Signal Path "Habitats"
Words By J-man
In the midst of a sea of forthcoming electronic music, one band continues to keep their output fresh and interesting. Habitats marks the twelfth release for Signal Path, and a return to the full band style of recording. The album kicks off with the somber "Night Lightning (I'm Sorry)," opening up the experience with tasteful layers and an impressive sonic arsenal. Distorted vocals weave in and out of drum machine clicks and satisfying synth. As the track approaches the end it picks up into a danceable resolve. "Glow" follows with ambient effects and overlapping vocals before the groove takes over. Images of sweaty carefree individuals dancing uncontrollably fill the mind and turn even the listener's living room into a potential party. The guitar work of Ryan Burnett overtakes the groove and reminds the listeners that before there were electronics, there were instruments. While Damon Metzner rides the hi-hat, "Glow" transitions directly into "Bit Scramble." A small drop opens up to the body of the track for some instrumental riffs that come to a head with Matt Schumacher's bass work. The first taste of electronic bass follows with subtle appearances that fill holes behind Ryan's out front guitar work throughout the remainder of the track.
"Last Remembrance Of The Serengeti" comes next with typical synth holds that open up to so much more. The work of Cody Wille is no more apparent than on this masterful collection of sound. Dirty dub bass fluctuates with a barrage of electronic beats and sound effects before Saxaphonist Pete Wall steps up to the plate to add his flavor to the mix. What listeners get is a smooth, sultry and reserved sax solo that melts into the mix perfectly. "Wolf Cry" comes out of the gate swinging with MC Relic Secure jumping on board to contribute vocally. The track saws away with shifting bass before the MC returns with a quick verse and Ryan closes it out with some satisfying guitar work. "Yellow Horizons" digs deeper into Signal Path's bag of sonic tricks for a sound that is almost reminiscent of a video game score. Pete returns with his sax in hand to take it to the next level with the whole band firing on all cylinders. The closing track of the album, "Lash Out," builds and drops into a sort of jamtronica breakdown that falls out and returns with additional low end wobble that quickly comes and go's. Signal Path flexes it's musical muscles and digs deep into the electronic/jamtronica realm as the album comes to a close.
"I feel like this album captures the sound that Signal Path has been pioneering since the early 2000's. The melding of organic live jazz improv instrumentation and off the wall crazy electronic dance music. I hope that this album will reach a broader fan-base and be more appealing to the non electronic crowd. This is the first album since 2003 that we actually went into the studio and recorded as a band in one room. We've been discussing how to make an album that feels more like our live shows and less like a producer centric creation. I'm proud of the way it all came together," Cody Wille, who produced the album told us.
Habitats is a return to the full band style of recording and output that drew this fan to Signal Path in the first place. The album captures what feels like the perfect mix of new electronica, combined with the direction that jamtronica is headed in order to sustain. The tracks will without a doubt translate in epic fashion live and should please a mix of fans both young an old with their tasteful yet innovative auditory experience. Pay what you'd like and check out Habitats!