Formats: CD, MP3
Release date: November 4, 2014
Soulganic has continued to thrive and develop their “Funky Indie Soul” sound since we reviewed their 2007 debut album All Directions Forward. This soulful quartet based in Charlotte, North Carolina, isn’t afraid to experiment with different concepts, as is seen in their latest release Didactic Interstice: Equilibria Vol.1, which is “built upon the concept of space.” In the liner notes, Soulganic describes it as a process of learning about themselves and the universe in order to “discover and live with the various forms of our balance and harmony.”
This abstract idea translates well into Soulganic’s music, which is a mixture of many genres with a consistently tight center. The album flows from one song to the next, with many instrumental intros and breaks in between songs with vocals. The first track, “Spaces Between / In Time,” morphs beautifully into “We Will Rise,” which is one of the standout tracks on the album. It is soulful and uplifting and highlights Anthony Rodriguez’s superb voice. The music is easy going and is supplemented by additional vocals from Myra Ferrell:
Rodriguez’s voice continues to shine throughout the album in tracks like the stripped down “Wildlife” and passionate song “This Gift.” His voice has the range of Michael Jackson, and his falsetto never fails to impress. This is not to say that the music is merely background—the musicianship is just as impressive, and is done so well that every track feels effortless.
Though this album has an overall soulful tone, Soulganic takes their usual approach in trying their hand at a variety of genres. “On Again (Off Again)” has a country rock vibe that will leave you tapping your foot and the instrumental “Barbara Amarillo” has flavorful Latin instrumentation and rhythm. “Red Eye” is one minute of deeply soulful “oohs” reminiscent of African American work songs. This base rhythm continues into “Video,” a deeply soulful track that is full of sass and blues guitar.
Didactic Interstice: Equilibria Vol.1 proved to be as interesting as its title suggested, and showed the introspective side of Soulganic. One can only guess what gems and genres Volume 2 will provide.
Reviewed by Anna Polovick