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21 February, 2018

Mr. Kaplan - Rage Thrills Wow

Mr. Kaplan - Rage Thrills Wow (song review) | self-released, single, 2017| 4/5

Mr. Kaplan (the artistic moniker of Jason McClary) has been trained as a classical pianist but turned to electronic (house, techno) music thanks to his early interests. After 20 years spent on studying and practicing, not only does he mix and produce his own songs but also provides services to other musicians (as "Mr. Kaplan Productions", situated in Nashville, TN). He has also released two EPs, several singles and remixes so far.

The gentle, synthetic intro does not let listeners guess what kind of sound could follow it. As it turns out a bit later, 'Rage Thrills Wow' has high dynamics and is kept in the vibe of 90's 'old school' industrial metal. Most probably, Mr. Kaplan had been inspired by the most representative attributes of songs written by such staples as Ministry, KMFDM, and Circle of Dust. His song is splattered with repetitive drum beats, tiny electronic additions, and drilling metal guitar riffs as well as sampled political (John F. Kennedy's) and radio (George Orwell's) speeches. Predatory guitar riffs obviously carry a nice physical thrill. The selection of samples is perfect to keep the composition entertaining. They create an atmosphere of impatience and tension which has been prevailing in many countries as the world rises up against tyranny and political, childish games. The composition doesn't offer release for these emotions however, since the repetitive arrangement continues until the song's end. 'Rage Thrills Wow' is supported by a music video which you can find on the Mr. Kaplan’s YouTube channel.

The audio, mixing, and production qualities draw attention at once, even if the metal-sounding song needed less-than-perfect audio purity (compared to the requirements of any electronic track, for example). Jason McClary has learned a lot from Grammy Award Mix Engineer Dave Pensado whose lessons certainly paid off, as listeners can judge by listening to Mr. Kaplan's songs and remixes (check out New Order's 'Blue Monday' remix at his official website). On the downside, the percussion part in 'Rage Thrills Wow' sounds a bit too repetitive and comes over the guitar cues almost as if it tried to push the riffs away too hard.

Regardless the final, dystopian quote borrowed from Orwell's famous 1984 novel ("If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever"), you will get the point – Mr. Kaplan brings the joy of life and the rhythm to the music he makes, and thus his tunes offer quick motivation to let you rebel against the lies and manipulations streamed everywhere. Moreover, it looks like he could easily raise the dead with the "phat", deep, reverberated bass being his favourite resurrection tool.
Whether Jason continues releasing his own songs or focuses on producing/mixing other artists' music, he has a ton of potential to write obvious hits. Get in touch with him soon if your track lacks power!

(Reviewer: Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia, February 19th, 2018. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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Reviewed by Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia

05 February, 2018

Gene Gorski - Nowhere To Hide

Gene Gorski - Nowhere To Hide (song review) |self-released, single, 2016| 4/5 spoken word

Gene Gorski has been writing songs for the last thirty years, recording music at his home studio. He has released three albums so far, donating all his income to various charities. Gene follows his heart – the main reason why he has been more interested in providing original pieces of music instead of trying to fit in mainstream trends.

This time, he re-interpreted a classic theme - passing to the other side of the mirror - as found in the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In Gene's version of the story, Alice lands in a dystopian, twisted world. It is not full of wonders but rather includes many aspects found in our reality. Suffice it to say that the protagonist of the story becomes a stripper involved in sado-masochistic activities.

The tempo of this rather short (3:15) song is very lethargic, comparable to a slowly rocking boat stuck on a still ocean with a sole survivor on board. The composition consists of several verses and a chorus, repeating a few times. The lyrics are poetic and they rhyme well. They are short and lack in meaningful details, since they are written for those already familiar with Carroll's original tale.

Acoustically, the song has a story-telling motif with random guitar play which adds tones to the vocal line and supports the overall vibe. One could relate this to Johnny Cash's spoken word songs. Gene also focused on building an atmosphere of minimalism and isolation, equipped only with a microphone, an open body Gretch guitar and a Swart Atomic Space Tone amp. His voice is definitely memorable for its masculine strength, tremble, vibration, pride, nasal tone, and a touch of decadence. It is clear he perfectly knows how to control these elements to build up tension when necessary, but also bring the song down again.

It's pleasing to listen to the entirety of 'Nowhere To Hide' for both the distinctive vocals and the random, accompanying guitar arrangements. Those of you who search for rather intellectual than simply rhythmic music will surely enjoy it.

(Reviewer: Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia, January 30th, 2018. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)

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Reviewed by Fabryka Industrial Rock & Metal Encyclopedia