An interesting point in the timeline of any artist is the moment they choose to open up and show their work to the world. The work that they believe defines them. Of course there will always be a period of learning, a period for honing skills and defining your own voice among the multitudes around you. But when does practice become product? Pendleton Ward, the creator of the hit animated series Adventure Time panicked when he landed his current job at Cartoon Network. He went and deleted all of the work he had previously published on the internet. He had made it to the big leagues, he had achieved his dream. Those early drawings no longer represented him and so he removed them, wanting people to see him for his professional work and not his amateur drawings.
Of course, a lot of those drawings still exist in various places on the internet, saved by fans and occasionally still re-blogged and passed around. Even though Ward himself was embarrassed by these drawings you can still see the humour and oddness in them that got him his current reputation in the first place.
MORGAN, an electronic dance artist and DJ from Nenagh, Tipperary may look back on his new single FOUR TWENTY in a similar way; an important stepping stone on the way to success but maybe not quite a fully formed sound. FOUR TWENTY is indeed an important stepping stone. It bears the marks of a focused and ambitious mind working to push the boundaries of dance music while also crafting a funky little tune to shake around to. MORGAN has a nice control of his rhythm, throwing down nice, bubbly house beats from the off. Later in the song a highly reverbed, pulsing string tone appears, sounding very reminiscent of electronic maestro Nicolas Jaar. MORGAN actually seems to share Jaar’s progressive attitude towards dance music which is very promising.
Where the track falls short is in the melodic lines and the synths used to create them. These pre-set synths sound hollow and quite tinny. They make the track seem very self-aware as they chime in every now and then. Some acid-house tracks thrive off of using these same sounds but they barrage you with them, leaving you no time to question their authority. In the context of FOUR TWENTY they sound like intruders, out of place when they enter and leaving too much of a void when they leave.
For MORGAN, finding a sound that works against his accomplished rhythm is the push that will get him his audience. So many electronic artists are identifiable by their sound which they, in turn had to work hard to develop. Whether it be Burial with his haunted, echoing beats, Pantha du Prince with his cacophony of bells or Oneohtrix Point Never who uses tiny snippets of found sound to create tapestries of rhythm from. All have spent years building on simple ideas to create sounds that are unique to them and in return, each has found an adoring fan base to worship them.
MORGAN is on his way for sure. He is serious about what he does and clearly has the drive needed to take him the rest of the way. He recently played UpRoar Ireland, a new showcase event for local electronic artists in Nenagh. I hope he continues to perform and I am in no doubt that he will find his audience.
FOUR TWENTY falls short as a piece of dance music but it is infused with so much promise that it is exciting all the same. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from MORGAN over the coming months and I for one am excited to see where he takes his sound.