ALBUM REVIEW: Jody Wisternoff – Trails We Blaze
Slowly making its way out of production rooms from around the world and on to mixes and DJ sets is the sound that one day hopes to compete with progressive house. Deep electronica.
In the midst of the electronic dance music revolution that has come over the United States in the past two years, the time for new genres to come to the surface is here. Other genres have surely made their cases and have loyal followings, but deep electronica is still in its commercial beginnings. A prologue of sorts.
Right now, it’s hard to place many of the producers who are glued to the sound, but one name may look familiar. Eric Prydz. While his sound may be viewed as deep progressive, he is certainly a disciple of the deep. His album may be the turning point for electronic dance music around the world.
While a full shift to the deep may not hit worldwide audiences in the ways progressive house has, the sounds are out there and they are developing a loyal fan base.
Along with Pyrdz, producers like Suspect 44 and Soundprank are just a few of the deep electronica producers who have enjoyed success in 2012. No label better captures the ‘deep sound’ better than Anjunadeep. They’re clearly ahead of their time and, on Monday, they looked to Jody Wisternoff to be one of its ambassadors with the release of his ‘Trails We Blaze’ album.
More after the jump!
Wisternoff’s career spans over a quarter century of sounds, and ‘Trails We Blaze,’ though certainty deep, projects all of his production experience. With ever so slight touches of nu-disco, progressive, funk and, even, hip-hop, his LP flaunts the soundscapes possible in the electronica world.
Commercial dance music fans enter at your own risk.
Beginning with funky but sleepy ‘How You Make Me Feel’ featuring Pete Josef, the albums funky tone is set in stone. From here, there is no turning back. It is clear immediately that Wisternoff enjoys vocals laid over his soundscapes. The second track, ‘Back To Me,’ features the albums other vocalist. A familiar name, Jonathan Mendelsohn. In it, the retro (a key component to the ‘deep sound’) vibe is well on display. The album continues with the rather housey ’95.’ Beatport labeled it as ‘deep house.’ They would be correct. The first track to easily get approval would be the albums fourth, ‘Red Stripes.’ It is an adventure into hip-hop sampling in electronica vision. The ‘You Make Me Feel So Good’ sample is outstanding. It might immediately be recognized from this Nas diss to Jay-Z and Cormega (1:25.) Again, outstanding.
Jody Wisternoff – Red Stripes
Mendelson returns (he returns a lot) in the next track, ‘Out Of Reach.’ His voice carries well over the snares throughout. Another win for the deep, but another question for those who do not understand. ‘Cold Drink, Hot Girl’ comes next. It is alongside ‘Red Stripe’ for Wisternoff’s best work on ‘Trails We Blaze.’ It is sort of an ode to Prydz. It’s in his style and could’ve easily made for a bonus track on ‘Pryda.’ We’d be none the wiser.
Jody Wisternoff – Cold Drink Hot Girl (Refix)
Mendelson returns (again) with his best vocal work of the album in ‘Slowmotion.’ The hook reminds us why deep electronica can be so great. Not just a soundscape, but an actual song.
Jody Wisternoff feat. Jonathan Mendelsohn – Slowmotion
Track eight, ‘Starstrings’ features great vocals and a solid instrumental but will be lacking something to untrained ears. Pete Josef returns for the next track, his last track, the appropriately titled ‘Just One More.’ Josef’s voice is a slight drop off compared to Mendelsohn’s, but the disco bass of ‘Just One More’ will find a place in the heart of anyone who enjoys the ‘French Touch.’ Track 10, ‘Babylon Calling’ is another Prydzy production. Abstract and deep progressive with a just a touch of sampling. Wisternoff brings the stringed instruments in for track 11, ‘Orinoco.’ The perfect music if you’re standing, waiting doing nothing (idling house?). The last track, a bonus, the albums namesake, is by far the most house-oriented track of the entire album. Easily the deepest house track of the dozen.
Jody Wisternoff – Trails We Blaze
Overall, ‘Trails We Blaze’ is a fantastic achievment in deep electronica and it captures the Anjunadeep sound perfectly. What some will learn is that deep electronica is not mainstream ready. Wisternoff’s effort is certainty advanced listening. When the loops and breakdowns of progressive grow tired in your ears, this might be the next sound to appreciate.
Jody Wisternoff – Trails We Blaze (Bonus Continuous DJ Mix)