Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Karl Verkade-Water review

I often cringe at the 'experimental' label that so frequently gets used as a genre tag.  For starters, what does 'experimental' music sound like?  Second, there are literally hosts of different genres of music that could be described as 'experimental' in nature.  Thus, it is no more a descriptive term than metal or rock.  I could go on, but what is the point?

Today it is my task to review the music of a solo artist who is tagged as 'experimental' ambient music.  Karl Verkade is a Los Angeles musician who strings together beautiful and thought-provoking music that borrows ideas from ambient, post-rock, and new wave.  This music pushes the boundaries of genre classification, which is, in my opinion a good thing. 

This album offers 14 tracks of slow-burn style ambiance that is both guitar-driven and electronic atmospheric, giving it a careful shine that is as deep as oceans.  "Water: Music for Meditation" is not something one should simply sit and listen to.  It is best-served as background music for tasks requiring thought and pondering.  I find that it also works for driving with, but that is my taste for you. 

By now most of you know that my taste in music is extremely varies and decidedly unpopular.  This album fits that niche perfectly.  Verkade's music is quality and enjoyable, even in an extrasensory, spiritual sense.  It is difficult to describe the feeling these tunes produce.  The music often draws the line between sorrowful atmospheric tones and sensational, exciting post-rock tunes.  As a general rule, it is more somber and reflective than most post-rock, but more melodic and deeper than the majority of ambient music.

I found this album to be a welcome addition to my collection that was worth the money (none) that I put into it.  When I downloaded "Water: Music for Mediation," it was a name-your-price purchase from Verkade's bandcamp page, but now that I'm writing this I see that it is six dollars or more.  That is still more than a bargain, considering that most of the tracks on this album exceed seven minutes in length.  If you were to purchase each song individually from Amazon or iTunes, the price would easily be double what Verkade offers it for.  If you are in the mood for some beautiful, melodic, ambient post-rock tunes, you should enjoy this.  Below we have the full album stream, courtesy of Verkade's bandcamp page.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

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