Free Moral Agents started as a collective of musicians brought together by Isaiah "Ikey" Owens (keyboardist from The Mars Volta) to expand the sounds of what originally started as a solo project. In the spring of 2006, the band solidified into a permanent line up and consists of members and started playing shows around Long Beach and Los Angeles.
Isiah "Ikey" Owens stated "There was a time, before I put the record out, that I wasn’t playing in Mars Volta anymore, and I had just bought a bunch of recording instruments. I’d always wanted to record my own record but never did, so [Free Moral Agents] really started with just me. I knew J, who was actually my girlfriend at the time’s brother-in-law, who did poetry and sang and stuff, so I got together with him. This is before the vinyl. I was working at this record store and started talking to my friend Jeff Harris, who it turns out, was really good with ProTools, so I added him to the group. He’s really a producer and doesn’t really play with us live, but he’s very much responsible for the sound of the record. I knew Mendee [Ichikawa] for several years, and we had worked on and off, but I knew we needed a female element to the group, so that’s basically what Free Moral Agents is right there. As far as the music goes, it started as my project, but these people who I know I can trust, really bring it together."
“Control This” is an album that was released in 2010 on Chocolate Industries and features the talents of Isaiah "Ikey" Owens - keyboards, producer, concepts, Mendee Ichikawa - vocals, echo, words, melodies, Dennis Owens - bass, falsetto, Ryan Reiff - drums, beats, Reid Kinnett - rhodes, effects and Jesse Carzello - guitar, noise
Most of the compositions on here are very tranquil...can't really label it but it's akin to jazz fusion, jazz funk, trip-hop. If you’re up for fairly long songs, this album might satisfy with the longest clocking in at 7:45.
Even though I enjoyed the album overall, the songs that really stuck out were the following.
At first listen, lead singer Mendee Ichikawa sounds like Bjork and the band sounds on this song sounds like Japanese band "TANK!" The first thing I thought of was that “This sounds like something you would find on the soundtrack for the anime Cowboy Bebop.” I wonder if they’re fans.
Dennis Owens and Ryan Reiff carry this song well. Honestly, you can pretty much loop their part and it wouldn’t get monotonous.
This is a very chill synthesizer and keyboard driven song. Reiff and everybody else take a back seat in this case.
Girls with Glasses Only Please
Distorted synths, random spoken word verse over a monotonous programmed beat. No, it's not considered rap though.
In closing, “Control This” is a good album for the prog/fusion set, the “Adult Swim” set or just anyone looking for something to listen to and chill to.
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