Zealous

We’re "Zealous" About Chill – Taliferro Music ♫

I have a few friends who just don’t like electronic music. Ambient, techno, Eurobeat, trance, downtempo, it doesn’t matter. And don’t even think about trying out dubstep or industrial on them. Their heads would explode. You know these people, right? If it doesn’t have an acoustic feel or fit their genre template, they just can’t hear it.

Don’t get me wrong—I like acoustic music, too. I’m a sucker for the strummed guitar string, the felt hammer on piano wire, or a good drummer going apeshit on a bona fide drum kit. But to dismiss anything electronic (usually with a misguided “music made by machines” generalization)? No. That’s just stuffing your ears with opinions and ignoring the amazing artistry and variety of electronic music today.

You have to feel sorry for these people. They’ll never explore Calima Shatiday’s work, which means they’ll never hear “Zealous,” a four-minute cool jewel of chill out. And that means they’ll never have the experience I just had, a paradoxical mash-up of laid-back mesmerization and forward-sitting focus.

The thing that keeps you leaning in to listen is the remarkable range of sounds emerging from a simple structure. The dynamic range, too, establishes itself with expansive crescendos that contract back to a whisper. It has the feel of breathing. That in-and-out isn’t the only play of opposites, either. Surface and depth. Stasis and momentum. The feel is familiar, yet strange. Somehow, it’s both as non-distracting as “background music” and as attention-grabbing as a sudden remark that takes a conversation in a new direction.

Well, the album is Conversations, after all. What Shatiday seems to be saying is, “Open your mind. Let the sounds take you somewhere new. Your banjo will still be waiting for you when you get back.” Something like that.

Jim Howard

We’re “Zealous” About Chill – Taliferro Music ♫.

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