As a music journalist, when I am sent music that sounds as if it was meticulously mixed inside of the meanest, most exhilarating, music lab there ever was in modern music, I just must share the music. So glad I was gifted Ritual Music by Simon Irvine from my friend Tracey Arbon.
Irvine is an Electronic musician and producer from Brisbane, Australia and I have been living with all twelve tracks from off of his Ritual Music album since September of this year. Time only allowed me the opportunity to review two tracks from off the album, so I will be interpreting “Incantation 1” and “Watching” featuring Rusty Keys. But trust me, selecting just two to review was like just focusing on two stars in a sky full of them.
Starting with “Incantation 1,” one truly is left spellbound after audibly engulfing this track. It has a modern-day attitude like that of David Bowie’s Space Oddity in that its edge is robustly solemn but provocatively sublime. Irvine’s use of hand claps ups the tempo and adds a nostalgic vibe reminiscent of old school Hip-Hop but plays differently in that it keeps space for the additional build of instrumentation instead of over-looping this effect (as was done in days past). The command to the beat is pulsating and on point and it blends well with the inclusive soundscapes and vocoder.
And lastly, but not the least, “Watching” (feat. Rusty Keys). The track opens so serene and awesomely. The soothing synths just marries well with the quiet vocoder. With the entry of the cymbals and additional synth-percussions at the one minute – nine seconds mark, the track elevates to more edge, but Irvine does not stray away from that lush slow groove bounce that keeps you glued to the speakers and your partner. I love the addition of that qausi-synth infused guitar/sax effect at the two minutes / 18 seconds mark – it serves its purpose in that it takes you away for reflection and observation and then brings you back into the syncopated mix. Irvine and Keys collaborated well to skillfully produce, “Watching” which seems to evolve every time you listen to it, thus giving the listener free-passes at an eclectically electronic power-fused show.
Simon Irvine is serving up all kinds of brilliance when it comes to the formation and fruition of Modern Electronica / Synth Pop music. The entire album invites you on a surreal journey and leaves you wanting to hear more. Irvine’s entire concept of Electronic / Synth-Pop outshines what is currently being played on mainstream radio and inside of clubs as it has no monotony. Ritual Music is just conceptual splendor all brought to us by a mind and two hands.
Artwork by Shedquartercreations’ Scott Bourke.