QREEPZ, “SEANCE”, ALBUM REVIEW: Karma

TRIPMUZE rating=90/100

I lost my good friend at the end of last summer.
It was way too sudden to close his young life with an irrational reason. My friend and I spent a quality of time together with many of our common friends at the end of summer party just a week before he was gone. We even chatted 2 days after the party. 5 days later, he never returned to this world.
That was my first experience to lose any of my friends. I was extremely devastated about the evanescence of life, especially taking my friend away who had all package of humor, friendliness, positiveness, and intelligence. But I needed to heal my pains. I still had my own life and needed to go on.
Then a song naturally flew on my head. I turned on my speaker. Yes, that song was what I really needed to fill my emptiness. Simple melodies but so sentimental. I felt like I was released while listening to the song. Although that was the song I listened many times before, I repeated over and over again in the next few weeks. The song was “Wednesday”.

***

That was a Seattle club when I knew Qreepz, the city’s electric music artist/producer/engineer/composer/DJ, in the fall of 2015. I was on my one week vacation after quitting my long-term job. Being a New York dude, going back to my room at 10 p.m. didn’t make sense during my vacation even on Tuesday. I strolled around the streets of Capitol Hill and found a club packed with cool crowds and vibes. I entered to “Real Love 90’s” party at Havana Social Club. Qreepz was the DJ at that night.

Havana didn’t lie about “Tuesday is the new Friday”. The party was off the hook until closing. More than that, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the music mixed by a tall and big guy in the DJ booth soon after entering the club. I didn’t need liquor to start dancing. I didn’t take a minute to know the DJ was different. Not same with hundreds of DJs I’d heard nationwide. Because the hip-hop and R&B tunes were from the best eras of 90’s, the crowds should’ve known those songs well before. Still, the DJ made all songs crisp and fresh. Never boring and never dull. Thick with full vibes. DJ even started dancing as voltage was getting max on the dance floor. I knew that dude established his own flavors as well as skills while there were many DJs who didn’t know shit about mixology. I definitely witnessed sparkling magic on the DJ booth. Seattle Tuesday night was on fire. That DJ was so guilty to make me consume a lot of liquors with good music. When I left Havana, it was already Wednesday.

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Tuesday night fever at Havana Social Club’s “Real Love 90’s” party. Qreepz on the DJ booth. Literary “Sleepless in Seattle”. (Photo: TRIPMUZE.COM)

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Even after being back to New York City, my excitement of Tuesday night didn’t fade away. I didn’t know his name yet, but one thing I was sure was he should be more than just a DJ. He was way too skilled to end up on the Seattle club scene. So I searched for the unknown talented man. His name was Jay Battle, and indeed he had been active as a musician and producer under “Qreepz”. I also found out his new album was just released. I checked on SoundCloud, and that was another blow-out moment. Needless to say, I immediately bought his album on iTunes. I needed to own his album in my music collection.

“Wednesday” is included on Qreepz’s “Séance” album, released in the fall of 2015. “Séance” proves that electric music can express the world of beauty extensively without vocal and music instruments. If vocal is an important part of the music, not having a vocalist is a challenge on the power of expression because there is no easy and direct method to control listeners’ emotion and excitement. Personally, less variety of expression is a major reason why electric music isn’t my type. I am sure keeping the persistence of expression throughout an album is any electric musician’s goal, but the truth is even if some tunes are nice, I usually get bored in the halfway.

On the other hand, “Séance” instantly catches ears to the sound and keeps excitements and comfortable tension throughout the album even for the listeners who are not much into electric music like me or beginners. I can shake my head and raise my fist from the beginning of the album.
I wrote “Séance” expresses the world of beauty, but the world of beauty doesn’t always mean bright and cheerful. The world of “Séance” is the underground beauty as can be imagined by the album title and artist name. Sometimes the sound shines white in the total black world, sometimes the sound sparks deep under the shadow, and sometimes the sound is ritualistic. But surprisingly the album is not creepy at all, it’s actually rather refreshing while hooked up on the underworld sound like an addiction.
The major reason is obviously the elaborate sound. “Séance” album is the collection of fine workmanship with the variety mixture of aggressiveness, comicalness, pathos, heavy beats, and vocal effects in the layer of melodious gothic-electric music. Most importantly, Qreepz’s craftsmanship of sound doesn’t fall on self-satisfaction that innovative albums sometimes fall. The album’s sound structure is not simple but easy to enjoy instantly. Each sound element catches new wonder entire the album. Invitation to the mechanical underworld on “Get Excited”, fallen sky with the shower of sound on “Gadget”, devil’s cold rejection to angel’s begging of giving one more night on “Tongues”, the sorrowful illusion of upcoming storm in the dark and cold northern wasteland like Wuthering Heights world on “Real Life”, etc…Each song exercises full imagination without vocal. “Séance” album brilliantly expresses the gothic world by electric music. Although there are many combos of gothic and hard rock, I don’t know anybody else who beautifully combined gothic and electric music.

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And “Wednesday” at the dramatic finale after “Séance”. The album’s only song with full vocal finally has the humanity all after the mechanical masochism.
“Wednesday” is the masterpiece of any genre. Masterpieces don’t have to belong to major artists. Masterpieces can also be composed by any talented but unknown and underrated artists, and when we find the hidden masterpieces, that’s the moment to feel a pleasure to keep searching good music as a music fan.
This is a beautiful ballad. “Wednesday” is like the calm after a long storm but also lonely with sorrowful yet beautiful female vocal and sentimental melodies. The impressional ending will automatically make listers restart the album with joyful tears.

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***

A Wednesday night of January 2017. Qreepz gave me a very surprised and totally unexpected opportunity to meet him when he visited New York City for his production work. It was my dream to interview this truly talented musician for TRIPMUZE.COM in Seattle one day, but I could meet him in New York City! That was my dream-come-true moment. Such a wonderful and humble person, it was literary a great experience to meet him.
I asked about his album and “Wednesday”. Qreepz, who was influenced by both electric music and hip-hop, aimed to create “Séance” album to get calmer from the heavy first song in order to the songs, and “Wednesday”, the longest day of a week, is the song about break-free after all struggles and battles. So “Wednesday” supposes to express the support of someone who finally shows love “when the world wants you to break“, but the song is still sad for me. The sentimental voice of Iceland-based Yes Alexander contributes to making the song deeply sorrowful, but also her clear voice adds solitude like being powerless in the cold world. Still, this song is so clear like the winter northern sky. This is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever listened.

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Qreepz and I in New York City (Photo: TRIPMUZE.COM)
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(L to R) Qreepz, Kingston of Blue Sky Blue Death and his beautiful girlfriend. In New York City. (Photo: TRIPMUZE.COM)

Hitting about my friend again. The world miserably took my good friend in the middle of a September night, but maybe he was released from all his troubles in the new above world. And I could be filled my heart’s holes by a wonderful song. If that wasn’t the power of music, what else?

***

This is the music review of an album released 1.5 years ago. Indeed I have some new favorite albums sold in this one month. For those who wondered why I didn’t write about new albums, let me emphasize to say this as I wrote before: good music doesn’t have an expiration date. I will always love to introduce any truly talented artists whenever I think it’s the right time.

Right things happen on right time. If I didn’t go to my dreamland of Seattle after leaving my day job and stayed in my room on Tuesday night, I would definitely not know Qreepz, truly multi-talented musician. Seattle was a hidden treasure box of many fantastic local artists including him and reminded me that was why I couldn’t stop being a music fan. That was one of the major reasons why I started TRIPMUZE.COM, introducing bright talents without caring about popularity. So Qreepz was also one reason why I started my website, and without this, I would probably not have a chance to meet him in person. And I would not have a perfect song to fill my sorrow when I needed. I appreciate to this destiny…And yes, today is Wednesday.

QREEPZ: qreepz.com

THIS IS THE RIGHT TIME TO LISTEN TO QREEPZ’S INTELLECTUAL ELECTRIC MUSIC!

(READ MORE ABOUT QREEPZ)

*Photos are courtesy of Qreepz unless indicated.

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