Virtuoso progressive and fusion bassist Sean Fairchild aka Combinator boggles your mind with his genius with his latest EP re//combinator. This is a thirty minute musical masterpiece that is bold and fearless.
Nothing less than an amalgamation of genres like progressive, metal, funk, electronic, drum & bass, industrial music, and post-rock, is what we get into this musical feast. Fans of technical music will be treated while the more casual listener will be baffled by the daring sound on this record from the Seattle musician.
The record starts with a bang with the first song Guest In Your Own Skin. Here we get washed in the daring scope of the sound of Combinator. Virtuosos bass guitar playing is baked into packets of synths with harmonies that would please fans of progressive metal and jazz. Second track is Things That Should Be begins with a ridiculous riff where you cannot help but give the stank face! The middle instrumental section features some crazy rhythm parts and playing sounds ethereal.
The third song is a cover of British musical genius Imogen Heap’s experimental pop classic Hide And Seek. Here we get a change in mood and pace from all the synth and bass shredding. With some processed and harmonized vocals by Combinator, and tasteful bass playing which acts as a singular comping instrument with stunning finesse. As the electronic beats seep in to give a great outro finale, we get to hear a touchy solo section.
Cartoon Character Child is the fourth and final original track. Guitar and synths blend to create an intoxicating sound that is ethereal. The song lyrically is a short well-written verse about immortal child cartoon characters like Bart Simpson or Ash Ketchum. You pity them because they will never have sex but envy them for their eternal youth. The album concludes with two remixes by Jesse Holt from Second Coming of the track Respira from Sean’s 2020 EP Eargoggle Fodder and a remix of Through the Fog, from his 2016 record Allsound.
The record balances light and cold, shade and heat, with its proper handling of vibes and moods in its track listing flow and pacing of the songs. Combinator has spun a rich tapestry of eclectic harmony, fun arrangements, complex rhythms, and virtuoso playing. Imaginative vocal production by Sean Fairchild features intelligent use of processing and effects. We get trap beats, vocoder type vocals, mind baffling textures, and voicings on re//combinator.
The musical DNA of Combinator is rooted in bassists like John Entwistle, Squarepusher, Victor Wooten, Flea, and Thundercat. As such Combinator is a musical giant raised by the past and will inspire more cerebral musicians and harmonic innovation. This is music from the future which contains traces of the past and visions of things to come. A Picasso and Pollock musical painting of colossal proportions.
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