Friday, April 8, 2011

This Music Moment-2010

Its rare in your life to find artists you began listening to at both the beginning of your life in music, but also in the commercial life of an upcoming band. I can only recall my experience with the various works of the people associated with Gruvis Malt; Jonny Classic is a great album, done by Brendan who was on lead vocal in gruvis; ebu gogo, which formed from the culmination of gruvis; and gavin castleton, and his crazy prolific portfolio. After Gruvis' 3rd album, ..With The Spirit of a Traffic Jam, i began to pick up on some solo projects that Gavin was working on outside of Gruvis. It was some nice stuff; although i didnt dig his solo hip hop albums as much as work such as his experimental electro album Hypotenuse, his work ethic and dedication to the world of music pushed all of his capabilities forward, and he started to release EPs such as Hospital Hymns that dove into completely unexpected genres that gavin was apparently very proficient in.

His standout solo effort, Home, came out in 2009, and it was a perfect advancement of his creativity in a large range of fields. Although it is unrelated to what i set out to post, his song Coffee Locks comes to mind as a song i must share. It starts out classic motown, with the awesome arpeggiated guitar work melding into some very well arranged strings and vocals, and it just escalates from there. The vocal enters, harmonies and instrumentation expands, and in typical gavin style, he brings the track into many unique sections that work so beautifully well in arrangement and fluidity.

Beautiful stuff. Knowing him as first the keyboardist/ backup vocalist for Gruvis, it has been an exciting ride to listen along with his musicial progression.

That brings me to his rendition of Sledgehammer, by Peter Gabriel. This is a video to watch both with headphones and also fullscreened. Gavin began working with live looping at some point in his musical madness, and as a keyboardist with a modern laptop and recording program, gavin had found ways to patch in all the instruments needed to create a fully orchestrated pop song, and on top of those elements, add in his skills at beatboxing and building rhythm sections. His abilities to play incredible, mathematically complicated keyboard lines while singing is unheard of; this is a video of flawless execution. I get lost in that small frame in the upper right hand of the video, that lists all of the loops he is adding, or effects being applied, all with preassigned foot switches and looping tracks. Everything about this is perfect, and i still have not witnessed an equal demonstration of precision and execution that one man utilizes alone.

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