The audnoyz project is a significant musical accomplishment. Indeed it is not unreasonable to call it genuinely ground breaking. Here we have a powerful, pure, jazz oriented talent applied to the cutting edge of the world of atmospheric, techno/euro dance tracks. The result is an instantly accessible, rich, rhythm driven, mind/body experience with highly sophisticated and occasionally startling sonic and arranging treats for the discerning listener. Make no mistake; there is something special going on here. Everyone is always wondering: where will the next big thing in music come from? This music is a piece of the answer.
Pop sensations like Lady Ga Ga use french, German and Spanish liberally in current writing. We live in a global world. Few would argue with that statement these days, but how will we live that reality? The Audnoyz project shows us where we are. Here international elements are fused in new ways with European, American and Indian pop, classic triadic rock chords, latin rhythms, all the new techno and digital tools, brought together by a master musician grounded in jazz, deep theory, and multiple pop and dance influences. It’s all here, and yet none of it is derivative. The real news here is that jazz, classical, pop dance, and esoteric lyrics can all be brought together in a form that is accessible, without being dumbed down. Deeply woven into the rhythmic and harmonic fabric is an intriguing treatment of lyrics and the human voice and live instruments.
The second track “Emotions (She Went Away)” on the album displays elements that are poetic, and impressionistic. The juxtaposed statements suggest and imply, guide and purpose. This is not Impressionist harmony in the manner of Debussy, but more in the painting style of Monet where the essence is sketched and delineated in colors, and the details are provided by the imagination of the viewer. In the manner of Hamlet, questions are posed here that are never answered. The words are delivered by a combination of gorgeous sung vocals, and the spoken words. Some of the great classical pieces of the last century, such as Bernstein’s Kaddish, use spoken words as an intergral element, but this is more sparse, more impressionistic and suggestive. The piece is entirely emotionally interactive, haunting and evocative of deep long remembered experiences. It is up to us to ponder and speculate, no matter how often we come back to the work. The words are clothed in a beautiful diatonic sound wash crafted around acoustic and electric guitar, and fretless bass.
The fourth track “Can’t See” is similar in style, elements layered on a deep and languid bass line, simple yet complete, upon which minimal vocals, hand percussion, guitars and keyboards are layered. After each statement of the theme, the listener is given space to contemplate the implications in a rich and satisfying sound environment.
The fifth track “Not Alone” features a live bass groove with multiple percussion instruments, joyful and organic. In this context the human voice is more of a wordless instrument, part of the sound texture. While it is tempting to recall the work of Flora Purim, this is very different, danceable and contemporary.
Indeed, much of this recording would work very well in the clubs of Cannes and Ibiza. Many of the same sounds and techniques used here are employed by the top DJ’s like Tiesto and Diplo in their music. Track 6 “Bonkers for Bollywood” brings us right into the world of Indian pop, but the keyboard sounds are reminiscent of 70′s Fusion music. There are times when the music is a tone poem, conjuring images of exotic places as in Weather Report’s Black Market. Just when you think you have pegged the style you are hearing, something new happens. Sometimes that new thing is an older timeless thing, such as a perfectly crafted jazz saxophone solo.
Whether one is seeking a dance experience, a meditative journey, a tour through the elements and styles of music from the last 100 years, or a sampling of world culture, it can all be found here. It is time to situp and take notice.