Dutcher Snedeker

Pianist, Sound Engineer, Booking Agent

365 Day Music Project Week 10

Lovely Planet Original Soundtrack by Calum Bowen

Recently, I was reminded of a game for PC called “Lovely Planet,” a colorful, cartoonish game by Tequila Games that is almost a parody of the First Person Shooter genre. Paired with the fast-paced indie shooting mechanics is the game’s awesome jazz/funk/electro-pop driven soundtrack. It pairs so nicely to have such a fun soundtrack to an equally enjoyable game! The game can be found on Steam for about $6, but it is also currently available as part of the “World’s Apart” bundle on a site called “Bundle Stars” for discounted price with 11 more included indie titles. While purchasing the soundtrack definitely helps Bowen’s musical endeavors, it is also great to check out the game even if you typical wouldn’t play an indie title like “Lovely Planet.” One can only hope Bowen is asked to return to score the music for the sequel, “Lovely City,” which should be out some time next year. 

Viscera by Haunted Shores

Okay, just had to get one shouting statement in. Basically, I’ve been following Misha Mansoor and Mark Holcomb since Periphery’s first album came about and Haunted Shores had some singles and a split-EP with Cyclamen. These guitarists have a distinct style that keeps getting refined with each new release, everything from their technical facility to their production skills. This album shows how interesting an instrumental album can be! It’s exciting, it’s got some great moments that build into a soaring guitar hook, capturing the energy from Periphery’s live sound and developing some great new musical ideas in the process. It’s got some nods to black metal, Devin Townsend, and includes a guest appearance by Jorgen Munkeby on saxophone, who fronts the group Shining (featured in last week’s post). For any metal fan looking for some well written and produced instrumental music, I definitely recommend this EP. Go support them! From beginning to end, you’re on a supersonic experience! 

Breaking Brain by Panzerballett
I love this band, everything they do is like a virtuosic musical carnival. I never know what to expect from their originals or their arrangements of popular tunes and themes. This album is proof that they are still coming up with fantastic ideas and continuing to push the limits of their band. From Indian-rhythms infused with metal to “Mahna Mahna” done with such increased difficulty in their interpretation that it seems inconceivable that it can be pulled off. They are totally comfortable moving from a polyrhythmic guitar riff into a series of jazz solos while still keeping the riff going. They can pull from prog rock roots and easily combine it with the Pink Panther theme. Their sound is organized chaos, pulled off so brilliantly by some of Germany’s finest musicians daring to experiment with genre bending to create their own unique sound. Seriously, even if you just listen to the covers on this album, you need to check out at least one song on this album. It’s an oddity to show your friends as much as it is a theory exercise for music nerds!

Polysemy by Mestis

I am happy to see Javier Reyes getting the spotlight for this solo project, and it’s a huge step forward from his first release. The production quality is better as well as the song arrangements, as you can hear every nuance Reyes pulls off on 8-string electric guitar. Tosin Abasi often gets the attention for Animals As Leaders, but some people tend to forget that it really takes their combined skill set to pull off an instrumental progressive metal trio. Reyes gets to show off his classical, Latin, and jazz musical roots in this release, combine technical facility with the range and harmonic options offered by an extended range guitar. He shows why 8-strings are no longer a novelty and demand a particular kind of expert to be able to fully utilize their capabilities. If you want groove laden prog with a great amount of diversity, you’ll love this album! It’s as much for guitarists learning the 8-string as it is for metal fans to get introduced to other styles and sounds through this side project.

The Color Before the Sun by Coheed and Cambria

Man, it has been forever since I’ve listened to a release from this band. I remember hearing “Welcome Home” for the first time and rocking out to that song on Rockband. “Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV” was an album that had a lot of variety and a distinct approach to modern rock, punctuated by a vocal sound everybody can recognize. Their new album is no different. They continue to write songs with strong hooks and creative flare, with the experience to realize when to borrow from other strong songwriters. It’s cool to still see them around, burning as brightly as ever. 

Young Jazz Giants by Young Jazz Giants

Okay, I am only going to tell you to listen to this album once. Seriously, this was a rare discovery and an interesting bit of recent music history. The group, led by sax player Kamasi Washington, includes the Bruner brothers and Cameron Graves on keys. This album is so great! It shows that they were killing it on their instruments back in their college days, but it shows the genesis of so many future projects. You get a glimpse of Thundercat, Kamasi's direction on The Epic, and an album full of their funk/hip hop/jazz fusion that is so refreshing to hear even over 10 years after the fact. Go listen to this and remember why these players have worked with everyone from Chaka Khan to Suicidal Tendencies to Kendrick Lamar. 

Please Rewind by Moonchild

I was surprised that the first time I heard this band was through Jacob Mann's YouTube series, specifically on a video about "laying back." It was so great diving into this album, it's got such a deep groove throughout and is oozing future soul vibes reminiscent of DIlla's style. It's great to see innovation out there, and these guys fit in nicely.

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