The Unicorn Princess Royally Reviews ‘The Ground’ by Psilodump

- Posted September 27th, 2018 by

Happy September & Autumn!

Just released three weeks ago, Psilodump presents to us their newest record, ‘The Ground’. On the whole, this is a wonderful collaboration of artists working together to create a myriad of beautiful tracks. Each composition is distinct in its character, yet they mesh together so well that they flow super fluidly as the album spins through.

Cover artwork by Not Flipper and Anton Bohlin.

I really love not knowing what to expect when pulling up a new record by an artist I’ve never heard of before.  ‘The Ground’ works like a DJ set: Starting off with a beautiful piece that could have worked as a Dream Theater intro, then leading into something much more upbeat in track two. Each track is different, and some even have collaborations (On track 2, Keiko Dash provides lyrics, and Lithis wrote a harmonica lead on the same track.  Lyrics, vocals, and instruments are performed by Matophonia on track 3, while violin is performed and improvised by Scott Murphy on track 7.  On the same track, MIDI composition are written by Joseph C. Krause, Paul Szewczyk and Nicole Pascaretta perform vocals, horns are by Erin Taylor, and trombone is by Chad Wilson.  Finally, Track 9’s lyrics, melodies, and vocals are by Keiko Dash).

Although the tracks were all written and produced by Simon Rahm within the last few years, they’re so cohesive that you’d think the work had been done in the last month.  Everything works within each other, despite various styles seeping in and out of the record. This record is the sound of someone who has truly found their voice. In post production,  ‘The Ground’ was mastered by Steve Corrao at Sage Audio.

Yeah, it’s autumn now, but ‘Spend U’ is a perfect summer jam.  I played this at work, and my coworkers really dug it.  The mix here is appealing and makes every instrument shine the way it should.  The head-nodder of the album,  the rhythm of the track builds without becoming too overwhelming, the vocals add a human element that  naturally draws the listener in, and the synths around it know when to accompany and take the lead.

‘Earth’ is the sound of floating and discovery. I could easily see this being the score to one of those awesome VHS Eyewitness films I’d watch in grade school, or just being something to sit and have a think to.  The sound design and arrangement here is great.  It comes together into a perfect intro track: I could easily see an audience freak out during how chill and beautiful it sounds, awaiting everything upbeat upcoming next. It’s anticipation at its best, yet gives the listener a chance to be present.

‘Burden’ is a track just over 6:00, working with tuned percussion and breaking into melodies and beats that dance together. This track is a prime example of why I feel this album will appeal to all:  It’s accessible and has melodic elements that are memorable, sound textures that keep it interesting, and airier sections that have a calming effect on the brain. The end is my favorite part: I love the pads used, the sound design, and the way its components fade out.

I love reviewing albums that can appeal to the masses, both inside chiptune and outside.  I think this record would appeal to anyone from Moby fans to Gameboy performers to hip hop enthusiasts. Chopped vocal samples provide rhythmic context, strange sawtooth synths provide texture, and everything keeps moving on repeat without getting monotonous. This sounds like it was really fun to work on. I hope everyone considers purchasing this album and enjoys it as much as I did.

Until next time,

The Unicorn Princess

Psilodump
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