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Just Offshore - Just Offshore

Just Offshore - Just OffshoreThe man behind Just Offshore, Russ Mate, has been a drummer and keyboardist in a punk metal band, and keyboardist in a hard rock band and two tribute bands and other projects prior to 1995.  Almost ten years later and Russ is back with his solo project, Just Offshore.

This debut album (officially released on the Power Voltage label on 10th December 2004) is wholly keyboard based and has that soundscape feel that artistes such as Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre are famous for.

There is always the danger with such albums as Just Offshore that the inherent electronica sound wears a bit thin with the listener after a while, but that is subjective.  Take, for example, the version of House of The Rising Sun; listen to the track in isolation and it is a clever interpretation worthy of Rick Wakeman, but it could prove a little too much for listeners who are not into electronica when heard in within the context of an entire album devoted to the genre.

That said, the compositions and arrangements are fresh and well thought out and often addictive due to both the melody and beat.  The epic Ocean Storm, From Here To There (excellent track) and 24/7 are cases in point.  A change in sound is heard in the second track The Possibility Exists with electronic harpsichord (or is it guitar?) and strings which has a classic prog atmosphere, but  it may have been better positioned in the album at the halfway point.

It is a good album and definitely worth a punt.  Though after many listens I still have my doubts on House Of the Rising Sun which, in my opinion, is a good track but I'm not sure if it really fits in with the rest of the album.

Jem Jedrzejewski

Just Offshore


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