A lifelong musician and visual artist Kel Alexander, the mastermind behind the Valhalla Superdrive project, spent years of conventional band-based musical exploration via the bass, guitar, keys and vox, while also being classically trained in orchestral woodwinds. His move into the hybrid organic-electronic musical scene has been both immersive and fulminant, with four albums released in less than a year and a half, and his fifth, “Winged Eyes Wide” officially dropping June 3, 2022. With so much music available to us on demand, it is producers like Kel Alexander who carve out their own unique sound, that really end up catching our ear, becuase the one sure way to get a listener’s attention, is by breaking the mold.
Between constant digging through playlists and sorting through submissions, we listen to a lot of music, and there are a select few artists out there who simply don’t sound like anybody else. One of them is Valhalla Superdrive.
The reason why, is that he transcends electronic music, and has been setting the bar high since his debut album. When it comes to innovative, state-of-the-art electronic music, Valhalla Superdrive’s creative tendrils stretch across the vast spectrum of styles and subgenres, so there’s no true way to define his work.
On “Winged Eyes Wide”, Valhalla Superdrive continues to create, craft and cultivate a signature sound. And it’s a big, bold sparkling thing. Throbbing basslines, slapping drums and twisting synths, drive the core momentum of these songs, while Kel Alexander enhances and embellishes the templates with moments of pure uncontrollable genius.
The album opens with the rumbling basslines of “Trials” and steadily builds into something monumental from there onward. The bass and drum rhythm catches fire on “Dovestep”, while the melodic intensity steps up to the plate on “We Go (Instrumental Extended Version)” with a flurry of acoustic guitars built into the mix.
The bass is clearly intrinsic to the Valhalla Superdrive sound, as it is the powerful core of these songs. On “Toking My Way Into Heaven”, it again takes center stage as the keys dance wildly around it. “Ascension Generator” builds slowly, adding layer upon layer of dynamic sounds which dart and pirouette in multiple directions.
No matter what style he is engaging, Kel Alexander is one of the few composers who can create full-body listening experiences through his emotion-packed production and visual-inducing storytelling. This is evident on the ever-changing “Process You Out”, the eclectic “Triumph”, and the nostalgic “Don’t Look Behind”.
The realm and the scope of Valhalla Superdrive’s music widens immensely from track to track, and is instantly noticeable on “Art Blonde” and “Alignment”, where he once again flips his sonic template, with dominating organic-sounding instrumentation.
Don’t expect Valhalla Superdrive to stay in one place for too long though, as he steps up the energy levels on “Munch Munch Munch [Down a 10-Strip]”, gets out the overdriven guitars in “I Come In Peace”, and invites ethereal vocal interludes into the mix, on “We Go” (Vocal Version feat. Carla Duailibe). These songs are absolutely packed with ideas, sounds and textures, despite still having a clear and refined palette.
One thing is crystal clear throughout this recording – Valhalla Superdrive is outstanding at building great albums, and “Winged Eyes Wide” is another superlative example of that.
Connect with Valhalla Superdrive. All links are here: https://linktr.ee/valhallasuperdrive