Album, Musical architects, Newness for your ears Chicago, Midnite Kisses For Ruby Tears, Phraim
Phraim is one of the very few artists who can (and do) drag me out of my blog hiatus when they release a new project. If you have been following this site, or my radio show, you already know that the Chicago resident is one of my favourite producers. Therefore, when I discovered recently that he was planning on releasing his fourth full-length album today, I was quite excited. After the incredible Silver Lined, Kasbah Moments, and Scars To Prove It, the talented producer now presents the beautifully named Midnite Kisses For Ruby Tears. In case you are not familiar with him, check out previous blog posts about Phraim, including a very interesting audio interview we did. Now, one thing I love about him is that while you can always recognize his touch, all of his projects are quite different. Some things are recurrent, like the witty wordplay in track titles, the cinematic dimension, or the influence of travel, but the overall themes and sonorities are always unique.
With this brand-new offering, Phraim seems to have opted for much more concise musical treats, as most of the tracks are under 3 minutes, often closer to 2 minutes. On the one hand, this makes greedy me a bit frustrated, as I would love to listen to those tracks for a much longer period of time and discover how they could evolve. However, it is also a way to keep the listener on their toes, as atmospheres and ambiances change regularly.
When it comes to the title, I have to admit I looked up “ruby tears” because I had a feeling it could be a famous saying or something like that. When I discovered it was actually a flower, I was both intrigued as to what that was supposed to mean in the context of the title and mischievous in my decision to stick to my own interpretation. Yes, when I saw the title for the first time, and discovered the gorgeous cover artwork for the album, I decided it was a reference to a beautiful lady crying precious tears. Whatever the case may be, both the title and the picture hint at music dedicated to love and a muse. The “Midnight Kisses” part of the title only reinforces the sentiment, and I was therefore ready for a beautiful journey through emotions and feelings even before I hit the play button. If this album sounds slightly less cohesive than its predecessors, I could still feel a specific direction and imagine how and why the music was created through the lens of love and relationships. In addition to this theme, the wordplay in the title of the tracks, as well as the various sonorities, makes the idea of travel quite obvious. Then again, love is a journey, so that fits perfectly.
In terms of actual music and sounds, Phraim makes a clear departure from his latest project, Scars To Prove It, which was much more electronic than others, and comes back to very melodic tracks. From the samples to the notes played by the producer, there is much to please your ears in Midnite Kisses For Ruby Tears. Speaking of the differences and evolution from previous projects, the artist himself says that the album is “indeed a senior release of sorts”. Confirming my first impression, he adds that “while it combines heart from past production, something about the formula of MKFRT is clearly different. Evolved, but grounded. Keen.” The feeling I get is that both the man and the artist have indeed grown, and it’s a beautiful thing to behold and hear.
As the project ends on “Hopeful Headaches”, I am equally optimistic about music and love after listening to the whole album. That’s probably why I had to start all over again, and again. Without a doubt, Midnite Kisses For Ruby Tears will join Phraim’s previous three projects at the very top of the list of the albums I listen to the most. It should be on yours too.
Now that you know more about Midnite Kisses For Ruby Tears, you can listen to the album and purchase it on Phraim’s Bandcamp. Enjoy the journey, support, and spread the word!
Find out more about Phraim on Bandcamp & Twitter
Album, Musical architects, Newness for your ears Chicago, Phraim, Scars To Prove It
Whenever I have been away from this blog for months and do not really plan on updating it, I can always count on a few artists to release a project so amazing, beautiful and powerful that I won’t have a choice but to come back here and share it with you. Phraim is one of those artists. Last time I told you about him, he had just released his sophomore album, the enchanting Kasbah Moments. Today, the Chicago-based producer offers us a third full-length album, the wonderful Scars To Prove It, and I am very happy to tell you about it now. Just before I go into more details, I just wanted to highlight the power of this project (and great music in general), as it helped me snap out of my PTDS (Post Travel Depression Syndrome) and the gloomy mood I have been in since I came back from my amazing trip to New York City and spent days under grim London skies.
Besides the inspiring power of the album, what I always appreciate about Phraim is his tendency to craft detailed, multi-layered concept albums. After his debut release Silver Lined, created after and inspired by the passing of his grandmother (something that was easy for me to relate to), and the beautiful musical journey to the Middle East that was Kasbah Moments, the producer now delves into darker territories with Scars To Prove It, as the project is centred around “invasion” and the physical or mental scars left by difficult experiences and life trials. Once again, this is something I can definitely relate to. I am actually struggling with a few of those scars at the moment and it’s always a great thing to know that other people go through similar predicaments (even though the triggers and weapons creating the scars are not the same at all), but decide to use music as an outlet for their pain. As always I may read too much into this, but that’s just how I do. There is also an obvious reference to war and armed conflict, which could very well be taken literally, considering the current state of the world. This is something that has become quite difficult to ignore nowadays, and I appreciate the duality (or multiplicity, actually) of the album, since it can be interpreted in different ways.
The music itself is a delightful addition of a myriad of details, one of Phraim’s trademarks, which was already mentioned when I told you about Kasbah Moments. As was the case when listening to that previous album, I found myself imagining the “musical architect”, who clearly deserves the nickname, spending hours and hours on each track, making sure they sound as perfect as he wanted them to sound, and adding tiny details that make them whole. While the overall atmosphere on Scars To Prove It is more electronic than the producer’s previous endeavours, I am not one to complain. Variety is the spice of life and I really appreciate when artists provide their listeners with something new with each project. What’s the point of creating a different piece of music otherwise?
Finally, something that Phraim prides himself on, and that is quite obvious here, once again, is the cinematic quality of the project. Try listening to it at full volume while closing your eyes and tell me you don’t visualise specific scenes in your head… Whether it is cruising in a car in the streets of the Windy City at night trying to fight your demons, walking along your nearest lake/river/ocean and indulging into a quiet session of introspection, or simply reminiscing on days long gone, the project is sure to create snapshots in your mind and will most likely become the soundtrack for special moments, real or imagined. Listening to the album as I type, I have to admit quite a few thoughts and emotions go through my mind and heart, and I am truly grateful for music’s ability to take me to different places and times. Traveling without moving indeed…
I guess I’ll stop my rambling for now, but not before I urge you to give the album a listen and to add it to your collection. Also, if you are a film director, please get in touch with Phraim. I would love to see what a creative mind could do with such a beautiful and inspiring soundtrack.
Now that you know a bit more about Scars To Prove It, go listen and buy the album on Phraim’s Bandcamp page, or simply by clicking on the link below. Enjoy the journey!
Find out more about Phraim on Twitter
Audio, Interview, Musical architects Chicago, interview, Kasbah Moments, Phraim, Silver Lined
Last time I told you about Phraim, when I introduced you to his amazing album entitled Kasbah Moments, I promised you an interview with the talented Chicago-based producer would be coming soon. Well, it looks like soon was a bit longer than expected, but I am really happy and excited to present this interview now. While listening to a project created by an artist is usually a good way to get familiar with them, I always find it quite interesting to actually meet them or at least communicate with them, to understand their universe better. I was fortunate enough to meet Phraim on my first trip to Chicago, among many other talented artists, and I already told you how much I loved Silver Lined and Kasbah Moments, so it is of course a pleasure for me to finally feature the man himself on this blog. In this very interesting interview, the producer-MC-photographer-writer-etc. tells us more about how he got started with music, what other artistic activities he would like to explore, the creation and concept of Kasbah Moments, and much more. As was the case with my audio interview with Phoenix James, I included several tracks in between questions, so that you can discover what beautiful music Phraim can create. I need to thank him for taking some time to answer my questions and I really hope you will enjoy this interview and the music as much as I do. Without further delay, here is Phraim, in his own words…
Discover the interview after the jump… More
Album, Musical architects, Newness for your ears Chicago, Kasbah Moments, Phraim
I know, I know… I haven’t blogged in forever and many of you probably wonder what’s going on with me. Well, I won’t go into details, as this is not a personal blog, but I apologise to all the artists I should/could have written about in the past months. I may or may not catch up on all the posts I was planning on writing, but tonight something special happened. So special that I feel compelled to write again! It’s as if inspiration was coming from a very distant place and possessed me entirely a few minutes ago. This fire I feel burning inside at the moment makes it impossible for me to do anything but type these words and experience a wonderful moment of pure musical ecstasy. In case you are not familiar with my tendency to get carried away at times, you may think I’m slightly crazy, but if you know me and read most of my previous posts, you already have an idea of how totally subjective and irrational I can be when it comes to music I love. So… after quite a lengthy introduction, it is now time I tell you what mesmerised me tonight, what incredible thing took over me and encouraged me to update the blog again. More