(Additional words by Jess Casebeer.)
The first time through the new release from Amos Miller ‘SuperSquare’, it can leave the listener a bit perplexed, in the sense that it’s hard to imagine combining this many styles of music and making it work, and better yet, making it work this well. This album should come with a warning label “do not to try this at home” or something like “results may vary”. For this release he tapped into the creative collective called Love City Love and the result is a brilliant piece of sonic art.
If there’s anything to be said about ‘SuperSquare’, it’s definitely a varied collection of tracks. One minute you’ll be getting lo-fi beat-driven chiptune stuff with bouncy 8-bit synth-lines and crisp 808 bass hits and snares, and the next you’ll be getting ethereal, reverb-soaked cloud rap with rapping all throughout. Moments like these are swapped out later on for some simple, yet punchy boom bap grooves on “Street”, groove-intensive trap music beats on “Trapped”, and silly and playful acid-like beats on “Conflict”. While it’d be impossible to pin down with one or two genre tags just what the hell ‘SuperSquare’ is, it’s pretty clear this was the intention, as Amos Miller wished to experiment with as many different styles of music as possible to see what stuck the hardest.
Miller wastes no time displaying what kind of heavy vibe he plans on laying on the listener on ‘SuperSquare’ as the first track “Sike” utilizes the “thick as hell” stand up bass from the incredibly talented Evan Flory-Barnes with Seattle hip-hop artist Jake One on the mic. After less than a minute and a half, Miller dishes out a luscious R&B number “Whole” that features the talents of Adra Boo, Jahon Mikal, Evan Flory-Barnes and Jeremy Jones. The vocals are drenched with soul and the harmonies are brilliant as we once again get a huge dose of Barnes’ stand-up bass while it powers this one.
Check out ‘SuperSquare’ on Bandcamp HERE
Like an album such as J Dilla’s ‘Donuts’, ‘SuperSquare’ doesn’t really consist of songs as much as it consists of moments. Its 22 tracks are short and, to a certain extent, underdeveloped, but they don’t feel half-assed or like they’re any shorter than they were intended to be. The songs are short, but they all complement each other in a unique way, with just how shockingly well a lot of these tracks flow together for being so disjointed. And let me tell you, when an airy, minimal, ambient-influenced R&B track manages to feel natural being followed up with a poppy, upbeat folk-esque track that sounds like it was lifted straight from a shitty, dusty old gramophone from the early 1950s, that’s quite an impressive feat.
This new opus from acclaimed Seattle producer and GRAMMY nominee Amos Miller, ‘SuperSquare’ was mixed by Derrick Brown, mastered by Barry Corliss and features production work from platinum selling producer Jake One. Released in April 2015, Miller wisely puts the extreme talents of the musicians of Love City Love to good use while unleashing this vivid soundscape on the world, which as mentioned prior, covers most genres imaginable. Love City Love, the acclaimed ensemble Miller curated, is made up of members who are at the core of Seattle’s cultural scene with members of some of Seattle’s most solid bands with sensibilities ranging from hip-hop to jazz and beyond. As he bends genres and invents those yet to be named, Miller uses 4 part harmonies, heavy bass, trap beats, Tibetan bowl playing, spoken word and 8 bit synthesizer programming to create a space of reflection, discord, and healing.
‘SuperSquare’ is an epic journey into the mind and imagination of Amos Miller and while this isn’t for everyone we loved it and consider it an artist work of experimental brilliance.