Norway-based multi-instrumentalist Stian Høyberg pulls together an eclectic blend of electronica and jazz infused blues under his stage name Analog Monoxide.
Høyberg has been under a constant flux of creativity since his youth. He has been arduously studying music, playing every instrument he could get his hands on and taking music classes whenever he could. Computers paved the way for him to begin expanding into the realm of electronica. This stage in the process helped evolve his songwriting method, becoming an integral part in his unique writing ability.
His upcoming release, Songs For The Road, is a diverse record filled to the core with Jazz improvisation, funk, experimental electronica and the good ole blues. Largely a personal and emotional piece of work, Analog Monoxide’s diversified style proves he is unwilling to be pigeonholed into just one genre of music.
The release opens up with “Pequeno Samba” a brooding piece of work filled with a requisite jazzy flavor and Latin music. The balance of sounds filled to the brim with pure instrumentals provide a dance-worthy vibe. Catchy and groovy with a festive feel, the clanging and charged beats mixed in with the samba rhythms create an energetic atmosphere.
Hear Playing Tag
The following track, “Playing Tag,” is ambient in nature. The spinning technological fare with its slightly eccentric jazzy flair is backed with syncopated beats and a very catchy staccato outcome. A bit of dialog runs through the song in a robotic, warbling voice. The electronic effects and the synths provide for a more modernized sound. The synthesized component also helps to develop a Contemporary Radio feel.
On “Is There A Doctor In The House,” the interlays of keys is smart and engaging. The bluesy and groovy fast tune makes for light-hearted fare with a funk twist. The electric track also has a dance/disco vibe to it.
“Life Is Music” elicits a spiralling effect with the instrumentals and really seems to jam well in a cohesive manner on this song. The vocals has a jazzy and bluesy flair. As Høyberg sings the blues, this will stimulate audiences as the good vibrations with sizzling guitar solos make for an effective and simmering sound.
On “Close To Flying,” the emotional tilt to the track will electrify your speakers and make you feel alive. The soaring sound coming in part from the mechanical undertones and the ambient feel will course through you and make you partial to the song.
On “Words For The Road,” the vocals, which starts off right off the bat toward the beginning of the track, gives off a urgent and pressing feel. Listeners will drown in the strong vibrations of the vocals. The lyrics, which are melancholy, are about saying your last good-byes as you set off on your departures. Filled with sorrow, the lyrics say something about our humanity as the vocals mourn this parting.
“He, She, It” follows a piano melody that airs right off from the beginning of the track to the support of an electronic backbeat. The crystalline and clear sound makes for an effective sort of edgy kind of pop/rock. The sophisticated sound carries through with a melodic and slow, moving beat. The soothing piano music is highly atmospheric and dynamic.
“I Would Do It Again” is fueled with a charged sound. The bluesy cadence and honest lyrics produce a bewitching production. The somber, gripping bluesy rhythms create a daunting soundscape. With a gritty feel, the electronic beats dispels a world-weary cadence of what is otherworldly fare.
With the fuzzy keyboards on “Indigo,” the fresh pop sound is ingrained with bits of auto-tunes reworked into the vocals. Blips and flares of computer-based technology creates a robotic sound to the track. Intense fractures and fissures, which is embodied in skips within the music, enriches the staccato-based beats. This is emotional terrain that Hoyberg riffs across.
The deft musicianship from the guitar on “Walk The Walk” is interlaced with a rock paved sound. There is a resonating appeal coming from the electric guitar. The air-tight sounds from the drums also helps in making this classic rock track gritty and rich with hints of blues mixed into this energetic vibe.
On “With You,” the jazzy sound and rich vibe blends in startling vocals to make for loud and invigorating music. The energized vocals and steady backbeat also projects a strong and energetic rock sound. Elements of soul and blues could be detected on this electro track with washes of rock ‘n’ roll mixed into the jazz and blues fervor.
“Comfort Zone” denotes with the keyboards kicking off in the start of this track. The electronic overtures support the drumming backbeat. The steady sound courses over you with textural vibrancy from the colorful vocals. The bluesy connotations running beneath the gamut of this song is unwavering. Burning with a blistering passion, the song flares with its bluesy notes.
The last track to this eclectic album, “Gilded Cage” paints a picture with its vocals of an overcast and dreary landscape. Influences of metal could be detected in this dark rock song. The cagey sound is cringe-worthy and is a departure from Høyberg’s jazz and blues infused improvisations.
Høyberg looks forward to bringing you his take on the personal and emotional stories from certain human events. As a one-man-band, Høyberg’s concise renderings are precise measurements. The intricate layers of instrumentals and overtures of technological sound is just the right amount of atmosphere and emotional tilt. Embryotic to his musical upbringing, Høyberg single-handedly approaches the instruments on Songs For The Road. Høyberg alone provides for the keyboards, guitars, drums, drum machines, synths and vocals on the record.
These genre-bending collection of songs are chilling renditions of electronic music with influences of jazz and blues done right. Songs For The Road is Analog Monoxide’s second album and is out now! 8/10