The Chill Funk Trip REVIEW by Marissa Fox

I’ll be honest, my music library could stand to be matured. Like many of my peers, I’ve been raised on the skin deep love lyrics and corporate infused messages that dominate the air waves today. Sure, they’re fun to dance to and belt out the lyrics if you’re alone in your car, but they’re hardly the sort of songs that resonate and make you feel anything worth remembering. Admittedly, my knowledge of the music world is fairly limited, and while I do enjoy the occasional instrumental piece, it’s not often that I sit down and listen to sixteen tracks in a row.

But when I sat down to listen to Made of Wood’s new album The Chill Funk Trip, I really didn’t want to turn it off. Made of Wood, created in 2010, is the solo project of musician and composer Dan Waldman. It combines instrumental, improvisation, and electronic elements to create a mix of lounge, rock, jazz, and 70s funk sounds. Aptly named, The Chill Funk Trip has been described as “eclectic and atmospheric” with its trip-hop beats and intricate patterns of sound. With titles like “Electric Funk Break for Addy” and “Low Earth Orbit,” the album certainly delivers on its promise to provide a relaxing but still diverse range of tunes to chill out to.

It’s hard to pick a favorite song because each one has with it the ability to set a mood that just sinks into you. The strength of this album is its ability to make you feel through sound alone, and every song has a different emotion to inspire. Each song is incredibly dynamic, highlighting different ways to sync and synthesize sounds, varying tempos and melodies to keep your ear on the music and your mood in that chill groove that doesn’t break once the track starts. And don’t think one listen will be enough. Each time through, you’ll catch some new subtle variation that you missed the first time around, and that’s a reward in itself for repeat listeners.

The songs range from upbeat and lively to mellow and contemplative. “Persistence” is the latter, featuring beautiful piano melodies, soft and mellow against a backdrop of cymbal tempos. “Distraction” follows in a similar vein, smooth and deep and rich and intricate. A few of the more lively tunes include “Fire Up the Sidewalk,” “Indore,” and “The Switch.” Every track on the listing offers up something fun and unique and deserves more than just a once-over.

The Chill Funk Trip was released on February 1st, 2012, and songs from the album have led to Made of Wood being rated one of the “Top 10 Independent Artists” on Jango.com in 2011.

Made of Wood’s website can be found HERE.

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