Album Review Of The Week – Animals As Leaders – The Joy of Motion

This week has been particularly exciting. As I recover from my yearly spring/early summer cold, as my system realises that the ‘Fallas’ have actually eaten away chunks of my higher auditory spectrum (16kHz-20kHz), as school kicks back into gear, and as we launch Berklee Valencia’s very own Record Label named Disrupcíon Records, one of my most cherished artist/band releases their third opus through Sumerian Records.

Animals As Leaders and their third release named The Joy of Motion is an ode to the greatest of all lost arts (I don’t mean Lower Defintion’s amazing album, I’m talking about Music), and full of maturity and humility (at times) Tosin Abasi, along with Javier Reyes and new addition Matt Garstka have put together a truly immersive experience.

With phrases, chord changes or cadences that echo some from the previous releases, one can recognise the Tosin Abasi songwriting and find himself at home. But you’ll find tunes off this record mirroring some of Javier’s personal stuff (Mestis, EP: Basal Ganglia). A few solos on the record also let me wonder whether there were any guest players at any point. Track number 3, Air Chrysalis echoes Intervals’ Epiphany, and track 12 (the closer) ‘Nephele’ sounds strangely similar to a Vai-Petrucci progeny. Mystery to be solved…

Overall musically the album is very strong, and so is my wording to describe it, I realise that… Garstka’s involvement and participation in the writing definitely shines through a lot more on this release and it does it a tremendous amount of good. That classic AAL quarter-note pulse is still present, but less important. When straight feels good, straight is played, no unnecessary polyrhythmic aberrations and convolutedness.

I must also admit that I’m super thrilled and amazed that they collaborated with Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood for the production of this opus. Adam is THE guy when it comes to producing this type of music, hands down, no questions asked. Forget Joey Sturgis, he is just good. Nolly is the exegesis of a mix that packs a punch. And for the guys in AAL to realise that, then get him on-board is the best move that could have been made. Allegedly it mustn’t have been a huge stretch of the mind since Misha Mansoor plays alongside Nolly, but anyway… I’m glad for both posses involved, it is in their best common interest, not something that you see done a lot in the music industry these days (cf. The Prisoner’s Dilemma, Economics 101, Somewhere along the course of every Economics syllabus), and the production is just MASSIVE, mate!

The album came out on the 25th of March, so two days prior to this post. The ’single’ (I guess you could call it that), Tooth and Claw had been out for a little bit of time before that, and it was just the perfect song to release to build a hype and amp things up. I’ve already rinsed the life out of it. It was available for stream on YouTube, however I’ve never been a fan of pre-release streams for music that has value. I get that it would make sense if you’re anticipating a specific single featuring two of your favourite artists, but here it’s the whole artefact that is important. So I waited patiently while all my friends were posting about it on what has become the most important book to all of us these days, got it on Spotify, and am heartlessly taking away what could’ve been a full 7,99$ from this band that I hold so dear…

A few tunes to look out for on this album/my personal favourites so far:

Ka$cade
Tooth and Claw
Para Mexer (8 nylon-stringèd bonanza, it’s got Javier Reyes/Mestis written all over it)
The Woven Web (Slappin’ that bass mon’)
Mind-Spun (Just a power tune, simply put)

If you want to have a listen, head over to Spotify and punch this URL in: spotify:album:6amcjpW1tFWbKniDMn9CE4

heck, even purchase it on iTunes: http://smarturl.it/thejoyofmotionitunes

or have a gander on the YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbA3jxab4A0&list=PLH22-xSMERQpG4M9HshhXUJ9OKMNlwU8T

 

As for myself, I’ll probably be getting the Vinyl, transparent Red sounds like it looks sexy. DJ kTunes said it first, they’re making a come-back.

 

Animals As Leaders – The Joy of Motion – The Woven Web

A&R this week – Record Label Practicum

For the past couple of weeks the member of the practicum have been communicating back and forth, in person and via e-mail, through instant messaging and by carrier pigeon – talk about innovative and motivated. The aim of this group discussion was to decide on which artists we were keen on collaborating with for the rest of the semester.

After reviewing 12 interviews – which were all brilliant by the way, and only made the process that much harder – we agreed on four talented individuals.

Avila Santo
Tess Tyler
Stephen McHale
Miranda Inzunza

These four names might be familiar to some, if they are not however, they are definitely about to because the marketing team is prepping some killer plans – but for now, shh.

The A&R teams have met up individually with the artists and also started working on plans and musical directions.
(Un)fortunately plans are synonymous with homework, which means that we need to remain proactive. The artists have to make sure they compile tracks for us to listen to and choose from, but in some cases the repertoire to choose from is quite extensive.

Meanwhile, Beatsmusic acquires TopSpin Media and saves them from what looked like a slow and painful demise. They are hoping to fuse the ultimate experience of music discovery, and data collection and analysis. Listeners can rest assured, their relentlessly uneducated choices on music discovery are made easier than ever before.

On a more musical side note, Animals as Leaders are releasing a new album ‘the Joy of Motion‘ on March 25th and it is shaping up to be monstrous! Here’s the single from this much anticipated release, it is entitled ‘Tooth and Claw’. The composition is phenomenal and the production is nothing short of that either.