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DJ Chris Anthem, aka Gunslinger, offers a medley of dance and party tracks founded on a pulsating, groove-oriented modus operandi. With feisty synth lines, catchy riffs and echo-laden vocals, the program casts an appeasing portraiture of retro house beats with a modern periphery. Gunslinger incorporates beefy electro-bass parts into the grand schema, which is a component that works agreeably with the snappy beats.
At times, Gunslinger's vocals project mystical attributes, especially during the hazy dream-type ambient-electronica jaunts, largely evidenced within various interludes or movements. He cagily morphs the oscillating and melodious segments into the netherworld, when not steering the music into techno-psychedelic forays, spiced with an up-tempo impetus. And on "Variation," the DJ bangs out a pop-rock dance vibe atop a pliant framework and hearty rock rhythms.
Unlike other productions of this ilk, the artist refrains from sugarcoating many of his arrangements with layer-upon-layer of electronic effects and nonsensical interludes, uncannily bridging a new wave rock mindset with traditional electronic dance music paradigms. More important, Gunslinger's compositions are designed with sustainable qualities, based on memorable hooks and a buoyant approach to the material. With a musicality underscored by theatrical implications, Early Volumes 1 is an enjoyable outing that should appeal to both the hardcore house music advocates and the modern pop-rock crowd.
Track Listing: Run For Your Life; Who Have You Been; Words; Unbreakable; Variations; Saving Your Heart; Gravity; Nothing's Good Enough.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.