Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Dan Abrams is among a new wave of artists bringing the aesthetic sensibilities of digital technologies to bear upon the styles of environmental space music first explored by the likes of Brian Eno, David Parsons, Michael Stearns, and Robert Rich. Abrams began making music as a teenager on his Apple IIe before getting deeper into the capabilities of software synthesis in the mid-'90s. Although he had no intention of ever releasing his music, Abrams sent a demo off to the New York-based 12k after learning about the label through its website. 12k's Taylor Duepree (a designer and musician recording under the names Human Mesh Dance and Prototype 909, among others) quickly added a track of Abrams to a limited-release label sampler called .aiff (released in mid-'99), and then issued Abrams' Optimal.lp a few months later. (Abrams, still a student of product design at Los Angeles' Art Center School of Design when .aiff was released, also designed the compilation's laser-cut mylar, floppy-disc-resembling packaging.) Optimal.lp was quickly lauded for its elegant combination of simple melodic environments with subtly challenging digital experiments, with comparisons to the work of Eno and Global Communication proving as often, and appropriate, as those to Oval or Ryoji Ikeda.