This album is the first of many MIX Music albums to come. Ryan M. Smith, the solo artist that goes by the stage name of MIX, started creating the album two years prior to its release. The project started with a spark of simple curiosity which turned into a large project that culminated into the diverse album that is All Mixed Out.
The name of the album speaks volumes to the music that it encompasses. The project started off with the track entitled ‘Running River’. Once the track was finished, MIX was left with many more unfinished ideas, so the music making continued. The defining idea from which MIX developed his music was that music is diverse, but no single artist or band truly attempts to incorporate a diverse variety of music into a single album. Why not make an album in which each track has its own idea and defining feel? Why not have multiple genres in the album? Do not get me wrong, this is not a new concept in music but to be able to make an album, as a solo artist, that spans many genres and does it well is quite challenging.
MIX strongly believes that to keep music creative, the artist has to be challenged and driven to attempt something new. During the creation of this album, MIX studied many different instruments in order to keep his creativity fresh. Originally a percussionist, MIX studied guitar, piano, and voice, while also continuing to further his knowledge of percussion. This not only gave him the ability to incorporate these instruments into his album, but it also helped him discover the musical styles that each instrument is best at. Another skill that MIX developed throughout the making of the album was the ability to create music by using computer programming. Computer generated sounds are heavily used in modern music, thus MIX was compelled to learn this skill.
In an effort to stand out from other artists, MIX utilized non-conventional ways in order to develop his music while still using conventional forms. This means that the average American music listener will hear similar tendencies such as verses, chores, and bridges in the music, but the progressions and textures sound unconventional. In other words, the music of All Mixed Out sounds similar yet different so that the listener has something familiar which they can relate to, but also gives them something new.
The collection of tracks includes two piano solos, four electronic/techno tracks, a blues guitar track, a blues piano reading, a heavy rock song, a rap song, and an acoustic guitar song. Within each of these tracks are sounds from other genres that fuse with the main theme of the track.
Furthermore, no solo artist can fully avoid creating relatively similar sounding music, so MIX sought out other musicians to help him make the music more expansive. Percussionist/ Drum set player and vocalist Jon Cales , with guitarists Matt Smith and Brian Watkins are all featured in the album.
If you are a music listener who would like to get the most music for your money, and would like to explore an album that keeps you interested and guessing, All Mixed Out is the Album for you. Also, if you just like one particular genre or sound, buy one or a few tracks that suit your interest. It is a winning situation for both MIX Music and the music listener.