Published: January 29, 2013
By: Lisa Disinger
My Heart Is Love, a highly imaginative and thoughtful collection, is the sophomore release from east coast duo, Aligning Minds. The nine track album is an overarching, seamless progression of sound that explores the characteristics of countless genres, giving the listener access to a plethora of pan-stylistic, electronic beats. Thoroughly composed and provocatively programmatic, this timeless musical statement is ever moving, evolving, growing, and seemingly undulating. Never repetitive and far from stagnant, this set of songs moves emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Prepare to be led on a musical journey through a labyrinth of thought provoking sounds and inspiring riffs. Capturing the sonic image of a futuristic society, this album brings forth an un-ignorable "post" feel. "Post" literally meaning "after," connotes the artistic concept of what the world will blossom into after a major cataclysm or significant shift. Its sound is defined by an avant garde, abstract approach, with long ambient segments that lead to climactic builds over time, tied together with fragmented, entrancing beats, whispering echoes of almost indistinguishable lyrics, and faint glimmering melodies that may have been plucked from a cultural memory. Each of these characteristics is strategically chosen to instill specific feelings within the listener; hope, unity, a greater sense of connectedness. Think of the music as a representation of the collective consciousness; a nebulous ether that embodies the pieces of individual emotions, ideas, and values, gathered in a place for group access.
The first track, “Streaming Live,” begins with a heavy, visceral bass that stirs the abdominal regions of the body. It is completely without percussion, waiting for a more effective apex that arrives in the beginning of the following number. Underlying, breathy, chanting voices continue as a clean, technical beat is introduced and grinding, growling glitches take over a psy atmosphere. “My Heart Is Love,” the album's title track, calls in a melancholic atmosphere of smooth, psychedelic R&B, and the most active use of lyrics throughout the album reaffirming the song's title statement. Abstract, and not always relying on a solid beat, this music continually inspires the dancing body to move to sounds outside of the 4/4 box, as the next few tracks strategically alternate between moments of sweeping ambient bliss with thick chordal progressions, and pumping rhythms. Throughout the entire album, dub/glitch influence and gurgling, watery textures weave their way through the sounds of techno, electro, house, breakbeat, trance, and even indigenous to classical music genres. The finale “In the Wake of Forever” finishes on a strong hip-hop beat, wrapping up with a symmetry that matches and resolves the sentiments of the opening track.
Music is an integral part of the process of (re)evolution, and through their music, Aligning Minds seeks to aide a greater movement of unity and coordination. By including the hallmarks of countless genres, this duo is sure to appeal to a wide variety of listeners, bringing EDM fans together for a shared, subcultural experience. Beyond their musical productions, members Michael Folk and Daniel Merrill follow a greater vision of promoting forward thinking growth and global understanding "...while dropping some muthaf---in’ bass in the process."
Although this album rides on a downtempo vibe, it should not be written off as passive listening, background music experience. To get the full effect of the music's emotional and conceptual landscape, I suggest you set aside an hour of your time for some headphone delivered music meditation. Let the music take you on an imaginative journey—and don't forget to dance.