Sunday, September 23, 2018

Music Review //
Patrick Grant
"FIELDS AMAZE and other sTRANGE music"
(Peppergreen Media) //

One of the biggest sounds I can hear in the music of Patrick Grant would be neo classical, which is something I've been getting more and more into lately.   However, at the same time, I can think of this as being also along the lines of a free jazz album at times, which is another of my personal favorite genres I can never seem to get enough of, and as such this just seems to be such a great album as it tends to blur the lines between the two similar and yet rather different genres.

"FIELDS AMAZE and other sTRANGE music" starts with this driving force with lots of percussion.   The first thing you'll notice should be the percussion and the role it plays in these songs.    Dings and tings accompany cymbal crashes and just that overall rhythm and beat that the drummer keeps.   "Fields Amaze", the second song, has this X-Files urgency to it as electric keys rush through with the darkness of the piano.   At times, it reminds me of the soundtrack to a John Carpenter movie just the same. 

As much as this could be neo classical, I could just as easily see it being called free jazz as it seems to tow that line between the two genres.    Sometimes there is a flute, sometimes it's a piano.   The fourth track- "Everything Distinct:Everything The Same"- is just this huge opus of a song.   And these songs can take on this feeling of... not just classical in the sense of what you expect from the days of Bach, but almost like an opera as you can imagine each song as being this huge stage show as well.

"Imaginary Horror Film - Part 1" does indeed sound like the soundtrack to a horror film.   It has that feel to it where you can imagine a story going along with it, as there could easily be visuals.   This could also be something out of a Tim Burton film, which of course gives me that nod to Danny Elfman.   From the xylophone to highhats to distorted guitars this has a sound which fits in well with the album overall but in its own ways stands out as well.   I really just feel like each of these songs tells its own story, which isn't easy to do when music is instrumental, but I want to see the visuals which would go with these.

"The Weights of Numbers" seems to get a little bit funky but at the same time it could be the soundtrack to a video game, perhaps the video game from the movie which you could imagine the soundtrack of this movie as being.   I always thought it would be fun to have listeners just submit what they thought this music sounded like in a visual way- just have people send in a lot of videos and such- and I think if anyone wanted to send me music videos inspired by Patrick Grant I would be okay with that.   I would share them and write about them for sure.

Part of my love for this album is that if it was the soundtrack to a film you would listen and say "Oh yeah, this is the part where this character does this" and it would all align so perfectly.   But since it isn't, what I hear the character doing during this part might not be the same as what you hear the character doing and that's one of those choose-your-own-adventure types of deals where the possibilities just feel endless.   It makes the music, overall, just seem less one-dimensional.   And sometimes one-dimensional music is good, but when you can listen to something on this many levels there is a need not a want to do so.

"Imaginary Horror Film - Part 2" picks up right where the first part left off and I think it'd be worthwhile for someone to combine the two songs into one and add visuals to them.    On the final track "If One Should Happen To Fall" there are actually vocals by Lisa Karrer and it just feels like another way for Patrick Grant to push the boundaries of music.    In some ways, the synth begins rocking like Oingo Boingo (back to my Danny Elfman theory) and then yet it also drops down at some point and reminds me of Rush.    So just to have these ideas throughout this whole album goes to show you how broad it can be but it is also one of the best trips you could ever take so I stand firm in my belief that everyone should do so at least once in their lifetime. 

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