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CD REVIEW: Spycker (Michiel Omtzigt) - Voted Away

by: Cyrus Rhodes

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Artist: Spycker (Michiel Omtzigt)
Album: Voted Away
Label: Independent Artist
Website: http://spycker.bandcamp.com/album/voted-away

Genre: Alternative Pop/Rock
Sounds Like: Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd, Beatles, Peter Gabriel, The Doors
Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7/10
Commercial Value: 6/10
Overall Talent Level: 7/10
Songwriting Skills: 7/10
Performance Skill: 7/10
Best Songs: Leave Me Wary, A Ridiculous Mind, Mean Proportional, Maddening Mockery
Weakness: Winded Songs, Repetitive Catalog, More Vocal Intensity and risk-taking

CD REVIEW:

Spycker is the creative alias of Michiel Omtzigt, an Amsterdam based musician/producer. This year sees his first full-fledged album release with Voted Away, a free dive into the realm of psychedelic acoustica. As always, Spycker’s versatility predominates, and that’s exactly what gives his music its magical appeal.

The CD gently takes to flight with soothing intro piece “A ridiculous Mind” . This song methodically serves up delicate acoustic guitar ambiance against driving rock rhythms, impressive harmonies and vocal flair from Omtzigt. Track 2 “Mean Proportional” shifts gears a bit with slow flowing rock rhythm against impressive walking bass line, guitar accents, vocal harmonies and finale ending. Track 3 “A Contemporary Classic” serves up a hooky yet methodical groove complete with clever lyrical content, impressive musical build and trippy musical indulgence that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of classic Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, The Doors, Sparklehorse and The Doors to The Beatles. This CD makes a pretty solid first impression. Right from the start you will notice psychedelic musical textures overflowing everywhere, full of variety, and mystery. I would classify this music as Alternative Rock with a slight aftertaste of Punk, Folk and Classic Rock. Musicianship includes besides the four piece standard:, Organ, Harmonica, Keyboards, solo guitar, lush harmonies, Sonic vocal and sound effects all built upon a thick as a brick rhythm section. The songs themselves are addictive, and thought provoking complete with passionate thought provoking subject matter. Turing our attention to singer Michiel Omtzigt – let me go on record to say he reminds me allot of John Lennon vocally and is one artists that remains true to himself with respect to his musical expression. Omtzigt’s voice works well across the board and fills the sonic space peacefully and unobtrusively. From melodic “la naissance d’un fleuve” to hypnotic ”Screwdriver Crimes” to striking “Never Underestimate the Fool” to dynamic “Maddening Mockery” this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “Gebruikte Wensvorm” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.  

All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line, CD tends to be a bit repetitive overall track to track. Perhaps more vocal harmonies and more solo segments would help mix up the CD better. I also with Omtzigt brought more vocal intensity,and raw emotion to the table especially during some of the finale moments - and I don't just mean screaming. Vocally Omtzigt plays it safe on all songs avoiding any serious vocal risk taking that would showcase a gifted vocal ability.

This latest CD by Michael Omtzigt is a brilliant musical snapshot from start to finish. The music is deep, trippy and dark with messages full of mystery and thought provoking subject matter. At the end of the day Sturm's music is highly original and captivating. It’s strong suit – a fascinating snapshot of an artist who knows no musical boundaries. No doubt the true meanings of some of these song is buried deep within the lyrical content. I might add the music is not so easily pinned down during the first listen, CD is comparable to an onion with many layers. Every now and then it’s an absolute pleasure to get a brilliant musical perspective from an artist that let’s us get a sneak peak beneath his veil of vanity. This CD remains one of the most interesting and trippiest musical statements I’ve heard in quite some time. Omtzigt possesses enough musical talent and songwriting prowess to be dangerous. One would be wise to keep a watchful eye on him - wherever he may wonder.

Cyrus Rhodes

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