Posts Tagged ‘funk influence’

Painted on Water is a new rock outfit made up of composer/guitarist/producer Demir Demirkan and vocalist Sertab Erener, both of Turkish descent. Based in Chicago, the two musicians bring together many different musical influences to create a sound that is very eclectic. The band’s sound incorporates rock, electronica, funk and several other styles to make something unique and fresh. While having already put out a few releases, the duo has just recently created a new release entitled Chicago Issue.

The band’s EP begins with the track “I Need You Most”. The beginning track incorporates a lot of rock feel, some blues and a lot of electronic sound into one musical package.  “I Need You Most” comes to life with the inclusion of a strong guitar part that helps to drive the music of the track. The use of the Talk Box on the track by Painted on Water’s Demir Demirkan helps to add some really interesting rock feel to the song, as well. The various different genres of music come together in the track to help create a song that features many different facets and has plenty of energy. The strong track gives the listener a strong reason to continue on and see what else the duo has to offer.

After “I Need You Most,” Chicago Issue from Painted on Water continues with the track “A New Me”. While the song “I Need You Most” features a strong blues-based feel to the music, “A New Me” has a very strong funk vibe to it. It’s that Funk vibe that truly takes over the feel of the duo’s music on this song. The funk of the song mixes well with the rock feel of the duo’s music. That combination creates a track that is as funky as it is catchy. If it wasn’t for the energy the music gives off, you would almost classify the song under “pop”. But calling the sound of “A New Me” as “pop” is definitely not the right description for the song; especially since the song has as much rock feel to it as it has the funk feel to it. Together, the rock, funk and pop influences ultimately come together to create the EP’s strongest track.

While “A New Me” is probably the strongest track on Chicago Issue from Painted on Water, the song “Hating You Loving You” is the track with the most emotion to its lyrics. The lyrics deal with a woman caught in a relationship that may not be the best for her but she doesn’t want to give it up. The music of the song has a slightly slower pace to it than the first two tracks. However, that slower pace does not take any of the energy away from the music of the song. The energetic music and the emotional lyrics create a song that can only be described as a “power ballad”. The resulting track’s music and the powerful lyrics create a track that is very catchy and memorable; you’ll easily find yourself singing along with the lyrics before the end of the track.

On the next track on the release, “Why Do You Love Me,” the duo of Demir Demirkan and Sertab Erener remove the ballad part of the “Power Ballad” and create a song that finds the singer once again questioning her relationship. While “Hating You Loving Me” contains some beauty in the music of the track, the song “Why Do You Love Me” is a straight-out rocker. The track starts off with Sertab Erener singing about the use of words instead of using actions to show the love for someone. The energy in the music helps add power to the words of the singer who demands proof of her lover’s affection. What ends up being created is one of the least affectionate tracks but the track is still one of the strongest songs on the release.

Chicago Issue from Painted on Water comes to an end with the song “Despite Ourselves”. The vocals from Sertab Erener are matched with a quiet, easy keyboard sound that helps the track begin with an easy pace. Soon, however, the song takes on a sound and style that will immediately remind the listener of something that would have come from the band Evanescence. The Alternative Rock song proves that composer/guitarist/producer Demir Demirkan and vocalist Sertab Erener are very versatile as the final track of Chicago Issue sounds nothing like the rest of the release.

Chicago Issue from Painted on Water is a very strong five-song EP from two musicians of Turkish descent who now make their homes in Chicago. The EP changes sounds and styles throughout the five tracks and keeps the listener wanting more. If this is just a hint of what the duo can do, here’s to more.


Reviewer: Matheson Kamin
Rating: **** (four stars)

Click HERE for the music of Painted on Water.

What do you get when you combine rock, funk, classical and opera with a musician that was born in Italy but is now living in the United States? You get a musician who calls himself The Venetian.

After coming to the United States, The Venetian formed a music trio that goes by his nom de plume. The rest of the trio is composed of Luca Spanio on bass and Kevin Witucky on drums and percussion. It is this musical outfit that is currently promoting an album of music that combines the previously mentioned musical genres into one unique sound. This 2011 album from The Venetian is called I Wanna Tell You a Story.

I Wanna Tell You a Story is a very apropos title for this release as the album is one of those rare releases called a “rock opera” just like A Night at the Opera by Queen or Tommy by The Who. And like those releases (and the regular operas) that came before, I Wanna Tell You a Story is divided into acts, each telling a part of the story.

The album begins with the track called “Act 1”. Sung in Italian (like the rest of the tracks that introduce the other acts of the opera), The Venetian sings the words of the track in a very operatic style, which only adds to the “opera” part of this rock opera. The piano being played by The Venetian adds a lot of beauty to the track.

It is on the second track of the album that the rock part of the rock opera comes through. The rock music that is contained within the song “Goodbye”has a lot of British Invasion influence to it while also containing just the right amount of classical feel to it. The combination of all of the elements that went into creating the song makes for one fun track.

For the track “The Black Cat,” the band takes the British Invasion influence and adds some blues feel to it. The song starts off somewhat mellow, but once the song gets going, the band settles into a groove that makes the listener want to dance to the music.

On the song “Sometimes,” the band breaks out a little funk influence in the band’s rock music. And while it is not that big an influence, the funk part of the song gives “Sometimes” an interesting twist and sets it apart from the rest of the songs on the album.

“Dancing Angel” is the track that the most amount of things to like about: From the rock base with the sideshow organ to the beautiful female vocals and the driving force of the music, you will find the song growing on you. “Dancing Angel” is easily the best track from the I Wanna Tell You a Story release from The Venetian.

“My Sweet Italian Pie” is easily the hardest rockin’ song of all of the tracks on the album. The groove created by the three musicians in the band and the guitar solos from The Venetian on the song nearly set your music player on fire.

While the title track of the album comes very late in the release,“I Wanna Tell You a Story” is as good as any of the songs that make up the first half of the release. In fact, it is on this track that the band lets loose. Because of that, the track is one of the entertaining on the album.

Speaking of letting loose, the track “Soft Snow” is an instrumental track that really shows off the talents of the musicians in the trio.

One bit of warning: The Venetian comes from Italy; because of that, it is sometimes difficult to understand him because of his accent.

Don’t let that stop you, though. The I Wanna Tell You a Story album from The Venetian contains more than enough reasons to check it out as the writing and playing of the three musicians involved have blended together to create a release that just plain fun to listen to.

Click the link for the video to the song “Soft Snow