If there’s one act that gives me frisson in the music industry, it’s Manic Focus. There are a few of his productions, including music from his recently released album, Cerebral Eclipse, that pack so much of an emotional punch, I quiver any time one of those tracks finds its way into my ears. They’re in the “I will never skip this song no matter the circumstances” category kind of thing. That same relation may occur between you and a song (or few) along our excursion through ten magical compositions brought to you by Minnesota’s own John McCarten.
Cerebral Eclipse is Manic Focus‘ free follow-up to his previous Distant Perspective project, which was released August of 2013. John is one of those guys that really takes the time to put the extra care into his material, which is evident from his now four albums, all of which you need to hear. For now though, let’s get into his newest, because there are some delectable treasures waiting to bend your mind. Are you ready?
We certainly can’t doubt that Manic Focus is “Dedicated To The Service.” In his dedication he is attempting to push the boundaries of music, and this first single does just that. He jump starts the soulful vibe with a song that can’t really be pinned down by one genre.
“Trail Blazin’,” a collaboration with Eryn Allen Kane and ProbCause, comes next with a strong use of wobbly basses embedded in a chill soundscape. I would say that this single is particularly good for kicking back and blazing one up, but that is the case for most/all of the album!
If you were ever to feel like you were drifting through the cosmos with a huge smile on your face, it would be because of “Space Scholar Synthesis” (or drugs or both, but all you really need is this). Michael Menert is listed as a feature artist on this smooth single. Their fusion of the old-school with the new couldn’t be more dope, or apparent, in this record. It’s fresh on a whole new level.
“Rooster” is just one of those fun and funky tunes. I think this is one that a lot of people are going to gloss over, and then come back as a favorite after they give the album a few listens. The song as a whole is incredible, but once you get into the latter portions, the magic really picks up. I wish this is what woke me up in the morning.
Now, this is one record that was released prior to the album, which made me really happy, because it is one of my favorites. “On The Horizon” is too cool; it may just be the most classy track on the project. I previously mentioned songs that I’d never be skipping, and this is one of them.
“This makes me want to rub my nipples”
– Soundcloud Comment
“Just Another Fool” has got me feelin’ the blues in the best way possible. Throw the appreciatively somber mood into the mix with wicked basslines, and soulful vocals and you have yourself a beautiful song. Surely many people out there can relate to the lyrical content of the song, which further cements its impression on the listener; an impression that is mostly likely going to turn out to be positive.
TORCH cuts in on “We Can Fly,” the seventh single on Cerebral Eclipse. The only complaint I have is that this song didn’t end on 4:20, so other than that it is all good vibes. It is another example of John’s creative aptitude towards bringing varying styles of music together under one roof.
“Travelin’ On My Mind” with The Coop is one of the more groovy bangers on the album. It’s so funky, which really most of the album is, but this in this particular instance that funk is just a little more funkier, ya dig? Then it breaks things down proper and returns the groove in all its glory. A++
It’s hard to follow up such a good record, but “Bumpin’ On The Voodoo” follows up and then some. The Dominic Lalli collaboration, for me, is my favorite record on the album. Yours may not be, but I’ve listened to it about a billion times since it was released before the album.
We all know GRiZ – at least you should – who worked on the concluding song, “Life Goes On.” When you picture yourself walking out towards the sunset horizon from now on, you are going to hear this in your head as well. In a truly heady manner, this record inspires one to keep on keepin’ on. You best believe things get saxual too. Since this album came out for free on GRiZ’ label, Liberated Music, it’s only appropriate that this is how things end.
Ps, for some reason I think it is extremely awesome that the “g” is nixed from the -ing terms in the song titles, and it is replaced with an apostrophe. Keeping it proper; Manic Focus knows how to do it.