George Harrison is a naturally legendary person that illustrates an immaculate sense of understanding and enlightenment in not just his personal life, but through a musical stance as well. His 1970 journey, All Things Must Pass has stuck in time for being a reflective voyage of recovery, new life, and rebirth through sound.
The record is simple beautiful and touching on a sounding placement, but then shows moments of inner-working tenderness that makes All Things Must Pass an album worth returning to over and over again. Opening gracefully with “I’d Have You Anytime”, a subtle display that cherishes the sound Harrison has to offer and brings it to the foreground. Its resemblance is nearly comprised of dream-esque guitar that takes Harrison to a new level where he is able to capture rising and falling action throughout the almost crawling style. The slick guitar work from Harrison and Eric Clapton that is featured here, as well as the variety of nearly thirty total instrumentalists brings a new wave of complexity behind the surrounding depth of the record.
Harrison captures this essence behind his style and has the incredibly laid back, almost forgiving manner behind his own personality; this is transposed into his music through the use of acoustic guitars and a vocal performance throughout All Things Must Pass that is second-nature for Harrison as he harmonizes between the melodies. He connects passionately and is influential through tracks like, “Wah-Wah”, “Isn’t It A Pity”, or “If Not For You” where Harrison is stunning through these performances and ultimately captures the listener in a gentle, but calming manner. Especially on “Isn’t It A Pity” where the dramatic chords and tender movements of the electric guitars is grasping in the lightest sense of the word. All Things Must Pass becomes a memorable experience for the exact way that Harrison can put his own inspiration and personality behind his music, illustrating in the best sense a relief that everything will pass and the sun will always continue to rise.
Just as it sets however, as Harrison also directs the gentleness for “Let It Down” where the primary focus is on the fuzz infused rising action that is then settled by the pianos and the sliding electric guitar that is almost effortless sounding. When the music then escalates and becomes something stronger, Harrison can rapture through sound these cascading background vocals that move with his voice and the backing instrumentalists as well.
All Things Must Pass is also an incredibly stacked journey of sound with a remaster of over two-hours of tracks and bonus tracks, as well as original versions of “My Sweet Lord” and “Isn’t It A Pity”. It is best taken in multiple dissections as Harrison’s sound feels so empowering and embracing ultimately in a manner that reflects on his own personal life. It is a journey of passion and understanding, but also stylistic choices that are monumental in his career. All Things Must Pass is a descriptive adventure of beauty and enlightenment, that leaves the listener feeling satisfied with what is being presented.
Jonwayne is an immaculate producer, there is no way around it. His mixed compilation Cassette on Vinyl, is a rhyme-scheme dream that reflects on the consciousness of the Californian capturing of sound. He is not alone however, he moves with Jeremiah Jae, Zeroh, and Oliver the 2nd to accomplish this mix of percussion and straight rhymes that can echo throughout Cassette on Vinyl until the somber end.
Opening with “Gross”, a glorifying vocal mix of a symphony of sound that can shoot down and lay upon the soulful mood of boom-bap beauty. His voice is charismatic, but does not go smoothly over the instrumental. It is a clash of style that is interesting to the ears and almost questionable. The production on Cassette on Vinyl is distant, while Jonwayne’s own voice is closer and almost constricting on the instrumentals that are present. The mix is capturing however, and Jonwayne has a distinctive style that continues over the fluttering and record scratches that make the incredibly layered and deeply floating style of “Gross”, even the transition into “Raw Shit”.
A little deeper passed the surface level lays “Raw Shit”, a morphing instrumental that uses a multi-layering of almost organ-esque chords that shift and vibrate make the breakdowns. There are the sampled and heavily-distorted vocals that Jonwayne and Jeremiah Jae easily introduce their own lyrical styles over. Jonwayne is slightly overpowering through his voice, although he changes the flow and the movement of the production, Jonwayne stays similar in his approach to the plate.
It is where Jonwayne lets the instrumentals take hold and control the emotion, as on the track “Altitude” where the the introduction is smooth and easy-going. Jonwayne is slowly sliding into frame and delivers a touching, but sullen verse that depicts, “I swear to god I saw my dead friends in the sand dunes, the faces blew away in the wind, I knew they had to”. Jonwayne’s style is attractive when he is relaxed, and almost slurred as the production folds the frame and becomes bigger than the box around him.
Cassette on Vinyl is powerful and shows a stance of Jonwayne’s simple, but substantial journey. The mix that he chose from his previous releases is able to stand-out through the strong production and variable filled verses. Jonwayne moves to a structured movement and is able to both produce and rhyme with ease.
Black metal is an overarching term that engulfs many different artists in a shadowed black cloud. Taake formed in 1993 under the moniker, Thule; eventually the band would see multiple line-up shifts while one remaining member persevered. In a stance of thunder, HOEST is the main creative process behind Taake and their newest 2017 release, Kong Vinter is another outflow of consciousness into the deep resources of the mind.
While HOEST is not alone, he works with four other members that work to form the newest rendition of Taake. With V’GANDR who handles the live bass and backing vocals, there are two guitarists, both AINDIACHAÍ and GJERMUND, and finally BRODD who performs like a machine on the percussion. They move without reason on Kong Vinter and become a smashing team that creates a wreckage throughout the record and show little mercy. The group dawns their white face-paint in a classical style of black metal that has the lo-fidelity sound mixed with an overbearing launch of war-esque instruments. It opens with “Sverdets Vei”, an instantly clashing level of sound floods into the frame and becomes synonymous with creating this uneasy feeling. It holds the attention through a rough, but well introduced level of growling vocals and the feel of black metal bleeds through the instruments. It is a call back to the original days of bands like Bathory or Darkthrone, while keeping a new focus on making a seguing piece of guitar riffs, percussion smashes, and vocal oppression that has this incredible amount of flow behind it.
It is the way that Taake uses atmospheric and horrid sound to portray a storyboard behind the music on the dualistic tracks, “Huset I Havet”, and “Havet I Huset” as the translation relates to “House in the Sea” and “Sea in the House” where HOEST is maniacal and nearly overbearing to a sense where the attitude is so incredibly aggressive and devastating. Taake makes Kong Vinter an ever-changing and adapting journey that reflects through the craftsmanship and understanding of creating a modern mix of sound with the style of yesteryear. This is especially present on “Maanebrent” that shines in how the riffs and punches from the guitar that can fly in fury together with the other instruments, washing over the listener in a heavy rain. Taake creates a great amount of consciousness into Kong Vinter where the wall of noise attacks, but also builds in the mood as it twists and forms entirely new styles with each section of the tracks present.
Kong Vinter is an exceptional record when it reaches the final climax of the jump on the final track, “Fra Bjoergegrend Mot Glemselen” where the sudden rush and the rising and falling action is the centerfold of the record. It becomes this equal wrap that takes parts from each section of Kong Vinter and packages them under one substantial, sectional roof. It is where HOEST is at his most level-headed; where the instrumental is primarily Earth-shaking, but still has moments where the sound is turned atmospheric and given a chance to breathe. The drawing of breath proceeds to give the listener a much needed break after the near hour-long release from Taake; an influential and prevailing one though.
Truly, it is where Taake shines through the rough and rugged styling of yesterday when being paired with a modern sound. The deadly reach is never forsaken by the atmospheric noise, and is instead only made more noticeable and explosive from the break in the sound. Kong Vinter takes the action and forms a real layer of depth behind the sound, it can build a sound completely; but also destroy and level what surrounds it.