DJ Unwind | Far From Here the EP

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Electronic: Trip Hop Electronic: Chill out Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Far From Here the EP

by DJ Unwind

Lying somewhere between moody winter-nights and your favorite Portuguese beach, this EP is likely far from anything you’ve heard recently.
Genre: Electronic: Trip Hop
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Twilights and Teardrops
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4:09 $0.99
2. Night Foil
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3:23 $0.99
3. Endless You
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4:49 $0.99
4. Breathe
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3:12 $0.99
5. Revery
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3:28 $0.99
6. Natalias Groove
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3:29 $0.99
7. My Sunshine Remix
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4:27 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Being part of a scene makes things easy for fans and artists alike. That said it takes a lot of gumption and ability for a new artist to take a pass on the easy exposure generated from jumping on the music bandwagon. Producer/Composer DJ Unwind is just this kind of artist. His new album, Far From Here the EP out April 2010 on the independent record label Velvet Music Group is a seven song collection of mostly instrumental tracks that complete what the liner notes call “a unique concept album composed from being ‘far from selfishness, politics, corruption, pop culture and materialism’.” For a producer with ears like DJ Unwind, to take a step back, a deep breath and a fresh approach to music speaks volumes about his sincerity and credibility as an artist. Thanks to Unwind's masterful cinematic approach to production, each track stands strongly on it’s own even without any highlighting vocal performances.


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Jason Randall Smith

Headphone Essential Music
From the dawn of a new millennium, electronic music has spawned an endless variety of subgenres, each one building upon what came before it. Constant movement and rhythmic mutations can cause some music makers to keep their ears close to the street and online in search of new sounds. However, there is something to be said for musicians that sidestep the latest subgenre in order to master the harmonic space that they currently find themselves a part of. With the compounded interest of everyday pressure in everyone’s life, there will always be a need for downtempo recordings. The healing properties of chill out selections resonate strongly with DJ Unwind, a Minneapolis-based producer and multi-instrumentalist. His latest release, Far From Here The EP, is proof that his music reflects his name, removing the listener from the trials of the everyday and landing them safe in the arms of aural tranquility.

Even though the EP’s length is under 30 minutes, it manages to leave a lasting impression long after the final song concludes. The opening track “Twilights and Teardrops” sets the mood immediately with a warm chord progression, slinky bass pattern, and rhythm guitar accents. Straight out of the gate, Unwind’s instrumentals possess the unquestionable cool factor of Sade’s backing band. “Endless You” continues the seduction with a slow and sexy shuffle as live percussion dances over programmed beats. The percussion is used sparingly as a light seasoning, which adds an organic feel to the composition. “Breathe” adds a touch of Brazilian ambiance from the sonic spice rack, the steady shake of a maraca providing the anchor and ensuring that the groove won’t set sail prematurely.

DJ Unwind’s masterful arrangements recall the work of Thievery Corporation, a D.C.-based duo that has perfected the delicate balance between the rough and the smooth. “Night Foil” taps into that balance by crafting a rugged thump track that supports a sustained keyboard drone and the sound of a record stylus making contact with scratchy vinyl. In some ways, that simple effect is an acknowledgement of Unwind’s history with sampling and the hours spent digging through his father’s record collection. His collaborative spirit allows space for the exquisite vocals of Timotha Lanae, whose tones mix with the vinyl crackle so that it sounds like her performance was lifted from a recording made decades ago. The wistful guitar playing of Joron Willz is icing on an already decadent cake, rich in emotion and adequate in its placement.

“Natalia’s Groove” is one of those involuntary head nod cuts. The kick and the snare drum command you to sway to the rhythm while the clink of glasses loop themselves into an infectious melody. Meanwhile, a string section swoops in to apply some cinematic luster to the song.

This EP is headphone-essential music, the kind you want to listen to closely so you don’t miss the subtle nuances within the mix. Its brief length surely won’t be long enough for some, leaving listeners to ponder the places they’ll go when DJ Unwind finally drops another full album upon a grateful public.


Review by Jason Randall Smith