Archive for February, 2010

The beauty of instrumental music

February 21, 2010

It is not often that instrumental music has a lasting appeal for me. This has something to do with howI see vocals as an integral part of music. I admit though that good instrumentation can cover up for bad vocals more so than the opposite. However I would like to say that the music benefits from having both sides integrated. Unfortunately a lot of instrumental songs I have come across tend to last eons, unable to find a fitting ending. Continuing this uninspiring endless journey in one sitting. The melodies don’t seem to have many exciting layers and easily fall into repetition without the aid of a vocal range.The instrumental composers that I find interesting have been film/video-game related which isn’t something I usually listen to outside the visual/engaging experiences.

However, now I have finally found an independent artist that is instrumental, and seems to hit the right notes with me – while keeping the music interesting until the end. He is far from being as complicated as I make music sound like at times. The music here is simple and colourful. Therefore I find it worthwhile to feature the first instrumental artist to have blown my ears away.

Musette is a project by Joel Danell who is based in Stockholm. His arsenal consisting of whistles, guitar, violin, accordion and piano, helps to shape these pleasurable melodies. Even if the music doesn’t have any singing vowels, his whistles are great. I would say his whistling quality is comparable with Andrew Birds. It is used beautifully with some range and vibratos. This sheer simplistic music with carefully composed instruments helps *to create a playful, fresh and beautiful experience. The songs are expansive and diverse. The latest album “Datum” is a shining example of what I’ve attempted to describe here. There’s no album I could recommend more than this one.

Musette – 23 Oktober

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Vampire Weekends second album

February 8, 2010


Vampire Weekend have been a fresh contribution to the music scene with their unique classic and african inspired music. The music world was taken by surprise with their self titled debut in 2008. which gained broad acclaim followed by many festival appearances. Since then, time has not passed for a long time before a new album came from the hasty slumbers. Now it will be interesting to see if this album is a worthy sophomore effort ,or just a rashful effort to cave in on fame to finance a posh dame.

Their latest newest release Contra has been out for a few weeks and we shall see in this review how well it fairs. The first thing you notice this time around is that there is less of the classical style of the first album. We hear more electronic sounds and effects this time around. Despite this minimal change the African inspired rhythms and tempo stand out more. The band’s style seems much more refined this time. I will try to describe what makes this album a departure from the debut and how it manages to stand on its own legs.

The opening track Honchata introduces playful African rhythms mixed with quirky styles intertwined with another. It gives a good indication of the style throughout the album. A strong first track is always a good start along with being an incredible catchy well crafted melody too. The electronic sounds and effects added are very welcoming and cleverly added. This distinct quality we are witnessed to here continues throughout the first half of the album. The songs in between are diverse and different from another which effectively keeps the music interesting. It is very common for bands to resort to using the same sounds, effects, style and opening in most of their tracks. Luckily here things are more varied, playful and interesting. The blend of contemporary styles complimented with afro-beats and classic touches makes this album fresh.

However there are a few setbacks that keeps this album from being a highlight of the year. Despite how original the band is with their style, some songs are easy forgettable and rather unimaginative. Some overdone styles and effects. These songs aren’t terrible by all means ,but very underwhelming and unoriginal in contrast to their incredible counterparts. However it does not get in the way for making this is a good album with some great memorable songs among some “filler”.

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order the album here