Minnesota producer, The Blue Phoenix is no stranger to exploring and infusing various genres of music. His eclectic taste, has led to several diverse albums. Well, 10 albums to be exact. And that’s not a bad average for an 18 year-old – especially if he only started producing seriously since 2013! Fact is, to keep his averages and momentum going The Blue Phoenix has just dropped his latest 8 track album, entitled “Indigo”. The central key is that, rather unsurprisingly, “Indigo” is one of the more purely enjoyable electronic records released by this precocious talent; vital by all means, but even more so considering who the source is.
Its nonstop detonations are proficient without a hint of slightness, melodic with a fair bit of sonic chaos, inventive, inviting and plain old mind-fun. A drum and bass album skirting the seas of EDM, trance, ambient, electro, post-rock, and hammering away and just about any other electronic influence.
It is the sound of The Blue Phoenix, the teen-aged extraterrestrial and his trusted super software shining through. The electronics sear and smolder, beats rumble and slice, and the arrangements work like tightening vices. Music as boundless and overwhelming as this needs a dominant focal point, which “Indigo” has. Flexing soaring synth lines, clever drum manipulations and squalls of bass, these tracks somehow maintain a steadily ascendant trajectory of prominent melody no matter how belligerent the soundscapes get.
The album opens with drums that quickly swarm to pound your inner ear and to send you wobbling, on “Spark”. There is a real menace to every thumping kick drum and snare. That this album turns so many EDM tropes on their head is evident on “Starchild”.
From the very first track bar a complex euphoria announces The Blue Phoenix’s intention to flavor the milk. He grabs about 3 or 4 EDM subgenres and melds them into one. It makes something new out of something tired, something powerful, innovative and undeniably otherwise.
What makes The Blue Phoenix so interesting is that not only is he a talented producer, but he also stands out as a daring, experimental artist. No matter what musical style he is emulating or restructuring, he is always doing so with an open mind. This liberal approach to music makes his albums stimulating and rewarding.
Now don’t get me wrong, “Indigo” is by no means an experimental album, on the contrary, it is very accessible, probably the artist’s most accessible album thus far. It’s just that he mixes disparate and unusual sounds to make pleasantly comfortable tracks such as “What I Couldn’t Say”, or “Memories in Melodies”, for example.
Where The Blue Phoenix captivates, he also mystifies. Some of the album’s most engrossing moments are presented in a sonic enigma, as on “Aurora” or “I Can’t Breathe”. One of the record’s most satisfying moments comes on my favorite track, “Atom”, in which a rich, awe-inspiring electronic sequence gives way to equally powerful drums.
On “Indigo”, The Blue Phoenix musters his numerous abilities and allows his songs to unfold naturally, giving them enough buoyancy to maintain a gratifying, and consistent listening experience.