CD REVIEW: Vacant Party - Myths
by: Cyrus Rhodes
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Electronica, Chill-out, Dub, Ambient, House, Techno
Sounds Like: Kraftwerk, Art of Noise, Deep Forest, Prodigy
Technical Grade: 5/10
Weakness: Mix, Master, More live instrumentation, one dimensional, overly synthetic, Short sided CD
Dublin Ireland’s own Vacant Party (Shane Murphy) just released his debut musical statement Myth” in 2013. Murphy is a multi instrumentalist who’s dream to combine both House, Electronic and NES gaming sound became a reality on this debut CD. Although his potential and subsequent are wide ranged, his primary expertise lies in electronic music production. This should be interesting. Here we go.
The CD blasts off with ‘Echo" an ambient intro piece that serves up industrial-type rhythms, with pulsating moog bass painted against a colorful canvass of music and sound that comes at you from every which direction. Track 2 “Harmonia" presents a kaleidoscope of soothing sound featuring dynamic rhythms, and vivid melody that that flow and ebbs its way through fruition. By track 2 you realize Vacant City may be on to something here as these rough recordings are all diamonds in the rough – but diamonds nonetheless. Track 3 “Hypnos” shifts gears a bit with pulsating moog vibe, against sinister yet mesmerizing keyboard and synthesizer accents with hypnotic walls of sound that are infectious and hypnotic. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear so many elements of Trance, Ambient, Techno, Chill, Dub & House rhythms painted against a clever canvass of NES gaming sound effects. You will also notice lush layers musical instrumentation layered everywhere from low end beats and rhythms, to pulsating moog and bass segments, to ambient synthesizer and keyboard accents layered along the way. You will also notice keyboards, percussive accents and exotic phased sampling layered in the music. The songs themselves are extremely unique, highly original, and in itself a brilliantly clever. The sound-scapes are interesting, infectious, and hypnotic. The grooves and rhythms are thick and the ambient accents are well placed and flow and ebb extremely well song for song. The CD has some truly impressive moments on it showcasing an impressive songwriting core craft. From melodic “Hera"to striking "Harmonia” and :"Chronos" and mesmerizing “Orpheus” this CD has something for just about everyone. It’s definitely a dynamic and progressive musical statement that offers a lot of musical variety and vivid sound imagery that push the envelope. The CD ends with Track Echo
Tracks 1 and 3 are virtually identical. It’s fair to say Murphy needs a Pro caliber Production team to back him up (Producer, Mixer and Mastering Engineer) to put their production touches on his final work. The mix at times is a bit off kilter and is comparable to a bold font in your face. Murphy should also incorporate live recordings into his work to add more sonic dimension. Things like guitar, solo guitar, horns, trumpet, sporadic percussion, ambient vocal and piano. At the end of the day this CD is overly synthetic and sounds a bit one dimensional. CD is also a bit short with just 8 Tracks. CD cover art looks a bit amateurish.
Overall this release from Vacant Party is actually quite amazing. Make no bones about it – this CD took some time to craft and piece together and is in itself has a great deal of potential. It has much in the way of potential in the sense that kids will love the NES aftertaste, but equally as impressive are the hypnotic dance grooves, low end rhythms and beats that come with the territory. This will also appeal to those who enjoy Techno, and House-type music. Finally there are even elements of ambient, chill-out & dub music making Murphy sort of a triple threat musically. The CD works best for those who want musical ambience to fill their sonic space. I found the listening experience quite refreshing, highly original and unique. It fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively. It flows extremely well song for song and note for note. Murphy is a force to be reckoned with if he can incorporate some upgrades into his overall sound.