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Multi-instrumentalist Mark Huotari and his fictitious band-mates execute a delightful sequence of musical events on the download-only KoMHtA. With traces of classic British progressive-rock and psychedelia amid a contemporary slant, the music is constructed on layered instrumentation, whispery themes and sublime melodies.
Huotari's affable arrangements boast polytonal treatments and catchy hooks, although he doesn't depend on slash-and-burn rock tactics. It's all consummated by a tasteful approach, grounded on a highly entertaining framework. Neither overly saccharine or needlessly complex, the artist employs odd-metered pulses, firm backbeats and shifting time signatures to drive home the overall dynamic.
Featuring airy dreamscapes, polytonal electronics passages and upbeat plots, the artist injects comforting melody lines into the grand mix. On "Fido," Huotari sparks remembrances of space-rock gods Tangerine Dream, via pulsating rhythms and harmonious synth patterns. But he also intersperses quirky contrasts and textural electric guitar licks, while fluently molding the proverbial old wine into shiny new bottles. And during "OK, So Yours Can Do That...," Huotari opens with a hint of classic Genesis, where he aligns a fairytale-like vista with eloquent guitar riffs and amiable synth voicings, spawning a mid-tempo rock fest.
KoMHtA is an affair that yields numerous delicacies by way of strong and sustainable compositions. Huotari is obviously a student of time-honored progressive-rock components, but the differentiator pertains to his distinct musical language that casts an element of authenticity, as these compositions intimate a testament to his broad plane of ideas and bracing artistry.
Track Listing: Another One of Those Days; Comfort; Fido; Lazy Rat Reuben Head; Menacing; Numbskull; OK, So Yours Can Do That...; One More Mystery; Troublesome; What Can I Find?.
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...