Sometimes in the crazy music world of post record industry dominance we find worthy musical projects are given short shift and allowed to fade into the ether. Some genres are more susceptible to this phenomena than others. The genres of Ambient and Contemporary Classical are a prime example due to the artists’ tendencies to not blow their own horn and their output being often self released which limits marketability. In a departure from my usual weekly review I am going to take a foray into the world of Ambient, Contemporary Classical music to shine light on a worthy release that was woefully overlooked. I thank you in advance for humoring me.
In June of 2014 the artist Meeq self released his debut EP Inherit Rebirth a unique blending of Contemporary Classical, Ambient, and Alternative Rock sounds. It is an amalgam of electric violin, piano and industrial beats. A concept record in an age of one hit wonders. It is an overlooked gem that is headphone mandatory.
David M. Lajara or Meeq as he is monikered professionally is an electric violinist and composer. He grew up in the Bronx and comes from a musical background. Upon hearing the electric violin for the first time at the age of 16 he started training in the violin. After numerous orchestral and local performances he decided to pursue his passion of marrying electronic with classical. He self produced, recorded, mixed arranged and performed Inherit Rebirth. He also created a video for each song that gives both a background and an interpretation of each song. Meeq counts among his influences Bjork, Sigur Ros, Toy Guns, NIN and Smashing Pumpkins. Inherit Rebirth is the culmination of Meeq’s life experiences in music, art and faith. The concept of the EP is to blend the Creation story with the idea of reincarnation.
“Inherit Rebirth” is Meeq’s attempt to produce an almost mystical sound track to life. Each selection is unique with Meeq creating visual art with music. It is transcendent and spine tingling. Energy and passion jump out throughout the five instrumental songs. The intro track, The Cry sets the stage for the EP with its otherworldly soundscape, hypnotic and beautiful as it tries to put into music God’s separation from Adam and Eve. It has a very Sigur Ros feel. A Trois is beautifully constructed and performed as it blends dance beats yet never forgets its classical roots. The selection is emotionally evocative as it envisions the joy of creation and the heartbreaking sorrow of betrayal. The “Trois” of the title is meant to represent the Trinity. As a rule Ambient music should engage the listener’s aural senses and draw emotions and that what takes place on this selection. It also reminds me of the work of Actress on “RIP”.
Twisted Little Rainbows has a more techno feel and is very textured with a glichy gritty vibe. Here Meeq attempts to convey the struggles of mankind through his violin displaying the bitter and the sweet of life. This track has NIN written all over it but transmuted into a classical music translation. In the Eye of His Eclipse continues through mankind’s life cycle. Here man faces his demise both with sorrow and majesty. An elegiac piano brings the emotional impact to the song. In the track, life is spiraling to its end, with the weight of sorrow conveyed through the music. It is the soul’s last cry as it travels through death to serenity. This song alone makes the EP worthy of a listen.
The final track Melitoratus is representative of rebirth finishing the cycle. Melitoratus is Latin for improving or making better. The track is positive and energetic as it begins with the jolt of life renewed and represents everything as again fresh and ready to reassume the struggle of life. With Melitoratus the cycle Meeq presents is completed. The entire EP is a mere 18 and half minutes but to be appreciated should be listened to in its entirety.
If you are at all interested in modern contemporary classical music here is a stellar selection to give a listening. It might not be every person’s taste but if you find yourself drawn to performers such as Actress, Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois or Jonny Greenwood’s London Contemporary Orchestra collaborations this is a record you might want to seek out. Meeq is truly a gifted musician and a unique talent and has produced a delightful and engaging work. It is available on Itunes, Amazon, and Bandcamp.