|Album Review: Muzzy Bearr – Vintage Sutra|
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When it comes to electronic music, Detroit knows a thing or two about fostering legendary house, IDM, and techno artists. In addition to the house tunes, Detroit-based collective All Good Records is putting the soul and funk back in the spotlight with their killer line up of artists like The Floozies and label head GRIZ. Another artist on their bill is the wicked guitarist and producer Muzzy Bearr. He has been laying down guitar licks on the past two GRiZ records, including songs like "Hard Times" off his latest record Say It Loud. Following the success of that album's release and the Say It Loud tour, Muzzy Bearr dropped his album Vintage Sutra which a diverse blend of soulful guitar heavy tracks, hip-hop, and funky electronic sounds. This album is a testament to the masterful song writing abilities and musicianship Muzzy possess and showcases his diverse sounds in one well packaged 6-track album.
Muzzy kicks off the album with"Suede," which is a smooth trip-hop esque track with spoken word style rapping from Denmark Vessey. The melody is smooth and bouncy, taking you along this voyage with Denmark as your guide. It's a sexy combination of soul and hip-hop that is the kind of tune you want to kick back, spark up, and vibe out to.
Muzzy keeps the chill vibes going with his GRiZ collab "Bougie." The song is rich in personality and has similarities to Pretty Lights and Exmage, while boasting its own personality and style. Light percussion carries the song along as GRiZ and Muzzy go back and forth laying down their own melodic solos. The minimalism of the percussion allows for the two to really showcase their talent as they deliver intricate solos that are complex but not overbearing.
His third songs "Fortissimo" is aptly named as he brings the noise and ups the tempo. It's a sonic wave of sound with glitchy melodies, driving bass, rich guitar riffs, and an intricate composition that will have you turning the volume and jamming out with every guitar strum.
Every song on this record is a delightful and exciting surprise, captivating you with every measure. His fourth track "Synapse Synthesis," is an up-tempo groove that is perfect for those long drives. Uplifting melodies are paired with dancy percussion that is impossible to not move to. His guitar sings and carries the track to the sky where it soars with ease and beauty.
Nearing the end, Muzzy brought out the big guns for "Radio Glider," which features fellow fathers of funk Exmag, BRANX, and Benny Bloom of The Shady Horns. It's a frenetic synth-heavy track that delivers in full force. Tinges of break-beat percussion run alongside melodies that crash like waves and soothes like booze. It's an eclectic song that sounds like a Wave Racer and RATATAT collaboration.
Closing out the album is the sexy and chilled out tune "Seduction." This is the kinda tune you turn the lights down low, spark up some candles, and get down to business too. Salacious bass guitar melodies and passionate guitar riffs awake the primal urges in us all, instilling a feeling of great passion in desire in the listener. It's a perfect way to finish the album with a bang, literally.
Overall the album is a solid showcase of Muzzy's vibrant musicianship and ability to handcraft songs that fuse together multiple genres. The album begins with a song that doesn't seem to fit the rest of the record, but stand alone is a great tune. Once the metronome begins he finds his voice and weaves together a tapestry of strong instrumentation and groovy music that keeps you interested with every track. At times lacking in diversity, the album still stands out for it's unique take on future soul. It's a solid album and you can grab it for free here.