Artist: Michael Sirois aka Jenova 7
Album: Soul For Sale
Where to listen: Bandcamp
If you’re looking for some new music to help take off the edge of the approaching holiday season, the debut album of independent trip-hop artist Jenova 7 is just for you. The 23-track instrumental collection is a smooth combination of jazz, hip-hop, and rock that blends together almost seamlessly.
The album opens with the title track, a downtempo, bluesy sound full of drums and harmonica that leads into the versatile, changing sound of Soul For Sale.
“Just Blossom” has a crisp feel to it with reverberating sounds of chirping birds thrown in with some retro-sounding celesta or xylophone hooks. Beats and scratches are tossed into the mix, keeping it interesting but still incredibly relaxing.
Soul For Sale has a lot of old-school samples and overall has a very thought-provoking, tranquil vibe. It’s definitely something you could fall asleep to. In “World Still Turns” you’ll hear some retro organs and Latin-inspired drumming. Trumpets and horns liven up the jazzy tracks like “The Nick of Time” and give the album a lot of vibrancy. Vocal samples and sounds of album scratches and needle noise give it a fresh, hip-hop tone, and heavy bass fills give it some funk. You’ll also hear some classy traditional piano samples on many tracks like “The Parallel.” Overall, Soul For Sale is a very pleasant sounding mix of a lot of different stuff that’s bound to keep your interest.
This genre’s versatility is also seen in its listen-ablity; no matter what you’re doing – driving, doing schoolwork, or just relaxing over the weekend – you can put this on.
“Desire” features the album’s velvety lounge sounds, while funk also gets its spotlight in “Chronicles of Time.” With 23 tracks, Soul For Sale has plenty of time to spread over different influences and sounds, but it keeps its laid-back feel from beginning to end.
Having previously checked out some of Jenova 7’s tracks on YouTube, I had a good idea of what to expect. Though some of his mixes were at times a little repetitive for me, I have to admit, I have enjoyed the mast majority of the songs I’ve heard from this artist. Personally, I’m someone with fairly wide taste in music, but even if you’re new to the eclectic genres of electronica and trip-hop, Jenova 7 offers up a soothing first dip into this kind of music. Some might say it lacks in dynamics, but what it doesn’t have in dramatic changes, it makes up for with all of the many influences behind the genre.
Trip-hop is a great example of how technology has changed the music industry for the better. Artists are now able to mix recordings that span decades into one neat package, bringing sounds together that would have never met. Soul For Sale is an excellent compilation and definitely worth a listen.
The album is available for download via Bandcamp for $7.00 and features an exclusive bonus track, “As the Smoke Clears,” a demo that was cut from the final album.