6 November 2014

Doorstep Rebellion - Cessation, album review

Doorstep Rebellion is a music project started by Abraham Holsinger. His latest 2014 album is a fantastic mix of electro-house to progressive ambience to a more anthemic sound and has seen great success since its free release on SoundCloud back in August this year.

The album opens with a collaboration with songwriter and vocalist Leah Jordan. The song very much resembles many of the recent collaborations with electronic artists such as Zedd and Deadmau5 but it doesn't much speak for the rest of the album.

I've got to say, I think it's a little weak as an opening track. I would much have preferred to hear Monuments first because THAT sets the tone for the album. It's an absolutely phenomenal track. Really well structured, really well produced, a really great and catchy hook, really well pulled off string sounds (because sometimes that can ruin it for me). It's just a fantastic eight and a half minutes that just keeps growing and growing, before it finally mixes into the next track, Incorrect Function. Which is another corker. (Apologies for the British slang)

But this album isn't just a selection of great tracks. It quickly turns from a lot of fun to a lot of sincerity and while it slows right down it keeps the listener captured just long enough before it picks back up again. And it is just beautiful to listen to. To be able to get that balance shows great musicianship. And that's just what Holsinger has.

With a lot of this type of music, it can sometimes be quite easy to make the distinction between the 'proper' stuff - for want of a better phrase - and the more independent made-in-your-bedroom stuff. But not here. The amount of plays that this album has received would suggest it's small town and not that great. But when you listen to it... MAN is it good! This guy deserves a lot more recognition than he's getting.

I'm completely entranced by the tracks on this record. It's got quite a minimalist approach and offers a very relaxed (and sometimes a bit safe) sound but at the same time it gets your head bopping and your feet tapping in places and if I were to be in a concert hall full of people listening to this, we'd be going pretty wild.

I really love the diversity of the album, and I love the structure too. It builds up and livens up before dropping back down to serene soundscapes that leave you floating. It's got just the right blend. Morpheme in particular is an incredibly moving piece of music, never has a track of this electronic genre pulled such strong emotions out of me but it is so sad and so touching. Listen to it. Just listen to it now.

What's also great about the record is that while it's all mixed together, each track segueing into the next, they also work well as individual pieces. But again, the first track just kind of sticks out on it's own and I'm not sure that I like it.

The album as a whole tells a story. I won't ruin it for you and tell you what that story is, you as a listener can make of that what you will, that's part of the joy of it. But I will tell you this. If you listen to one track and enjoy it, please don't just leave it at that. This album deserves to be listened to from start to finish, in that order, because it is just so brilliantly crafted.

But if I did have to pick three stand out tracks for this record, those tracks would be: Monuments, Morpheme, and Where I've Been. So if you're thinking about maybe getting this album for yourself, have a listen to those three songs and let them sway your decision.

You could download your favourite track for free from SoundCloud, but the full album is only $7 on Bandcamp. It's well worth the money. Plus, if you offer that support who knows, he might make another fantastic record for us!

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