Album review: 1(EP) by aoi

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When an artist has a clear vision for their work, it is imperative that they follow through with it. aoi, a composer/musician/producer from Montreal, is an example of this actually happening. With his debut EP, entitled 1(EP), aoi (real name Keven Brien) has established that he wants the listener to experience:

“A voyage through lands where the organic and synthetic evolved in symbiosis, when the past and future coexist simultaneously.”

I can testify after listening to this record that this symbiosis occurs beautifully, as numerous genres and eras coalesce to form the final product. You hear echoes of Brian Eno, Pat Metheny, Jan Hammer, Jean-Michel Jarre, and Allan Holdsworth in this record.

1(EP) is ambient, driven, and emotionally complex. Above all else it is experimental in a way that comes across as genuine, rather than pretentious (a problem that sometimes plagues the genre). Don’t let the “experimental” label scare you away if that isn’t your thing, as I truly believe there is enough for the mainstream listener here as well.

In accomplishing his vision for 1(EP), aoi has made an ambitious and beautiful debut record. It is truly something I recommend you give a try.

1(EP) by aoi can be found at https://ao-i.bandcamp.com/

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