“…abstract and ordered. Frayed and focused. Anxious and soothing.”
“…a trip across infinite thoughts and emotions…”
These are just some of the words we used to describe the music of former punk-rocker and Rochester, New York-based electronic artist and producer, Jeffrey Hull, on his previous album, Silent Old Man, just one of many albums he’s self-produced under one of his several monikers, Mad Hugs.
An inspired artist at heart, the true sign of this inspiration is his drive to work, to create, to constantly and perpetually push new and original music out into the universe—one album at a time—and all done so from his home studio in New York.
His latest album is the trippy and serene sonic journey known as, Illuminated Shadow.
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
Trip-hop abounds as laser synth tones and ambient melodies drift through the set in the album opener, Temple. If you close your eyes it almost feels like a midnight stroll through a moonlit marshy meadow; lightning bugs fluttering about while spring peepers offer song. It’s a super cool opening track.
With Blade Runner-like overtones, Quick Sand Paper, feels link something mechanical and cinematic, a deep-dive into some video-game parallel reality.
OUR FAVORITE TRACK… With hints of Moby subtly present, Blind Closed was almost instantly our favorite track. The soothing ambient sound waves create an etheric and otherworldly vibe. There is a world-style percussion thing happening as well. It all culminates to form something very unique and worthy of a larger audience.
Depression is anything but. A subtle free-for-all percussion track backdrops an enthusiastic layering of several smooth and ambient synth tones—which by now are clearly a running theme for the project. Depression is an encouraging track.
Rainbow Evaporating is thematically right in line with its predecessors, and almost feels like Nuta Cookier meets Chariots Of Fire. Again, expansive and abstract synth tones are given form by the frenetic-though-subtle percussion, creating an entertaining contrast.
Concluding this very enjoyable album is, Honesty. An aptly-named finish to an album which shows explorative growth. There are some delicate, razor-style synth tones fluttering about, panning everywhere, dancing around the set—which make this track our second favorite. It’s got a peaceful, calming vibe, sending listeners on their way in a good place.
Wide open. Expansive. New ground in undiscovered country. A vibrant collection of sounds. Mad Hugs’ (a.k.a., Jeffrey Hull) latest album, Illuminated Shadow, shows a new, enlightened musical direction for the artist. Using a recently paid-off new keyboard on the entire album, Hull gravitated to soft, celestial tones which cascade, fold, overlap, and expand throughout the entire 10-track collection. Percussive tones are held back and subtle, which lends more weight to the synth experience, creating a relaxing and inspiring melodic theme throughout. This, we feel, is his best work thus far. Check out Illuminated Shadow below.
Nuta Cookier meets Moby…
BELOW: Listen to Mad Hugs’ album, Illuminated Shadow, and connect with his website and social media platforms. Please support Mad Hugs by visiting him online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing his music! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!