(All Album Reviews by Dragonflame713)
Wyrd represents the three Norse sisters known as the Norns
They were known as:
Urd – “that which has become”
Verdandi – “that which is becoming”
Skuld – “that which should become”
This is the explanation of the album’s title, printed within the booklet for Greg Rappaport’s “Wyrd”. I thought it would be interesting to analyze this album, by basing this review on the three sisters mentioned in the text above.
That which has become:
What we have here is an incredible album, with many layers and textures all throughout. As evidenced throughout Rappaport’s career, he can always be relied upon to deliver stunning instrumental performance but always has a purpose for everything he does. Much as an artist does when creating a painting, he chooses his colors carefully as well as the shades. The ending result is a complex and rich work, both very pleasing to the ear and also more than challenging to those who want to look within.
The looking within factor, is what I would like to discuss in the following section…
That which is becoming
To examine this album, one must start at its base, which in this case is jazz-fusion. Throughout this album, it features complex rhythm patterns and really nice grooves. One thing that is evident, is that Rappaport is a really fine bass player as well as a shredding guitarist. He really lays down some really tasty funk patterns. The music’s foundation is very very strong,
Now to layer above the foundation, he has many colors to choose from. One of which is a dark metal sound, from his 7 string guitar. This factor is really evident in the album’s opening track “11th Portal”, where the guitar just roars above the bouncing rhythm section! He also gets some nice funky rhythms in songs too, with a cleaner sound in tracks such as ‘Mahdah” and, and his clean soloing and sweeping clings to the rhythm like a glove. In “Bugjuice” he also get some nasty wah wah guitar colors, to go with the funk. He also has his aggressive soloing style too, which just pierces through the songs like a laser beam. Blindingly fast, but very complimentary to his compositions. There is also an ambient factor in the track “Darkmatter” which combines spacious keyboards, with the dark metallic rhythm guitar and his speedy and melodic soloing above. Some techno type sounds are present in some songs as well, such as in “Trust” and in the beginning of “11th Portal” (which also has some spoken word dialogue there. Hey, I thought this was all instrumental!)
Goes to show, it always nice to have surprises in the music and the more you listen, the more surprises you will get!
That which should become
Hearing works like this, should definitely get the attention of labels and musicians abroad. Not only for his playing skills, but also for his arranging and productions skills as well. I have been kind of going backwards in the Rappaport catalog here, and I am hearing where on this album his production skills are still evolving, The album sound is nice, clean, and full. From listening to this, and then listening to his follow up album “Azreal Block” one can certainly hear the progression in his ideas and execution. That’s what being a progressive artist is all about isn’t it?
“That which should become”, progressing and getting stronger and stronger with each new work. That’s what you get when you listen to this man’s work, and I look forward to hearing what his music becomes in the years ahead…