Article by Mitchell Buchanan
Many artists across the music recording industry create new music after a few months or even a few years since their last release. They have time to relax, go on tour, and to do whatever it takes to get ready for writing and recording new material. But how many times have you picked up a new record, listened to it, and thought “this song sounds EXACTLY like a track off their first record?” I’m always impressed when an artist can create new, inventive material that’s just as addictive as their previous works – and today, that artist is Arkasia. With an outrageously impressive musical background preceding him, Arkasia has released several albums over the past year. But on August 27, he will release “New Born”, a vibrant 8-track record from Heavy Artillery Recordings that pushes far beyond the limits of anything he’s ever done before.
Arkasia opens up New Born with a distinct sense of eeriness. “Know Your Enemies” begins with a playful, haunting, music-box melody that would feel right at home on the set of any horror movie. Shuffling drums only further the discomfort and wariness that the listener experiences, and the combination of long and staccato synths creates a creeping discordance that’s as addictive as it is unnerving. As the eeriness fades to grey, however, we’re left with a feeling not of fear, but of almost unbearable sorrow. Several tracks later, however, the aggression builds and “Nothing Left” takes control of the speakers. Powerful synths and crashing drums show that Arkasia isn’t ready to step down from his spot as the anointed King of Orchestral Dubstep – but instead of an explosive drop that would be completely at home on his Evolution LP, he pairs deep bass with simple, echoing notes. It’s a bold move, stepping away from what listeners might expect, but it works. And it’s a theme that continues through the entire album.
“Don’t Speak” brings the eeriness back with an element of brightness. Pure and absolutely shining, Hayley Gene sings in a way that plays with our emotions – and the drop does the very same. Shrieking strings cut through the stuttering bass with an intensity that’s almost unbearable; the orchestration builds up and then fully submerges the vocal track…and the listener along with it!
From the closing notes of “Don’t Speak,” we transition to an interlude, entitled “Child’s Song.” Although small and short compared to the rest of the tracks, “Child’s Song” is one of the most important tracks on this EP. It’s the point when everything becomes clear – Arkasia has truly created something altogether new with this album. Haunting but playful, with just a hint of sorrow, “Child’s Song” is short but memorable, and is far more important than it may seem at first. As the album comes to a close, we reach a climax of sorts in “She’s The One.” Feeling simultaneously like a cry of sadness and a plea for salvation, “She’s The One” showcases Arkasia’s never-ending ability to evoke powerful emotions through music. Although the synths are aggressive, the chord progressions remain emotive and highly resonant – a sort of raw human experience that’s hard to mimic in vocal-free music. But, as we’ve come to expect, Arkasia pulls it off with effortless ease. This is a track for when you’re angry, or wallowing in the deepest pits of despair; It’s a track designed to alleviate all the weight from your shoulders.
The Reigning King of Orchestral Dubstep is back. The name and emotions might be familiar, but the music is all-new and your first experience listening to this album might surprise you. Arkasia hasn’t just put out another record – he’s put out a truly new and insightful piece of music… And that’s what the title of New Born is all about!
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