Saturday, March 29, 2014

BreadCrumbs by Eric Beers

Here's an album release (actually, it's a soundcloud set) that's not electronic, a rare occurrence on "Super Melodic Tracks". It's good ole' Rock n'Roll with all the fixings. Word or warning: it's got vocals. The first track, "I Feel Fine", is super heavy and quite catchy (there's even an extended version on the set, a sign that's it's the super single.) It's not really a sign of things to come though as the next tracks are not as heavy. The 2nd track, "I Know", features one of those upright saloon pianos and you know right there that this guy doesn't make prepackaged music. The 3rd track, "Best Friend", is mostly acoustic guitar, another facet of Eric's music. "Great Start" is a great acoustic instrumental. It kinda reminds me of The Who's Pete Townsend, for some reason. At this point, my best advice is to listen to the album and judge for yourself.

Construct by oxyde noir

Here's an album of bombastic electronic music that you should probably listen to. It's kinda dark, gritty but never dull. Just lend an ear to the opening track, "Nucleus", and you will know exactly what I mean. The first two tracks were made out of the same marble block. Track 3, "Stalker", is slower, darker and more industrial (maybe, it's got something to do with the title of the track). I guess I could go on dissecting the remaining tracks but I don't think there is a need to (And I'm lazy.)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

no sleep by grannd

Here's an album that's just how I like them. It's mostly electronic, it's got melodies (chord progression galore), and it's kinda raw (as in, rough around the edges). Bonus: there's a track with vocals ("see right through you"). Level-up: there's a track with a vocoder ("the pulse"). Great album! If it had a little bit more punch in the mix, it would be a super great album, a rare occurrence.

I guess I could go through each track and put down some verbose about it, but the more I think about it, the less it makes sense. I've done it before and quite frankly, I don't think anybody gives a hoot or two. From now on, my reviews are gonna be on the very short side, well, unless somebody wants to read what I have to say, which is quite doubtful.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Concrete Colors by Sessile

This is an album that was submitted to These Are Our Albums, a place where you can share your albums with the reddit community, well, at least, the community that has subscribed to the aforementioned subreddit. Now, quite a few albums get submitted on that thing and finding an album that fits "Super Melodic Tracks" is a bit of a challenge, to say the least. Well, this album fits the bill rather nicely, I think.

I am just gonna talk about my favorite tracks below because I've got less and less time to write about the music I listen, and I am not very good at describing it, to be honest. Of course, the plan could derail if most the tracks are awesome, which is always a possibility.

"Concrete Colors" has a slow ambient start but quickly evolves into a fast paced tune with a nice little melodic hook. At some point, a distorted (bitcrushed?) synthesizer comes in and that elevates the tune to the next level. Another lead synthesizer comes in right after but this one is a bit on the cheesy side and that brings the level down a bit (Just kidding.)

"Here Comes The Rain" is the quintessential idm tune. It has the heavily processed rhythmic section and a sweet melody on top. I don't think you can ask for more, can you? A great tune.

"Knots and Numbers" starts with an acoustic guitar and a female voice but that quickly mutates into something else ... after the drop. You've got some nice slow moving chord changes, which are always satisfying, but no melodic counterpoint on this one (Not a critic.)

"Appleknocker" again has the slow chord changes but, this time, you have the super cool melody floating above (on acoustic guitar accompanied later on by a bell sounding synthesizer). Awesome track!

"Medium Lesions". You know how you can tell a tune is gonna be great just by listening to the first bars. This has the 80s written all over it and it pulls you in right away with the fast tempo and the old school drumming. When the (really) fast moving lead synthesizer comes in, well, it all comes together.

This album is a mix of fast moving idm, ambient, and downtempo (moody) tracks. The slow stuff mostly aggregates in the second part of the album. It's definitely got the goods, you know, the melodies, at the very least, in the first part of the album.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Missing Time by Ian Sutherland

Here's an album of electronic music of the house variety for your consideration. Well, it starts that way anyway.

"Missing Time" starts with a slow moving melody featuring your favorite synthesizer, rapidly enhanced by a heavy four on the floor beat and a quite pleasing piano melody. At some point, the tune slows down and follows an other musical path, always a good thing in my book. "Insignificance" takes the beat deeper into the world of dance music. It has a sweet melody floating above the pumping beat. The beginning of "End Of The Rope" kinda reminded me of a Def Leppard tune, for some reason. It's a lovely track as the melody is quite awesome. This is my favorite track of the album especially when the parts with the electric guitar. "Missing Time" has some heavy offbeat drumming ("I Will Never Know" had some too). It sure brings variety to the album although I am not a fan of this particular track. "The Turning Point" is a bit different tune since it is dominated by the electric guitar. Again, it brings diversity to the album. I especially like when it gets really heavy with the distorted metal guitar. It seems the album completely evolves starting with that track, going into real cool musical places. This track and the rest of the album are quite different from the first few tracks. No more hyper fast dance stuff. "I'm Sorry" is a lovely track with a cool melody. It's kinda happy go lucky. The album closes with "Tremble", a tune that starts with an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar, and what sounds like a flute. It's one those epic progressive tracks that seem to go on forever. Here, it's a good thing.

I kinda got fooled by this album as I really thought it was just another electronic house release. This album is much more than that.

Void by A Roof For Your Roof

That's an electronic music release I had seen on Reddit quite some time ago and had saved but never found the time to do a proper review. Well, here it goes.

The album opens with "Haze (ft. Broke)". I've gotta say this track is heavy on the bass drum, not a bad thing. I feel the singer's voice is a bit off in some places and doesn't quite fit with the tune. At some point, heavy distorted guitars show up for an industrial feel and then the tune is done. The mood completely changes with the second track, "Time Below", a nice melodic piece. "Happens Outside", the next track, features some nice rhythmic percussion work and a nice buildup. "Happens Outside" features an organ, some strings and an electric piano/bass combo. It's the classic electronic downtempo tune with the old school electronic drum box, a slow moving synthesizer and a high pitched piano for the melody. "Standing Still" starts with a nice melodic motif on the synthesizer followed by a melody on the grand piano (I think some of the sounds clash here and there with another synthesizer comes up). "Hollow Way" has a nice happy go lucky vibe to it with what appears a little bit of bit crushing for good measure. Cute! The closing track, "Corflection", has a nice dual melody, one slow moving on the low pitched synthesizer (sounds a lot like the Ben E. King tune "Stand By Me") and a faster one on the piano in the higher registers that acts as a nice counterpoint. Nicely done!

This is a really good electronic music release. It's got the heavy drumming of electronic music, the synthesizers, and all kinds of great melodies.

Out Of Touch EP by Virtuo System

This is an album of mostly four on the floor old school and not too complicated disco/house electronic music. I kinda like that stuff.

The first track, "Not Over", sets the tone with a nice little melodic hook amidst a classic house beat with the always welcome hand clapping. The next track, "Runaway", is pretty much a mirror of the first track but with a different hook. Sounds good so far. The remaining tracks are pretty much in the same vein, equally good. A welcome break to the house train is given by "Innocence", a nice slower and more restrained tune. The closing track, "Life Is Short", starts mellow but rapidly brings back the heavy beat to conclude the album (watch out for the grating high pitched synthesizer though).

Trinity & Triage by Trinity & Triage

Something a little bit different on "Super Melodic Tracks". I was a bit hesitant to put it on here because some of the tracks are not that melodic (more exactly, the melodies are not that memorable) but the craftiness of the cuts and the chameleon qualities of the lead singer made me reconsider. The genre is probably indie folk but it's not the kind with the nylon string guitar and the cute chords, this has electric guitars (not enough, in my opinion) a la progressive rock and, lo and behold, a good dose of Hammond organ. I think it should be called "progressive folk" or something like that.

The first two tracks, "Surreal" and "Cathedral", kinda give you a good idea of what to expect. "Surreal" sounds strangely familiar in some places. The distant guitar solo near the end followed by what seems like a strange lullaby is a nice surprise for anyone that likes dynamic tunes. The vocalist is clearly leading the way and she's not afraid of going in all kinds of places. "Cathedral" is of the same vein. One can perhaps sense some kind of Eastern influence. The electric guitar is a bit on the back burner, maybe by fear of taking too much attention away from the vocals.

I had to do a double take ear-wise when "We Won't Say Goodbye" came up on the digital turntable as the singer seemed to have mutated into Kate Bush, a hero of mine. It's a great track with a nice bridge and a slight change of direction in the tune afterwards. Also, it's got harpsichord.

"Those Who Leave" has that nice progressive rock sound to it. Got to say I wish there were more tracks like that in the album. Didn't really like the additional voice and the seemingly out of place high pitched instrument that comes later in the tune though.

These are my favourite tracks, which is why I talk, albeit briefly, about them.

I feel this album is pretty solid, easy listening and never dull. I particularly appreciate the fact that the tracks have lives of their own, going in all kinds of different directions, something you often see/hear in the best of progressive rock (I am not going say Rush).