Friday, May 19, 2017

The Chameleon Project - Funk n Space

The Chameleon Project - Funk n Space 

This is the sort of band that cuts through the dross of the modern music scene and stands out as an example of where the music of the future can lead us. The Chameleon Project’s Funk n Space  brings together a wide array of diverse musical influence into one overarching concoction that, if any justice remains in the musical world of 2017, will see this Toronto quartet elevated to a position of great prominence among musical acts today. There are a couple of remixes added at the album’s conclusion, but the body of the album is an eight song journey gliding its way through jazz grooves, funk, disco, reggae, electronica, and even strong rock strains with confidence of a band far beyond their years. There’s not a single misstep on Funk n Space. It’s an invigorating musical trip from the first while never announcing its presence in a chest beating sort of way. There’s no bravado here, no bluster. Instead, there’s a band who takes on eight songs bursting with understated ambition that never neglect the central mandate of all great music – communicating with an audience. 
“Milky Way” is one of the album’s more conventional moments, hinging largely on its melodic virtues to be successful, but it’s a track sure to hook in many listeners from just a few notes alone. It’s the album’s second longest song, but The Chameleon Project are one of those rare units who can extemporize and move over an extended duration without losing their audience. “Steppin’” shows off similar characteristics with their deft recall of the reggae style filtered through the distinctly modern soundscapes that are the bedrock of their musical experience. However, like on the opener, melody is part of that central bedrock as well, but it emerges from the musical arrangement more strongly here than many of the other songs.  The first of their tracks to show a rock influence, “Kraken”, brings the aforementioned style seamlessly together with an evocative soundscape and effects laden guitar lines. It has a stronger imaginative edge than most of the fine creative tunes on Funk n Space . There’s a stronger intensity to this tune than many of the others on the release. 
“Bigfoot” has a hammering rhythm section well recorded and hammering its point home time after time with confidence that we normally associate with veteran outfits. Despite the risk-taking and electronic gloss accompanying the song, you can listen closely and discern the skeleton of the basic track beneath. Above nearly all else, The Chameleon Project succeeds because they are solid and accomplished songwriters, a fact borne out time and again during the track listing. The album’s finale “Wako” has a tremendous amount of color coming through during every passage of its six minute plus length  and brings the band’s command of various styles to life without any of them every striking a dischorant contrast with the other. Funk n Space may likely stand, despite how many albums they write and record, as The Chameleon Project’s supreme achievement because of the sense of new pervading its eight tracks, but they are clearly a band with the potential to produce even greater work if fortune remains on their side. 

Dale Butcher

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