The debut LP from Connecticut native, MJ Ross, is an aural nebula of spacey sounds that nods to fabled film composers of past and present.
The crossover of classical and electronica has had a bit of a moment in recent years. Artists like Nils Fhram, Grand River, and Sebastian Mullaert are just a few found delicately intertwining the two genres to create sonic harmonies. From the first brush of the piano keys, these soundscapes have a way of building and consuming to induce eargasmic experiences that, more often than not, deserve repeat listens.
As the two genres provide infinite musical possibilities, every artist seems to have a distinct style and approach, often producing something unlike what we’ve heard before. That’s why it’s exciting when a new artist appears, emerging from the studio like a polar bear from hibernation but, instead, already carrying the fruits of their labor.
One of those new artists is MJ Ross. After being bunkered down in a 6-month studio session, the classical pianist delivers his debut album, ‘Dystopiac’. The 7-track LP is a journey through immersive worlds where melodic rhythms swoosh down, carrying you along a river of ambient sound waves. With many studio sessions turning into all-nighters, the artist has described the experience as ‘a labor of love,’ where he’d often lose himself in his synth-lead creations. But his 10,000 hours have paid off.
On, ‘Sky Drifter,’ an ambient wormhole is opened as hushed low-ends oscillate among gentle, spiraling synths. The track seems to ascend forever, never quite reaching a pinnacle, instead choosing to mesmerize and hold you under an audio spell. In a similar beatless fashion, ‘Last Transmission,’ is a cosmic, cinematic journey, which feels like it’s been taken from an unreleased Hans Zimmer soundtrack. It’s clear to see where MJ Ross finds his inspiration.
Those cinematic textures still come through on the more dancefloor-focused ‘Sanctum.’ This heady, shuffling number with wah-wah synth lines is primed for sunsets at Cafe Del Mar or for those transcendental moments on Pacha’s terrace. Across ‘Dystopiac’, it’s clear MJ Ross has found his own sound signature, one that seems to play with hypnotic structures, bending time and space between audio waves for an all-compassing listen, which will leave you reaching for repeat.
MJ Ross’s ‘Dystopiac’ will be out on September 30th, 2023. For more info click here.