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felixmarc substance
Artist: Felix Marc
Title: Substance
Genre: Synth Pop
Release Date: 15th March 2019
Label: RecordJet


Album Review

FELIX MARC is a long-time player in the wave music scene; apart from his solo project, he is also involved in two other bands - DIORAMA and FROZEN PLASMA - both representing different facets of Dark Wave music the former being a mix of dancy with lyrical and the latter of pure dance floor force. The solo project is probably the gentlest, most melodious version of electronics Felix composes; it’s the combination of extremely characteristic, soft, deep vocal and melodies ranging from ballad qualities to dynamic electronics to fast-paced rhythms. Emotional lyrics that go perfectly well with clear, warm vocalic qualities represent the outstanding characteristic for Marc’s albums ‘Pathways’ (2008), ‘Parallel Worlds’ (2011) and ‘Alternative Facts’ (2017) therefore the term to describe his music would be a well-balanced synth pop variety.

His brand new album, entitled ‘Substance’, is out on 15th of March 2019. If you want to think about it in terms of the so-far released content, it will definitely be no shock - twelve compositions harmonize very nicely to what can be recognized as FELIX MARC style - and that being a mix of cold, perfectly mastered electronics, vocalic warmth and interesting lyrical value. After listening to the album, once again it came to my mind that Felix is extremely skilled at composing, arranging, constructing and forming the music to reach the perfect, flawless sonic structure. A great skill for the right choice for diversified melodic lines to intermingle in a way to reach fresh, lively and catchy effect is another advantage for the artist.

Both, the title ‘Substance’ and the album cover, that depicts Felix with his eyes sealed, hint a brand new area the album explores and suggest a shift from external world exploration to mind experience matters. They indicate a passage from outer to inner world of thoughts and as such point out to a more intellectual context and thought-provoking lyrics. Musically the whole album is set to develop slowly in variable tempo - first compositions are meditative, trance ones, they let you focus on lyrics to a greater extent making use of melodious compositions and then we get some pace switches that lead through energetic Synth Pop and ballads treats interchangeably.

‘Totem’ - the song that opens an album - starts with the trance, mysterious, hypnotic electronic intro. Then it flows into gentle, soft ballad with heart touching tint. It creates a sense of vast space and in this sense gains a bit of a soundtrack quality. Still, the prevailing motive is sentimental note that goes very nicely with beautiful, warm lyrics. The album title song, ‘Substance’, is a ballad with a slow-paced and highly emotional vocal line that enhances FELIX MARC’s voice quality in a powerful manner. Text treating about appreciation, rediscovering, redefining certain emotions is a strong point for the song. Third piece, ‘Our Time’, offers a change in pace to a much faster, dynamic one. It’s a real electronic dance-floor hit with lyrics being the artist’s comment to the current occurrences in the world. It is one of the fastest, strongly hitting pieces on the album.

As I said before, Felix often cooperates with different artists with his productions - one of them is Lis Van Der Akker who forms a duo with Felix at the fourth song, being the cover of COCK ROBIN’s ‘The Promise You Made’. Artists’ voices go perfectly together, coalescing brilliant, crystalline pure, feminine line from Lis and warm, soft one from Felix. The melody and arrangement offer a fresh, lively, vivid structure to the song and make it one of the best on the album. In comparison to the original the song definitely gains a more dynamic and vibrant quality. And it’s very heart-touching, catchy and pleasant to listen. A real gem of the release.

The subsequent pieces, ‘Lost in Grace’ and ‘New Waves’, are both very catchy; they represent dynamic, dancy vibe. I like the line for the songs, they definitely speed the heart beat and I’m sure they will find their way to many DJs collections, for they are fantastic dancefloor treats. Great, slightly reverberating vocal and well-set melodic line and tempo plus stable strong beat are the strong points for the songs. ‘Vertigo’, which goes next, opens with a beautiful piano intro that passes fluently to the faster register. Clear main motive plays equal with the vocal line; it’s a great melodic mass that has some powerful, profound tint to it that makes you think of such atmosphere magicians like VNV NATION and COVENANT. Rhythmical, dynamic melody is a real treat. Extremely catchy track.

‘To the World’ starts with melodramatic recitation that enhances Felix’s vocals in a great way and lets you appreciate its clarity and beautiful, warm, light tone. The melody that follows and builds up as the song develops is discrete and stands for a subtle background to the lyrics presented in a calm, straight forward way. It’s one of those songs you may feel the artist directs his message straight to you and that creates a powerful effect indeed. It definitely draws and keeps your attention, makes you listen. The next piece, ‘Omen’, is a total change of pace again; it kicks off with dynamic, vivid melody, it’s one of the representatives of the dynamic line on the album. So is ‘Satellites’ that offers a bit irregular yet extremely catchy melody. I believe it’s the fastest, most rhythmical song on the album making great use of the subsequent repeating motives to be the canvas for the electronic twists to play the biggest part and the vocal running in one stable pace.

‘The Fortress’ is quite an outstanding song on the album; it features the darkest mood of all those collected on ‘Substance’. Captivating synth passages diversified by slow, meditative, a bit Trip-Hop, a bit irregular sonic clusters stands for an intriguing overall effect that definitely breaks the leading line for the album. The final song, ‘Getout’, starts with Alec Baldwin’s (Blake) monologue from the movie by J. Foley, ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’. The film being an adaptation of Pulitzer winner David Mamet’s play treats about competition in the business world. One may try to find the reflection on it in the lyrics. The melody of the song is a stable-paced, moderate ad trance and it’s suddenly interrupted by gentle, moving piano piece. The song’s vocalic finale being a touching, echoing calling “Where are you?” stands for a fine, powerful accent to close the entire album.

All in all, ‘Substance’ is a fine blend of Synth Pop, Classical and a slight add of Techno in a form of dynamic melodic lines interwoven with emotional, heart touching vocals and lyrics. The whole is masterly arranged to give changeable, captivating pace to each song. FELIX MARC has always been on the verge of dancy and lyrical and somehow managed to get the compromise between the two juxtaposing tools to achieve his very own voice and quality in the centre of it. The effect he achieves is perhaps not revolutionary but it’s consequently good - it remains at a high level of synth electronics with some techno and lyrical tint blended with hypnotizing Trace elements and Future Pop lines.

Some pieces are fantastic Disco treats while the others will stand for perfect pillow companions - the variety and range the songs offer prove the diversity and talent of the artist. The element that’s common for all releases by FELIX MARC is perfection and detail-oriented arrangement and mastering of songs - ‘Substance’ is no exception here. All in all, I’d say if you are searching for music to move both your body and heart go for ‘Substance’ with no hesitation - you won’t be disappointed as it offers a rich spectrum of tones to both melodies and the overall tempo and lyrics content.


Tracklist

01. Totem
02. Substance
03. Our Time
04. The Promise You Made (feat. Lis Van Den Akker)
05. Lost In Grace
06. New Waves
07. Vertigo
08. To The World
09. Omen
10. Satellites
11. The Fortress
12. Getout


Line-up

Felix Marc


Website

http://www.felixmarc.de / https://www.facebook.com/felixmarcmusic


Cover Picture

felixmarc substance


Rating

Music: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10


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