Polyphonic Exophilia – Vol. 2 – EP Review
It’s all about the music, man.
“All members of the PPXP maintains anonymity to sustain a pure focus on the music and preserve a degree of artistic leeway without any unintended disturbance from the members other careers and/or previous genre-specific releases.” #FairEnough #Respect
Sure thing y’all…I’ve got no issues with that whatsoever. Might even save me a few minutes in how much I tend to pound on this keyboard typing up these reviews, who knows? All I can tell ya about the Polyphonic Exophilia, aka PPXP, is that they’re based out of Hadeland in Norway, and that they’re “a music collective, a recording studio and an independent label” – other than that, I know just as much as you do. Except for one last detail I suppose, which is that they just started this year…which is…actually kinda mind-blowing really, given the level of talent & unity you’ll hear in the music they’re making. Clearly from the quote at the very top, you can tell it’s implied that they’re all bringing some kind of relevant experience in music to the mix here…and when you listen, believe me when I tell ya, you couldn’t possibly miss the amount of professionalism & precision & passion combined between them. The Polyphonic Exophilia might just be breaking ground this year, but make no mistake, whoever this crew of musicians are, at the core of this lineup are some genuinely extraordinary talents born to make music, 100%.
The bass-line grooves & psych-style guitars that entice ya in on the way through the door as you push play and start jamming on “Ups Et Pertulerat” are freakin’ fantastic, full-stop. It’d be insane to even conceive that this could possibly turn anyone off – a vibe like this should be EVERYONE’s jam. The way the Polyphonic Exophilia puts wildly progressive personality & vibrant character into their music makes everything come alive & bounce its way through your speakers with remarkable style and continuously engaging sound. I mean, it’s got a definite Disco-inspire thread to it all, but I’ll be damned if the way this crew does it doesn’t make ya wanna get right down & dance it UP – because if I’m feeling that way about “Ups Et Pertulerat,” which I am…and I don’t normally like to dance…at all…then you gotta assume that I’m definitely not gonna be the only one who ends up feeling this way. This groove-funk combo they’re working with has jazzy flair, stylistic finesse, incredible musicianship – this is the kind of instrumental cut with all the right ingredients to break through the stigma so many have with music that has no words or vocal hooks, and bring in just about everyone out there across the map & their dogs with them to listen. Absolutely SPECTACULAR introduction to a band, their sound, their new EP…you name it – you can’t make a better first impression on us listeners than what you’ll find on “Ups Et Pertulerat.” Trust me when I say, even if you’re one of those people that doubts an instrumental cut can make an impact on ya – the PPXP will prove your theory incorrect and you’ll never be so stoked to be forced to change your mind – “Ups Et Pertulerat” is as irresistible as it is interesting, and fully reveals the high-level of talent this band possesses through a magnificent display of personality in their music. As many incredible things as people will hear in this band, good lordy…I sure hope no one misses how essential the contributions from the keyboards tend to be, or how absolutely impeccable the drums are on this record as well…with so much razzle & dazzle upon the surface to be enjoyed that’s more noticeable in the mix, it’d be easy to lose sight of the incredible role these two instruments play in these songs…and I suppose that’s where I come in to shout PAY ATTENTION to you all, and make sure you’re not missing out on all the awesomeness to be found. This band can JAM y’all – I’d listen to this all day.
They definitely know their strengths when it comes right down to it, and the PPXP certainly knows how to build a song in such a strong & interesting way that any set of ears checking out a record like this would be more than happy to listen further – there’s a brilliant sense of adventurism & expressionism to be found in the music flowing throughout Vol. 2. The Polyphonic Exophilia clearly isn’t concerned at all about conventional hooks or typical means – there is so much out there that has been done over & over when it comes to music…I gotta say, it’s massively inspiring to hear these guys going their own way. Comparatively, it’s damn near impossible to pin this band down to point out similarities that would resemble something else you might know…the best I could personally come up with was like some strange & beautiful combination of like…Morphine and Tortoise merged & morphed together…and even that doesn’t come close to accurately describing all that you’ll hear in the uplifting, inspired, and vividly colorful sound of the PPXP. “Dance With Fire” brings in a nearly like…tribal-esque vibe to it – but the celebratory, spirited kind, you feel me? The bass-lines! Good lord…the bass-lines in this band are just so undeniably perfect, and cool, and suited for the songs their making…many times, it seems like the rest surrounding that part of the music is responding to its steady rhythm taking the lead, and I love it. The reliability in these players allows them the freedom & confidence they need to roam out to the fringes and explore new combinations in sound & style that are genuinely EXCITING to experience – and “Dance With Fire” is just as much confirmation of that as the rest of the entire set of songs is on the Vol. 2 EP. This is also the first of two cuts that you’ll find vocals on as well…and while I think that they tend to twist the direction of their sound in a more narrow direction overall as a result of their inclusion as opposed to the potential impact their music might make on its own without’em – I think they probably have their best moments on “Dance With Fire,” as opposed to the looser design revealed in the next track to come.
I’ll say this…when it comes to the music they’re making, I literally can’t imagine anyone not digging it – listen to the breakdown around the 3:30 mark on “God Is What People Make Of It” if you need a quick dose of audibly awesome proof. I’m not entirely sure about whether or not the addition of vocals in the last two tracks are going to increase the accessibility when it comes to the masses listening overall – but – I think the artistic crowd will more than make up for it with loyal devotion. Those of us looking for more in the music we listen to – the PPXP has it – you can’t listen to any of the songs on Vol. 2 and not end up completely marveling at just how much they’ve done, and how much they’ve thought to add into their music that others just wouldn’t even be able to conceive…and even IF they could, it’d be even more unlikely they’ve got the skills that this band has to pull it all off as stunningly as this EP comes out. With nothing being typical to begin with, the Polyphonic Exophilia gets more license & freedom to be just as wild with the vocals as well…so really, if you’re still listening by this point in the record, I can’t imagine everyone wouldn’t be fully accepting of the fact that vocally, they’re bound to be just as much of an adventurous band as they have been with the instrumental cuts. You get a 2/2 split here – the opening & closing tracks are instrumental, the two in the middle feature vocals, but even the PPXP seem to recognize that they’re not necessarily the selling feature in what they do & use them fairly sparingly. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not personally opposed to the inclusion at all – I like the personality the extra layer brings to their sound, though it almost makes them more human in a weird way, when their music itself seems to sound superhuman…that make any sense? Anyhow. You all know I’m up for anything that’s not typical, so believe me when I tell ya, I’ll happily turn this unique EP up from start to finish and I’ll never have a problem blasting it loud & proud over here in Canada. As for the rest of ya…honestly I don’t know if the vocals would ever be an obstacle for anyone…but I’m still not entirely sure they really push the songs forward either; I found myself relentlessly attached to the rest of what was happening in the music surrounding them for the most part, but that could very well just be me. The vocals aren’t a hindrance by any measure as far as I can tell, but by comparison to say, how each element of the music seems to have a true purpose in being a part of the structure overall, it was harder to locate that reason for the vocals being there with so many additional strengths on display that’ll make more of an impact. I suppose what I’m saying is, the music they’re making, speaks volumes louder than any words ever could.
Perhaps the best case I can make, they make for themselves with the genius way they play their way through the final instrumental track, “When The Lockdown Is Over” – they might have even saved their very best for last here. I know I could certainly make a case for that, even with all the awesomeness I’ve already witnessed in this incredible band on their second EP of the year…so far. A band like this clearly has no limits on what they are capable of creating, and by embracing that, they’ve captivated us with four songs that are as charming & entertaining as they are immaculately skilled & highly intricate. They’ve kind of done the ultimate here in the sense that, this is a Progressive-based style of music that the masses will quite likely readily enjoy and keep on coming back for more – and that’s incredibly rare when it comes to anything that contains a Progressive label of any kind. The facts are the facts though – just listen to a song like “When The Lockdown Is Over” and you’ll have all the proof your ears could ever need – this is brilliantly catchy, lively, expressive, and artistic in all the right ways – the Polyphonic Exophilia have the ability, potential, talent, and skill to pull each and every one of you onboard with the music they make. The rhythm section of the PPXP is essentially second to none – and you can hear how the rest of the band is able to open up, expand, and dive headfirst into their wildest ideas as a direct result of having such reliable strength in their shared musicianship – the playful sound of “When The Lockdown Is Over” is relentlessly addictive every bit as much for its catchy vibes as it is for its astounding intricacies and cleverness. For a band that’s only decided to get together and start doing what they do as of this year – your heads will seriously spin at how much they can already accomplish, and the implications of where they could take their music from here…creatively AND physically, are limitless. This band is built on supreme instrumentation and spellbinding sound that is uplifting, inspired, and designed to be turned up and enjoyed as loud as your stereo will take it – the PPXP rocked my world, and I’d be more than willing to bet there are legions of you out there that’ll feel just as attached to them as I do now. The uniqueness, creativity, and artistic inclinations of this band will take’em as far as they all wanna go – there’s room for stellar music like this on every playlist, and if there isn’t – make some.
Find out more about Polyphonic Exophilia at their official pages below!
Magical Multi-link: https://linktr.ee/ppxp
Find out what we do at sleepingbagstudios, and be the next to be featured on our pages by clicking here!