"Ladies and Gentlemen..."
Starting with the frenetic beats of the opening track, "21st Century Teenager," John Taylor's newest aural offering, Meltdown, assails the senses with soulful stylings and danceable grooves all with an electronic, big beat, trip-hop tip. Meltdown marks a departure from the more raw, minimalist structure of many of his other solo efforts, taking the listener into swirling, deeply entrenched electronic breaks and grooves.
The most amazing thing about this piece is the foresight involved with the almost jerky, wild rhythms characterized more by the techno movements that followed after the early 1990s. It is something the listener is almost used to now with the modern saturation of groups like Chemical Brothers, Moby, and Fatboy Slim, but perhaps doesn't realize the rarity of it at the time of the recording (at least outside of the electronic underground).
Also dispersed within these grooves are moments of lush, ambient stirrings giving the album a unique balance that runs the range of thoughtful introspection to in-your-face, four-on-the-floor muses. John's voice, dancing above the musical madness, is surprisingly full of range and depth, reiterating to me that he should have been much more of a vocalist sooner in his career.
Meltdown is somewhat eclectic in its offerings with the cornerstone of the album being the cover of legendary Reggae Dub king, Lee "Scratch" Perry's classic "Soul Fire." The cover shows John's diversity in creative expression without being bogged down with the pretension that often goes hand in hand with an artist crossing musical genres. The lines of musical classification are blurred giving the listener a fresh enjoyment of the sound.
I found myself both captivated and intrigued with this album, surprised again at the many possibilities of a home studio a la a mixing board, drum machine and keyboard. Yet I suppose I was surprised most by how modern this piece is and how, even though it was unearthed after about seven years, it still speaks to the listener as if it were created today.
"It's the state of the art alright..."
Interested in more about John Taylor? If you are wondering where you have heard that name before or are having some bad flashbacks about getting detention for wearing a fedora in Math class, check out his official website and get caught
up. He’s changed a lot since “Rio”…
Do you know about John, but just want to buy this CD? Go here. Quantities are limited.