The bottom line with Maki’s music is that it doesn’t hit you from the outside, to make you realize it’s good. His music pulls something from within you that’s already there. He manages to influence your natural biorhythms. Pause. Think about this. A magnificent fountain of auditory bliss drips through the speakers, while the silky arrangements exhibit their brilliant flirtatious force. There is something about this album that is omnipresent in your thoughts, and the intelligence level is through the roof. That is what makes ‘Atlas Hacked’ an incredibly exceptional release, even before you have deciphered the complete message behind the music. For now you will have to feed your appetite with the 3 track ‘Atlas Hacked EPreview’, in anticipation of the full-length album set for release later this year.
Maki works in L.A. and Seattle producing music, entertainment and independent film. While earning his living as a club musician in Detroit, he received his MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Combining traditional art training with digital filmmaking, multimedia and sound design, Maki launched Spirit Studios in 1999. He creates short films & animations, published several music concert DVD, designs soundtracks for independent feature films and is a consulting Art Director to a fortune 500 company.
In a manner mirroring the vibes of his music, Maki’s has been a story of unhurried but noticeable progression that is now ready to reach what could well be a defining work of broad scope but instant familiarity. For his upcoming new album, a great point of reference is another defining work, “Waking Up With The World On Fire” which precedes the release of this EP by almost a year, and on via the same Natalis Group distribution label.
Both have the feel of an artist finally finding their voice after much experimentation with tone and dialect, situated in the hazy field of avant-garde electronica but calling upon traces of world music, cinematic, and more ambient spheres.
What sets Maki apart in an overly crowded marketplace, is an expert ability to channel myriad influences from outside of his sphere into something that works perfectly inside it, not just within a single track but start-to-finish across an album.
The impressionist vocals of Francesca, the saxophone of Snake Davis, and the voice of the part machine, part human God, The Golden Calf, are disparate ingredients that gel brilliantly within the narrative. Maki has continued fine-tuning his musical identity here with the same deliberateness he’s always shown.
A close listen to ‘Atlas Hacked EPreview’ reveals just how much he’s carefully pushing his own boundaries – in every sense. “If you believe in The Golden Calf, you do not need Jesus. You do not need Allah. You do not need Torah. You do not need any more excuses. In the end you will prevail. He is the chosen one, and everything will be right. Just like it is supposed to be.”
This is just a small extract of the massive philosophical queries “Insect Politics” puts before you, above throbbing percussion and whirling synths. But beware, the allusions to Gods, go well above those we believe to live somewhere up in the sky.
Maki is more concerned with the spurious beings seeking domination here on earth via deception and distortion. As always, Maki’s soundscapes feed the general scenario, allowing you to fill in the particulars, of which you’re well aware. “Is Not” is both ominous and ethereal.
With a mellow progression and dynamic drum interludes, it manages to make use of a gorgeous vocal samples while retaining an almost isolated and echo-like effect. There is a distinct Pink Floyd-ish “Dark Side of the Moon” aura, pervading the track, which makes it all the more mysterious and interesting.
“Don’t Do Wrong” is an acapella exercise beautifully arranged by Maki. After listening to these 3 tracks, I expect ‘Atlas Hacked’ to be an authentic odyssey that is both open-ended and interesting enough that it allows the listener to do what so little albums do these days; to open up the possibility of how life should and can be experienced, and for that, it’s worth a place in your collection. Independent of any hyped musical movements, Maki occupies a unique position in the musical ecosystem.
Maki appears to have permeated the electronic music scene silently and seamlessly, building up a core fan-base on his musical merit alone, with most critical acclaim resulting from his previous album, “Waking Up With The World On Fire”. A combination of something creatively expressive and intriguing, ‘Atlas Hacked EPreview’ presumes that his latest work is set to be recognized in a much bigger way.