Kenji Williams, Epic

Robert Phoenix

By Robert Phoenix

on 04.22.11 in Reviews


Kenji Williams

If one could assign the attributes of a baseball player to an artist, Kenji Williams would be what they call a five-tool-player. The classically trained violinist and electronic music producer is also a filmmaker and visual artist who's recently collaborated with Alex Grey, creator of the ecstatic series of visionary views into the body electric on the award-winning Worldspirit DVD that combines Williams'music and filmmaking with Grey's uber-psychedelic art.

Intelligent dance music — slightly chilled.

It's his first full-length release, Epic that forged his musical identity as a producer, though, fusing gentle grooves and warm electronic beats amidst the wash of nature sounds like lapping water and gently blowing breezes. Epic also has a lite-dub feel to it, lending it a semi-danceable sensibility, even though the BPMs never outpace the heart on any one track. If there were any sort of comparisons to make with Williams 'output on Epic it would be with Kruder/Dorfmeister as a creator of intelligent dance music, slightly chilled.

On the deliriously dubby “Houseboats,” Williams reacquainted himself with his old friend, the violin, as strains of its classical sounds lap in and out of the undulating rhythms. The violin would play a large role in his next incarnation as a member of the trance dance outfit Medicine Drum, where he would perform side-by-side with his former partner, the exotic Russian siren Irina Mikhailova, who also sings, quite beautifully at that, on Epic.