In my ever increasing quest for music with individualistic character, that is, music that stands with a solid presence of unique personality that reflects that of it’s creator (rather than a genre/formula), I’ve had the pleasure of meeting up with the sounds of The Great Mundane (www.thegreatmundane.com). Emerging from whatever shadows he had been hiding in, producer/instrumentalist Jeffrey Acciaioli has been swiftly perking up the ears of listeners who join me in that search.
First, through the connection made between 88 and the beautiful people over at Chi-town collective Psymbolic (www.psymbolic.com), I had the chance to meet and communicate with Jeffrey and hear his music. Then, I got to perform with him at the Sacred Earth Open Air Festival thrown in Wisconsin by the collective known as the Chilluminati (www.chilluminati.org), which was simply perfect. Through talking and listening, I discovered he’s both an outstanding producer and an exceptional human being. So, now catching up to his sound a bit after the fact, I’ve learned that he’s been pretty busy for a number of years, flexin’ his style until it came to bear the fruits of 2 Ep releases on Belladonna Records, which are now unfortunately out of print. Of course, I’ll be hitting him for my own personal copy.. :)
No worries however, as it was all leading up to the album in question, released recently on Psymbolic Sounds (the label platform that is a part of the aforementioned multi-faceted Psymbolic collective), called ‘When Falls Arrive’. This album is without a doubt a definitive moment in the career of the Great Mundane, as it flawlessly showcases a signature style and work ethic that is just…truly different.
I feel that his sound, no matter where it eventually leads you, is based on a very firm foundation of hip hop work ethics and very intelligent sound design. The rhythms and general themes of all these 15 tunes are very hip hop influenced, and you could easily throw an mc on any one of them. Think funky-chunky breaks, moody ambiances, g-funk leads, experimental beat structures and heavily edited/fragmented sample layers, and you could be getting close to describing his sound. Only close though- as the combination of these elements only hint at things familiar. The sound design is exceptional, swaying your senses constantly and keeping you in check with extreme textural manipulations and stereo field imaging that work in subtle and suspicious conjunction so well calculated you feel like you’re getting a subliminal math lesson. New neural pathways get opened with this music for sure, making you question the direction at all times- and challenging your expectations of linear musical development by delivering surprises at every turn. Some may hear similarities to Prefuse 73. Totally different styles, but there are certainly similar decisions made in some major regards, which is quite the compliment.
Composing and producing this album completely in Reason, he makes me want to go back and check it out again. His melodies are consistently warm, playful, melancholic, and full of dreamy connotations, heavily utilizing flutes, Rhodes, and monophonic synth lines that weave their way around, full of motion and movement. Standouts for me are ‘No Dumping in Jersey’, ‘Disguising Discomfort’, ‘Circus’, ‘ and ‘When Falls Arrive’- all tunes that linger in the domain of melodies that make me feel discomfort through comfort, if that can possibly make any sense. There is also so much diversity on this album, you’re continually exposed to new varieties of sonic oddities, texture and nuance. Every track is a different flavor, but extremely cohesive to the album through such a common set of ground rules, which I think is the ideal for an album, as it shows that the artist has a solid grasp on his vision.
As a debut album, this is most promising- I can’t recommend it enough. It might be a bit different from what you encounter with your normal listening habits, and that’s a much-needed thing. It’s inspiring and hopeful to run across artists who have no fear of really pushing limits as well as the ability to do so. If you have a bone in your body that wants to hear something unique and distinctly fresh, you’ll follow along with this fellow- he’s got you covered.