CD REVIEW: Ian Bouras - The Certainty of Being Found"
by: Cyrus Rhodes
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Artist: Ian Bouras
Genre: Reggae, Chill, Dub, Ambient Jazz-Pop, Fusion-Jazz
Slightly Stupid, Stick Figure, Rebelution, Al Di
Ian Charles Bouras is a guitarist and producer from New York City. He is one of the main songwriters, and the guitar player for NYC rock/reggae band AñaVañA. AñaVañA’s self-titled debut record (2004) showcases his songwriting, guitar playing and producing. Ian was nominated by Billboard Magazine to be among the top songwriters in 2004 and 2005 for his work with AñaVañA. Since receiving his audio engineering degree, Ian has produced, mixed, and played guitar and bass on records in all genres from rock to spoken word, and is now working as a freelance audio engineer. His newest release, "The Certainty Of Being Found", finds Ian experimenting further with the mix of dub reggae with spanish and classical guitars. There are also 6 guitar interludes, which clearly show the emotion that Ian puts into his music.Ian is continuing work as an engineer on several projects to be released throughout 2010, and is in pre-production for his next solo offering.
The CD gently takes to flight with “The Clues Are in the Dialogue” an intoxicating intro piece that flows and ebbs its way through to musical fruition with dynamic movement, foreboding low end frequencies painted against well placed drum and percussive accents. This first piece serves up impressive Reggae-driven groove against sonic-jazz atmosphere. The CD makes a great first impression and literally grabs your attention with its smooth as silk musical flow. Track 2/3 “Realizing It’s Over (Interlude) and “DR56” keeps things moving in the full tilt direction with hypnotic guitar ambience and well placed percussive accents painted against dynamic rhythmic landscape. Track 4 "Thoughts on Angels” serves up easy flowing guitar rhythm, against mesmerizing movement and hooky groove. The CD makes a great first impression providing 4 solid musical experiences in a row. Musical textures reminiscent of classic Slightly Stupid, Stick Figure, Rebelution, 10Ft Ganja Plant. As the CD slowly unfolds you will notice most of the songs are very smooth and easy flowing in nature, with crystal clear high-end clarity and solid low end feel. The music itself goes down clean and fills the sonic space with what I would describe as peaceful tranquility with all the qualities of progressive fusion jazz and even elements of dub, chill, ambient jazz and even orchestral pop. Bouras clearly has a keen musical instincts thorough his conservative writing and playing styles. All in all the CD has some truly impressive moments showcasing impressive programming, sampling, songwriting, rhythm chops, dynamic off-time grooves all rich in melody and flavor. Also present with Bourus are 2 live musicians Mat Fieldes (Bass), and David Vincola (Drums and Percussion). What’s even more impressive is how well all the instruments share the sonic space together. I was entertained the entire time. Now turning our attention to Bouras. Another impressive aspect of this CD is how good of a guitarist Bouras really is delivering gold standard Jazz, Reggae and Flamenco playing styles. It's obvious he is well versed in Jazz, and his playing style and guitar ambience is to die for. What's more Bouras unselfishly plays all his parts avoiding any showboating of any kind. They clearly knows how to play instruments the way it is meant to be played. Bouras also has some solid production instincts as Producer. From mesmerizing this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone. From hypnotic “Thoughts on Angels” to upbeat “On the Corner with Doubt” to methodical “The Bounce” to trippy “Existing in 3D” The CD ends with to heartfelt “The Lonely Wait” and “To Be Continued” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber – this CD has something for just about everyone..
The CD is marketable and impressive in its own right. However there are 2 things that could possibly make it even better. I wish there were just a few more musical tidbits and instruments within the line-up. Things like Sonic Vocals, Trumpet, Saxophone, additional percussion, Electric guitar solos, Sonic Piano, Flute, more solo segments would really add even more dimension to the catalogue. The cover art is bit bland and misses the mark insofar as compatibility and marketability with respect to the music.
The Certainty of Being Found is an impressive musical production from start to finish. There’s not really a weak song on this entire catalog period! The songs are infectious, dynamic and catchy. Each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. Last but not least - the playing, writing and production abilities of one Ian Bouras are amazing. Bouras cleanly has musical talent and his productions strokes (including Producing) are masterful. Trust me when I say The Certainty of Being Found will suck you in and never let you go