Changing levels x Breaking Standards x Elevating all

06 - 20 - 2016

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Electronic artist Moods released his EP “A Beautiful Mind” on Saturday. The EP features four tracks.

It begins with “A Beautiful Mind,” which opens with a beautiful duo of a shimmery, fairy-like beat as the base, with a two-hit electric keyboard that changes in key every few seconds layered over it. The opening beat is further perfected by the addition of claps and a flawless bass. A stuttering guitar makes infrequent appearances as the song reaches its “chorus”: an explosion of beats that mixes the opening beats with an extended bass and another electro-keyboard that plays off-beat to the original. With electro peaks that sound like the best of 1980s disco, the song continues to evolve. Moods adds a higher-pitched, wandering electric guitar that guides the song.

The additional beats soon disappear as the song enters its calmer and groovier second half. This half features a short snippet of a more contemplative acoustic guitar, which gives way to a funky “talking bass,” similar in concept to the one in Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer,” but cleaner. It becomes louder and is joined by another in a higher key, as Moods’ catchy and crisp chords overtake the consistent original beat. The song ends with two competing electro two-tone beats, which gradually fade out and are replaced by the crisp pops one would hear as a vinyl record reaches its end. The song is aptly named, as its wondrous beats made me feels as though they could indefinitely narrate my internal monologue or play in my head as I went about my day.

In a beautiful play on continuity, the second song, titled “How I Feel,” opens with the vinyl static that its predecessor ended on. The vinyl static is played under a beat reminiscent of a strong and calming wind, before featured vocalist Sam Wills begins. Wills’ light and clean vocals are joined by another (yet new) bass beat and sporadic claps. Wills has beautiful and enviable control over his voice and a deep understanding of the beats, as his voice melds with the accompanying instrument and beat so each of the elements is highlighted at the appropriate time.

The chorus is an airy take on a wandering electro beat and Wills’ vocals coming faster and more intense as he explains “just how I feel.” The second half is a little more upbeat with Wills’ vocals playing over the same beat. Moods’ beat is perfectly crafted, because although it stay the same as the vocals change, it still matches the vocals flawlessly.

“Evolve,” the third song, begins with faster-paced vinyl static that sounds more like someone is splaying a deck of cards. The beat begins as something familiar with its pulsating beat but quickly and fittingly evolves into something new. The beat features a drumstick base soon joined by a joyous and groove-oriented saxophone and a trusty bass. True to its name, the song features constant evolution, with the sax being replaced with a more upbeat base and a heavy percussion-sounding beat.

Moods accents this beat with bubbling pops and the stuttering drumsticks, as the song begins to sound reminiscent of the computer-generated soundtracks of the early video game systems. The beloved saxophone returns, doing gradual scale runs that really help bring the experimental chaos of the colorful “Evolve” to a close.

on “The Hero,” Moods abandons the vinyl static that began or ended the previous three songs. Instead, on the final song, he starts off with a deep video game-esque beat. Accented by faded, low conversations in the back and a higher, wandering beat that stretches before opening into a techno-tinged that follows the scale of the opening beat with the addition of notes from an electric keyboard and some “huh’s” that sound reminiscent of James Brown and the best of Go-go.

The track, though consistent, never loses one’s attention, as it’s peppered with small, futuristic-sounding beat drops and the changing key of the keyboard. The song ends abruptly, but with the return of the vinyl static, bringing the EP to a modern close tinged with the static of old.

Overall, I give Moods’ EP “A Beautiful Mind” a 10/10. Every song, though different, flows together with the others, thanks in part to the genius of incorporating vinyl static into each song. Though some people diminish electronic music, I believe Moods shows not only his range, but the range of the genre as a whole as he weaves together beautiful, attention-catching beats.

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