100 Bands in 100 Days Presented by Verity Credit Union — Day 54: Arius Blaze

Please check out Verity Credit Union, our great partner in the 100 Bands in 100 Days local music showcase.

Artwork by Seattle-area painter E.R. Saba

Music fans of the Pacific Northwest, get ready for our fourth annual year-end daily local music showcase, 100 Bands in 100 Days, where every day until December 31st, we’re showcasing a new band or artist you have to know about, presented by Verity Credit Union. Make sure you are checking the #100Bands100Days hashtag at Twitter on the daily to stay on top of all the bands featured and make sure to follow Verity on Twitter and NW_Music_Scene as well. Some days the featured act could be an established and locally-adored northwest-based musician and other times they could be a band with a small following that just hasn’t had their deserved time in the sun yet. Either way, we’re fairly confident you can come away from this daily segment with plenty of new favorites. Today’s featured artist is Arius Blaze.

A few months ago we reviewed the soundscape called Meditations in Jazz unleashed in July by Arius Blaze to an unsuspecting world.

Here’s some of what we said about the EP in our review:

“Part 1” sets Mediations in motions with an amalgam of wind, moisture, and clattering of factory metal and furnace startups. At a demanding 22 minutes, “Part 1” mysteriously erects into your whereabouts. The release of steam and fizzled loops trip and spill over erratic blips and struck keys. Moments shift from tense cinematic shrieks to dusty fade outs of fog-filled, permeating drones.

“Part 2” softens the clattering but haunts deeper. The suspenceful cymbals hint at change or something around the bend. Energy moves slowly through this assumed industrial wasteland while orchestral snippets, distant played brass, and opaque melodies intersect as the song nears an end.

“Part 3” is birthed in heavy drone, fluxing from transparent to immensely impenetrable. Urban landscapes honk and transmit like traffic in a late night manner. Odors plume above the sewer grates and the characters are flustered and unrecognizable. “Part 3” reshapes the meditative architecture Blaze opens Meditations with and replaces the smoke and construction with touches of freeform lines, heights, and improbable weights. The space is suggestive of freedom and inner control, however the soundscapes are gently restrictive, giving “Part 4” the role of converging prior drones and ambient loops with melodic imprints. Horns call out, interrupting the lurking presence and spontaneously grow into a much larger entity. “Part 4” coils the sounds, stark textures, and environment found on Parts 1-3. The winding is filmic and plays like an unsolvable crime as it toots and flubs into an unsettling end.

The cold, deserted feel on Meditations in Jazz never completely exits; sounds barely warm, yet resolve comes from the interconnectedness of all parts. Like staring deep into the lines carved out on the cover art, Meditations in Jazz offers a way in and a way out.

(Listen below to ‘Meditations in Jazz’ via Bandcamp and get more info about Arius Blaze HERE.)

A huge shoutout to Verity Credit Union for doing so much for the music community and for being such a great partner. 

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