The Heliocentrics: From The Deep

I picked up this album because the damn cover looked so cool. That seems to be the way I’ve been choosing new music, and for the most part, it has been working out nicely. 

I mean, look at this cover. How could I resist? It reminds me of Star Wars, and that was good enough for me to snatch it up. 

Anyhow, The Heliocentrics‘ latest album, From the Deep, is a confusing listen at first. There are 19 tracks in all, and most of them only last a couple of minutes at best. I sat on my couch wondering what the hell I was listening to. Jazzy, funky, bee-boppy… it sounded like a collection of ready-to-be-sampled excerpts for beatmakers.

It then hit me that I was listening for a song, rather than for an album. I guess once I made that mind shift, the record made more sense. 

As a whole, the album works in that it constantly changes and creates a new mood with each piece. Since the tracks are so short (save a few), I never got bored. The rhythms and beats are super cool to hear. I found myself thinking how cool it would be to sample some parts for songs. 

Check out “The Five Thing” 

Super. Cool. 

I can’t say this album is for everyone. Those of you wanting to hear vocals, or melodies, or anything remotely pop will most likely get bored of this record quickly. Those of you that enjoy experimentation in the genres mentioned above may embrace the performances on From the Deep. Just be prepared to say, “What? The song is over already?” to the majority of the tracks. 

I can’t say that this record will be in my regular rotation, but for now it’s a fun listen and a great inspiration for stretching myself creatively. From the Deep reminds me of the fun of full albums. Sometimes it takes a complete listen to get the message. That’s pretty cool on my book. 

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Melanie de Biasio: “No Deal”

14360-no-dealI’ve been listening to this album so much lately. Melanie De Biasio’s 2014 No Deal is such a gorgeous record to experience. It’s spacious, haunting, and reminds me how wonderful it is to just get completely lost in an album.

No Deal creates an engrossing atmosphere that makes me hang on her every word. I’m serious when I say that time passes by without my knowledge while this record plays… and when it’s over, I want to return to that place so much that I either hit repeat or, if I have to go do something, I think about it until I can get back to my stereo. You might be saying, “Dude, that doesn’t tell me much,” and you’re probably right.

Just listen to the title track and I hope you’ll know what I mean.

Here, I’ll help you out. This is De Biasio performing said title track live. It’s just her voice, flute (she plays jazz flute!), and a guitarist…

Wowzers, that’s good stuff.

If you enjoyed that, do yourself a favor a pick up the entire record!

Since releasing No Deal, De Biasio has put out another record, a one-track serving titled Blackened Cities that has (amazingly enough) one track. The running time is almost 25 minutes, though, so dig in an be prepared to lose track of time.

I’d start with No Deal, though. Yes. I’d start with that one.

Melanie De Biasio: [Official Site] [Bandcamp] [Facebook]


MP3: New Jamiroquai – “White Knuckle Ride”

Jamiroquai has always been one of those bands that has remained in the background for me… yet whenever they’re a new release, I get pretty excited. Their blend of funk/acid jazz and whatever else they throw in is still unique to this very day. Ever since they hit it big with their 1996 song, “Virtual Insanity,” Jamiroquai has remained steady with their output, but not so lucky with the band members as there have been several changes. The most prominent member is singer Jay Kay, and I think some people think he’s Jamiroquai.

In case you’ve forgotten just how cool the video for “Virtual Insanity” is, hit “play” and say “WOWZERS!”

Well, I still consider Jamiroquai a band, and they’ve just released a new track to promote their upcoming album, Rock Dust Light Star that is set to drop on November 1st. The album is a return to a “band” sound, as explained on their official website:

We think at a time when many acts are producing electronic, disco influenced tracks, with ‘Rock Dust Light Star’ Jamiroquai has moved on and reverted to a more organic, live sound. The shift really helped revitalise the band who ended up producing a superb album – even if we do say so ourselves!

Jay says, “Everything on the record is live .It’s a real band record. The last, album – fantastic – but the whole thing became a little sterile. This time we’ve captured the flow of our live performances.”

“White Knuckle Ride” just might get you on your feet today… “It’s a hi-octane retrospective on Jay’s career experiences – a cautionary tale equally applicable to anyone’s life in these pressure cooker times,” as their website writes. Here’s a question: are we ever NOT living in “pressure cooker times?”

One thing I’ve always dug about Jamiroquai is that they have used the same symbol for the band now for pretty much their entire career. Here’s the album artwork for some of their releases:

Jamiroquai album covers

Very cool… obviously that symbol is the color white. I love it when artists stick with something that works… if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

And that can be said about their music as well. Check out “White Knuckle Ride” and look for Rock Dust Light Star in November.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: White Knuckle Ride

Jamiroquai on: [Amazon] [iTunes]