Alific – Echoes From The Soul

Rootfire Records

Rootfire Records

Echoes From The Soul is what happens when a monster bass player/studio wizard has an empty sonic canvas to work with – and basically no one to answer to but himself. Alific is Brendan Dane and Brendan Dane is Alific: songwriter, engineer, producer, arranger, and player of the majority of the instruments you hear on Echoes From The Soul. Sometimes one-man projects can end up being showcases for the artist’s talent, but feel sterile as hell – not so with Alific. The key is Dane’s powerful rhythmic sense, which lies at the heart of each of Echoes From the Soul’s 14 cuts. What he risks losing by not having the organic vibe of a full band pumping it out in the studio is totally flattened and buried by his ability to produce a killer core pulse and then apply layers that complement rather than smother.

Take the title song, which rumbles to life with one of Dane’s wompfunk bass lines before the drums of Dubsmith (that would be Todd Smith, a constant rhythm presence throughout the album) and a cool little horn section punches their way in. The main voice early on is the breathy flute of guest Mateo Monk, dubbed to shapeshifter perfection; the blast of the sax at the 2:50 mark is the wildest tar pit roar you’re going to hear without climbing into a time machine; and when the track decides it’s time to go, it dances into the mists and vaporizes in the coolest of ways. Plenty to dig into – and never too much: that’s Alific’s style and it makes for a solid listen.

Hang on as “Madness” morphs from deep-beat clubbiness to a flat-out midnight run with the windows down, feeling something like a jammed-out “L.A. Woman” as Frank Mitchell Jr.’s sax takes the wheel. When Lenny Kurlou mans the mic for “My Destiny”, the mood takes a swing into the poppier side of things, while “Fat Drops” and “Lucid Eyes” are what good smoke sounds like.

Keep the big beats going – click HERE to read the conclusion of my Alific review on Jambands.com

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