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Tribute: Avenging Wind

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Picture of Avenging Wind

Avenging Wind aka Fathom 9 was one of the very few artists who have my unconditional support. From the day I discovered his album Untitled (Pulse Beta), when GQ Tha Teacha put me on his music (thank you so much!), to his very last release, I always bought all his projects, often before I listened to them, because I knew they would be amazing. He never disappointed. I can’t pretend we were as close lately as we used to be, back in some kind of golden age for Twitter and this blog, but we still communicated every now and then and I could always count on him to share my podcasts, whether or not I played his music. He would also send me “exclusives” and that’s something I greatly appreciated. Contrary to certain bloggers who are interested in exposure, views and hype, I find it way more interesting to connect with artists on a personal level. This is why Avenging Wind’s passing hurts so much. We may not have been lifelong friends, but I have a deep appreciation for him and I do feel like I lost a friend yesterday. While I didn’t know much about his personal life, his music allowed me to relate to him and know at least a few sides of his numerous personalities. A very talented producer, MC, poet, all around amazing artist, fellow Gemini, man of contradictions, he put his heart and soul into his music. From smooth, dreamy soundscapes to hard-hitting beats with jazzy samples and militant rhymes over martial instrumentals, his music was eclectic but always beautiful and powerful. An incredible wordsmith, he was extremely candid when expressing his thoughts and feelings, which is obviously admirable and inspiring. His poetry is very relatable to me, whether he talks about life and inspiration in general, physical desire and relationships, or music and social issues. It is quite rare to find an artist whose work is reflecting your own ideas and for that I am eternally grateful.
He has been on my mind heavily since I learnt the news and I can’t quite believe he’s actually gone. I was still hoping I could finally meet him one day, see him on stage, and work on a project with him. I guess it was not meant to be, in this lifetime at least. This is yet another reminder for me, after my uncle’s passing this summer, that life is indeed fragile and you never know what tomorrow may bring. One day you’re here, the next you’re gone. What will people remember about you? I know Avenging Wind wanted to make sure his contribution to the world would be a lasting one, and his artistic legacy is indeed a beautiful imprint he left on the world. While his body is no longer here on Earth, his soul lives on, and his words and music should be read and heard for many years to come. I will make it my mission to ensure as many people as possible know about this wonderful human being and beautiful soul who left us way too soon. Today is a very sad day, but I am also grateful to have known Avenging Wind and what is important now is to celebrate his life and art, and remember the beautiful memories he created through his music.

If you are not familiar with Avenging Wind aka Fathom 9, I urge you to listen to his music, to have a better understanding of just how important and powerful it is. I am glad we finally got to do an interview last year, after talking about it for months (years?), as it was a way to learn more about him and his album Dump Truck Blues: Battle Cry of The Wanderlust. Now, let me share a few of my favourites with you.

Find out more on his Bandcamp page for Fathom 9 and Avenging Wind, on Soundcloud: Fathom 9 and Avenging Wind, and on YouTube

Interview: Avenging Wind

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Cover artwork for Dump Truck Blues

Avenging Wind (formerly known as Fathom 9) is one of the numerous artists I discovered thanks to artist and musical encyclopaedia Gq Tha Teacha, who put me on his Untitled (Pulse Beta) album when it was released back in 2011. I told you about several of his releases since then and played his music regularly on my podcasts. Now, two years after his debut album, Revenge of the Nice Guy, came out, Avenging Wind is back with an amazing sophomore release, entitled Dump Truck Blues: Battle Cry of the Wanderlust. Besides sharing the multi-talented and multi-faceted artist’s taste for long titles, I also admire his music and how he finally decided to explore and share more sides of his artistry with this new album. I am therefore quite proud and happy to present this interview to you. To say it was overdue would be an understatement, but let’s say good things come to those who wait. So, to celebrate the release of DTB and allow you to learn more about Avenging Wind, I asked him a few questions about his creative process, various aliases, performing, the album and much more. I hope you will enjoy reading this interview as much as I did and that you will be curious enough to enter the artist’s universe. Now, without further delay, let me introduce you to Avenging Wind, in his own words…

Discover the interview after the jump… More

Spotlight: Artistik Approach

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Picture of Artistik Approach

I first heard of Artistik Approach through fellow Memphis-resident Fathom 9 and I was immediately interested in their combination of soul, jazz and hip-hop, of singing, rapping and beatboxing. This sort of blending is not unique, but theirs seem to be even more comprehensive than others I heard before. I have always been fascinated by beatboxing and can’t but admire artists who excel in this discipline. Add to that two beautiful voices and intelligent lyrics, and you get Artistik Approach.

As the duo is getting ready to release their debut album next month, I thought it would be a good idea to put them under my spotlight and allow you to discover their musical universe. I didn’t know much about them until recently and I think it’s important to spread the word about artists and music you appreciate, so that other people can enjoy them, but also to give them the exposure they deserve. Before I tell you more about Instr-A-Mentals, I will explore the wonderful world of Artistik Approach, with some singles and videos.

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Newness for your ears: SHS: Blue Notes from a Brown Soul v.1, Fathom 9

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Cover artwork for SHS: Blue Notes from a Brown Soul v.1

I don’t usually post about a project only a few minutes after the first listen, but I have to say I owe it to my friend Fathom 9. I told myself I should write about his wonderful music on many occasions but strangely never took the time to do so. That’s just me and my weird behaviour… Anyway, in case you are not familiar with Memphis-based producer, you are clearly missing out and I kindly suggest you get up-to-speed with the super productive and amazingly creative artist, with his numerous projects and singles. Fathom 9 is clearly one of the hardest working persons I know. He is also very versatile, which is not too surprising for a fellow Gemini, even though it’s not two personalities that he presents to the world, but a myriad.
As I said, I could have written about him and his music on many occasions (I did feature him quite a few times on my podcast though, so you can get familiar there as well) but what prompted me to do it here and now is the very fresh release of his new project. I think this is the first time in the history of this blog that “newness for your ears” really means what it is supposed to. Today is the first day of summer (I know it may be difficult to believe for some people, as the weather can be far from summery in certain areas, but I’m getting slightly sidetracked…) and also “la fête de la musique” in my beloved home country so I believe this project is a perfect way to celebrate. As you may have noticed I am being quite talkative tonight, but that’s what good music and inspiration will do to me. I will spare you more rambling though and focus on the matter at hand, which is the second part of his Soul-Heart Sessions, the magnificent SHS: Blue Notes from a Brown Soul v.1 (Sounds 4 Sojourners).
The title itself should tell you that Fathom 9 is a poet. He is indeed a very talented writer and MC as well, but he can tell you a story with his music. Those “blue notes” will fly and flutter like butterflies, taking you on a beautiful journey. While he can explore very dark and tortured dimensions at times, the producer also indulges in beautiful, inspiring and soothing music, which is the case here. I often say that music can heal and help lift your spirits when you’re feeling down, but it can also make you feel even more positive and inspired when you are already in a very good mood. This is what happened to me tonight and I am still somewhat floating on clouds right now, such is the beauty of Fathom 9’s music. As the wordplay on the title indicates, this collection of instrumentals has an obvious jazz orientation, which makes it very smooth and relaxing, while giving it a reflective and inspiring dimension. But it is also a project that will make you nod your head to the beat and get caught in the rhythm of the drums, which I appreciate greatly. As I listen to it once again, starting with the beautiful Reflections at dawn (Rushen’s Ode), I am again mesmerised by the superb horns and enter this very welcoming world where words seem superficial and not really appropriate to describe what is going on. What I would recommend is that you give it a listen and feel the music for yourself, experience its caress and let your body and mind relax as you drift to another universe.

To enter the wonderful galaxy of Fathom 9 and discover the incredible Blue Notes from a Brown Soul v.1, all you need to do is head to the Bandcamp page, where you can stream it and buy it for a minimum of $3 (seriously?!). Please support quality music and spread the word about it. You can also click on the link below and start the journey.

Find out more about Fathom 9 on his blog, Facebook, Twitter

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