What critics have said about Michael William Gilbert’s music:
All About Jazz - “The album traverses the jazz idiom to the world spectrum, but what is clearly not boxable is the adventuresome spirit of the album. It breaks barriers and is clearly the signaling of what is to come in electronic styles of jazz and world music. It melds the world of electronic generated sounds with acoustic instruments with resounding perfection. "TimeSpace" is all about the possibilities of the electronically generated instruments. Gilbert creates a multi-layered soundscape that has percussive sounds, ambient sounds, and instrument sounds. All feel natural, flowing and building a composition that is emotional and impactful. The electronica element is present, and the beats are strong and danceable, but Gilbert's ideas and textural sound offer complex layering and orchestrational balance, with just the right amount of tension and release, which takes this track far beyond the electronica genre. "The Widening Sky" features (Adam) Holzman on electric piano and (Mark) Walker on drums. Gilbert blends his electronic sounds to match the timbre and acoustic color of the drum kit and electric piano. Layered with full bass, rich string sounds, and keyboard, Gilbert's compositions have a through-composed structure that focuses on developing soundscapes that flow into each other. His use of colorizations and seamless blending is flawless.”
Vinyl Anachronist - “This is music that's extraordinarily likeable in its beauty, weirdly delicate in a way that's not off-putting, original in the way the seams are obscured. It sounds fantastic, with deep synthesizer bass smashing through the floorboards, and dozens of layers of mechanical drones and swirling highs that set up a huge space for Gilbert's ideas. Highly recommended.”
Jazz-квадрат/Jazzquad (Russia) - “A number of compositions, like the starting Onomatopia and The Widening Sky, demonstrate the full range of possibilities of modern electronic music - and it is thematic, richly ornamented and saturated with the polyrhythms of music, and not sound experiments. Radio Omnibus speaks very eloquently.”
Blogcritics.org - “Compositions are a complex lattice of sounds, forming sonic clusters and projectiles meticulously threaded and entangled. Collaborating with Adam Holzman on keyboards and Mark Walker on drums, Gilbert makes experimenting with soundwaves and configuring original sonic motifs exciting. They all show a spontaneity that is laudable and intellectually stimulating. On Radio Omnibus, music and science come together to craft a futuristic, otherworldly, sci-fi sound that has to be heard.”
Five Finger Review - “Even in its most densely orchestrated state, there’s a pronounced sense of purpose lighting the way. There’s clearly no chasm too wide for Gilbert’s sounds to cross. Holzman’s keyboards are exciting and fit in splendidly with Gilbert’s creative sounds. Gilbert has a flair for layering in a way that allows each voice to sit in the perfect sonic layer to resonate clearly and also contribute to the overall compositional intention. The electronic generated and acoustic melodic lines overlap, intermingle, and they sometimes clash for dramatic effect, but their sonorities blend perfectly and sound completely natural. In all, the compositions range from meditative to riotous and deftly balance the tightly scripted lines of acoustic and electronic sounds with mastery of intricacy. It takes a top-fight group of players to execute such an ambitious endeavor and Gilbert’s sounds have a richness in tone and sonic heft that matches the ensembles thickness.”
Staccato - “Radio Omnibus is an album, steeped in incredible feelings and passions, that melds the sounds of ambient, experimental, and drone, with jazz, classical and world giving you an album that will move your senses. That’s the short of it!”
Chalked Up Reviews - “I kept finding myself going back to “Rainbow 13,”it has a world flavored richness to it, yet the complexity of electronic music I enjoy. Gilbert arranges the music in an almost avant-garde jazz meets electronic world idiom. He utilizes the lushness and beauty of world music and underpins it with jazz sensibilities and harmonic colors and movement. His music never lets the mind linger, and he fills the music with intrigue and complex colorizations that are smart and ripe with imagination. “Rainbow 13,”could easily transfer to many uses, from soundtrack, to a seductive night of intrigue, to psychedelic experiences. Either way, it’s a profound listen and a cortex experience of heightened awareness.Radio Omnibus is certainly a fitting title, as there are many volumes or as many music genres contained within the listen. Hard to classify, yes –easy to listen to –most definitely, will challenge your senses –every time. This album is meant for the musically adventurous mind and soul. Unlike anything currently on the scene today for its richness of sound, but also for its ability to sound profoundly human in a digital platform. Once again, Gilbert shows why he is the pioneer in this technique, and singularly still the reigning master of electronic and acoustic sound unification.”
Midwest Record - “It's for everybody that has a taste for non EDM electronic music. With some well pedigreed jazzbos lending a hand, anyone who ever thought about Beaver & Krause will get this immediately and fire up the emails letting others know about it. Tasty stuff from a real pro that knows how to take the road less taken and not get lost.”
Lemon Wire - “Radio Omnibus is an example of cutting-edge electronic music. Listeners’ senses are overwhelmed by the attention to detail. Audiences might be surprised to find themselves completely rapt.”
Cashbox - “One of the best albums of pure musical bliss I have heard in a while is I Can See From Here by Michael William Gilbert. It is a breath of fresh air in today's musical landscape too often cluttered with the average. I Can See From Here gives new life to styles of music rarely, if ever, heard on modern radio. The songs are expertly crafted, and the flow of the album definitely had me wanting more at its finale. A very well timed release, potentially worthy of a Grammy nomination."
All About Jazz - “If the NPR radio show, Hearts of Space, were hipper and less ambient, it would fall over itself playing Michael William Gilbert's I Can See From Here…Gilbert approaches his task multi-focally, generating first a sonic-rhythmic landscape over which to spread his sound colors: everything from electric piano and Fender jazz bass, to vibraphone and human voices. The mood of the recording is one of perpetual motion. There is nothing ambient about this music, however. It is kinetic, even hyper-kinetic, always moving. Where ambient music can serve as a background distraction, Gilbert's music demands input of the listener, revealing something new and novel with every spin…Gilbert has created his own sound universe on I Can See From Here, a stylistic mash-up that reveals musical secrets like the fog burning off of a summer's day.”
GoodSound - “…an enjoyable disc that, despite its technical savvy, still has a big heart. Gilbert is a rocker at heart and the energy level on I Can See From Here remains high.”
Improvijazzation Nation - “This (is a) dense and rich aural tapestry of adventure. I can guarantee you won’t hear music that’s like this anywhere else – this is purely original & right from Mr. Gilbert’s soul. A most highly recommended, an EQ (energy quotient) rating of 4.98, as well as the pick of this issue for dark-horse CD and most adventurous music. As I said earlier, this is a totally unique musical experience that you owe to your ears!”
Audiophile Audition - ”Arranged in a percussive surrounding, Gilbert offers a variety of exotic melodies and orchestrations. Despite the technological implications of the synthesized tones, the songs have a very organic quality…a spiritual richness. Amerikan Dream has the album’s sole guest musician, Peter Kaukonen (Black Kangaroo guitarist). He offers a sharp change of pace with reverberating acid-fusion guitar runs. There is a diverse assortment of musical genres, including jazz, folk, fusion, new age and electronic. The pieces resonate with a natural fullness, avoiding pretense. This album is original and commands the attention of the listener.”
Jazz Chicago - “Composer Michael William Gilbert has found a place where technology meets the heart. Gilbert's work is an effective fusion of the synthetic sounds and natural samples in songs that commingle African and Asian world music, jazz, and electronica into an intriguing musical journey. Although there is at times a feel of otherworldliness, this is electronic music that maintains its humanity quite well. The album is graced by the contributions of guest Bay-area electric guitarist Peter Kaukonen on the superb Amerikan Dream. Gilbert's interesting new album should open some eyes as to the possibilities inherent in electronic music.”
JazzTimes - “There is something appealing about the way Michael uses electronics in the creation of his music. The electronic sound on Michael’s music is more human and organic than most pop music nowadays. Special guest Peter Kaukonen plays excellent guitar improvisations over Michael's rhythms on the track Amerikan Dream.”
Yahoo - “Dream imagery and electro-fused atmospherics are key components in Michael W. Gilbert's works. The tracks on his new recording I Can See From Here are multi-faceted mosaics in a vining of synth loops, sci-fi imbued samplers, and throbbing beats which traverse from the soft, flouncing knolls of Eyeless In Gaza to the pronounced funk-pop pumping of Nick Flies Away. At times, Gilbert's tracks display an experimental edge like the robotic bleeps of Sometimes I See the Sky cuffed in noir jazz strings, disjointed vibraphone chimes, and strangely configured piano patterns. The track has an enigmatic presence as sonic fractals crisscross and coil continually changing and evolving. The soundscapes of Amerikan Dream (are) buckled in the searing riffs of guitarist Peter Kaukonen who delivers a penetrative kneading reflective of Jimmy Page.”
This Is Book’s Music - “Entering the music of Michael William Gilbert is like entering an all-new world that somehow seems familiar to you, even if you don’t know why. You hear sounds that sound like church bells but could be nothing more than a guitar doing its thing, or vocals entering the echo chamber to create something mystical and almost spiritual. Most of this album comes off like well-prepared meditations, an audio message for those who wish to escape the harsh world of today and enter it again from a different perspective. You hear his full vision from start to finish. There are some very intense moments on this album, as if he was speaking to someone specific or speaking with the assistance of someone no longer here, it’s eerie to hear and feel.”
The Borderland - “Everything seems to flow onwards. There (is) a 'journey' aspect to the album and whether it is through life, the world or sound is up to your ears and brain. I get a strong sense of the composer/musician being playful with the nature of sound and stretching the musicality as far as it can go at times. But that not to say this isn't a listenable album - far from it, there are some great melodies to be found in the vignettes and in the longer pieces. Michael William Gilbert seems to be a musician and composer to put on the 'watch' list, because I Can See From Here is an impressive album and I would definitely like to hear more of this musician. Highly Recommended.”
Midwest Record Recap - “You can’t put your finger exactly on what this is but it certainly is hypnotic. Linear in a non-linear way, this is way more than a collection of beeps and blips and earth beat sounds, it’s simply the craziest thing a musical malcontent could turn his mainstream friends onto without alienating them. Feeling adventurous? By all means, check it out.”
Gapplegate Guitar and Bass Blog - “These are rock-inflected soundscape pieces that are aurally rich, melodious and almost visual in their immediacy. Guitarist Peter Kaukonen puts in a nice appearance on one of the pieces. The rest are Mr. Gilbert performing feats of musical wizardry by himself. That does not imply that the music has a "solo" sound to it. On the contrary this is a full ensemble of musical voices. The sources are electronically generated or sampled; they are transformed in quite imaginative ways. The music is engaging, lush and cavernous in ways that put you into another zone.”
Downbeat - "Percussion grooves often have the feel of an Escher print in motion, constantly moving in endless symmetry...it's like being centered in a sonic gyroscope….a swirl of electronic percussion centered by a metronomic pulse, but spinning out of tangents of sound!" ★★★★
Option - "Gilbert weaves the elements of jazz, electronic, and new music together in an ethereal and beautiful blend. The music is light...it is wondrous! If you like jazz, if you like new music, or if you just appreciate beautiful sound, this is the kind of record you can enjoy over and over again!"
Audio - "Michael Gilbert blends live acoustic instruments with electronic sounds, deftly weaving jazz, new age, and folk styles into his own musical language ...providing a wonderfully fresh sound. The production is equally fresh and open sounding, with a sonic transparency and airy spaciousness rarely achieved."
CD Review - "Gilbert draws influences from all over the world- from past, present, and future. Nothing is hidden in his transparent arrangements; yet nothing is isolated. The pieces come together simply and effectively of their own accord."
Keyboard - "His synthesizers and samplers throb with a life of their own, weaving exotic and compelling melodic phrases...integrating technology with exciting musical heritages...creating music with a warm human dimension and a sophisticated aesthetic."
Recordings - "Moving Pictures is a stunning personal achievement for him. It is warm and direct and carries a certain spiritual weight."
Eurock - "The vibrations of mother nature meet the echoes of humanity's many cultures and synthetic technology to make a truly powerful record."
Fanfare - "Michael Gilbert's version of third-stream music is unpretentious but attractive, relying not merely on simple thematic materials and insistent rhythms but also on a sturdy improvisational quality."