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Reviews: Metaverse ~ Meta V
Posted on Saturday, August 04, 2007 @ 01:42:37 EDT
CD: Meta V
Home: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Style: Electronica, New Age, Ambient, Industrial, Trance
Quote: "If you can picture Moby hanging out with Prodigy, and now and again letting Mylo take the reins, you wouldn't be too far off. Maybe even add just a little dash of Japanese techno, for good measure."
By Danny Brown
If you grew up as a teenager in the United Kingdom in the 90s, it's more than likely that one of the genres you may have listened to was dance music. Whether that was via hardcore dance such as house or industrial, or more laid-back fare such as trance, it offered an escape from bands such as Oasis and Blur. Swirling sounds, trippy atmospherics and often-haphazard arrangements, it was one of the genres with which both artists and listeners could really experiment.
Hailing from Santa Fe, Metaverse is the brainchild of indie artist and composer Zeph E. Daniel. Taking its name from the Neal Stephenson novel Snow Crash, Metaverse is a descriptive term for the 3D virtual worlds found in places like Second Life and World of Warcraft, where you use avatars to represent yourself. It's kind of apt for the music of Daniel, since Meta V is as spacious and unpredictable as these virtual worlds' can be.
The music of Metaverse has been described as ambient, techno and world music, all jammed together with cryptic vocals and lyrics. If you can picture Moby hanging out with Prodigy, and now and again letting Mylo take the reins, you wouldn't be too far off. Maybe even add just a little dash of Japanese techno, for good measure.
Opening track "Buss Reid" sets the tone, with its almost science fiction-like soundtrack, with swishy keyboards trading with an argumentative bass line that's never quite allowed to run its own course. If you ever wanted a soundtrack to a lucid dream, then this is exactly the kind of track you'd envisage.
This merges into "Trash Religion," which opens up with distorted keyboards and guitars, before the most hypnotizing bass you've ever heard joins forces with drums to transport you to some underground rave, where garage and happy hardcore are the in-house currency.
"But You're Not There," which at eight minutes long is the longest track on the CD, is a more transient affair, and brings to mind early Echoboy, before he found guitar and went all indie rock on us. A staccato drum track plays behind spoken word vocals, with an Indian chanteuse in the background offering an Eastern feel to the composition.
It's a brave soul that brings out a dance concept album, which is what Meta V essentially is. With titles such as "Journey Across The Forbidden," with its 70s feel sci-fi leanings (apart from the ever-present heavy bass lines), and "Before The Machine," which is the perfect soundtrack to that morning after comedown, there's a definite linkage between all the songs on offer her.
Whether today's dance fans, or even those looking for something a little bit different than all the emo kid bands, will take to Zeph E. Daniel and his Metaverse project is open to debate. It can sometimes be a little too trippy, even for the most dedicated mushroom heads. However, there's no denying that it's an accomplished piece of work, and one that shows there's still people willing to experiment, and that should always be encouraged.
Buy at CD Baby Indie-Music Profile
Artist Website: http://www.4dmusic.blogspot.com