We always say that we want to travel somewhere different, new and exciting – yet we somehow always find excuses for not going. Brandon Vetrano’s debut album is called “Different Trips”. It is an ambient, soundscapes and New Age music crossover release, filled with cutting edge sounds and fascinating atmospheres. Think of it as today’s opportunity to experience something radically different!
Coming out of the progressive Studio Composition program at the renowned Purchase Conservatory of Music, Brandon Vetrano is known for his experimental, ethereal soundscape compositions. In addition to his compositional work, Brandon leads and performs in several Jazz ensembles in the New York area. He has performed for the U.N., Hungarian and French consulates, Huffington Post and Vanity Fair – and had television appearances on Desperate Housewives with Sweet Megg and the Wayfarers.
The Right Choice
The first track on “Different Trips” is called “Release.” It starts with a gentle rhythm and static textures with a somewhat threatening sound. There’s also a fading bass and distant electric guitars before a booming voice says “release.” It is a bit too easy to say that it is a release caused by drug use. It is much more interesting if we think of it as a spiritual, metaphysical, multidimensional release, whatever the cause. It is a promising start to the album!
Talking of drug use; the next track is called “The Right Choice.” It has a super light ethnic drum and an eclectic mix of sound effects. It is part haunted house and part technology. Taking the right choice is not always easy nor comfortable, hence the scary atmosphere. It is a rehab from hell, perhaps?
The latest episode of Dream Mixtape is dedicated to Brandon Vetrano:
Burn the Word
“The Wool” begins with some gentle ambient sounds. Then we hear a distant guitar and several layers of textures and synth drones. This “trip” has obviously landed us in a woolen sphere, where all sounds are muffled and instruments sing their own songs. It is a safe place, far from negativity and bad feelings. Here we could stay, but it is not to last.
Next track, “Burn the Word”, rips all illusions of safety to pieces. There’s a threatening edge to the synth, which sounds like a Rhodes piano perhaps. A bass plays in the background somewhere. There’s a male vocal too, singing along, a breathy aaa. Then it fades out, the word obviously all burned and forgotten. “Let Us Go” confirms this impression. It is all radio static and electric noise.
My favorite song on the album is “Monroe’s Ladder”. It is a fascinating mix of soundscapes, pop-ish melodic elements and something that resembles a rhythm (nice drum work by Marhall Moran). The textures are beautiful and delicate. An electric guitar and a synth lead also join in. All elements fit together and create an imaginary ladder that takes us higher and higher. Somewhere up there Marilyn Monroe is smiling and waving to us, leading us even further up. It is a high flying trip to remember.
“Sagan’s Kramer” ends the album in a low and quite scary way. If this is about someone named Sagan who is doing a Kramer-ish entrance (from Seinfeld) is unclear, but one thing is certain; the trip ends in darkness, perhaps inside a tube or tunnel. It is a place where sounds are distorted and take on new meaning, before fading away and disappearing into nothingness. I must not forget to mention that the album as mixed and mastered by Bryan Shortell.
In conclusion: Brandon Vetrano’s “Different Trips” is a bold and innovative release. It is far from easy listening, and each piece represents something radical and trippy. Yet it is easy to notice the complexity, creativity, and beauty in each soundscape. Fans of Steve Roach, Erik Wøllo and Robert Rich should check out this album immediately.
So if you want to experience something new and different today, Brandon Vetrano has seven trips lined up for you. Highly recommended!
Score: 91/100 – See how I rate music here
To learn more about the artist and his music, check out Brandon’s homepage.
Get the album on CD Baby.