In today’s modern popular electronic music, musicality is thrown out the window and replaced with only how loud and aggressive a producer can make their track. It’s nice to know we still have producers trying to save and create electronic music with the intentions of actually making music.
One of these producers is Brooklyn based producer Taylor McFerrin, who just released his first album “Early Riser” on Flying Lotus’s label BrainFeeder. Taylor McFerrin has the ability to draw inspirations from all different areas of music and to translate that into his own music to create emotion and beauty with such effortless style. And with the ability to balance electronic sounds with real life instruments which helps make the music feel organic and alive.
It is done so well it sounds as if it was a band playing and not just one man at a computer. From the opening track “Postpartum,” you know you are going to experience something special. Taylor is patient with the music letting it smolder, build up in intensity until it’s too much and then lets all that energy release through the music. His use of dynamics to make his music feel so close and tight, almost claustrophobic and then let it explode and expand as big as the universe is another thing that makes this album a joy to listen to If you weren’t impressed by the first two tracks of this album, you may change your mind due to his artist collaborations with Nai Palm on “Antidote,” Emily King on ‘Decisions, or his own father Bobby Mcferrin with Cesar Mariano on ‘”Invisible/Visible.” Each vocalist adding their own flair and setting a unique dynamic/tone to the music that really helps aid in bringing Taylor McFerrin’s productions to the next level. McFerrin’s attentions to detail especially in the rhythm department really helps add individuality to each song. Instead of a basic two-four bar percussion loop, McFerrin focuses on varying up the percussion throughout the song to make the music more interesting, help in making the music more organic and lively, and to push the music along so it doesn’t feel stagnant and repetitive. But the thing that makes this album so brilliant is that Taylor McFerrin is so good at balancing. Being able to balance his own productions and all the work he did with his collaborators to make it as much as it is his own album, it is also theirs . Being able to balance between styles of music from Hip Hop, neo soul, and jazz influenced experimental beats, and still maintaining coherency and directions within the album so that it feels as though it has a beginning, middle and end.
What excites me the most is that we are only getting a glimpse into the mind of Taylor McFerrin and I hope to see this album ‘Early Riser’ propel him into the public eye and help set the standards for what can be done with electronic music even higher.