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Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
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Bubble @ Casa del Cow

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Bubble @ CD Players everywhere...

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Bubble @ MySpace.com

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



Crickets chrip. A gentle sound rises like wind-blow fog. Shapes emerge. And so John Sobocan begins to craft around you his minimal, mesmerizing and immersive work, Features of Spheres. Sobocan works from a base of drones and atmospheric sounds, a mix that gives the pieces here depth and character. The atmospheric touches can be simple and soothing, like the night-sounds in “Silence” (which swirls like water, eddies of tone working in endless spirals) and the birdsongs chittering around an expectant air in “Leaves on a Forest Floor.” Or they can be a touch more challenging, like the metallic clank and clatter at the end of “Brother” or the doppler-like string runs punctuating “Ma.” They all add a distinct touch to their respective tracks. Sobocan’s drones are also varied in character and feel. The rasp of the foundation sounds in “Brother” contrast with the softer, hypnotic gauze of “Purple Stretch,” the breezy, paper-thin chords blowing through “Leaves…” or the big, held-breath pads with a pipe-organ timbre in “Glow.” Moreover, Sobocan is clearly mindful of the effect small movements create within a drone structure. He uses it cautiously and effectively to create moments of awareness and kinesis. Purists might argue that this isn’t drone, per se. It does have more overt textures and moments of solid sound, but much of Features of Spheres is like a long exhalation, largely unchanging and gorgeous in its lack of movement. But then you’ll come across a track like “Driving My Mailbox,” with fingerpicked notes, heavy atmospheric icing and a thick, well-layered variety of sounds at play. The more and deeper I listened to Features of Spheres, the more I heard and the more it really took hold of me. A perfect looping disc that doesn’t wear out. It’s original enough in approach and diverse enough in execution to keep a listener well engaged. Features of Spheres is a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD.

- Hypnagogue Ambient Reviews

"Features of Spheres" by John Sobocan/Bubble/aka Cow. A truly accomplished work, drifty with just a scent of India on some tracks, definitely one of the best purely ambient albums I´ve heard in a while.

follow up...
fantastic work, very smooth and mellow ...
- Stephen Fruitman, Hyperreal Ambient Board

"Cajoled, loved and dreamed of" by an impish figure named either Cow or Bubble, depending on his mood or his muse, I presume.

Born in the Toronto suburb of Malton, "equipped with neverending sunlight and a cape", John Sobocan played in a number of bands as a youngster before spending the first years of the new millennium journeying around India - and a glance at his biography betrays a deep involvement with Eastern sprituality.

As a solo artist, Mars and the Toucan would appear to be his second true album, with two or three more in progress. About his music ("sounds, sights, guitars and fruity loops"), he is worthy of being quoted at length: "While listening to the presented music some have said that the sounds are rooted in nature; from the aquatic underworld to the forest to the desert; empty sounds echoing, layered upon each other, drifting into the distance....I love music (and things) that soothe, mystify and inspire."

And amuse. Mars and the Toucan is a broad tapestry of electronic ambient ragas and pseudo-techno rhythmics spun out over nineteen tracks ranging from 17 seconds to nearly nine minutes. Many of the tracks on "Mars" are splattered with samples from movies, TV and cartoons, including snatches from two of the great Mels of Hollywood, Blanc and Brooks.

On the very first track, the soothing foreground, time kept with the clack of drumsticks against one another, lies like a magical mist over the background chatter of film and TV samples (including the Wizard of Oz giving Dorothy some advice) before morphing into a more upbeat little dance number resplendent with birdsong.

Track by track the album shifts moods, styles and colours (in your head anyways). Indian chant, perhaps collected during his time on the Subcontinent over sweetly reverberating and repeating notes; soundtracks of intergalatic travel, stars whizzing past the spacecraft portholes; ebbing and flowing drone; ambient glow; a swatch of a kind of mad mazurka seemingly played on a dulcimer; a swimming party´s splashes and voices looped, followed by a more morose instrumental featuring more of the delightful background mutterings of track one; a hyperactive space ditty; an introspective improvised guitar solo.

Weightless ambient dominates the final third or quarter of the record (though once jarringly interrupted by another oddball movie sample), capped off with a mournful, exotic chant of singular beauty and dignity, fittingly entitled "AUM".

The album is delightfully schizophrenic, see-sawing from wacky to spiritual.

Cow/Bubble´s handmade CDRs are available only as on-demand publications by contacting him through his MySpace sites.

- Stephen Fruitman, Sonomu.net

Bubble provides an interesting juxtaposition of a large variety of sounds, coupled with sparce yet melodic guitar, and programmed percussion, creating an aural buffet.

- Indie Productions

Bubble | Mars and the Toucan (s/r)
Written by Kevin Renick
Quite simply, this is the best electronica work I've ever heard by an unsigned musician.

We're not in the habit of reviewing CD-Rs by unsigned bands, but if anything deserves an exception, it's this amazing electronica outing by Canadian artist Bubble, aka John Sobocan. Quite simply, this is the best electronica work I've ever heard by an unsigned musician. It's a staggering 77-minute CD that combines glowing, Eno-esque ambience, layered acoustic guitars on a few tracks, and occasional soft rhythms into a thoroughly listenable, mood-altering platter.

"Fungi" features looped insect sounds in a mesmerizing manner accompanied by a lulling beat, "Roller" offers a shimmering six-string soundscape, and "Backyard" is an absolutely beautiful ambient piece combining orchestrated drone with wind chimes. And the keyboards on "DRW" sound like little ripples on some sonic alpine lake.

Honestly, this 18-song gem is almost as accomplished as similar works by Eno and German electronica genius Pete Namlook. Mr. Sobocan, you've got the "organic bliss" thing down pat—now go get yourself signed, sir. You are certainly talented enough. A | Kevin Renick

- Playback STL

Google translate the page if you dont know Norwegian...
: )

"On Features of Spheres explores John Sobocan framework for ambient, and puts the listener's thinking on the on or off position depending on what purpose they attribute to the album.

I den medfølgende bio til Features of Spheres bliver man udfordret til at tage stilling til begrebet ambient music . In the accompanying bio of Features of Spheres you will be challenged to consider the concept of ambient music. Ganske rigtigt kan alle i princippet sætte sig foran computeren og indspille timer med udsvævende klange. Sure enough, all in principle sit at the computer and record hours of debauched sounds. Men hvis dybden udebliver, bliver det en trædemølle af trivialiteter. But if the depth does not occur, it becomes a treadmill of trivialities.

Det er ham Cow helt bevidst om, og det er lige præcis bevidstheden han stiler efter. It's Cow him fully aware of and that is exactly consciousness he aspires. Jeg har sjældent lyttet til et ambient album, der virkeligt tager sin pligt alvorlig. I've rarely listened to an ambient album that really takes its obligation seriously. Her er tale om et storværk, og hans egen reference til Brian Eno er på sin plads. Here is a great work, and his own reference to Brian Eno is in order.

Når albummet folder sine kronblade ud, er der liflige rytmer i æterens blå. When the album folds its petals, there is a delectable rhythms in ether blue. Der bliver malet med store men omhyggelige penselstrøg i en aldeles indbydende drømmeverden. Walls are painted with large but meticulous brush strokes in an utterly appealing dream world.

Det er så fint, så diskret, så dejligt at lytte til eksempelvis skæring seks, ”Leaves on a Forest Floor”. It is so nice, so subtle, so nice to listen to such cutting six, "Leaves on a Forest Floor." Fuglene kvidrer, solen skinner, og man glemmer rent, at det er vinter. The birds are chirping, the sun shines, and you forget pure that it is winter.

Brugen af alle slags reallyde skaber stemningsbilleder uden sidestykke. Using all kinds of real sounds create mood pictures unparalleled. Om det så er en bil i tomgang, cikadesang eller lidt delikat lyd af torden. Whether it is a car idling, cikadesang or slightly delicate sound of thunder. Med andre ord en voldsomt underspillet dramatik, der lurer lige under overfladen. In other words, a dramatically understated drama that lurks just beneath the surface.

I de tre sidste indslag, ”Glow”, ”Free” og ”Wish”, bliver udtrykket mere surrealistisk og mindre konkret, da reallydene næsten er væk. In the last three spots, "Glow", "Free" and "Wish", the expression becomes more surreal and less tangible as real sounds almost gone. Som en dyne ligger atmosfæren tungt i lydbilledet, og musikken bliver mere dronende uden på nogen måde at tabe momentum. As a quilt is heavy atmosphere in the soundstage and the music becomes more drones without in any way to lose momentum.

Albummet er også formålstjenstlig i anden sammenhæng end regulær lytning. The album is also properly reshaped in a different context than regular listening. Lige inden søvnen og drømmene sætter ind, er man allerede hjulpet godt på vej af Features of Spheres . Just before sleep and dreams sets in, you already helped well on the way of Features of Spheres. Men det er positivt ment, for havde det været decideret kedeligt, havde det ikke kunnet befordre noget som helst. But it is positively believed to have been decidedly dull, it had been unable to carry anything.

Favorable anmeldelser af musikerens bedrifter florerer på nettet, og de er ikke grebet ud af den blå luft. Features of Spheres indkapsler nemlig essensen af, hvad ambient kan og skal være: En katalysator af den rendyrkede katarsis. Favorable reviews of the musician's businesses flourish online, and they are not plucked out of thin air. Features of Spheres namely encapsulates the essence of what ambient can and must be: A catalyst of the pure catharsis. John Sobocan giver bolden op til historier på tærsklen til drømmeland, og dementerer idéen om, at alle er i stand til at lave ambient. John Sobocan kicks off with stories on the brink of dreamland, and refutes the idea that everyone is capable of low ambient.

Der er bestemt ingen Cow på isen, og på vegne af Geiger anbefaler jeg Features of Spheres . There is definitely no cow on the ice, and on behalf of Geiger I recommend Features of Spheres.

Jacob Pertou, I dag Jacob Pertou, February 20, 2011"

- Jacob Pertou, Geiger Magazine, Norway

...all instrumentation was exquisite, the vocals... were masterful and it left a feeling that all good music should leave in a person. - Karnal Promotions

i dont know if the music is any good ....but i hope you can make an income from it. Here's a copy of your resume. - mom

taxing on the attention span... - Exclaim

Can I Have a Free CD?
: ) - friend


"A Soft Circle" 2012 (on Databloem)
"01" 2011
"Features of Spheres" 2011
"Olandra" 2011 (with Kevin Renick)
"Atma Sphere" 2010 EP
"Close to Something Beautiful" 2010 (with Kevin Renick)
"Autumn News" 2010 with StandArt, Track 10
"Mars and The Toucan" 2007
"Sounds of Healing Aum" 2006

http://bubble9.bandcamp.com/ has most titles : )



There are many people these days making electronic or ambient music, believing that their little processed bleeps, pings and fruity loops are somehow innovative enough to warrant your attention. It takes a special brand of musician to work in this genre and actually transport you to someplace new. The artist presently known as Cow, the name used by Toronto sonic wizard John Sobocan, is that rare musician who adds to the genre and can help you experience it with fresh ears. With uncanny intuition and an aesthetic which channels the best work of Brian Eno without in any way being derivative, Sobocan nails three essential qualities of good ambient music that makes his work stand out: the music is richly organic, never sounding like someone who is just amusing himself with an afternoon's knob twiddling; the sounds are layered and resonant, fully rewarding the kind of deep listening that Eno declared is essential to true ambient music; and the music transports you somewhere, providing a soundtrack for either travel or stillness, whichever state you happen to be in—and does so in a way that alters the impact of your experience.

Sobocan is blessed with a natural curiosity about the aural universe, as well as an almost spiritual affinity for the natural world that allows him to utilize sounds such as crickets, bird calls and rain in a way that's always fresh and mesmerizing, almost never lapsing into new age cliches. He can't be accused of copping these sounds from innovators in the field such as Eno, Pete Namlook and Steve Roach because Sobocan has created most of his body of work without even hearing these gentlemen. It's more that he shares some particulars of their aesthetic regarding the natural world, but has added some unique twists of his own. Sobocan has traveled widely, and spent enough time in vast, wild landscapes to have absorbed their, well, ambience—and is able to recreate his experiences with eerie acuity. He also shares Eno's childlike sense of curiosity about all things strange and mysterious. Sure, he can twiddle those knobs with the best of 'em, but he's always looking for—and very nearly always finding—sonic landscapes that are more than worth a look-see for the open-minded listener. On both his debut CD, Mars and the Toucan, and in his recent work, Sobocan offers multi-textured music that is playful, hypnotic, eerie, light, dark, pleasing and unsettling in equal measure. The work is restless, bold, constantly evolving, constantly altering your perceptions of life and landscape. Ambient music as a whole is a genre still in need of respect—it's the Rodney Dangerfield of musical styles.

But when an innovator comes along, they should be given their due—and Sobocan is a genuinely exciting artist in this field. Shortly after his debut release, Sobocan crossed paths with St. Louis singer/songwriter Kevin Renick, before Renick became known for his title track for the acclaimed Jason Reitman film Up In The Air. The two collaborated on an album called The Road To Olandra, an ambient and spoken word outing that will be released early in 2011. Irish scribe Wayne Byrne, says this of the Olandra project: “This musical collaboration with soundscape artist John Sobocan... is a haunting piece, mixing stark atmospherics and some of Renick's own poetic writings which he speaks over the ensuing tracks. It is at times unrelentingly dark but often soul-inspiring, music that takes you to another place, somewhere out of the dirge of everyday life, a vision of a world under the microscope of a very fine journalist of the minutiae of our existence.”

Ambient scholar Stephen Fruitman said of Sobocan's music: “It wraps around you like a warm glove in a way most modern ambient doesn't seem to... delightfully schizophrenic, see-sawing from wacky to spiritual.”

Sobocan's new recording, Features of Spheres, is clearly the sound of a sonic auteur and musical conceptualist of rare depth and attention to detail. If your taste in ambience run towards the transformative, contemplative and mysterious, you owe it to yourself to investigate Sobocan's work as Cow. In a genre still mostly under the radar in the music marketplace, Sobocan is one artist who cares enough to move things along to a higher level.

*Amidst the turn of the millennium, i found that i was in South India for an extensive period of time (although quite unbeknownst to me) After several years, i returned to Canadian shores, though the warmer weather did have its advantages...

Music has been my chief export of creative energies...

Music is universal.

While listening to the presented music some have said that the sounds are rooted in nature; from the aquatic underworld to the forest to the desert; empty sounds echoing, layered upon each other, drifting into the distance. Dreams of what was and what will be.

I love music (and things) that soothe, mystify and inspire.

When asked about the similarities the here presented music ma