Right from the very outset of his self-titled debut record Midnite Tiger, Oakland, California-based producer Midnite Tiger sets the tone for how his record is going to play out. As an entity, Midnite Tiger takes turns blending drum machine generated beats, with wah pedal guitar riffs, synths and samples. The musical influences on Midnite Tiger are all over the map though most evident would be the R&B pop artist Sade. Many of the vocals on Midnite Tiger reflect Sade’s breathy and soft vocal whispers.
Midnite Tiger also credits the inspiration for Midnite Tiger as coming from long road trips ,which he took through both the California and Nevada deserts. As you listen to the album, these influences are strongly felt as it becomes easy to picture listening to this record while driving through somewhere as remote as the deserted deserts of the southwestern United States.
Midnite Tiger opens Midnite Tiger with scratchy wah wah guitar and hi hat heavy beats reminiscent of ‘70s soul and funk master Isaac Hayes. Though as soon as the dueting male and female vocals come in, any hope for a sexy and bass vocal track is shot down. The next track “Expanse” is largely more of the same, but with some auto tuned vocals added to perhaps mask the fact that the track is remarkably similar to its predecessor.
“Raspberry Sunset” sees Midnite Tiger exploring a mellow techno vein for a change, with slow synth grooves and cathartic sounding samples. “Desert Life” is atmospheric sounding with interspersed hand clap beats and bits of funky bass layered in and out of laser-like samples.
Midnite Tiger begins to pick up a bit on the groove infested and danceable “Zamora,” which sees Midnite Tiger mixing electric guitars with more industrial styled beats. The vocals are again reminiscent of previous tracks vocals, light and atmospheric, though at times intensely powerful.
The last two tracks on the album, “Foxes” and “Windowshade” bring to the table the similar sounding beats and samples heard on the album’s earlier tracks. There is only so much ethereal beauty one can take before one realizes that it’s all basically coming out sounding similar. Not neccessarily a bad thing. In defense of Midnite Tiger, the music is generally very ethereal and beautiful while managing to feel funky and soulful.
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