Open The Gate: When Music Pays For
Submitting a compact disc to the general public is a way of recognizing a work done, over a period of time. It is also a way of exposing one’s vision of the world, sharing one’s own tastes and aesthetic bias. It is among other things and above all a quest for posterity. However, producers of tangible and intangible cultural goods, closed in their creative universes, do not always realize that to expose is to expose oneself.
Open The Gate, the latest compact disc of Alix Julien features thirteen tracks; Unaware, Time Machine, Open The Gate, Anba Dada Yo, Boom, Lovana, Samba Badou, Peasant Declaration, Pawòl Polo A, Truth, Or Pati, Brigitte Bardot and Brigitte Bardot (remix).
The work is presented in a six-page black cardboard pocket. Cinthia Diaz, the guest artist, Alix Julien and her guitar pose for the front cover. The original songs or songs are written or selected by Alix Julien. The entire work is arranged by Alix Julien, Chico Boyer, Christopher Fletcher and Rousseau Telfort. The disc compact is recorded in 2016 at Kamoken Studio by Chico Boyer and in other studios of Brooklyn.by the a
It is usual to congratulate Alix and the accompanying team for taking this initiative, in the current, rather expensive, time to produce a compact disc, with an author’s account. Reporting to the author is no small matter.
The artist must create the melodies, write the texts (if he is a lyricist) or solicit them from someone else if he knows his limits. Then he must make the arrangements or failing adequate skills contact an arranger. It is only at this precise moment that he contacts a recording studio, recruits musicians to produce the work. So much investment, for a product that often will live only the space of a flickering. This incites all music critics to take into account the pluralistic sum of effort required to create and produce a compact disc.
The first three tracks of the disc (Unaware, Time Machine and Open The Gate, borne by Cinthia’s voice, seem to augur a new era in Alix Julien’s musical career, if we stick to what he has done so far.
These songs are sufficiently ventilated, to deliver a strong emotion, in a density that invites the listener to listen a second time (Unaware). Arrangements do not betray the thick overpowering voice that attempts, not without difficulty and in vain, to express enthusiasm and freshness that could have contributed to the song success.aaaaa…….o e
Without pretense or grandiloquence the voice of Cinthia surges on chords, often perfect, supporting melodies, carrying words that suggest ideas, according to an order previously defined by the author. The listener, amazed and captivated by this assumed talent, is ready to erase, at times, the poverty of the verb, in order not to spoil the pleasure exposed by the tight overall rendering.
Slipping from one note to another, the singer aligns a succession of sonic flakes laden with beauty and youth, without taking into account the entanglement of the figures (phrasing) and the fathoms produced by the k-board, which creates a sensation of redundancy in the layer This pushes the voice within its limits, reducing its functional abilities. Nevertheless, it avoids drifting beyond the limits, whereas the tonal envelope is not made to measure (Open The Gate).
Chico Boyer’s (bass) remarkable key is easily recognized on tracks 2, 4 and 7. Other musicians such as Serge Décius, Fito Vivien, Arei, Ashira Love and Ronsard Robillard also took part in the recording.
The first three songs would be enough. But for generosity, the author could have invited other equally compelling voices like Ronald Kalil to gather around Cinthia, for greater success.
As soon as he approaches the fourth track, the listener seems to be scammed/betrayed. He has the feeling of sliding into an an-harmonic imbroglio where the voice (as the main instrument) seems to find no place. It destabilizes the entire architectural structure at each intervention. Medium attack, poor breathing, porosity, previous warm-up none, slippage of a coma the other frequent, voice badly posed, chest and head, finally all the indices denouncing the defects of a music lover who does not have the mastery of his voice. The melody carried by the voice attacks the chords as an alteration, unresolved, in a range where there would be none. And, ridiculously ridiculous, the artist betrayed the original scope of Open The Gate by choosing to mimic an apprentice wizard of the Haitian showbiz.
For the success of the compact disc Open The Gate, it would be better that Alix Julian remained in his role of accompanying guitarist. This would have combined to bring this compact disc to a dimension never reached by the latter. By accepting to make this little ‘sacrifice’, he would have consolidated himself in his role as composer, lyricist and/or even arranger. Why not ?
But he wanted to expose himself in the skin of the main singer, that he is not. Thus, it becomes fragile and at the same time, the whole of the work. He chooses to further promote his self-esteem. It is in this sense a decisive moment in the artist’s career. So many reasons for a place for Open The Gate in your collection of CDs.
I look forward to the next compact disk of an Alix Julien grown and improved by the judicious advice of his fans and friends.