Thursday, December 27, 2012
X-tivity Factor - Planetary Travel
When it comes to music, I usually find a surprise to be a good thing. A surprise means that something is exceeding or working outside of my expectations. It means that something has departed from the status quo, and introduced an element to my listening experience that is fresh, unique, engaging, or a total about face from what I was expecting. I love surprises in my music because it means something new has unfolded in my ears, and therefore I am very glad that I have the opportunity to write about X-tivity Factor’s Planetary Travel, which threw me a pleasing curve on my way to work today.
The majority of promo’s that I receive fit into the rock mold. Therefore when I put Planetary Travel into the player, I was expecting a riff of some sort to jump out at me. What I got instead was a beat, a beat that immediately got my head nodding and my foot moving. You see X-tivity Factor is not a rock band at all, but rather an electronica group from Italy. Having only dabbled in the electronica pool before, it was very pleasing to feel this music take ahold of me and gently coax me into a rhythm. Starting with Galaxy Places, and working through to the very end of its 25:42 run time, Planetary Travel works its magic through the less is more approach. While numerous effects are used with great results, nothing ever gets overly complicated, and more importantly nothing ever takes your mind too far away from the beat, which lies at the very heart of the music. Even the lack of any vocals whatsoever does nothing to hinder my enjoyment of songs like Acid Rain, Hungry Wolf, Lost Species of Earth, and the remastered Vanethian track Dreamscapes. There is a real sense of pleasure in not being required to dig too deep in lyrics, or in deciphering the numerous technicalities injected into a single song, but rather just allowing that single steady beat to carry you.
Part of the joy in having the opportunity to write on albums through The Ripple is experiencing a broadening of my musical horizons. That happened today when a got to listening to X-tivity Factor’s Planetary Travel. The only downside I can see with it is the very short length of the album, which leaves me wanting more. Still if that is the only problem you have, then that is not necessarily a bad thing. I may not be the authority on electronica music just yet, but I do know good music when I hear it, and I certainly did with this album.