Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this review, I take a look at ‘Bode,’ a young European artist trying to carve his way through the electronic musical landscape. First, though, it is important to delve into Bode as an artist with some information about him:
Bode is seventeen years old, and acts as a multi-instrumentalist and producer on his own work. His age is incredibly impressing, as is his resume, which boasts performances with heavy weights at heavy metal festivals and extensive musical experience from a very young age. His first record, self titled ‘Bode,’ is his attempt to enter a genre he defines as ‘ambient electronic’ music.
‘Bode’ is six songs and fairly brief, timing in at just over fifteen minutes. Brevity is a virtue for electronic music, something that Bode overcomes quite well. The dilemma with electronic music is that too often it becomes monotonous and over extended, droning on into oblivion. More so, it’s difficult to ensure that each song on an electronic record is different from the rest, a feat that is significantly more difficult in this genre than others. It’s also worth noting that there is a fine line between intelligent electronic music and background music: one is refined and uniquely designed, the other is party music. With all of that said, Bode has a lot of bases to cover to be a strong act. He has to keep his content consistently interesting, not over extend a track, and construct the sound intelligently. Does he do it?
In short, Bode absolutely does it. ‘Valve,’ his introduction to the record, is mystical and diverse, showing off an incredibly broad range of musical influence, teeming with the best of electronic inspiration and diving in and out of world music. ‘Ecstasy in Devotion’ develops the world sound further, sampling some really unique content. ‘Encounters’ is equally as intriguing, quickly developing into a fast paced thriller of an electronic mix.
‘Nightmist’ is the most sonically interesting song on the record, dancing in and out of mystical instrumentation. ‘S314 Ritual’ feels like an exercise in atmospheric music, arranging itself around a Native American-esque vibe. The EP ends with a reworking of ‘Nightmist,’ which tightens up the sound and removes the the intense drum introduction. The first outing of ‘Nightmist’ feels more authentic, but both prove to be equally excellent renditions of the best song on the record.
By far, ‘Bode’ is the best independent electronic record I’ve ever reviewed. It surpasses expectations by fulfilling all of the requisites of good electronic music to allow it to enter the realm of intelligent electronic music. It feels very similar to the record Thom Yorke put out earlier this year, ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes,’ and that’s good. At such a young age, any comparison to Thom Yorke is overwhelmingly positive for Bode. He needs to keep doing what he’s doing and expand his audience: he’s got what it takes to make some very exciting tunes.
Check out the album stream here: https://soundcloud.com/in2itivrecords/sets/bode-2014