I like pancakes. I think animals are better than people. I write punk, new wave and electronic music on a Korg 16 track workstation sequencer and, recently, protools. I studied music production at Mesa Community College. I have been experimenting with sound collages lately. I am interested in urban mythology and paranormal subjects. I think most bands should be replaced with computers and robots.
Marvin Ferguson doesn’t chatter around as he tells it like it is in his self written artist description. Popular as his views might be, we recently received a mail suggesting a highly neglected album on his official bandcamp address. Why was this album not up in the charts? Why did people not find their way to it? Why was it most times left alone?
These mysteries had to be unraveled in a deep marketing research. In most cases it’s probably an error in promoting (or lack off) of the release. Or maybe promoting it at a time zone that everyone seems to be in a deep coma or out on their regular nap time. Corry Konings’ our unpaid intern said that she is a member of every experimental audio club on facebook, she did know ‘Marvin Ferguson’ the artist, but did indeed not know about the existence of this album. Her boyfriend (Klaas Vaak) pointed out that it could be the artwork. As her boyfriend doesn’t know anything about music or artwork, his remark was something to look into.
Marvin Ferguson’s artwork for ‘falling down’ is indeed intriguing. We see Marvin looking down on us with a face that rings bells of disgust as well as distrust. It’s a picture that perhaps scares some potential listeners away as not everyone likes to be trembled or urinated or spatted on. Not that Marvin Ferguson is doing that, but if it was a moving image it would have been quite possible.
Just imagine him giving you the ‘booth’ while he kicks you down in a hole were you would be falling down.. Hey, Falling Down!? It makes sense at least although if we fall, in normal circumstances we would like to drag the artist with us, just as a guide and a safety net of comfort. Now we face to fall down alone while a sarcastic face looks upon our upcoming doom.
But how is the music? Is the music on this album really that sadistic? Is it really a downward spiral in Marvin’s audio-land? Does Marvin hate us so much that he wants to push us over the edge? Was this album suggestion really just a facade to get rid of Yeah I Know It Sucks ones and for all? Only Marvin knows..
How could these thoughts be? Everyone in the experimental sound scene knows that Marvin Ferguson is one of the good guys. always approachable, well spoken and up to dive into new ways of creating music.
So just let him give us that kick down the bottom of the audio pit. Let’s just go for it and hear what happens! Falling deep in the underground might be a scary thought, but music wise the underground had never disappoint.
And there we got it! Falling in a completely unexpected form of music that comes as a great positive surprise! No doom and gloom, no sadistic torture or nightmare material, but almost 180 degrees the opposite! A fun baseline, teasing drums that go from a fine steady groove into flirtations that hail from a drum and base legacy. Marvin Ferguson sings on top and he does this in such a friendly manner that my flabbergasted ears are not only loving it, but also wanted to sing along! As we all know that ears are not really capable of singing along, I’d suggest using your mouth. Marvin Ferguson’s voice and singing technics are really warm and inviting with a punchy edge style. It doesn’t take long before the track does it’s magic and you’ll be happily to sing ‘I’ll climb out here some day’ along while dancing around in a rock n roll way!
Dead corp. is a dark title, but behind it the music is rather cute. Feeling fine entertainment that for some unknown reason makes me think of DEVO, although not sounding anything like it. But it has that feeling of being friendly while there is a more serious hidden message behind it. Who knows if that’s right? It’s here that Marvin’s love for robots shines through, not only with the retro feeling of lovely played melody but also how the words are sang, placed and pronounced. Personally I’m really digging it, it’s groovy and lose while rhythmically robo friendly. It also tends to stay in the head, which explains the feeling of wanting to play it on repeat as everyone loves teaming up music in the head with the real thing. good times!
And than an instant classic triggers more interest in the artist! It’s the very fun tune called ‘Ego’, which is a great song consisting great lyrics and really great music too. It’s like listening to an happy love child between the Doors and Tonetta but than so much better! This tune is so out there and one with reality that it’s simply a must hear! Don’t let the dark artwork fool you, take the jump cause the music is worth it!
Talking about taking the step to fall down into this release; the next tune is ‘falling down’ which takes indeed a darker approach, but even the drowned vibe of the music is strangely up enough by the vocal expressions that Marvin sings sincerely and meaningful.
Another instant personal favorite on this album is the song called ‘Fragile’. It goes for the electronic alternative pop approach with a baseline to die for and the right set off accentuating melodies to set the right mood for a emotional sounding Marvin Ferguson. I love how he molds seemingly happy sounds into a sad song for the heart broken.
The last track ‘summer’ is coming across as the artist had lift all his shields and shows even a deeper sincerity coming from his innersole. The music has an very early eighties feel to it with enough soft hiss to make it more authentic. It’s all stripped down while the keys of a piano is giving Marvin’s vocal expression more weight. This is intensive and real that there is no doubt in my mind that the artist has put his soul into his music. It leaves the ears and with this intensive emotional ending, the album has also come to an end.
‘Falling Down’ by Marvin Ferguson is not what you would expect when seeing the album artwork, although psychologic wise it could be just a frontal gate keeper to protect the sensitive and sincere soul of the musician from unwanted listeners, only exposing the true music of Marvin Ferguson to the ones that deserves to hear and be exposed to his honesty. To me this album stands out in just how personal something can be and how much actual great music could come out of it. A very unique album that you should definitely check out, maybe not for the artwork, but definitely for the actual music!