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London, United Kingdom

BIG IN BORNEO's latest EP entitled 'Sertraline' is one that caught my attention immediately from the title and artwork alone. So many of us suffer from mental health, in fact, one in three of us to be precise about the matter. I am no exception.

For those of you who have never heard of 'Sertraline', it also goes under the names of 'Zoloft' and 'Lustral'. It falls within a group of medications known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) that are used to treat conditions such as Depression, Anxiety Disorders and OCD. After many years of different doses and different drugs I now myself have been stable on Sertraline for the last few years. "BIG IN BORNEO" shares a similar story.

"At the start of this year, I began suffering with anxiety and felt a total lack of creativity as a result. After seeking help and getting a prescription for Sertraline, I felt inspired again and started making music. This EP is named for the drug that helped me come out the other side. I hope it takes you on an uplifting journey :)" - BIG IN BORNEO

Big in Borneo AKA Michael Pybus is a multitalented artist who used to play drums and alto sax but also enjoys his discovery of producing music electronically. Big In Borneo aims to make evocative, emotional electronic music, that takes listeners on a journey through his sound where he implements samples with what he calls a "human touch" connecting those far and wide to his music.

'Sertraline' was created from start to release in what the artist describes as a "little living room studio in Crouch End". 3 tracks, one main bond, 'Sertraline' provides a consistent theme to the project whilst educating listeners, acting as a relatable driving force between them as well as a therapy to the artist himself. Let's not forget, music is also entertainment and this EP contains one hell of a performance.

Track 1 entitled 'Your Kiss' addresses the theme of temptation, the good and the bad. I absolutely loved this track from the moment I hit play. The way that the instrumentation weaves in and out of the mix in a variety of velocities makes for a truly cinematic experience, especially when combined with the mixing of vocal chops. One thing that stood out to me the most whilst listening to the piece is the way that certain sound samples such as the beeping hospital sounds and the crackling of the fire sounds have been embedded into the piece. What do they mean? Could they mean death and rebirth? The kiss of life maybe? I'm unsure for certain but I love the ambiguity of the piece! Have a listen for yourselves and let me know what ideas you come up with.

Track 2 entitled 'How it Feels' is a song that samples children in Belfast, in 1967 as they talk about their feelings. During this time it wasn't the norm to be so open, in fact, it's only in modern times that it has even begun to be encouraged. Talking about your feelings isn't a weakness, weakness lies in its denial. 'How it Feels' is such a moving piece and a brave move from Big In Borneo. I have the strongest respect for the way that this song has been put together and the issues that have been raised here. It isn't an easy thing to do but the artist has done it with integrity and class.

Now, the third and final piece of this amazing project marks the title track 'Sertraline' and it really is a whole uplifting end to a moving journey. The piece begins with a garage-style opening that will get listeners bopping! I felt as though this piece resembled something very personal to me - the transition between complete mental paralysis and the joy and freedom that I enjoy after my cycles of depression and anxiety. This song to me represents the liberation that I too felt when Sertraline began to work for me when everything turns from monochrome to the blossom and growth of creativity and joy.

The key message to take away from this project can be summed up in one short sentence:

Never be scared to ask for help, and don't be scared to open up. That's what I want people to take from this EP - BIG IN BORNEO

I felt complete joy and understanding as a result of this project and had no doubt about it making its way into our Ones2Watch!


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