The album “Accel.” by Detroit artist Jason Miller is both melodically stunning and bass bumping goodness. From the space-age track “My City” and the growling “Radiant Signals” to the driving “Lustrous Flow”, I was already hypnotized by the unique sounds and infectious rhythms three songs deep. This 14 track album plays heavy on the emotions and really utilizes its sonic elements to build a strong connection with the listener. Miller frees the inhibitions of every sub-bass raver lounged in front of a pair of speakers. He is a gifted producer with an obvious amount of talent beneath a complex set of skills. He blends classic, soul, blues, jazz, R&B with commercial EDM, drum and bass, techno and even influences from Japan. “Accel.” emerges in the exhibition of Miller placing a strong focus upon each of these styles within the electronic stratosphere.
You don’t have to be a fan of electronic dance music to appreciate that this album is one of the finest of its genre. If you aren’t convinced, the best you can do is drop a few of these tracks onto your playlist and let the bass rule your workout. Jason Miller’s formula builds more layers, more levels of energy and gets higher and higher in pitch until the drop kicks in and it peaks and breaks into another interesting phase.
This makes sure you stay locked on while the Adrenalin pumps through your veins. This happens so beautifully on “Dawn Breaks” which is unhurried and atmospheric before the syncopated drums set in to set the tone and rhythm.
“Bass Quakes” moves in a similar way, between the liquid and dubstep extremes, and continues to layer every instrument perfectly. Guest vocals cement “I Remember Everything” as a standout. The drum beat, paired with a slow-moving synth line and a playful riff in the will make you want to move and not stop.
The track builds its layers up slowly, and with each addition becomes even more fun. When it reaches its peak it comes back with a sexy synth riff that works in time with the bass line. As the genres of electronic music continue to grow and evolve, trends will come, go, and be beaten to death. But what artists like Jason Miller do is bring back the integrity of electronic music.
“Nero Orchestra” has this apocalyptic, tense feel that builds drama and sets things up for the listener to expect grand things from the record. The track features some rumbling bass and frenzied electro rhythms under flamboyant orchestral movements.
“Flashing Hearts” adds a cool haunting element to the music, whilst the keys are strong in its wispy way, Miller conveys this sense of euphoric pleasure mixed with melancholy. Production wise the track features a bright blend of heavy hitting rhythms and razor sharp synth notes for a sound that is equally as dramatic as it is catchy.
Miller is great with the production on “Accellerando” in that the clapping beat, the keyboard breakdown and the shimmering video-game tone of the synth notes create an intensely playful essence to the song, making this a complete package that you can just lose yourself to.
On “Single Serving Savior”, Miller again provides us with a great sound for the song with his blend of thumping bass and 90’s styled synths, creating a funky moody that acts as the perfect dance floor companion. One of the very cool and unique things about this album is its ability to easily switch styles. Any good album tells a story, and that story shouldn’t just be confined to the same style.
The risk of putting something on your album that is completely different from your main sound is admirable, and in this case it pays off with tracks such as “Manuel Nightmare” and “Final Mix”. This isn’t an album set around mindless build-ups and drops; it’s so much more that what you would expect.
The two final songs, “Accel Saga” and “Shin Accel” further evidences how this album is full of catchy electronic-riffs, slow-builders and frantic highs; an all-engrossing set with each song carefully intertwined with the other, though totally different between them.
What Jason Miller accomplishes with “Accel.” is a reigning in and fine-tuning of what he began to develop previously. There is evidence of a stronger concentration on composition and arrangement than just delivering simply stunning sounds.
In short, this album is definitely worth listening to. The longer you listen to each song, the more you can take apart the layers, and see how much skill went into creating songs that work well on their own but manage to hold together an album with equal share.