The latest release from Peter “Peas” McEvilley, Filters, is a quirky collection of chilled out tracks. In a unique twist, Peas built each track based on samples from the work of Japanese synth music pioneer, Kitaro.
Peas got the idea for this CD while scoring a Japanese anime film, Ninja Scroll, with Kitaro. Peas decided to produce a CD that would incorporate samples from Kitaro’s music into new, beat-heavy, electronica tracks.
It’s an interesting concept, and Peas pulls it off without the music sounding like new age music with a disco beat. In fact, even hardcore Kitaro fans may have a hard time hearing a connection to the original Kitaro pieces, because Peas weaves the samples expertly into tracks in a wide range of styles, far from the originals. Listeners can just appreciate Filters as a fun collection of chilled-out tracks, and leave tracing the lineage of the samples to die-hard Kitaro fans.
The tracks on Filters cover a variety of styles, work together to create a well-paced collection of downtempo, chilled-out tracks. Peas starts the CD with Fences, a hypnotic track.that takes its time building from a gentle harp sample to a powerful vocal dance track. Looks Like Heaven is a samba-flavored dance track that seems full of blissful summer warmth.
Towards the middle of the CD, Peas builds things up with some tracks that are a little harder edged, without being jarring. On Certifiable, he seems to be channeling BT. The track features filtered vocals, glitchy break beats, and big synth bass lines. Never Stop The Music has more of a hip-hop feel, and contrasts a rap about, you guessed it, never stopping the music, with a catchy female vocal chorus.
Many Might Try and Get Ya has more of a funk feel. The vocal is sung in a male falsetto, and 70’s funk percussion percolates, chugga-chugga style, in the background. A little wah-wah guitar wouldn’t have hurt this track, which gets things moving but doesn’t quite catch fire.
Overall, the CD is an interesting colection of tracks that show of Peas’ skill as a remixer, arranger and songwriter. A few tracks on Filters feel like they never reach an emotional peak, and could have benefitted from more of an edge. As a result, the album will probably appeal more to fans of chilled-out electronica than to fans of harder, darker electronic music styles.
Peas’ new CD, Filters, is a varied set of tracks that take their inspiration from the work of synth music pioneer Kitaro. Kitaro fans may enjoy listening for quotes from the Japanese master’s classic tracks, but Peas’ work succeeds on its own merits, delivering well-crafted tracks in a variety of electronica styles.
- Shoes Under My Bed
- Looks Like Heaven
- Beat Break
- Love Stuck Haze
- Don’t Be Lonely
- Never Stop the Music
- Many Might Try and Get Ya
- Low Pass Dub
- Air, Oil