[Review] Roman Spektor – Functionality

Roman Spektor is an Israeli multi-instrumentalist who offers Pop/Experimental sounds with multiple influences, given his past as a sound engineer and producer of Rap/Hip-Hop Beats. After an EP released in 2016, his debut album entitled “Functionality,” self-produced and containing 10 medium-short songs, which offer a sound that brings together Rock, Progressive music, Trip Hop and experimentation with the artist’s personal touch. Roman plays all the instruments with the addition of 2 guests in 3 tracks, he has been mixing and mastering the album, given his excellent skills as a sound and graphic engineer of the cover. The opener “Checkbox” begins with an elaborate rhythmic session, with intricate drum parts and solid bass lines, rocky guitar riffs and a vocal that alternates warmer moments with more aggressive ones. The tempo changes are constant and take the sound to another level, a good start that immediately catapult us into the atmosphere of the album. Soft keyboards and a hypnotic bass characterize “Thank You Father,” the longest track on the album, with a more electronic drum similar to the Trip-Hop style. Here, too, the vocal alternates between more delicate and more aggressive moments, adapting itself to the various rhythmic changes of the song, elaborate and with sharp inserts of electric guitar. In the central part a change with the insertion of the drum and more decisive guitar riffs, which lead us to a second more Pop/Experimental part with an elaborate structure and fine workmanship, showing the qualities of the multi-instrumentalist. “Look For …” starts with atmospheric keyboards and a warm vocal, on more electronic and syncopated rhythms, the bass is deep and here is the intervention of the first guest Didi S.B. to the female voice. The vocal duet is very pleasant and well suited to music, very elaborate and with a more modern style. A guitar arpeggio characterizes the intro of “Binary” a more acoustic song in the first part, which with the inclusion of the electric guitar and a more accelerated rhythmic session acquires intensity with the passing of the minutes. We come therefore to the title-track “Functionality” with a very elaborate structure with melodies tending to experimentation and with darker features. The tempo changes are continuous, passing from experimental moments that alternate with powerful openings with heavy electric guitar riffs, the vocal also alternates sweeter passages with more aggressive ones, one of the best songs on the album. “Tiny Virtual Mouths” is a song that is elaborated around a sweet vocal and pleasant acoustic guitar arpeggios on an atmospheric carpet of keyboards. Mostly acoustic, only in the final part it becomes darker and more intricate with the entry of the drums and a deep bass. “Passivity” begins with atmospheric keyboards and hypnotic percussion in the background, the vocal is warm and expressive. In the central part a more Experimental theme develops, also acquiring power and elaborating with continuous tempo changes, concluding with a good electric guitar solo on a more powerful rhythm, another excellent song. “Selling Doors” is a particular track, which is articulated on a very intricate electronic rhythmic session, showing Roman‘s passion for modern sounds and the ability to build Beat. It is a dark and very avant-garde track, showing the more facet of a producer, with penetrating repeated melodies. “Docks” begins with a carpet of keyboards and a guitar, which soon turn into an intricate song that mixes Rock, Pop and the most Experimental aspect of the Israeli artist’s music. Intriguing bass lines, always well executed tempo changes and that gloomy atmosphere that characterizes the vocal part in most of the album. The album ends with “Cut the Cool Air” a soft song with positive melodies and a lot of Pop, even if the structure of the rhythm is above all very intricate and more electronic, showing the mix between avant-garde and catchy music. The passage ends with a passage with pleasant space electric guitar inserts and a repeated vocal. A pleasant, smooth and well-built album, where the Pop and Experimental components blend perfectly, creating a mix that is never too much in one sense or the other. Roman‘s skills as a musician and producer come out, giving life to a debut album that will certainly positively involve a very large audience, which can range from lovers of Pop music to those of more Prpogressive sounds, up to Experimental music fans . A recommended record, which always reveals interesting hints, excellent plots and an original style with every listening, which bodes well for the future record releases of the Israeli multi-instrumentalist.

Tracklist

1. Checkbox (3:04)
2. Thank You Father (6:27)
3. Look For… (3:08)
4. Binary (3:01)
5. Functionality (5:03)
6. Tiny Virtual Mouths (3:33)
7. Passivity (5:03)
8. Selling Doors (3:31)
9. Docks (3:43)
10. Cut the Cool Air (4:00)

Lineup

Roman Spektor / Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Electronic Drums, Percussion, Cajon (2,10), Beatboxing (2), Electric Viola (7), Keyboards, Programming, Producing & Mixing

With:
Gali Spektor/ Alto Sax (5,8)
Didi S.B. / Vocals (3)

Roman Spektor |Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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