ReMix: Ragnarök Online "Sun Ra"
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This is Morse's last submitted mix from Hybridism, presumably named (comments did not clarify) for the jazz iconoclast & his "Arkestra". If you haven't read up on Sun Ra, follow the link and scour the Wiki, or at least check out the first couple paragraphs - Ra was quite a character. Or, for a good time, check out this performance - not representative of his overall style, but fun to watch. There's even a VSTi named after him. But enough about Sir Ra, let's talk about sirs Lofton & Morse. This arrangement is far more accessible and structured than most of what I've heard from Ra, but who the heck cares, because it's groovy, funky, and the staple adjectives you've come to expect from these two, esp. w/ regards to Hybridism: slick, polished, meticulous, ridonculously flavored with funk/jazz spices, and drippin' wit riddim. Only thing I wasn't feeling 100% was the fadeout ending, but that's a whole can of worms unto itself, so let's talk highlights:
- lil break w/ hp filtered breakbeat and bass slide at 0'33"
- synth solo circa 0'51" and da EP that follows it up
- perc squeaks and squeegies at 1'39"
- funky digiclav solo at 2'27" and da AP that follows IT up
And of course, the drum layering is fantastic and bass part writing is spot on. jm REALLY knows how to work a bassline, which is so core to the genres he usually works in and gives all his tracks a concrete foundation. This was the case before Hybridism was released, with his previous mixes on the site, but I think with this album what he specifically perfected was incorporating authentic, 70's era funk/fusion/jazz synth solos. Not just with the playing, but with the patch selection, and the relationship between the two; everything feels RIGHT, and by right I mean 3+ decades old & authentic to the form. My mental image of these solos being performed doesn't involve VSTis or DAWs, but beastly old analog and digital synths, caked with buttons, sliders, and knobs, played with a knowledge of what each can do. That's a pretty cool trick, and a pretty hefty compliment, and it applies to more than a couple tracks off the album. 'Sun Ra' is essentially a standout track from a standout album - 'nuff said.
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