Saturday, September 17, 2016

Song Reviews: Galliano Sommavilla's "Elektro Country" and "Breathe"

Galliano Sommavilla
"Elektro Country" and "Breathe"

"Elektro County" is a rollicking instrumental treat with ambient and spacey electronic sounds backed by keyboard accompaniment and atmospheric guitar work. The swishy percussion is accompanied by spacey tones and intergalactic noises that propel the track into a third dimension, or another galaxy. The guitar-like tune is upbeat and melodic with a slight country presence that is not particularly intrusive. The end of the song is a culmination of the musical elements from rock, new age, instrumental, and filmic worlds. The nearly four-minute song is aptly-titled, "Elektro Country," because it symbolizes a country edge with a modern twist of lush, electronic overtones. The music brings together a good mix of sounds that connote contemporary new age creations and electronic wizardry that does not lose its intensity or appeal. Overall, Galliano continues to amaze us with inventive songs new ways to discover some of the best instrumental music in the world. "Elektro Country" does not disappoint and Gary Ritchie's electric guitar work is perfect.

"Breathe" is a five-minute musical journey that is very magical and melancholic with subtle doses of acoustic and electric guitar work. The atmospheric washes and light vocal additions accentuate the song's delightful qualities. The cascade of sounds are steeped in lullabye-like arrangements that are meditative and dreamy. There is a host of new age-isms that come to mind, but everything is creative and memorable. The vocal additions are almost non-descript, but their sounds are very indicative of an early Enya recording. Compared with "Elektro Country," "Breathe" is a longer, more majestic tapestry of aural colors that only reinforces Galliano's amazing ability to create meaningful and vibrant songs with little in the way of instrumentation. From the opening, neo-classical arrangement to the electronic medley of sound, Galliano does not shy away from experimentation. Fans of world music, instrumental, jazz, new age, ambient, and related forms of music should be quite satisfied with Galliano's latest offerings. ~ Matthew Forss  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

CD Review: Baird Hersey & Prana with Nexus's 'Chiaroscuro'

ChiaroscuroBaird Hersey & Prana with Nexus
Bent Records

With an album title implying contrasting dark and light imagery, one can quickly determine that this is going to be a wonderful musical journey. From the onset, the deep, meditative tone of the harmonic singers and spacious, resonating tones of vistaphone, xylophone, vibraphone, drums, gongs, glockenspiel, marimba, and a few others, make the album shine beyond belief. Whether one calls it new age, meditation, world music, or some other moniker, Chiaroscuro is highly-textured and mystically magical throughout. It is seemingly inconceivable to compare to anything else, because it is that good. The final three tunes are reserved for mostly vocal medleys without much instrumentation. The beautiful sounds of the instrumental and vocal tracks remind one of a solemn film score. Perhaps, even the film, American Beauty (1999), comes to mind. Still, the album stands alone and above the rest with fanciful, deeply-enriched, and meditative tones that intrigues, as much as it inspires. Great for fans of film scores, meditation music, yoga, throat-singing, and new age concoctions. Excellent! ~ Matthew Forss