Jonathan C. Meier: “Trial & Error” – a dangerously brilliant album!

Jonathan C. Meier grew up in a musical family in Switzerland, near the city of Saint Gallen. Fascinated by the correlation between image and sound he began composing to pictures at the age of 18. His first ever written symphony for a full orchestra, an opus called Die fünf Tageszeiten, was performed at the city’s main concert hall under the musical direction of Robert Jud. Following his passion for film and media, Meier decided to study multimedia production at the HTW Chur.

jonathan-c-meier-350After a year of studying multimedia production he decided to fully focus on enhancing his composition skills, quitting his studies at HTW in order to enroll in a scoring course with Berklee College of Music, which he passed with top marks. After having spent a couple of months in LA, studying the music industry, Meier moved to Berlin, setting up a studio and producing his debut album Trial & Error, which combines electronic pop with orchestral sounds.

There are some projects that you just know are dangerously brilliant in the best way possible, usually composed at those out of the way places in secret. And they just jolt you regardless if they are electronic, electric or organic, if they are complexly instrumental or beautifully sung, if they are cinematic, classical or pop, and even if the musical build-up is slow, full of meticulous method and precision, or fast-paced, energetic and rhythmic. Now what if you had all those things in one single album? Well it would just confirm that you own a copy of Jonathan C. Meier’s 12-track “Trial & Error” album.

Both the artist and his music seemingly came out of nowhere for me, and this musical creation reads almost like an epic novel within the fast-paced vignettes usually found in the mainstream electronic music industry.  This album is simply awesome in its composition, arrangements and performance; and it is such from the very first stunning opening track, “Beethoven No. 5 Allegro Con Brio (JCM – Remix)”, a piece of music that just about everyone knows, and smartly transcribed and translated to the electronic idiom.

This is where you encounter the courage of an artist to put his creative ability to the test on a well-known composition. And when to arrive at the second track, “Listen What Your Mama Says”, you realize that that Meier’s courage becomes totally audacious, as he bluntly switches style into a funky and soulful tune that will resonate with a wide-ranging audience.

It’s a curious thing about the music genre of electronica: how quickly that which sounds new and fresh becomes old and stale and virtually unlistenable. That doesn’t happen here, because to be honest, the word ‘electronica’ never once entered into my psyche listening to this album. It’s as if Jonathan C. Meier has taken his sound over and above genre descriptions.

Each track sets its mood perfectly and you will find constant pop bounce and a funky feel many songs. There are crescendos and crazy build-ups galore, smoothly interacting with each other – typically roping those jaw-dropping elements that accompany electronic, pop and classical music alike.

At times challenging and boundary pushing, at at others just sublimely soul and pop catchy, Meier weaves a web of intriguing beats that simply pleases the ear. There are harder, pushing rhythms and layering melodies over each other with technical precision and superbly delivered vocals.

The diverse track selection includes standouts such as “Unbelievable Secrets”, “Time To Move On”, “Home”, “High Body Voltage”, and “Mad”, but the sonic choices truly varied and you will find your own favorites. Suffice it to say, that Jonathan C. Meier is a one of kind artist, who leaves no stone unturned in his musical productions!


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Rick Jamm

Journalist, publicist and indie music producer with a fervent passion for electric guitars and mixing desks !

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