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In The Spotlight: Aligning Minds

In a room filled with quixotic sounds and elated beats, we may find ourselves listening to Aligning Minds.  The Washington, DC based duo (Michael Folk and Daniel Merrill) is bringing a second breath to electronic music, which at times becomes suffocated by its prosaic patterns and routine links.  Aligning Minds carries with them a fresh style that is both technically sound and aesthetically pleasing.  It’s not always easy to find music that combines the two, yet both producers find their niche within each tone.  Their unified sound is something deep that more than scratches the surface of everyone’s inner journey and ignites a flame to the potential we have as mankind.

Within the first month of 2010, Aligning Minds has already released a new track titled, Swollen Sovereign, on Aleph Zero Records’ compilation Digital Singles Vol. 2 .  Swollen Sovereign is somber in mood, but carries itself with subtle moments of euphoria.  The vocals (by Kristin Callahan) are laid out comfortably, while forming a soft glue that binds the song into fluidity.  The overall composition is the epitome of the fascinating work coming from Michael and Daniel, while leaving us intrigued by what they have in store for their next endeavors.

Anyone who has been following Aligning Minds the past few years, shouldn’t find their new work too surprising.  Although Swollen Sovereign seems fresh, it’s common for them to bend the rules and create a fusion of something you’ve never heard before.  They have been playing primarily in the Washington, DC area, but have been gaining a following across the country.  It goes to show that people enjoy what can be perceived as familiar and different in the same motion.  The combination of genres provides a guiding point and comfort level, yet they create a new wave of possibilities that people are becoming attracted to.

In a recent interview with FWD Entertainment, Michael and Daniel explain the inspiration and motives behind their music:

You guys have a very newish take on dance floor idm that seems to capture some of the better classic elements of this genre while still pushing the scene fwd. Tell us about the inspirations and concepts around your themes and productions.

Well, it’s never been a totally intentional decision to push the idm sound; it seems to just crop up naturally in our work. We have both definitely taken strong influence from alot of great classic idm, but we never sat down and said “how can we emulate this technique or sound and incorporate it into what we do?” It happened naturally, because we’ve both always been attracted to intricate sounds that are layered with strong themes, ear candy/experimentation that sort of dances around a more pronounced beat or melody- creating lots of detail. We try and write alot of diverse stuff, experimenting with structure, tempo, and different forms of energy as much as possible. Some of it is dancey, some of it is more head music- but we try and bring both elements to the table and create a balance.  If you subscribe to astrology at all, we’re both Libras and have a very inherent sense of balance in most things that we do.  Its more about creating a very defined vibe with enough detail to keep the listener continually interested, rather than emulating the sounds of idm. Which, I think, was the original desire of early idm artists, before it became the genre definition they intended on defying. I think there’s always been a general separation in electronic music between dancefloor music and “armchair” music. I’ve never seen why they can’t have a more symbiotic relationship; each brings its own value to the equation.

To read the rest of the interview, click here .

Michael Folk and Daniel Merrill have been staying busy as of late.  The past year they have played sets at last year’s Burning Man Festival and other tour stops across the country, along with their continued relentless work in the studio.  Here in the new year, Aligning Minds will be showcased at the FWD Festival, Winter Solstice Celebration (with Allyson and Alex Grey), and Evolver presents Give It Up!.

To learn more about Aligning Minds, visit them at:

Aligning Minds – Reality Tunnels Mix

by murmur DC

Photos courtesy of Graham Meyer

Posted by admin   @   23 January 2010
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