CD REVIEW: Layers and Frames - Infinite release (EP)
by: Cyrus Rhodes
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Layers And Frames
Genre: Chill, Dub, Ambient Experimental-Pop, Fusion
Sounds Like:David Byrne, Moby, Beck, Prodigy, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel
Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: I could Just Sit Here, Take Control
Weakness: Winded Songs, Excessive Musical Meandering, More Instrumentation, EP release.
Layers And Frames (LNF) is the musical brainchild of Frederic Brewer, a French-American instrumentalist and songwriter who spent 4 years in China, served in the Peace Corps and developed a signature sound reflecting the globalized world. While living in Sichuan Province he released his debut "Hubu" and a series of stop-motion videos - including the mini-film "Thank You" - based on his trans-Pacific experiences. LNF has toured both in a trio and as a solo act, carrying his voice, guitar and looping pedals across stages in China, Europe and the US. After finishing a score of shows in Western Europe, LNF located to Avignon, France and began searching for new inspiration in the writings of Jung, Huxley and the Doctor Joseph Murphy. When not absorbed in the words of these compelling thinkers, LNF continued his experiments with the guitar and live looping, also adding piano explorations to his vocabulary. It wasn't long before he stumbled upon the musical and lyrical framework which would become his second recording, the EP titled "Infinite Release."
The CD gently takes to flight with soothing intro piece “Crossing”. This song methodically serves up infectious musical ambience against mesmerizing vocals, hypnotic lyrical content and dynamic rhythms that gently lead you by the hand down the path of musical indulgence. Track 2 “I Could Just Sit Here” shifts gears a bit with its thick groove, impressive ambient accents painted against a grand mosaic of soundscapes and striking vocals that brilliantly move like an ocean across the ears. Track 3 “Lovely Seeds” an impressive electro-earthy piece that is quite dynamic, full of musical peaks and valleys that flow and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. This piece is remarkably striking to the ears with its Alternative Rock touches and hypnotic groove. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Moby, Beck, Prodigy, Pink Floyd to David Byrne, however I can even hear brief flashes of Peter Gabriel and even Yasunori Mitsuda. I would classify this music as classic New Age, Experimental with classic remnants of Dub, Alternative rock, and even Chill - all possessing brilliant flashes of theatrical ambience and a brilliant artists perspective. You will also notice rich layers of ambient instrumentation layered along the way full of dynamic sequencing, melodic soundscapes, sporadic percussion, rhythm guitar, piano, solo guitar, Keyboards, Organs, low end beats, sonic vocals, exotic sound effects and enticing melodies. Brewer showcases impressive singing and songwriting throughout. His musicianship and compositions are pretty solid across the board as Brewer clearly proves himself as a composer with this release. From dynamic “Take Control” this EP has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with the title track the perfect finale statement for an EP of this caliber.
Many pieces are winded and a bit repetitive presenting excessive musical meandering. It’s fair to say some songs have excessive intros, outros, solo segments. All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. Brewer need to upgrade his overall Mix and rhythm section. He could also bring more instrumentation to the table. Things like Sonic Trumpet, Saxophone, additional percussion, flute would really add even more dimension to the catalogue. I typically deduct 1 star for EP release. The Full Length release is the most complete snapshot to judge an artista by at any given time.
Layers And Frames is a compelling musical journey, and Fredrick Brewer is a fascinating Composer/Artist. Its strong suit it’s amazing sonic ambience the song for song musical flow. Frederick Brewer gets high marks here for his brilliant musical transitions and connecting passages - nice touch. This CD will be a real joy for those listeners out there who want flowing theatrical ambience to fill their sonic space peacefully and unobtrusively. This progressive somewhat melancholy format makes for a great extended play experience. I recommend you just hit play, close your eyes and see where the journey takes you. This EP feels like a musical journey and will work best when experienced in that capacity. If I could say anything to Brewer – trim up this CD by 30%, add in more musical tidbits and rhythmic variety and you’ve got yourself a real winner. So if you’re looking for a psychedelic musical experience with sonic ambience, theatrical brilliance and a psychedelic rock aftertaste then I highly recommend you take a listen to the Infinite Release (EP) by Layers And Frames..