Monday, February 13, 2006

Steve Gilmore Reviews: Waxko - Deeper

Artist: Waxko
Title: Deeper

The first time I heard this, I wasn't maybe in the right mood because my first thought was wtf?? However, having reviewed Waxko's terrific Heroes Of The Daily Grind (December 2005), an epic peice of electronica that somehow didn't sound even the slightest electronic, I knew that I had to put on a different mindset when listening to this artist. He does things with his music that - for a self taught musician - are pretty startling. Take, for example, the above wtf??? statement. My first thought was that this was just a bunch of store bought samples (even a couple of vocal samples I recognised) slung together in what has become the time honoured fashion.

That seriously underestimates this man's hankering after memorable, stirring melody lines...

To be sure, the intro to this track is kinda disconcerting; a piano peice with added wierdness but as soon as the track opens up it becomes a bombast par excellence with some very stirring sections. To my ears, there was a tendency to use 'stock' sounds - especially on the brass which had a decidely plastic MIDI sound. However, it's the way that Waxko puts these sounds to work that makes this such an intriguing and worthwhile track. For an artist who cites Peter Gabriel and King Crimson, his work has that same 'epic' feel about it, and certainly the virtuosity with arrangement and fluidity that those artists bring to the feast. Be prepared for a long haul though, because there is a lot to take in with this track, as long as your able to get past the sound - which IS somewhat odd...

Nonetheless, it's the music that will eventually get to you, it's mix of fun and serious made a big impact on me after a few plays. At the end of the day, I would have to put my personal gripes (sample sounds, that plastic-y sound on some of the instruments, a bit of pattern repetition) aside and get into what Waxko does best. He fills up an otherwise uninteresting musical pattern with some of the most memorable and stirring melodies you are likely to hear. When the Hammond starts up around 2:20 the tune lifts to a much higher level, but I am a sucker for the Hammond organ sound anyway and therefore heavily biased. I think this track could lose a minute and be much the healthier for it. Nonetheless, as it stands it is so worth the listen, especially if you like that whole melodic thing....

Recommended (with reservations)

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