Thursday, November 15, 2007

DJ Kenneth A :: The Enemy Within

DJ Kenneth A :: The Enemy WithinArtist :: DJ Kenneth A
Album :: The Enemy Within
Label :: DIY

Play This Cut First :: The Destroyer

In a Word :: Inspiring

When we started Blog Rockin' Beat, one of the main things we wanted to do was give indie artists without label support some attention. Album's like DJ Kenneth A's The Enemy Within are why. Musicians who are not facing label pressure for new records or vigorous touring schedules have more time for the creative process. And when that happens, you can hear the music mature from release to release. From his previous effort, Saint Elmo and the Osprey, to his latest offering, The Enemy Within, the progress is almost staggering.

One of the most noticeable aspects of Saint Elmo and the Osprey was the eclecticism and range shown. The Enemy Within is not as eclectic. Instead, DJ Kenneth has taken some of the most captivating elements from his previous efforts and developed them even further, such as: lush string arrangement, haunting piano melodies, and production values that sound crystal clear in a small set of earbuds or pumping through a 1000-watt system.

DJ Kenneth AAdding to the strings and keys that sound remarkably like VNV Nation at times - check out the opening cut,"From Here to There Without Looking Back" for the best orchestration VNV Nation never wrote - DJ Kenneth A has brought new percussive techniques into the mix, such as breakbeats and elements of glitch in the beats, pads, and lead lines. The results fits comfortably in the realm of BT, Hybrid, and The Orb. What you are hearing is the genre of symphonic breaks starting.

Another pleasant surprise is the use of vocals. On The Enemy Within, DJ Kenneth A gives us vocals from other indie artists: Jason McGovern (on "Damage Control playing below", Chad Wys (on a remix of Chad's "Dust in My Eyes"), and his own voice on "Like and Ocean". The last is particularly daring as most DJs would ever put their own voice on a track.

The thing that makes The Enemy Within a must have, however, is the overwhelming sense of honesty and genuineness. By reducing the spectrum of sounds and styles, this disc has a depth that his other's have hinted at, but not have fully achieved. He nails it this time, though. And it doesn't matter if it is the slow and ethereal "Like and Ocean", or the the glitchy drive of "The Destroyer", or the Eastern-vibe hip-hop of "Silence Part 6", every cut on The Enemy Within develops patiently, captivating your attention and delivering its spirit right into your heart...where the best music gets a new life in the listener.

Best cuts on the album :: Damage Control, The Destroyer, Silence Part 6.

The bottom line :: On The Enemy Within you are hearing the sound of one of contemporary music's best kept secrets. You are hearing what happens when musical integrity maintains focus for an entire album. You are hearing music the way it should be. You are hearing DJ Kenneth A.

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