A Journey to You - Melodiesinfonie (Album Review)
A Journey to You
Released: 26 April 2019
Album Rating: 3/5
Live Potential: 4/5 (Live set) 3/5 (DJ set)
Diversity in Songs: 3.5/5
Favourite Songs: AO Longo Do Rio (track 1), Words feat. Junes (track 8), Tropicololo (track 10).
Swiss-based jazz-fusion producer Melodiesinfonie (Kevin Wettstein) has released his latest album A Journey to You via the Berlin/Cologne-based label, Jakarta Records. Having previously released on Soulection compilations, as well as on Melting Pot Music and Sichtexot, A Journey to You is Melodiesinfonie’s third full-length album and his Jakarta Records debut. Having gained traction in beat culture over the past few years, A Journey to You reveals Melodiesinfonie’s creative musicality and ability to manipulate organic sound as he incorporates more live elements into his work.
Melodiesinfonie’s early inspirations are linked to his childhood, having been exposed to mountains of jazz records in his home. With his past few releases being more closely aligned with beats and hip-hop, A Journey to You feels like a homage to those early memories, with the record being more rooted within the jazz sphere. The record displays long improvisational passages interspersed with hypnotic grooves and interjecting instrumental lines to create a smooth and delectable ambience.
Although the record feels rooted within the jazz world, it digs into a whole host of musical landscapes. The record delves and dives through these settings as the record opens with a Latin South American styled shuffle (‘AO Longo Do Rio’ - track 1), before shifting to more groove-driven tracks (‘Enjoy Your Life’ - track 2) and moving through to smooth downbeat soulful vibes (‘Words’ – track 8) before switching back to more upbeat tropical inspired songs (‘Tropicololo’ – track 10). Although most of these musical transitions and tangents are done well, there are several moments where the listener is lurched between songs – as if a gear change was missed. What is more dexterously done though, is Melodiesinfonie’s compositional prowess and handling of live sounds.
Throughout the record, there are playful floating flutes lines, Kamaal Williams-esque swirling synths, perky plucking double basses and melting vocals which are bound by catchy percussive loops and beats. The way in which Melodiesinfonie blends vocals is nicely done, with ‘Keep on Searching’ (track 4), ‘Words feat. Junes’ (track 8) and ‘A Fool’s Moon feat. Asé’ (track 11) demonstrating a pleasant balance between the instrumental lines and vocals is they merge and interchange. Another aspect which is done particularly well on the record is Melodiesinfonie’s use of rhythmic patterns which lifts and carries his tunes with vigour and vitality. The way in which he harnesses drums, percussion and instrumental phrases to create simple but mesmerising rhythms is striking, with some stand moments on ‘AO Long Do Rio’ (track 1), ‘Keep on Searching’ (track 4), ‘Orion’ (track 6), and ‘Tropicololo’ (track 10).
A Journey to You is a luscious record. Although it would be unfair to label the record “easy listening”, it is accessible for those who enjoy both jazz and electronic music as it blurs the lines between the two. There are several elements which let the album down, such as the sometimes-sudden transitions between tunes. Similarly, there are some tracks - such as ‘Peace on Earth’ (track 5) – which drag and lack finesse. However, there are also some stand out moments, particularly the opening tune and single ‘AO Longo do Rio’ (track 1) as well as ‘Tropicololo’ (track 10) which are expertly made and put a smile onto your face. Melodiesinfonie has produced a bright, uplifting and cheerful work, and we look forward to hearing his future output.
Check out A Journey to You here:
All tracks written / produced by Kevin Gabriel Wettstein.