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Gurf Morlix (from the album Melt into You available on Rootball Records) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Arriving on the heels of his last album, the stirring I Challenge the Beast, released just this past April, veteran artist and producer Gurf Morlix continues to purvey his usual mesmerizing designs through a series of songs that offer allure and mystique in equal proportions. As always, Morlix finds a lack of predictability to be a prime muse, and indeed, there’s not a single song here that doesn’t challenge the listener through a combination of imagery and indulgence.
If at times Morlix appears somewhat aloof, given his teeming melodies and sensual suggestion, it never manages to detracts from the music’s overall intrigue. Whether it’s the slow, sensual drift of “Beautiful Sad Face” or the forthright drive and determination found in “Switchblade Smile” and “Spare Change”, he never fails to make an emphatic impression through both sound and suggestion. Gurf Morlix has the unique ability to come across as both aloof and enticing within the same set of circumstance, a product of melody and mystique stirred with supple intent.
‘Sometimes you’re the hammer, sometimes you’re the nail’ he suggests on the aforementioned “Spare Change”, making an allegorical attempt to unravel the difficulties and dilemmas of everyday encounters. ‘I can’t make it without you’ he insists in the taut and tenuous “Nothin’ Burns Like the Cold,” a further testament to Morlix’s unrequited desire.
Indeed, his words are revealing. With the slow trudging Blues of “Last Days of the Dinosaur” he inquires ‘what is it, some kind of metaphor?’ suggesting that perhaps he’s questioning his own methods and motif. Later, in the same song, he admits, ‘I’m on some kind of tightrope, look out below’.
Given his overall uncertainty, it’s likely best to take heed.
It’s that joined sense of tension and tenacity which makes Morlix’s music so consistently compelling. Here again, there’s no end to that nagging desire to find some sort of answer and clarity in a world where those elements are consistently lacking. The plodding insistence of “In the Name of Love” and the album’s spectral closing track, “A Meaningless Life”, provide more questions than answers, and leave the listener wondering whether he’ll ever be able to resolve his own apparent contradictions.
In the meantime, however, the unfailing fascination provides an allure that’s difficult to resist. Despite his melancholic muse, Gurf Morlix has never sounded so spirited. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Gurf Morlix from AMAZON
For more information, please visit the Gurf Morlix website
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