Cats Park is a Saint Petersburg-based music band founded in 2010. The band’s music is not strictly tied to any specific genre. The style that the band mostly works in can be characterized as “trip rock”. However, an attentive listener will spot indie, ethereal and many other stylistic facets in the mix.
The Cats Park story began in spring of 2010, when a bass guitarist Alexey Andreev met Faijee, a jazz vocalist. Both Alex and Faijee felt too restricted by the framework of genre standards and stereotypes they had previously worked with in abundance. They wanted to create and experiment freely.
Studio work began almost immediately. Alex wrote the music, made arrangements and recorded the majority of the material’s music content. Faijee wrote the lyrics and created melodic lines. Session musicians were also engaged. The recording was made in best Saint Petersburg studios. A young talented sound engineer Roman Urazov was engaged to work on the material. Together with Alexey Andreev he also co-produced the record.
The recorded tracks were sent to Abbey Road, where they were mastered based on the Cats Park suggestions by Christian Wright, whose track record includes work with Muse, Keane and Franz Ferdinand, as well as other bands. The recorded material formed the basis for the debut EP “Face the Future,” released in April 2012.
[wp_bannerize group=”inside468x60″ random=”1″]
The thing with “Face The Future,” is there are so many levels of sound that every time you listen to it, you hear something new. That in itself is a wonder, but the vocals are simply gorgeous, the beats are hypnotic and bone conductive. With this album, it’s all in the sound, which just wraps you up and takes you away. Cats Park is a an eclectic mix of genres: jazz, pop, folk, rock and electronica. They take what they need from each and create their own, unique sound. One of the best things about this album is the unique style of each cut: different vocals, different styles, totally different sounds, but all penetratingly deep.
“Face The Future” captures the spark of creativity and genre fusion that first thrust Trip Hop onto the world stage, with the added fact their sound is harder and more confrontational than pure Trip Hop. More than much-touted releases from Portishead, Goldie or Massive Attack, Cats Park will open your ears to the breathtaking possibilities of contemporary music and production techniques. It’s definitely one of the most vividly realized indie albums I’ve ever heard recently, from any genre of music.
At the same time, it’s drastically different than the laid-back and eclectic, Massive Attack. Cats Park compositions are dense, lugubrious tunes, perfect for cruising aimlessly through the night and feeling cool. This is also great headphone music. I’d say it’s almost essential that one listens to this Ep through high quality phones, at least once, just to catch all the subtleties. The five songs that make up this Ep, are a hypnotic series that will draw you into this album entirely.
“Your Love Is a Sin” has especially entrancing, beautiful vocals from Faijee. “Brand New Day” recalls the hypnotic electric guitar motif so successfully used by Radiohead. While my absolute favourite track, “Face The Future,” is tinged with jazzy melodic voicings.
This is the kind of album you could listen to while laying on your bed in the pitch dark with your eyes closed, just letting the sounds unfold and seep into your brain. The beats are deep and penetrating, the bass pounds languidly, while the guitars reverberate like wave motions through water. At once near, then a million miles away. Echoing all around you before drawing closer, then disappearing again. While all the time the sound expands, then contracts, closing in on itself until it finally crumbles under the weight of it’s own heaviness.
I imagine this album mixed and mastered in Surround Sound for the ultimate aural experience. It’s an absolute treasure for anyone wanting an interesting and extremely inventive album to listen to all the way through.
Members/Instruments: Alex Andreev – bass, keys, guitar, Faijee – Vocal, Roman Shatohin – guitar, Alexander Alexeev – keys, Alexey Menshikov – drums
Production: Alex Andreev
[wp_bannerize group=”Lfooter468x60″ random=”1″]