Album Review: Empirico by Whodoes

Plus: J.P. Kallio, 10 Awful Things About British Festivals That Should Take A Hike and Pierre Masse

Seasons have a way of influencing how we listen to music. The gloomy months bring out that introspective spirit in all of us. I’ve always have this special interest in contemporary instrumental music. It is another genre which I did not ‘force’ myself to appreciate. It came naturally. With music it is both an emotional and mental experience for me. Emotional in a sense that there are tunes that can ‘transport’ me to another place. There are lyrics that make me bawl like a baby. And I am sure this is something I share with musicians. After all, who else knows the secret places inside a tune than the creator of it- the artist?

When Vasilis Chountas a.k.a. Whodoes told me that a new album is out, I got excited because I remember the beautiful experience I had with Dolphins in the Sky. Empirico has nine tracks with varying moods. Everything about it sounds sci fi and a progression of his minimalistic style which he cultivates with Dolphins in the Sky. Would you believe that his main instrument is just the electric guitar? Everything around it was build by the sounds created by that single instrument. Empirico is for fans of soundtrack, ambient, ethnic, experimental and post-rock music. There is also an unmistakable Greek element in the a0642189950_2melodies as Chountas is from Greece.

Emprico opens with pulsing sounds as if these are transmission from outer space. There is a sense of urgency underneath the calm rhythmic style. T harkens back to the early days of ambient music created by Brian Eno and Tangerine Dream.

One of my favorite tunes is Memories which is also the carrier single. It has that chill out beats and cinematic feel that could be one of those tunes you hear in a suspense/mystery TV series during the opening credits. I love its gradual style and abstract melodic style. Rain is falling hard outside while I am writing this review and I feel like I am swimming in the seas of pleasant music. All those pulsing, underwater life pulsing around me in the form of notes and beats.

There are other great tracks from this wonderful album including Street Romance, Room Alone and the drum-heavy That Night which reminds me of Portishead. Similar track Lost follows with industrial beats and melodies yearning for a resolution.

If you like Vangelis and other artists I mentioned in this review then you will pick up Empirico.


Today’s Featured Artist Blog: J.P. Kallio:

I love reading what artists have to say. That is why I often visit their blogs. If I don’t get to read anything from their website then I go ahead and ask them for an interview. My passion for knowing how an artistic mind works can be traced back to my childhood when I destroyed automatic watches trying to know how the cogs and wheels inside work. Don’t worry I won’t do the same thing to your heads physically 😉


Meanwhile in other music-related news:

10 Awful Things About British Festivals That Should Take A Hike:

I got this link from NME.Do you agree? What do you think?

And lastly, a blast from the past:

14 Questions with Pierre Masse

Here is a memorable interview with the young and talented Pierre Masse Posted on September 9, 2010.

Have a great weekend friends!

Steafan Hanvey: Like Father, Like Son: Creating Art In A Time Of Troubles


To those who watched Steafan Hanvey performed in NYC, then you are all lucky. This artists has an amazing personal history reflected in this NPR documentary. His new album Nuclear Family is not out. It contains amazing tracks that explored various styles of modern rock music with social commentaries. He is really a unique artist.

Woah! They are called The Aprill


Milan Samko – lead vocal & guitar,

Karel Ticháček – bass,

Daniel Székely – lead guitar,

Jan Mourek – drums,

Jakub Fišer – piano,keybord,sampler, backing vocal

Aprill:Five musicians from the Czech Republic making rock music with raw punk energy. They are photogenic with a good sense of fashion. Their style combines British and American alternative rock . Their current single is Fun Times taken from the album of the same title released this year.You should check out their interesting music videos. Lead singer Milan Samko is a professional photographer. He is also a film maker. This explains the fascinating visuals. And yes there are pretty girls in the video.

Fun Times the album delivers high octane aural assault. On top of the punch -to- the- gut intensity of their brand of rock, expect catchy melodies and stunning guitar rifts. Album tracks include: Intro, Today is Not My Friend, never Again, Fun Times, Mistakes, Convince Me, 7AM, Wake Up and Writter(a slow ballad with fine piano accompaniment).

My big thanks to Jeremy King for introducing me to the band.

(Morbid)Thoughts on Ian Watkins.

I am not anti- rock. Rock music comprises 20% of my collection. The remaining are Celtic, Jazz, Electronic, Standards and Classical. So there is still that ‘protective towards rock stars’ kind of attitude in me. Although things have been watered down through years of seeing the same old thing.

Photo courtesy of Starpulse

Photo courtesy of Starpulse

My first reaction upon reading the headline featuring the former Lost Prophet singer was that of “I told you so.” But then I realize, nope you can’t be sure. Even though I listened by chance to one of their albums in the early part of 2000s, I could not understand the kind of devotion some people in my circles were attributing to the band and the lead singer. After a day of seeing the trend go up on Google trends another thought occurred to me.

There are sick people out there who remained undiagnosed because they think they can handle it. And this becomes dangerous  when the mentally sick person acquires fame and a lot of money. Based on one link  I read, his ex girlfriend already notified the cops but her story was dismissed. Because hey. It’s Ian Watkins. He’s popular. Remember Jimmy Saville?

The same mentality proliferates everywhere like in Politics. The ‘you can’t touch us because we are powerful’ kind of thinking pervades. Yes, until the black hole becomes bigger and it swallows everything. And secrets could no longer be contained. If you think about it, what he did to his super fans’ were monstrous, asking them what to do to their babies while he watches and then “take it to the next level.”

I think few people in this world are half monsters. The monsters in their souls are lurking underneath the expensive suits and celebrity smiles. The monsters inside are just waiting for the right moment to pounce. I think given a chance, people would always succumb to their dark fantasies. I think this is because perversion and mutation are part of our evolution. It’s about the powerful eating the weak. The predator. The vampire. The werewolf.

When you think about it, most of these fans aren’t really there because they love the(rock) music. They pretend they do. But they’re don’t. They are there because they worship the rock star. The embodiment of sex, excess and physical beauty. After all, the rock scene is all about that-few if not all. The music is just a secondary tool that people will learn to appreciate after. But it is always about the youth, looks and eroticism.

I wonder what most of his fans think now. Do they want to put their minds in the washing machine hoping to remove the stains of idolizing him? Are they disappointed? You would be surprise to discover that there are those who actually love this. I mean why did Charles Manson got many converts that led to the slaughter of actress Sharon Tate and her friends? Who am I to judge Ian Watkins? Maybe I have my own monsters to deal with. But raping babies? Shit!

There are people who worship darkness and excess. I think it is because it is a primal need. Deep down inside part of us hope there is no such thing as law so we can do what we want. Just like animals. It is only through societal conditioning and religion that we try to curb these deep fantasies. But like I said, given the chance….


Aron Lyrd: Aron Lyrd (self titled)

Aron Lyrd

Hometown: Shippensburg, PA, USA
Style of music: Rock

Aron Lyrd redefines alternative rock. The melodic guitars and easy to remember melodies are what make his music a must have for those who miss the kind of alternative music made in the 90s. He’s also got amazing pipes as he croons on the sensual Wasted. The track begins softly before exploding into the visceral force of the chorus.

I admire his approach to rock music. There is a friendly vibe that runs all over his album. My favorite tracks are Day Dreams, Time Goes Forward, Wasted  and Hey Hey. It is hard to describe his music using prose alone so you got to experience it to KNOW.

One of the reasons why I lost the desire to listen to the radio is the lack of real music. Everything sounds manufactured. And to have artists like Aron Lyrd creating music like that makes me glad we have the internet. So enjoy the amazing self-titled album from this Shippensburg, PA native and spread the word!