Alfa Mist
Antiphon


4.0
excellent

Review

by danielcardoso CONTRIBUTOR (37 Reviews)
July 27th, 2017 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Antiphon sees Alfa Mist refine his craft while opening up artistic roads for him to hopefully explore even deeper.

Alfa Mist is laying himself bare on Antiphon. Based on an insightful conversation he and his brothers had about mental health and relationships, it feels like a record of firsts for this young British musician, once and for all freeing himself creatively to explore his jazz affinities. The first track "Keep On" clocks in at almost 11 minutes and truly feels like a defining piece, nearly anticipating this album's main sound and theme, and capturing a fitting snapshot of its essence. The mellow organ textures, enticing percussion work and melancholic saxophone leads are able to mesh perfectly, extracting natural beauty out of turbulent feelings of loneliness and depression. The song allows for plenty of improvisation but successfully avoids becoming meandering: instead, it feels as if every single note is absolutely essential to its complexion. It is a definite standout on a project of many highs, and, like its opener, so appears a vast majority of Antiphon: loose but focused, and an exercise of almost subtle yet intense catharsis.

All things considered, it really should be no surprise to look at this effort as an emotional cleanse of sorts. Alfa himself describes his personality as typically reflective, and admits to find in his music refuge and a response to daily struggles regarding depression and insomnia. It is only logical to see his body of work follow some type of introspective path, then. Take "Potential," for instance. The arpeggiated guitar melodies and almost haunting backing vocals employed on it add a beautifully eerie atmosphere, accentuated by a guitar solo which clashes in and takes center stage. It revolves and bends around itself, its frantic rhythm becoming almost paranoid and devoid of control, before dwindling back down to a state of serenity. The song serves, like several others seem to do, as a fitting backdrop to Alfa Mist's frame of mind.

The basic structure to this collection of songs is usually provided by his trusty organ and some exceptional drumming. The typical jazz formula may not be expanded upon regularly on some songs, but Alfa's mellow sound is created so tastefully it's easy to overlook - "Errors" and "Nucleus" being good examples. Elsewhere, he tries his hand at rapping on "4th October" to great results, and disrupts eventual feelings of excessive nodding off by introducing spontaneous guitar solos on an otherwise collected "Kyoki." But it's bass player Kaya Thomas-Dyke's singing contribution on "Breathe" that rises among this album's finest moments. The song sees her quasi-angelic voice create an encapsulating melody which shines through in a magnificent chorus, equal parts intense and memorable, only for it all to travel back to Antiphon's main territory about 4 minutes in - as vivid saxophones and a grand string section take turns in creating an outstanding outro.

The record is assuredly abundant in highlights but does its trick even better when heard in its entirety. Antiphon captures a defining time for Alfa Mist both musically and personally, and represents a tremendous leap for this young promising artist. One can only hope it's only a sign of even better things to come. Perfect for a late listen, it sees him refine his craft while opening up artistic roads for him to hopefully explore even deeper.



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user ratings (61)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
July 27th 2017


11555 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A bit uncertain about my closing paragraph but hopefully i did this album justice.



Feedback/etc. appreciated as usual : )

Dissonant
July 27th 2017


164 Comments


Awesome review, I need more jazz in my life

Asdfp277
July 27th 2017


15795 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cool stuff

scissorlocked
July 27th 2017


3527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice to see a review of this!



album's almost unbearably moody

jtswope
July 27th 2017


5655 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh sweet. Never thought this would get a review, but good to see it did!



Breathe is a stunning tune.

MrSirLordGentleman
July 27th 2017


10948 Comments


many irl friends have rec'd me this

and since it is pretty weird that they rec me music and thanks to ur review daniel, I think I might end up checking it

Dewinged
July 28th 2017


6408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review Dan, and thanks for the rec!



This has some very special moments but for me, the superb use of vocals is what separates it from other jazz albums.

Digging: Motorpsycho - The Tower

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
July 28th 2017


11555 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks everyone :D



Go for it Lord, not sure if you're a big jazz dude or not but i can see you loving at least Breathe. And i appreciate it Dewi! Kaya sounds amazing yeah and i love hearing their conversations as well, adds so much flavor.

zakalwe
July 28th 2017


23359 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Woah! Nice one Dan dude, fair play for reviewing this, your grasp of the English language puts me to shame. Album is absolute class and highly recommended.

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
July 28th 2017


16385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Bookmark



Nice one Dan

Digging: Cathal Coughlan - The Sky's Awful Blue

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
July 28th 2017


11555 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you, Zak and Doof : )



This one really deserves a bit more attention.

zakalwe
July 28th 2017


23359 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I'm surprised it hasn't.

it's notched up a few views on youtube and is fresh, exciting new talent. The fella is still unsigned isn't he?

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
July 28th 2017


11555 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good question actually, not sure.



The little video he made about putting this album together is a treat Zak.

zakalwe
July 28th 2017


23359 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I'll have a look. Cheers Dan.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
July 28th 2017


13290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah good review man, really enjoyable record

Digging: Carissa's Wierd - You Should Be At Home Here

ComeToDaddy
July 28th 2017


1611 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Really stoked this got a review, and a great one at that. Opener is probs my fave song of the year.

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
July 28th 2017


11555 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks everyone!



Nicely spotted bud, and nice avatar : )

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 28th 2017


5658 Comments


I keep hearing about how good this one is.. great job as always, dan, you are the perfect final push I need to check this out..

Digging: Charlotte Gainsbourg - Rest

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
July 28th 2017


11555 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Butch your words of praise are a true soul uplifter :D

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
July 28th 2017


1877 Comments


this is lovely -- the way you deftly interweave context with those vivid descriptions is makin me envious tbh



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