Diane Marie Kloba returns to the airwaves, stage and media streams with her fifth solo album titled It Is All an Illusion. It is available worldwide now.The recording continues the sonic exploration of her work and with some return to alternative rock styles, it also introduces a broader use of synthesizer to set the mood.
This album has a different attitude and feel from her previous. The sarcasm, the verbal metaphors, the poetry and performance art are sublimated by the increased emphasis on the instrumental music.
The song themes are a development of the more haunting songs on I Am an Unknown Artist. The focus is on the struggle to rise above the effects of a sudden, unexpected loss. Still, before its conclusion, Diane Marie Kloba’s trademark hopefulness shines through, along with her fascination with weather and the heavens.
Please check the review or about section if you wish to know more about her music
I Am an Unknown Artist is Diane Marie Kloba’s fourth album, released March 8, 2011.
Its musical foundation is built of Diane’s own guitars, vocals and acoustic percussion with occasional contributions from a small group of collaborators. The voices on I Am an Unknown Artist are always emotive, ranging from lullaby-sweet (“To Live Up to It”) through urgent hollering (“Diane Has Words”) to haunted (“It Rained”).
The lyrics grow from self-reflection tempered with a dose of humor and of wordplay. The album opens with a love song (“To Live Up To It”) but thoughts soon turn to the nature of creativity, motivation, persistence and the passage of time. The hypnotic “That’s How It Goes” finds the singer stargazing and draws parallels between light pollution obscuring the night sky and human isolation. A wry raggedness shows up on “It Was Me”, a lumbering and clamorous reworking of the “it’s not you—it’s me” cliché. Surf guitar and spy music themes are reduced to their bare essentials on the rocker “No Standing Still”, telling of a soul on the mend pushing forward.
There are some departures from earlier work: There is a more intimate treatment of the vocals and an introduction of some orchestral textures. To help get this done, Kloba enlisted mix engineer Ryan Albrecht, better known in classical circles, and Grammy-winning perfectionist mastering engineer Bob Katz to add final polish.
Despite the newfound textures and polish, I Am an Unknown Artist still emphasizes the economy employed in Kloba’s prior recordings. Nothing is wasted; what is present is essential and empty space is given its due respect.
For You, Stranger was released on august 12, 2008.
It marked the start of Diane Marie Kloba’s most overtly experimental effort, intentionally shunning pop conceits, but still keeping the idea of the song as a short and self contained work.
Messages from the Ionosphere was released May 31, 2005 on Striped Shirt Records.
Messages from the Ionosphere featured some of the bigger guitar sounds that Diane favored before I Kid You Not; there are also a couple acoustic numbers singer-songwriter tunes and one piece of “beat poetry” with just flute, words, and percussion. Of course there are songs about star watching, appreciating joys of life and dreams, both the day and night varieties. With her poetry sometimes comes a bit of silliness, finding humor in seriousness.
I Kid You Not was released on July 1, 2003.
It was a lo-fi experiment which blended punk attitude, some sonic experimentation, subtle humor, and even some forays into hip-hop. It was voted the number 10 best album in the Village Voice “Pazz and Jop” poll.
Diane Marie Kloba’s first solo effort, This Is Worth Something was a DIY effort produced under the stage name TAFKAD in 2001 and sold at shows. The CD is out of print, but the tracks are now available for free listening on soundcloud:
In 1997, as a member of The Silent Workers, Diane Marie Kloba contributed vocals, guitars and songwriting to their sole full length album release, Quark. Although the band has been on hiatus for several years, all the band members have helped out in sessions for her solo albums and still get together to jam a few times a year.
From the KZSU (Stanford University) review of It Is All an Illusion:
Outsider new age avant-pop-rock. Jittery jarring electric guitar, female vocal stylings uncannily reminiscent of Gordon Gano. From the press sheet, you can expect sarcasm, verbal metaphors, and increased emphasis on the instrumental music, but with Kloba’s trademark hopefulness shining through all of this. As a non-musician I’m not sure if the songs are remarkably simple or atheoretical; give it a play and decide for yourself.
Read the rest.
I had a good year. Did my first solo shows. Released a new album.
Got on some favorite of the year lists. That makes me happy.
Even having reviewers mention my music is a nice boost.
Thanks to all of you who have supported my music, I know it’s not pop so the masses won’t understand it. I wouldn’t change it to be popular, but I am so thrilled when others like it.
I am busy making another album. This one is coming out different yet again.
I change with my influences.
From Oliver Arditi‘s review of It Is All An Illusion:
She just has some stuff she really wants to share, and her creative practice is driven by the important insight that the content should shape the form, and not vice versa. The measure of this music’s quality is its outstanding effectiveness as an act of communication; by conventional standards it sounds rhythmically tentative, melodically half-formed, its phrases more like conversation than the shapely rhetorical figures of mainstream songwriting. But sticking to the shapes and colours of established formula tends to restrict the meanings of the songs to those that formula was developed to convey, and although many composers have found ways to write around those tendencies, to great effect in many cases, It Is All An Illusion takes a more direct approach; Kloba confronts her meanings head on, and makes a music of her own experience, on her own terms.
Read the rest…
From a review of I Am an Unknown Artist at Unwashed Territories, by Mark Whitby, DJ from Dandelion Radio:
It’s something not bound by style descriptions or by musical conventions. At times – as on ‘That’s How It Goes’ – the narrative quickly escapes any musical constraints and the result has a disjointed fascination that few of Kloba’s listed musical heroes could ever hope to obtain. There are times when the jagged instrumentation attains something akin to a definable and sustained riff – as on ‘Diane Has Words’ – but once again the restless zeal for experimentation in this artist’s work never allows anything predictable or conventional to settle on it before the music escapes once again, bidding the listener to follow only as a sonic explorer. ’It Was Me’ has the temerity to spin off still further, into a courageous and deeply endearing realm of humour. Kloba plays with sound, and sometimes it even plays back.
From a review of I Am an Unknown Artist by Oliver Arditi:
Much avant-garde music shares with this album a cultivated naïveté in the way it presents its materials, thrust directly at the listener like the gifts of a child: the crucial difference is that in most cases this is a mediated and ironic strategy, a knowing and fundamentally defensive measure. In Kloba’s case her approach represents a committed and heartfelt search for the best expression of her endearingly positive meanings.
Read the rest…
From the KZSU (Stanford University) review of I Am an Unknown Artist:
All tracks are highly hypnotic as if a ghost is whispering in your ear. The mood is very avant-garde and a touch psychedelic, a bit like Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” Repeated use of non-harmonic tones and monologues in the vocal, sometimes supported by backup chorus. Heavy reverb and echo effects cause the lyrics to “float around in the air”. Lead guitar plays the melodies with slight overdrive and rhythm guitar uses distorion. Various percussions are used such as regular drums, African drums, and gong.
Read the rest.
From the review of For, You Stranger on WZRD’s blog:
Diane Marie Kloba is a Chicago native who these days hunkers down in west-suburban Franklin Park. She’s a free-spirited strangeling who writes and performs wry, ramshackle avant pop. Active since the 1990s when she fronted the band The Silent Workers, For You, Stranger is her fourth solo album…
Kloba’s singing voice is an unadorned, slightly flat alto holler—its guilelessness is its charm. She accompanies herself with electric guitar, drums and percussion, and an occasional flute part. Her style draws from folk as well as punk (punk’s uninhibited expressionism but not its aggression). Kloba’s technique is nonchalant, but never lazy or unmusical, and the same can be said of the four bandmates whom she gathers in ones and twos to join her on individual songs. To compensate for the dry sound of a small recording studio, Kloba often pours on echo and reverb effects for some agreeably swimmy atmospheres. Her peculiar wordplay is abstract on first listen, but eventually reveals a guardedly hopeful worldview…For You, Stranger should find a connection with our listeners. It’s a warm, weird, spirited offering from an unabashedly nerdy innovator.
From the review of For You Stranger in the March 2010 Illinois Entertainer:
Diane Marie Kloba pursues a more avant-garde sound on her latest solo effort, For You, Stranger, than she did as a member of The Silent Workers. At times, her spoken, childlike vocals and spacey arrangements get too cutesy as on the title track, but the sparse “For Inventors” has an intimate charm. “Skurf,” a spooky, guitar-driven instrumental adds a bit of fun, and “Keepable (Drum Experiment)” is an engaging indie-rock tune.
– Terrence Flamm
From the review of For You, Stranger by Your Imaginary Friend at KZSU (Stanford University):
…a higher art form than we are mostly used to.
…Not a cliché or pop pandering bullshit melody or guitar line to be found.
…refreshing, so non-narcissistic…
Read the rest…