Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Song of the Week 16: 'Die Anyway' by SGX


Okay, Met can't do his review again this week so I'm handling this week's review once again. Instead of a song from OCR like the last one, this one is from Protagonist Records. This particular track is from SGX and is called Die Anyway. Sorry, it's usually Met who does all the introductions for the song, so I really don't have a clue as to how to do that properly. Anyway, let's get to the review. The song starts out pretty cool; the percussion created the catchy beat, and the background notes add just enough to keep me listening to see what's going to happen next. The beginning sounds pretty eerie, and I find that pretty cool since that's only the beginning. It ends up leading into more of a melody at 0:18, where although the melody at this point is pretty simple, it sounds pretty sweet. The percussion is great in the background, and more of a beat starts to show up at about 0:33, along with a soft bass sound to back it up. At 0:48, this is where the song goes all out in terms of melody, percussion, and the sounds that back it up. At 1:04 the sounds are a bit softer now just so that the melody could be more emphasized, but you can hear it enough to still enjoy it. The melody I think then is a little too loud, and if it had been just turned down slightly, I wouldn't have thought it to be as bad. At 1:19 it goes back into what it was at 0:48, this time with a similar, yet different melody. At 1:34 it goes into something a little more calm, as the percussion had been turned down a notch. This I think is my favorite part of the track, because it goes back into that beginning melody that I love, but with more percussion in it. There are some great additions to this part of the song, such as more bass and more synth. They really back up the melody, and it sounds absolutely awesome. At 1:50 another melody comes in, which takes me a little bit by surprised. However, I mean that in a good way, because this new melody is completely perfect for what was going on in the song. At 2:11 that melody just mentioned is already gone, but I have to mention the cool measure in where the bass line just completely gets gradually lower in terms of their notes. It does go back up, and almost takes over the melody for a couple seconds. At 2:20 things calm back down again. That's something that I really like about this song, since it's good to have a balance between calm and upbeat music during a track. At 2:35, it's almost like a mix in between the two, because it has that calm feel to it, yet somehow it also feels somewhat upbeat. It also introduces another small melody, and this gives the song more of an eerie feeling again. At 3:06 is more of an upbeat sound and melody again, continuing until 3:22 where yet another melody comes in. This next melody is interesting, because even though it's quiet than the other one, I still think it stands out much more to me. At 3:53 the song is just about done, however it shows another combination of the beginning melody. At 4:09 it dies back down into a much calmer tone, portraying instruments that had not yet been played in the track: the harp with a bit of the piano in the background. Those two in a combination are great when it comes to making a calmer mood in a song. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the ending. At 4:23 more of an electric guitar sound comes in to conclude the track, but most of the sounds that I really enjoyed completely disappeared. The ending definitely could have gone better.

Pros: Excellent melodies displayed throughout the song, and there was great bass and percussion to back it up. The balance of the fast upbeat tune of the track and the calmer mood was great, and the eerie feeling of the beginning really made the song worthwhile.

Cons: Sometimes the melody during the upbeat parts could have been softer, and the ending displeased me. The ending sort of ruined that calm mood that was already being portrayed beforehand.

Overall: The song was very well done, despite it's minor cons. The feeling that it gave me was great, and the song was definitely one I can tap my feet to.

Rating: 9.4/10

There's been a lot for me to do lately, but after reading some of Marim's reviews and listening to some of the tracks I had her review I want to chime in due to our differing opinions. I'd given this song to Marim to review almost immediately after its release, thus I didn't have time to familiarize myself with the song. However, now that I've had a chance I'd like to jump in. SGX is a solid, established electronic artist. Mr. Adler is right up there with zircon in my most listened to list, although their styles do have one big difference in my mind. SGX tends to work more with distorted and experimental electronic sounds while zircon pulls out the best samples possible and let's them flow together in a very cohesive manner. Not to say SGX isn't as cohesive, but there's an art to disorganization in music and I'm pretty sure SGX knows what he's doing; they're both excellent electronic artists, but I can't really draw a comparison because they're both top notch in my opinion. I haven't had that much of a chance to listen to SGX's new album that this track is from; I've confined myself to the free tracks released through Protagonist Records so far. Regardless, I would highly recommend it, knowing that Mr. Adler constantly puts out quality, unique electronic music. This song was also featured on EFP Vol 02 released on 10/10/10 and featuring several excellent electronic artists (trust me, I'll have Marim do Wasteland by zircon for another Song of the Week soon enough). You can download the entire album for free right here; it's good stuff. Alright, enough with the idle commentary, let's check out Die Anyway...

Die Anyway starts out with some slick filtered beats and good soundscaping. 0:17 introduces a sweet groove with minimal synths and some additional percussion; already I can tell why the album is called Wonderful Bite. I'm digging the groove, and it's not too similar to other SGX tracks I've listened to; SGX is always diversifying, one of the reasons he's such a good artist. Anyway, 0:31 introduces a heavier lead snare and some panning synths that slide through the speakers. This is a very solid build to the breaking that comes at 0:48 which causes some of the opening instruments to disappear and a new harsher sound to emerge overall. The subtle bass has become something new but still subtle. I note the brief pause at 0:55 as an indication of a loop. That was probably the intention, as it fits in very well and it makes for a unique subtly that drives the song in a new way. After this loop runs twice we're in some harsh saw territory and I can hear a subtle guitarish sample pattern in the background that will be expanded upon later. The beats pick back up as SGX continues to play around with the saw wave with the subtle background loop making some nice effects. This kicks us back to the "calmer" part (we're now at 1:35) from the beginning that grooves us right along. There are now some added sweeping effects in the background that are leftovers from the harsher saw lead. New melody is introduced at 1:50 that utilizes a fairly good sample or synth (it's a good thing that I can't tell the difference). This will definitely be expanded upon farther later in the track. We've got a pretty rocking groove here so SGX tones back the lead and lets us enjoy the beats with bursts of bass while he modulates some effects. The lead drums get taken out to phase back to an atmospheric expansion that builds into something more. This seems to be an interlude as the track gains strength in the build. Different melodies and basslines come together and now we're at 3:08. This seems to be a repeat of the earlier harsh saw lead part, but now we've got the earlier melody from 1:50 coming in on top of it. We're definitely rocking now as SGX continues to pour out some slick beats as the leads expand. The intensity is built up as he jumps octaves up with the bass and starts pulling out all the stops with this track. Pretty good finish here, but it's not long before we're jumped back to a calmer section although the saw lead still exists (now it's covered with the calmer section from earlier). The drums are dropped out and the interlude type melody that was previously seen during the build is expanded upon to the near ending. The ending uses a very similar sound and melody to what was introduced at 1:50 and it's a very sweet finish. SGX definitely rocks the beats on this one and swings some cool groove into the mix. I applaud his diverse use of samples, synths, filters, modulations, etc. This guy knows what he's doing. Excellent job Mr. Adler, I'll be sure to check out your album.

Pros: Excellent sample/synth choice and diversity incorporated into a solid melody and some rocking beats. Mr. Adler pulls out all the stops at the end and the song starts spitting everything right in your face; I love tracks that do that.

Cons: Not much to complain about here, the saw lead intro at 1:04 is well done, but the saw always strikes me as pretty harsh. Not a true issue with the track, but the one thing that jumped out me as being maybe less then stellar (and that's not sarcasm).

Overall: Danny Adler gets a gold star for all the awesome stuff he managed to incorporate into this track. Among my favorite was the solid loop bass that jumped half steps, and the guitarish sound that comes in at the end to complete things. The groove is absolutely rocking, 3:45 to 3:54 is the part where I can't help but exclaim "yes, yes, yes!" absolutely nailed it. Very solid outing, very good use of arrangement, samples, and synths; this is downright quality.


Reogan said...

I love the wording. "The ending displeased me."

Nice review, nice song, great work. Perhaps we can finally fire Met now that we have you?

Someday, I'd love to see a review of a hated song. For variety.

Met said...

I'll think about it. For now, I'm making all the selections.

Anonymous said...

Jacob: Thank you, I certainly try to do a good job. No, I don't think we need to fire Met. I'm still very inexperienced, and if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't even be here in the first place.

Met: Yes, you choose and continue to select the songs. However, that doesn't mean you can't do your part as well. At least try next week to get your review done.

Met said...

I'll try, but I've stepped up my writing projects as far as fiction goes. I've got OC/BCD to continue, I'm currently working on a story with Reogan, and I've also got an idea for another story that I haven't told anyone about yet. While there's a good chance you won't see the latter project until early 2011; there's a good chance it'll come here. I do enjoy doing SotW, but now that we have you I was hoping to transition into more of a fiction capacity in order to support Reogan in providing variety in that department.

Reogan said...

You accuse me of little variety? I write sonnets about death, I write prose-poems about death, and I write fiction about death. How is that not variety?