Who Needs Vocals? Vol. 1: A Review

DJ Phoenix on Stage Photo Courtesy of DJ Phoenix’s Website.

DJ Phoenix is set to unleash his 12th album on June 1, 2020.

It has been a little under 7 months since the release of “A Violent Affair” and DJ Phoenix isn’t disappointing listeners. This synth heavy, 80s inspired EP is sure to get the audience’s attention.

After receiving harsh criticism about the need for vocals, DJ Phoenix set out to prove the statement false. The 6 track EP features little to no vocals. “At most a couple vocal samples but that’s it. No one needs full blown vocals” says DJ Phoenix. “It’s definitely my favorite album I’ve made so far.”

And DJ Phoenix did just that. He has proven critics wrong, showing that good music does not and should not rely on vocals. “Who Needs Vocals? Vol. 1” relies on the emotional status of the listener to invoke feelings and meanings, instead of forcing them onto the listener through word construction.

“I worked on [the album] since late last year and wanted to release it in the spring/summer where it suits the mood of the album. You can sit around a fire pit, on a deck, chill out and put this album on and lose yourself in nostalgia.”

Highlights to the EP include:

  • Ritüel: I won’t even lie. I listened to this track 5 or 6 times before I listened to the rest of the EP. It definitely spoke to me. The ethereal beginning to the track instantly sets the mood for the rest of the album. There is a relaxed easiness to this track that made it an instant favorite.
  • Ready Player One: Once I got over my infatuation with Ritüel, I moved on to this track. Ready Player One builds from the diaphanous tone to a stronger melody. The movement of this track shows the concerted effort to build on the melody without the need for vocals to carry that bridge.
  • Kung Fury: After listening to this track, I can see why DJ Phoenix is incredibly proud of this track. The 80s influence is perhaps the strongest in this song. As you listen, you can almost picture an 80s protagonist in training for a big fight or life changing event.

Overall, DJ Phoenix proves that vocals are not a necessity to create music that transports a listener to a place of euphoria.

“I made this album to try and help people time travel back to a place where it wasn’t 2020. An album that you can sit and lose yourself in for 23 minutes and forget how terrible the current state of the world is.”

-DJ Phoenix

Track Listing:

  1. Ritüel
  2. Conventional Memory
  3. Ready Player One
  4. Nocturne
  5. Kung Fury
  6. A Fire in the Dark

Run Time: 22:47 Minutes

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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