The sounds of the Mediterranean are explored on this new album by Alekos Galas, whose chosen instrument is the bouzouki. On Mediterranean Breeze (Ehos) he mixes up a bit of sounds from his Greek heritage and mixes it up with pop and smooth jazz.
I found the pop sounds and those that steered more to the Greek side of things were very good, and I can easily imaging this to be used for a wide range of things. For smooth jazz fans, the material here is sure to gain him a bit of airplay. While I may not give the smooth jazz repeat airplays, his musicianship within the boundaries of the music help give the mood a nice touch generally not heard, or at least because the bouzouki is not an instrument commonly explored in the genre. While Galas may have have preferred styles on this album, I’d like to be able to hear him in other genres and projects. Job well done.
Following the release of Deru‘s album Say Goodbye To Useless, he has released “Peanut Butter & Patience” (Mush) as a single, and the remixes on it are definitely worth buying and hearing.
The Lorn Remix kind of has it jumping into Depeche Mode/early Yaz territory, but with much more punch to the drums. If you don’t stay on track, you may catch yourself off of the beat. The Great Mundane Mix is indeed the former but far from the latter, and sounds like something Andre 3000 would probably find pleasure in rhyming over with that type of gallop funk he seems to love. Wrapping up with the Ginormous Mix, the breathy textures could help it become a part of a few episodes of CSIL NY.
Deru – Peanut Butter & Patience from Mush Records on Vimeo.
The word “atmospheric” when applied to music can mean different things for different people. Other words that can be used include celestial, ethereal, trippy… it all applies because it can be these things and more at the same time. Deru has been doing his thing for a few years, and this thing he calls his thing now finds a new home in the name of Mush Records, who are releasing Say Goodbye To Useless to a fanbase who are waiting, and to a new audience who will be excited his is creations.
His promo teams says his music is “an amalgamation of hip-hop, electronica and IDM”, and I definitely hear all three elements on this new album. When it comes to atmospheric, he does so by creating songs with a deliberate slow pace that makes you want t hear more by adding in sounds that are lures for what lies ahead. The hip-hop comes from the ways the beats are programmed, mix in samples that are extracted from crusty thrift store finds and you have someone who does it for the groove and funk, but also as someone who let’s people know what he’s about it. It doesn’t have to be about clarity or cleanliness, just good music. As for the IDM, it has been called a lot of things but if you do like Boards Of London, those type of atmospherics can be heard on this album. Are the songs clever, very much, and just went it might sound too electronic, the human qualities of the drum samples let’s you know there’s still a man behind the machine. “Walk” sounds like its title, a gentle stroll across the apocalyptic landscape in order to reach the beginning of loneliness, it’s dark and engaging but not enough to where you want to run off and listen to something bright and perky. “What Happens When You Ask” has no rhythm at all, it’s just the sound of the world laid over vinyl crackle as slowed down horns and voices in the bushes make this a song you may not want to leave behind without a friend.
At times it’s very experimental in nature, where it sounds as everything is done improv, and maybe it is. But there’ is a plan, a mission in his work. When he builds up a song that comes from nowhere, he may add a part of it in another song so you can witness what he did before from afar, and then the mood of the album switches completely. It motivates you to listen deeper as it does everything in its power to entertain, which of course is done by default. What Say Goodbye To Useless does next is anyone’s guess, but it is sure to make listeners want to hear how Deru will push his own limits throughout his career, beginning now.
(Say Goodbye To Useless will be released on September 22nd.)