Memphre is a solo effort by Australian artist Hanif Patel. He recently released Folklore which is a four-song effort that has its roots in post-rock. Being a one-man project and attempting post-rock seem like a contradiction in itself. The genre usually calls for multiple people, Patel makes it work with varying degrees of success.
To his credit the music felt quite original and not just another Godspeed You! Black Emperor or Explosions in the Sky clone although elements of both those bands are certainly in this music. The most notable thing about the music is the guitar work. Patel is a great guitarist and is very creative and technically apt.
The biggest issue I had was the drums. I still can spot programmed drums a mile away and with this genre in general it just doesn’t work that great. The best advice I have for Patel is to try and find a drummer on his next effort to really make the songs feel dynamic.
The EP opens with “The Acrobat” which is an impressive song as he meshes more traditional prog rock with post-rock. I especially enjoyed how Patel would transition to new melodies. One thing you can’t say is that the song is boring. He fits a lot in the time length including reverb laced-lead guitar and well a lot more guitar. In fact I had a hard time figuring out how many layers he had going on.
Suffice it to say if you enjoyed the first song - keep listening. “Desert Rails” doesn’t disappoint. The beginning where it was just strings was all I needed. As the song progresses the song goes in all types of directions and is a fun roller coaster ride from beginning to end.
The intensity continues with the incredibly dynamic “Silk Road” which is all over the place stylistically in a good way. He closes with “Folklore” which also has some inspired moments and feels cohesive with the previous songs.
A drummer might be a good start for Patel but what I would be interested to hear is what other players could bring to the table as well. Overall, Folklore is a solid EP which builds a foundation for an artist with a good amount of potential.
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