Kevin Musliner is a solo songwriter and producer from Boston. MA. He started writing and mixing instrumentals for collaborative hip hop duo AYCES with his best friend but was drawn to a lot of other styles with the electronic medium. That’s what led him down the path of creating his own individual work, and I’m glad that happened.
His latest release entitled Early Words opens with “641 Margins.” I loved the innovative sound of this track. Warbling, anxious, stuttering, static, sampled piano notes jitter uncertainly atop a glitchy electronic drum beat creating a surprisingly pleasant, soothing sound. Arpeggios danced and twirled atop one another as the digitized piano sounds blended seamlessly with synthetic notes and set the tone for the intriguing sound of this EP. Experimental is certainly one word for it; it reminds me of something you’d see on a Thom Yorke solo release, minus the vocals.
“Trilogy of Erosion” is driven by a sonic earworm of a synthetic riff. Atmospheric sounds create the warm backdrop of this track, joined by another glitchy, synthetic, but tempered beat lying behind multiple layers of electronic noise. There were moments within this track during which the drum beat went a little over the top with filler, but that’s only because the beat, at moments, was a little too juxtaposed against the soothing, chilled-out atmosphere surrounding it. It did throw me back to the experimental vibes of instrumental bands such as 65daysofstatic, who Kevin should certainly listen to if he fancies heading down a more ferocious electronic route. Still, the positives of this track far outweighed the negatives; the soundscape itself was mind-boggling, much like the opener.
“wavs” opens with a a video-game-esque synth arpeggio. It dances and fluctuates up and down the octaves in a head-bop-inducing manner. Low synthetic bass rhythms drive the majority of the song, however. There’s certainly a funky vibe to this track, but I liked the diversity of it all. There were moments of serenity and calm thrown into the mix for good measure. The listener is given a chance to breathe from time to time.
“Cozumi” was so cool. Continuing the funky, upbeat vibes of the previous track, it’s driven by a ridiculously catchy high-pitched synth line. Then comes a low, funky bass rhythm, dancing twirling bells which sound almost like synthetic steel drums and a punchy, ricocheting drum beat which jolts all over the place, jumping from the left to right audio track uncontrollably.
“Salvation Army” opens with jingling bells, a low and tempered bass rhythm which is brand new territory for Musliner, and I think it comes across brilliantly. Organ sounds jolt in and out of the distance. The only problem my eyes because they’re unnecessary instrumental filler, but I was really getting into the groove of this and the last song, and I felt like they stopped too abruptly.
“Shade of Violet” was a different beast altogether. Ominous synthetic sounds lay a brooding, endlessly-reverberating backdrop to this track. This really delves into the depths of electronica as Musliner creates a sprawling and never-ending soundscape of haunting, overlapping synths, and vocal samples which jar and collide into one another, and an infectious, throbbing bass rhythm. This is really a good EP and I look forward to seeing what comes next.
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