That Monday thing… well it seems to be out the window. So we’re renaming the column. Welcome to the new column: Absolutely Beautiful. I’m still going to bring you my selection of beautiful down tempo and uplifting music on a (mostly) weekly basis.
This is an opinion column, I only feature beautiful music I personally think you should hear. That means every album I post has jumped out at me from a vast ocean of music and politely massaged my ears to a sonic orgasm. I say that, because I’m about to say this: I was involved with the production of release I’m featuring this week; Zenova‘s 100th Monkey EP. Everyone here at All The Machines is an electronic music producer, and we walk a fine line when it comes to posting about our own work. So here is the full disclosure: I engineered and mastered 100th Monkey and I wrote some percussion and flute riffs in the title track. However, I want to make it clear that 100th Monkey is entirely Zenova‘s musical artwork. Zenova is an amazingly talented song writer, I simply gave him a little push to release it and offered to engineer and master the EP. I was not compensated, in any way, for the work I did on the release, nor do I expect to be. I got involved because when I heard the un-mixed versions of 100th Monkey, I immediately knew the world needed to hear it. I’ve heard it over and over and over again, and even after listening to each track literally thousands of times I think it’s one of the most beautiful releases I’ve heard from a new artist this year.
What is really outstanding about 100th Monkey is Zenova‘s songwriting. I wouldn’t normally describe most electronic producers as songwriters, there is a difference between making a beat that moves a dance floor and writing a song that has deeper meaning. Each track on 100th Monkey has a story to tell. Every song is an evolving journey that never repeats. Full of ups and downs, every track touches the listener on a deeper level. The whole EP is a beautiful, sometimes funky, down tempo, sonic journey. Zenova‘s background as a live musician and multi-instrumentalist shines on 100th Monkey. The EP has a very human quality to it. Zenova uses live guitar and his own voice, expertly and subtly as an instrument and not a lead, along side almost retro sounding electronic instruments and huge sweeping pads. Influence from his career as a DJ is also evident. Every track is danceable, and despite being telling a story could be at home in a down tempo DJ set. It all blends together in such a beautiful way that makes it feel so good to listen to. I am excited to feature Zenova‘s debut EP, because 100th Monkey is without a doubt Absolutely Beautiful.
Do your ears a favor, grab a pair of headphones, and hit play on the SoundCloud player above. Zenova is one of the best new songwriters I have heard this year.