Monster Rally – Psychic

by The Insomniac

From his Facebook:

“Monster Rally is the project of Ted Feighan who crafts tracks from his record collection, combining his interests in Hip-hop, Exotica, and Tropicalia.”

I didn’t know Tropicalia was a word but it conveys the feeling behind a lot of Feighan’s music very well. His works is an instrumental dreamscape of samples and effects creating some of the most unique atmospheres I’ve heard. I judge music by how well it can transport me to somewhere else and Monster Rally seems to do that effortlessly with each track, all of them able to stand on their own occupying some singular niche environment. Here’s some of my travel notes from his most recent 5-track release Psychic:

Same Dance: The beginning feels like you’re wandering aimlessly through a dreary mist. Chimes dance around you and vague mechanical parts move and churn in harmony. It’s as if you are inside some kind of hypnotic clock that comes to life and sings when no one is looking.

Swami: I’m now at some outdoor bonfire by the beach, maybe a luau. I also forgot I dropped acid an hour ago – the drums, flames, and ritual dancing are all starting to melt into some warped portrait of tropical bliss.

Quiet Harlem: Off the beach and back in the city, I find myself in some dark lounge underground accompanied by a big orchestral band channeling disembodied crooning howls to give direction to their ghostly medley of horns and monotonous piano.

Parachute: I’m waking up in what seems like an Incan village, it’s hot and bright. I’m surrounded by green. I start to wander to find an eternal tribal celebration going on by the waterfall in the distance.

Bus Ride: It’s time for a goodbye. There’s a feeling of longing, wishing it had lasted longer. I ride off into the sunset at the end of a film where the setting is an odd mix of “Jungle” and “Western”. Everything becomes ethereal in the final minute, I hear a crackle of fire, and finally drift off.

Enjoy your travels – and check out the rest of his work while you’re at it.

Rogue Rewind: Metaform – Electric Eyes

 By Doc Vocado

      I wanted to take it back to 2010 and highlight “Electric Eyes”, an audible dream sequence off Metaform’s 2010 release The Electric Mist. Born Justice Aaron, this LA native producer delivers a niche fusion of soulful hip hop, and electronic trance. Currently based in Tokyo, the producer/songwriter owes the hip hop presence in his music to early experience working with hip hop gurus Scarface, E-40, Goapele, the Hieroglyphics, and even DJ Jazzy Jeff. At face value, The Electric Mist should be appreciated for including vocals with heavy effects, while managing not to lose its authenticity and fall into the dumpster full of rushed, unoriginal production that marked that height of the auto-tune trend a few years ago.

     On the track “Electric Eyes” in particular, Aaron allows his musical persona to shine, layering a dirty hip hop drum kit with echoing, trance-inspired lyrics. The result is a spine-tickling, genre shattering tune, with some thoughtful vocals we can all relate to on those misty gray afternoons…

“I’m counting the moons, while I’m thinking of you
while I’m jamming this tune, and I’m keepin it true.
I savor the mood, til seven the morn
Got diamonds for souls, I’m a regular dude.
Some keepin quiet, while I’m starting a riot
Just give me a reason, and it’s gotta be live.
I’m sitting alone in a one bedroom home,
like a rocket ship that’s about to explode.

I saw the flash of light, inside my mind,
I like it so divine, electric eyes.

Got something to say on a rainy day
My 9-5 can’t take my soul.
I’m too awake I’m too alive
Not satisfied with a world of lies.
Lay down in a grave go back to sleep
Or so they’d wish for you to go away
Your one true face could shine so bright
I see in you electric eyes

I saw the flash of light, inside my mind,
I like it so divine, electric eyes”

 

These brief, but thoughtful verses are so real. Those days when you’re lost in thought, it’s nice to know you have someone special in the back of your mind keeping the cosmic tapestry wrinkle-free. This means something to all of us, especially when we’re lost in an endless search for purpose on this sphere of rock and magma, whirling through space. King or peasant, we all experience those prolonged moments of grinding thought, work- related stress, and feelings of exclusion. Aaron does his best to relate to these spells of self-confinement. He allows the light of purpose to shine through all the lingering uncertainty, and makes us feel like we can all worry just a little less. For as long as we know ourselves, then we’ll be ready to accept someone, or something special offering our own flashes of light that suddenly slow the Earth’s rotation; and electrify everything into a pleasant state of comfort. It’s never perfect in our corner of the universe, the misty bee hive of stampeding gorillas in collared shirts that it is. But, it can be pretty damn comfortable here if you find your place within it all and learn to appreciate it.

 

“Electric Eyes” is by far my favorite track off The Electric Mist, with “Revenge of a Nerd” and “Pop the Trunk” at second and third. Purely my opinion of course, and I’d definitely recommend overall to appreciate this project as a whole, in its intended chronology.