Blurb: While lighter on the ethnic elements and heavier on the celestial mood and ambience, the latest album from Everpresent hits its stride early and maintains a steady pace throughout.
Since forming Everpresent in 2002, Matthew Cahoon has taken the band through a tumultuous and impressive evolution, encompassing elements of gothic electro, ambient, pop, and even soul and R&B. The 2011 release of Phoenix found the act finally settling into its own particular style, driven primarily by Cahoon’s emotive vocals and an atmospheric sense of rhythmic synthpop with ethnic undertones, making for a rather sensual sound that continues on this new album. Introspekt features a new lineup, with the vocal interplay between Cahoon and Cat Waltzer taking center stage amid the trademark arrangements of celestially ambient pop.
The album’s first single, “In My Veins” is perhaps the best example of Introspekt’s overall sound and vibe; with Cahoon and Waltzer trading off and harmonizing their voices while Balint Boldog’s live percussion and Mike Woods’ guitar add no small amount of power to the airy layers of electrified sequences. “Mine” follows a similar motif albeit with a far more erotic intent while the electronic bass throbs amid subtle percussive glitches help elevate the music slightly above its inherent simplicity. Tastefully restrained breakbeats and organ tones adding a soulful feel in the track’s second half enhance the spacey ambience of the overly long “Pulsar,” while Woods’ crystalline guitar arpeggios and Boldog’s drumming give “Inside” a slight rock edge to what is otherwise another display of harmonious vocals and pads creating a mystical effect. “Vortex” is in this writer’s opinion the best realized track on the album, from its upbeat rhythm and driving percussion to the enticing melody and darkly throbbing bass, while songs like “Echoes” and “Astral Light” emphasize Cahoon’s instrumental capabilities and help to give Introspekt the sense of a concept album floating in the psychedelic expanses of deep space.
Heavier on mood and lighter on the Middle Eastern influences that pervaded Phoenix, Introspekt strives for a sensory experience that marginally succeeds. Instrumentally, Everpresent is at the top of its game as every performer showcases his or her talents with tightly knit arrangements that never descend into bombast gratuitous displays, although as a consequence, the album never really hits a high note. Introspekt hits its stride very early on and maintains a level composure that is certainly pleasant, but also lacks a real punch that Everpresent is capable of yet never seems to achieve. On the other hand, this might be where the live show fills in the blanks, but that does little to raise Introspekt past the point of being simply… well, good.
Everpresent Website http://www.everpresent.org
Everpresent Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EverpresentEP
Everpresent Twitter https://twitter.com/everpresentep
Artistik Soul Productions
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)