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Big Cats – For My Mother

October 14, 2012

The back story on this release is fantastic – it defines vision and passion.  See various stories in the StarTribune, City Pages, The Current and Big Cats own website  for the story – it will be worth your time.  It is both inspiring and heartbreaking.  But I am here to report the music is as good as the back story.

As I have said before in this blog, I am not much of a hip hop guy.  I completely respect the genre, but for the most part it does not touch my soul.  There are plenty of exceptions.  Those exceptions tend to follow a pattern: beats that have their foundations in soul/funk/jazz and an engaging narrative.

The music is for me best described as cinematic.  It is not much of a stretch imagining this music as a powerful soundtrack to a thoughtful film.  But that is not to suggest this is mere musical wallpaper.  What I like about it is that it invites to you be as engaged as you want to be.  You can turn it down low for some unobtrusive background music, or you can turn it up and listen fully immersed.  Best served mid morning with a hot cup of coffee or late night with a glass of red wine.  This is slow down and smell the roses music – music for when you are not bus; for when you want to enjoy the moment and have the time to do it.  It is hazy and lazy, yet insightful.  Mature and naive at the same time.  That is, truly human.

I think this release would play well with my age group (I am 53) who have foundation in funk, jazz and soul and to people my kids ages (21 and 23) who have a foundation in hip hop and electronica.

Overall I would describe Big Cats beats as musical and organic.  They capture a mood and tell a story.  The fact that the music is mostly “real instrument based” is wonderful – it creates a rich texture and a sense that every instrument contribution was intentional and not just a sound added for some gimmicky effect.  Like all good music it is what is left out that is as important as what is put in.  For My Mother has just the right ingredients and all the right empty spaces.  In summary it is sensual.

A nice video companion for the album (if you like this video, you will like the rest of the album – this pretty much sums up the spirit of the album):

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