something about eve..." to the final instrumental echo on "reading the leaves (by moonlight)", the music drifts on and on captivating and mesmerizing the listener. As the listener wanders along from song to song, once in a while the experimental elements might detract a little. It's rare, but one example that caught my attention was a sound that reminded me of a bad mp3 recording and the slight fuzzy sound that occurs. This is quite deliberately added to the first track and others have various elements like these. But as they flow and merge with the ethereal vocal soundscapes, the ambient elements merge to provide the lift each vocal floats upon.
As the entire album comes together so well, not one track stands out among the rest, but they all blend well together for a drifting flow. After listening to the entire thing several times, and having already become familiar with a few tracks from the previous EP release, "March thirty-one", "hope thrown down" and "the art of possession (no escape)" are all awesome tracks with a sweet melody, strong production and a perfect blend of music and ethereal vocals.
With that said, there's not much more to add. If the listener isn't already familiar with the artist, this is a great place to start and then go pick up the previous works. This album will be something that ethereal and ambient fans will love.