Thursday, August 15, 2013

August Feature: Jet Set Gypsies - GodScience


With duo haunting, powerful vocals and an unique sound that envelops your soul with every beat, Jet Set Gypsies’ first full album GodScience left me wanting more. Singing in English, Japanese, German and with their native tongue, Romanian, Jet Set Gypsies creates an avant-garde, theatrical masterpiece. With 17 mystifying tracks that seduces your senses and heart, the band ignited my imagination unlike anything I have ever heard before.


The album’s journey begins with -Begin Transmission-, a haunting and spiritual energy that fades into the intro of the next track GodScience. From the first moment the vocals enter the piece at :06, I immediately found myself lured into their world even before the beat and instruments kick in at :25. The intensity in this song was so electrifying that I felt as if I was witnessing the birth of Frankenstein. I couldn’t help but find myself blown away as it seemed befitting start a magical, unreal experience. It was from this point on I knew that I was going to enjoy this album.


Without hesitation, I will admit that the next song on this explosive album is hands-down my favorite. Phoenix and Dragon possesses a magical balance between lightness and heaviness that beautifully molded together. Starting off with a mesmerizing and playful rhythm that reminded me of an enchanting folk-like melody, the sound slowly transformed from a lighter sound to an aggressive explosion. In this song, we get our first taste of their spellbinding fusion of Japanese and English lyrics as they told their tale about love and destruction.  These lyrics bewitch you as you get lost in the charismatic, alluring vocals of Prince V along with the rise and fall of the instruments.


The mood of the album slightly shifts with the next track Analemma, which literally “means a pedestal of the sundial”. It has a playful sound that lifts the spirit, as the lyrics speak of finding a special place of belonging in order to rise like the sun. As the song progresses, the intensity picks up. This happens especially in one of my favorite guitar solos which takes place at 2:46-3:11. It feels as though you can feel the electric heartbeat of Dai as the solo evolves until the last moment.


Pausing from the heavy, intense pieces of this album, the band gives us a ballad in their fourth track Hachidori. Hachidori, which means “hummingbird” in Japanese, brings to life a softer, lighter side of the band. Along with its softer beats, it also shows off the band's dual vocals as Prince V and Richter Feist. The delicate movement in the beats brings to life a balance between elegance and power that touched my heart just like a hummingbird.


After the flight of the hummingbird, the battle of the matador begins in The Velvet Veil. It starts off with the sounds of trumpets as if signaling a coming storm. As the song marches on I can imagine the battle inside my mind and the adrenaline intensifies at each moment until the song comes to an abrupt end.


When one story ends, another begins as the Immaculate Sky takes hold. Although the song starts off with an elegant and soft guitar solo with a touch of drums, Immaculate Sky breaks out into an a continuous wildfire ball of energy as vocals enter the piece at 0:52. After this point, the relentless heavy beats consume the piece. In fact, one of my favorite sections of this song is at 2:10-2:39, which shows off the extent of the vocal diversity in the band and their amazing solos. As the vocals take flight through the darkness, the mood quickly evolves as It leads into a badass guitar solo and a heavy touch of the drums.


Alongside the heaviness of this track, another part I greatly enjoyed is the impressive range every time they sang the word "melody"--which occurs three times in the song. Every time I hear it I feel the goosebumps rise from my arms.


As the heaviness floats away, the caravan of the spiritual wanderer comes and drifts us away in Bedouin. The title of the song was the first thing that caught my attention, since the word “Bedouin” itself means a nomadic Arab of the desert. This seems befitting since with each word you can feel yourself moving along with them on their spiritual journey through the desert where they "seek where the sun sleeps." It's hard to describe their spiritual, new age meets rock beats, because at the end of the day--it's something you should experience for yourself.


Stepping back from the spiritual journey in Bedouin, comes another metaphorical spiritual tale in Eloquent Anomaly. With each moment, Jet Set Gypsies take full advantage of having two powerful vocalists acting as one. They mold so beautifully together that it elevates the message of love and devotion to an entirely different level.


Moving away from the messages of love and devotion, the next track on the album Dirty the Honey shows a darker side of the band. With darker lyrics and harsher vocals, sung primarily in German and English, they take you through a whirlwind of toil and destruction. As you listen, it is as if you can feel as we've transformed into working bees circling down the drain into our own destruction. This comes alive more as you hear the inner buzzing of the hive at the beginning and end of the track.


While the destructive whirlpool floats away, a story of nobility and beauty begins in Kindachi. Kindachi, which literally means “children of nobility” in Japanese, brings to life a tale of deep longing and desire for someone seemingly out of their reach. Possessing an elegant, mystifying aura, Jet Set Gypsies create a perfect balance of heaviness and lightness transporting you into an ethereal, majestic land.


In the eleventh track on this unforgettable album is called 11:11, which takes you away to a church for lost souls. Starts off with a beautiful piano solo before the vocals take flight at 0:17. Throughout the piece, it feels as if the dual vocals are voices of conflicted thoughts clashing against each other. This feeling builds through the screams and thrills of the thunderous drumming.  In fact, one of my favorite solos in this piece has to be the drumming section at 3:49-4:12, with its powerful, industrial sound that adds a whole level of intensity to the song.


Out of the darkness, Jet Set Gypsies seek the rays of light in their next song, "Midnght Near."  Basking in the delicate, subtleties of the darkness for the first minute of the song, Midnight Near is rather an uplifting story that reminds us that:


"love conquers all and precedes the dawn. Oh, I found hope hiding in the depths of hell. Oh, I saw light through the light of the storm."


From start to finish, I found myself so drawn into their story that I felt every rise and fall. One of the things I find fascinating about this song is that even when you listen to the screams, which are beautifully placed in the piece, you can still feel an uplifting, lightness to it. In a sense, the screams feel as though at those moments they are actually breaking the darkness away.


Easily one of the most danceable and playful with a dash of seductiveness, Cloud Pill, seeks to entice and take you away to a blissful place. Starting off with an instrumental intro that sets you into a trance, the band wastes no time setting up the mood before turning up with the heat with the lyrics "hey there, beautiful maiden fair are you alone?". These words are shortly followed by, "hey there, pretty, pretty, would you care to kiss me, kiss me almost anywhere, until I hear La La La La La." With lyrics like these and the playful energy, you can't help but dance.


The fourteenth track on this album is also their longest in Curse. The song transports you to the dark ages where a seer with a gift of foresight waits for the final day of destruction.  From start to finish, this piece would be a great addition to a movie soundtrack because of the great, complex detail. In a way it combines the complexity of a couple of songs already on this album but on a grander, avant-garde fashion. By the end of the song, you can feel the darkness start to subside as the story reaches its closing chapters,


Following the darkness of Curse, I found myself listening to my second favorite track on this album in the form of Saint Ruin. Primarily sung in Romanian, this masterpiece immediately caught my attention with its enchanting vocals and arrangement that I didn't want it to end. My only problem with it, to be honest, was that it wasn't longer.


From the moment I saw the song title Neo Romeo, I couldn't wait to hear Jet Set Gypsies take on the story of Romeo and Juliet. I wasn't disappointed. Using a bit of darkwave magic to their twisted vocals and atmospheric blend of instruments, this song can stand alone from the rest of the album.  It added such diversity to the entire album experience.


Just as every good book has to end, so do every good album. The outro, which came in the form of -End Transmission-, added just enough magic to end their final chapter of this theatrical album. They did this with delicate electric charges, a beautiful trumpet solo and light drum beats. By doing this, it created the perfect atmosphere to bring us out of their trance and back into reality.


For their first full album, I was delightfully surprised at how well put together and electric their final product came into being. I felt like I was watching an exciting and thrilling avant garde theatrical performance. With sounds that thrilled and also moved me at the same time, I can't wait to see what Jet Set Gypsies do next. For a great journey and experience from the traveling gypsy circus, I give this album a 9.0/10 stars.

 To learn more about Jet Set Gypsies:

Facebook| Official Site  | Soundcloud| ReverbNation| Official Blog


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This International Featured Artist was written by Ayva Trance. We would like to thank Tracy Cathleen for the opportunity for this review!

Music is an universal language. Follow me on Twitter: @AyvaTrance

Edited by: Camille

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