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Barbarossa — Bloodlines (2013)

 Barbarossa — Bloodlines (2013)

Barbarossa — Bloodlines 
Barbarossa’s new material sees Mathé combine dusky electronics with folk and soul to startling effect.
Location: London, England
Album release: August 6, 2013
Record Label: Memphis Industries
Duration:     42:49
01. Bloodline      (4:38)
02. Turbine      (2:28)
03. Butterfly Plague      (3:43)
04. Pagliaccio      (3:24)
05. S.I.H.F.F.Y.      (5:04)
06. Battles      (6:00)
07. The Load      (4:05)
08. Saviour Self      (5:19)
09. The Endgame      (4:50)
10. Seeds      (3:24)
Website: http://www.barbarossamusic.com/
General director:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Barbarossamusic
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Bloodlines/dp/B00DJ9D1RI/ref=sr_shvl_album_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375600440&sr=301-1
by Kevin Dunn, 29 July 2013  Score: 7/10
≡   Meaning "red beard" in Italian, Barbarossa, the often soulful electronic project of London-based James Mathé (who truly lives up to the name), has arrived with his Memphis Industries debut, Bloodlines.
≡   In the organ-heavy opener, 'Bloodline', Mathé suggests that "it would break your heart if you knew that this is all about you," and this kind of plainspoken honesty is present throughout the album that generally offers little in the way of excess, lyrically or otherwise.
≡   One of the most interesting aspects about the album is the fact that the arrangements of the individual songs vary so greatly throughout. In just three tracks, this album can go from the soulful guitar riffs of 'Turbine', to the spacey, more processed 'Butterfly Plague', to the strong electronic beats of 'Pagliaccio' and never think twice about it. A songwriter, regardless of style, that takes advantage of his or her strengths is bound to create an interesting album, and Mathé has done just that with Bloodlines.
≡   It is probably for this reason that nearly every song on the album was "my favourite" until the next one started.
≡   That being said, Bloodlines is never boastful. The arrangements, while incredibly varied, are generally pretty sparse, often employing a healthy dose of reverb to help fill in some of the spaces while simultaneously drawing attention to them. The reverb on the drums of songs like 'Butterfly Plague', for example, creates a kind of loneliness that really adds to the overall isolated tone of the album.
≡   But despite all the strong arrangements, Bloodlines is held together by Mathé's vocal ability, which seems to vary almost as much as the individual tracks do. On songs like 'The Load', Mathé's vocals bear a pretty strong resemblance to current tour mate José González, but there are many moments, like 'Savious Self', in which his emotive singing completely takes over the track.
≡   Bloodlines is a really strong album. It is often on the quiet, more contemplative side, but Barbarossa definitely knows when to pick up the pace. Meticulous and deliberate, Bloodlines is a very welcomed release to the world of electronic-based music.
Fortaken: http://thefourohfive.com/
By Jana Capozzoli; July 3rd, 2013   Score: 8/10
≡   Barbarossa: Bloodlines - Barbarossa is London-based artist James Mathé. Since releasing his well-received debut album Chemical Campfires in 2008, Mathé  has signed with Memphis Industries and has had a prominent role in Jose Gonzales’s backing band. Bloodlines, set to release August 5, is fiery, and I don’t just mean musically. Barbarossa means red beard in Italian and Mathé is endowed with the same color locks himself.
≡   Bloodlines is not off-the-bat catchy or attention-grabbing, but it’s not meant to be. ≡   The album hems in electronica, folk, and soul all in one album, with claustrophobia being the only thing left out. Beginning the album with ‘Bloodline’, an organ-heavy introduction to the album itself, notes of scarcity are recognized instantly. Followed by Mathé’s eloquent falsetto, this opening ballad is a somber lead into crashing cymbals. ‘Turbine’, a high point of the album, is a drum and guitar heavy chasing ballad. Again, Mathé’s soulful vocals offset the harshness of the guitar and complement rumbling cymbals and high hats. ‘Turbine’ is a short, compelling single leading the listener directly into ‘Butterfly Plague’. ‘Pagliaccio’ is syncopated, with flashes of synth gracing the background. Similar to the music of indie-rock band Foals, this track is filled with dance elements amongst calculating hooks and layered segments. ‘The Load’ is made up of warped organ elements underneath generous vocals from Mathé. It is a scanty ballad, as Mathé sings, “I will not ever take this for granted, I am forever in your hands.”
≡   Bloodlines is jagged, tender, but triumphant all the same. According to Memphis Industries, the mood of Bloodlines was partially based off a 1990s Vincent Gallo film called Buffalo 66. Starring Gallo himself and Cristina Ricci, it is a twisted romance where a young dancer falls in love with her recently imprisoned kidnapper. Perhaps seeing the film would make sense of Mathé’s musical inspirations, but it is not necessary to enjoy Bloodlines.
≡   Although performing in Jose Gonsalez’s backing band is a pretty good gig, Barbarossa is on his own path, and it is a talented and blazing one indeed. This London singer-songwriter ripples through the gaps of musical genres, combining soul with electronica into an album that’s both groovy and expressive…
Fortaken: http://www.violentsuccess.com/
by Lee Adcock; JULY 14TH, 2013 BY TJ
≡   I can’t complain, really. Because, all in all, Bloodlines is a brilliant album, a masterful convergence of soul-powered vocals and sensitive production. Mathé has proven himself as not just a pretty voice, but an engineer of emotions, a musician that experiments with instruments in the same fashion that a painter toys with color. Mind, I played through this album quite a few times to realize this, for Barbarossa is a nuanced project – but, ultimately, Bloodlines delivers. It’s out on August 5th, courtesy of Memphis Industries, and should not be missed by anyone who’s searching the vast web of music for a little modern-day tenderness. Read more at: http://www.goldflakepaint.co.uk/review-barbarossa-bloodlines/

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