Giacomo Pope – ‘Skin’ [Review]
Giacomo Pope is a musical chameleon. As an axe-handler for Chronographs, this guy made a name for himself through hyperkinetic tech-metal and (in 2014) complex yet catchy math-rock. Now that Chronographs have been put (hopefully temporarily) on hold following the amicable departure of vocalist Jon Sinfield, Pope has taken a further step toward the realm of accessible music.
Fans of songs like Opticks and Losing Light may be unprepared for the chilled and serene vibes of Skin. This is about as far from brutal beatdowns and fat six-string tones as you could ever hope to get without turning your music player off altogether. There are no guitars, no crushing riffs, and no words; in their place sit calming, nuanced slices of electronica produced on an iPad using a quirky and powerful sequencer app called Auxy. Although listeners may need a bit of patience and some deep listening, rewarding results come very quickly.
Skin is but the first stage of Giacomo Pope’s latest direction change (see this recent TMMP interview for more details), but there are still plenty of winning moments in there. For me, it’s all about Warmth – a track that takes in retro synth tones, a driving minimalist drum groove, and stellar swells – but it’s hard to fault any of the tracks as they currently exist. I could imagine future albums taking a similar tack to Submotion Orchestra’s work, alternating vocal-led songs with adventurous instrumentals…but that’s just me. Regardless of where Giacomo Pope takes this project next, it’s bound to be an epic ride.
TMMP RATING: 83%
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