Thursday, 5 August 2010

Instrumental for growth

(ADVISORY – Press “play” on the link before you start reading this)

Shoulder Kiss by canonjon

Increasingly, as I get older I’m finding myself listening to instrumental music over anything else, or if I do listening to music with words it tends to be very minimal or in a foreign language.

I’ve always been a huge fan of supreme producers and composers whose music simply stood alone, with out any lyrical accompaniment – producers/Musicians like Flying Lotus, MF Doom, RJD2, the late great J.Dilla and epic composers like Ryuichi Sakamoto and Hans Zimmer. These craftsmen create a world for their listeners to dive into and immerse themselves in. They’re music gives you a platform to explore and experience your own stories as you journey through with their sound as your backdrop.

Although until recently it hadn’t been a conscious decision for instrumental music to dominate my listening tastes, when I was thinking about it last week I stumbled across a possible reason for my shift from songs with words to songs without.

As I’m beginning to experience the world, comfortable in my own skin as an adult, I’m less concerned with the “same old” stories and agendas of others. You know how it goes when you listen to an album; you have the “I’m back, bigger and better” song, the “Can we hook up/get down/or whatever” song, the “Better off without you/thanks to the haters” song, and the infamous “Party track” or “Club” song.

Well no longer do I want to be told how to feel when I’m listening to music, I want to find something in each piece for myself. Very few song writers can put words to music that allow for that kind of space and freedom, hence my leaning towards instrumentals.

After complaining for much of the past decade that “music isn’t what it used to be” my faith in music was once again restored when I discovered Question & Freddie Joachim’s “Study Guide”, which was actually released last year. If you haven’t heard it, I highly recommend you get on or head down to your nearest good record store and make a purchase. The album is a smooth and soulful blend of Hip-Hop and Jazz, minus the predictable “conscious” Hip-Hop verses pasted over the top.

Each time I listen to an instrumental I get something new out of it, a new mood, a new instrument/melody/sound will pop out and catch my ear. In the same way that a single image can say a thousand and four things without the need for a caption, I’m attracted to music that possesses that same magic.

Here’s an image I captured last week that for me, has that impact:

- Mr Devo

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Blogger Heraldo said...

WOW! Who is that in that last pic?
I love me some green eyes on brown skin.
I'm feelin' what you're saying about instrumentals though, I'm a big Hip Hop head and am increasingly finding myself doing the same thing. You go to city right? I'm about to start there.

27 August 2010 at 12:54  
Blogger Mr. Devo said...

Hi, yes Im a City boy!

The woman in the picture is a good friend of mine.

What course are you starting?
(email me)

4 September 2010 at 07:56  

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