With time on his hands, neurons firing fast and a serious hankering for tinkering, organist and keyboard whiz Brian Charette
created what can best be described as an integrated groove orchestrion with catholic tastes. Using samplers, drum machines and arpeggiators programmed to react to and accompany his playing, Charette birthed a man-meets-machine outfit bent on exploring the outer limits, welding atmospherics to grooves, and forwarding catchy and playful lines that seem tailor-made for their territory, though the reverse is actually the case.
Recorded in the spring of 2020, when COVID-19 first kept everybody cooped up, this music obviously speaks to isolation. But, with necessity serving as the mother of invention, as few to no alternatives were available for in-person musical interactions at the time, Charette's experiments also shine a light on his incredible perseverance and the indefatigable spirit of the creative artist. Even in the face of a pandemic, with the rug pulled out from under him and the future uncertain, Charette found a way. And, in keeping with the album title, the music he brought to light shines brightly.
"15 Minutes of Fame," shifting between trippy techno-groove play and pseudo-soundscape territory, presenting earworm hooks, and offering some compelling solo work, proves to be the perfect entryway into this new world. Then Charette delivers an amped-up "Time Piece" bound for the raves, a slice of electro-soul in the form of "Slasher," and a comfortably flowing and glowing "Honeymoon Phase." By the time he arrives at the title track, where wordless vocal samples soar over foreboding undercurrents, processed language gives voice to thought, and ghosts peak out from behind the machines, it's clear that this music is a universe unto itself, where possibility outweighs predictability at every turn.
Charette charms and surprises with more twists and turns over the remaining eight tracks. "Mela's Cha Cha," delivering irresistible R&B dance currents, a detour or two, and a Latin pop solo section, cuts against the notion that man and machine can't make peace, groove as one and get lost in the moment together; "Break Tune," splitting time between the land of minimalistic notions and the church of soul salvation, alters its identity with nary an issue; and "Creole," with fingers joyfully prancing over a funky base, is absolutely magnetic. If it's at all possible to prove personable in the company of machines, Charette has done it here. Like The Sun
, through its general sound(s) and creative thrust, offers a new slant on engagement and a welcome dose of optimism.
15 Minutes of Fame; Time Piece; Slasher; Honeymoon Phase; Like The Sun; Mela’s Cha Cha; Three Lights;
Break Tune; From Like to Love; Creole; Robot Heart; 7th St. Busker; 57 Chevy.