John Bulliner – “Unwavering” – Single Review
Those of you out there that have been reading these pages of ours and my rants bellowed out from this tiny soapbox I’ve been standing on for the past decade in this tiny beautiful corner of the internet know that if I’ve got something to say, I’m gonna say it…pass or fail, I just call things like I hear’em. Personally, I consider just about everything I do to be a concentrated mix of trying to encourage, inspire, and assist the scene’s bands & artists to reach their maximum potential. When there are flaws, I’m not afraid to point’em out…respectfully, of course – we’re all putting our hearts & souls into what we create – you’ll never find me being the kind of critic that just bashes people for any kind of unjustified reasons. Even when it might be justified, I still keep my attitude in-check…it’s really rare to find anyone out there making bad music on purpose or making it for malevolent reasons…most artists want to add something special to this world we’re living in, and anyone out there motivated enough to follow through with all the painstaking details of the recording process from start to finish generally has their heart in the game.
Every so often it’s important to remind y’all of this…you can poke open the vast majority of the reviews I’ve written & find some kind of comment for this & that, usually on both sides of the fence, highlighting what works & what might need a lil’ more something to make it work, whatever the case may be. I say all of this, because sometimes you run into an artist like John Bulliner, and there’s really not a whole lot more that I could possibly say to advise the man on how to do anything better than he’s already doing it.
I’m a big fan of what I’m hearing in this new single “Unwavering” that he’s just recently put out onto the net at the end of March this year…production-wise, ideas-wise, sound-selection, and style-wise – it all checks out with remarkably positive results beamin’ through your speakers – so as far as advice on what could potentially be improved on…I’ve really come up shorthanded here folks. Right now, as I’ve been listening to “Unwavering” over the course of this week since its release, the only advice I can remotely even think of sharing with John is this – keep going! This dude’s got a stellar sense of how to build a digitalized tune into a real memorable experience & create songs you’d wanna seek out continually over the years to follow…very much like how I attached myself to a project known as Lyua Dust back about fifteen years ago through a tiny website called Garageband, and still reach for their music to this very day. Genre-wise…we all get caught up in labels & trying to fit people in some kind of box…it’s fair to say that House or Trance-House would be where you’d likely find “Unwavering” ending up – but if I can throw my two cents in here, the more niche the genre, the more pressures there are to remain within it – I’m not so convinced creativity & music always, or ever, works like that. If anything, I’m hearing what I’d simply boil down to one of my favorite combinations in the scene, that falls under a bigger umbrella – to me, “Unwavering” is a perfect combination of EDM & IDM together as one. Accessible IDM, basically – which is extremely rare to come by, and by far one of the most fascinating & addictive types of music out there that I know of – all that great neon sound spillin’ outta your speakers, but with real ART in the ideas, just like you find in the design, creativity, sound, and structure of a song like John’s “Unwavering.”
That first major transition right around the thirty-second mark is perfection – and considering that this single starts out with a highly enticing digitalized vibe to begin with, you can get a sense of how quickly this song moves along and builds the experience with the clever use of brilliantly defined dynamics. Right after that first surge, you’ll find John dials it back again into the delicate terrain of this dreamy melody, which essentially ends up becoming a large part of WHY a track like “Unwavering” and its smart design will continually keep you captivated and your ears engaged. Think of it like this – if you were in a library that was completely quiet, and a book dropped from a shelf to the left of where you were sitting & behaving yourself, minding your own business – you’d either jump in reaction to the thud, or at the very least take a good look at what’s goin’ on, wouldn’t you? The same is true in how we listen to a song like John’s created with “Unwavering” – nothing quite so jarring as the example I wrote here, but the dynamics of sound work in a very similar way in that he’s continually giving your ears reasons to listen – and then listen MORE. You still following me? That’s called smart songwriting folks…and if you just so happen to be lucky enough to have the talent & ear for sound that Bulliner has, it leads to great things. “Unwavering” is an emblematic title in that sense – the consistency in what you’ll hear on this single, is staggeringly good…the mix is spot-on, the allure of every moment ideas-wise gives us something truly compelling to absorb through all the details put into this cut, and at its most intense, the crystal clarity you wanna hear in a song like this still shines through with pure professionalism. Somewhere between the realms of meditative, hypnotic, and outright fascinating – or a combination of them all at once – that’s where you’ll find an artist like John’s music thriving…if only those were genres, he’d be that much easier to label. You’ll have to settle for qualities, elements and adjective-heavy descriptions this time around dear readers, dear friends…and all positive ones at that – I’ve got nothing to recommend to John other than to keep on makin’ the music he’s making, if only because I personally want a whole lot MORE of what I’m hearing here. Listening to this song come alive again with yet another inspired spark around the 2:30 mark, or how he dials it all back to set you down on a cloud of sound to finish it off in the finale – the details are flawless, the effort has clearly been put in, and the results are genuinely stellar. I’m not about to start finding reasons to complain when there aren’t any available – John’s got a gift for creating digital compositions, and “Unwavering” confirms this is true from its beginning to end; he’ll take you through a highly inventive & vividly exploratory journey in sound that’s as endearing & exciting as it is entertaining & artistically inspired.
There’s real sincerity in this synthetic melody at the core of it all…and I highly suspect that reflects the passion, dedication, and interest that Bulliner has in making music…this dude wants to be here, entertaining YOU – and that’s something I felt like everyone will feel as they listen to “Unwavering” – the desire…perhaps more than anything else if I’m being honest with ya. Sometimes we listen to music and it makes our brains move in several directions at once – hence why I’d tell ya readily every time that there’s a large part of John’s approach that makes his songs qualify as IDM every bit as much as EDM – “Unwavering” is one of those songs that’ll make you think, every bit as much as reach for the volume to turn up its melodic & hypnotic combination of sound fully capable of moving your mind, body, and soul.
You can find all kinds of creative stuff happenin’ with John Bulliner out there on the internet – visit his official YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuC0olycFNl0Uj72mxWBg0g
Find out what we do at sleepingbagstudios, and be the next to be featured on our pages by clicking here!