Sp8ce Owl’s “Digital Breathing” may have a calming effect some listeners do not expect. The song’s techno lineage could follow familiar cookie-cutter steps and deliver audiences another mindless electronic thud-o-rama, but Sp8ce Owl travels a different path. Joseph Meyers’ video for the song is unnecessary to understand that hear his agenda with this song, and Sp8ce Owl on a larger scale, as something far more than another throwaway techno side-project. These two works, the song, and video, are substantive statements standalone and in concert.
They naturally take on a wider scale when consumed together. Meyers’ visual sense, in particular, refined without ever coming across as either pretentious or obscure. His video does take a near relentless series of unpredictable twists upon first viewing, you may grope for a bit trying to orient yourself to the video’s intentions, but it’s a wild ride no matter what. Balancing the song and video between the fierce intellect and full-on physicality present in Meyers’ music is a notable part of the song and impressively unerring.
Many naysayers about this style of music will perhaps find themselves grudgingly convinced by Sp8ce Owl. The quasi-horn sound of the synths skirts jazzy territory and will put some pep into even casual listeners. This is a song that, despite its instrumental profile, has mass appeal. It’s a complete package for any fans of modern music.
Melody is a big reason why. Meyers never allows to be blinded by the pretty bells and whistles musicians have at their disposal and always remembers what he’s here for. “Digital Breathing” has steady respiration of sorts listeners can chart, the rising and falling of its assorted melodies, and many listeners will be entertained by the spell the single casts.
The amount of detail and color incorporated into the song’s video is another aspect setting Meyers and his project apart from the pack. One thread overlaps and entwines, and so forth with the next, one variation giving away to the next, and the video paces these changes at a comfortable tempo for listeners. It closely conforms with the actual music, but some may see how the visual changes counterpoint the musical.
Few electronic/techno instrumental composers can claim this sort of territory. He gives fans of the style the best of both worlds. His music here is connected to the body and never sacrifices that tie. There are larger ambitions afoot, however, and you have to hear the song out several times and give some thought before arriving on what you believe the true scope of the song’s accomplishment is or isn’t, Sp8ce Owl’s “Digital Breathing” doesn’t come striding into the listeners’ life with trumpets and fanfare, but it’s anything but disposable. Some may say the jury is still out with this project. Some may even be ready to say off with its figurative head. It’s far more likely that a wide swath of modern music listeners will hear Sp8ce Owl’s “Digital Breathing”, see the video, and come away knocked back on their heels.
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