New York, United States
Artichoke Pythagorum is the latest production from 'Tyler Karmen'. A psychedelic prog rock adventure about a village of vegetable gnomes. When their garden is attacked by Dirt Bugs, the gnome king sends a search party to find and bring back a strange artichoke on the outskirts of the forest. The artichoke is said to grant eternal life to those who eat it. Will you help the gnomes bring it back to their village for the solstice bacchanalia? Let's go and see what we can do!
ARTICHOKE PYTHAGORUM ALBUM REVIEW
This 13 track album opens literally with an 'introduction'. Giving us a taster of what's to come 'introduction' gives us choppy string synths with a mystical feel before lifting the track into a heavier feel through the use of electric guitar and bass. The track is really well mixed and the vocals are clear. Moving into the main body of the album, 'Stringbean' is an absolute vibe. Funky guitar riffs all the way through this production with a flicker of strums thrown in for good measure. This album is giving me the feeling that this artist would do well sending this album cartoons or a children's film soundtrack! I absolutely love the guitar all the way through this track. 'Gnome Village, Pt.1 King's Welcome' is just that. Those signature funk guitar riffs make another appearance alongside a more heavy metal style opening. This is a genius piece of work. I love the reference to the traditional Christmas Carol 'Hark now hear the angels sing'. I like the twist that it brings to the song with a specific relation to the theme of the song. - The King. Gnome Village, P.2 Pumpkin soup smacks us with magic from the start. This is a slow burn track that has all sorts of sauce to offer in its smooth mixture of soft rock and metal influenced guitar solos. The mix of cinematic synths with funk and metal is brilliant! Track 5 entitled 'Dirt Bugs' takes us into a native American space through the use of smooth windpipes, dramatic synths and a narrative from the gnomes themselves! 'The Artichoke' offers a folk fairytale full of plucked strings and a rhythmic piano in the background we hear this track develop to tell us a jolly story. An adventure is sold to us through this instrumental and a happy one at that. Middle Eastern inspired string arrangement also makes way into this production before offering those hints of metal through guitar riffs. This instrumental tells a whole tale in itself before we even hear any sign of vocals. A brief vocal chop hints that there is human life form somewhere to be seen on this path before ending with a brief conversation between the gnomes before progressing once more before the drop into a guitar riff of an ending that is accompanied by nothing but drums. Incredible. 'Vegetable Bandits' brings metal to the forefront of the album with its hardcore opening. We hear a different side to this artists' originality here through a new vocal style. 'Riddles of Zezop Mcgregor' opens with a Mediterranean meets folk feel to it through the arrangement of strings. Again, this is another incredibly experimental track that works in ways that you wouldn't be able to comprehend unless you listened to it for yourself. 'The Island' takes you on a water based journey in its opening bars. This is a smooth track with smooth and charming vocals. Track 10 entitled 'Wandering Woods' is captivating through tribal drum playing and sprinkles of magic disguised and synths. 'Flying Hippopotamus' offers the signature uplifting strings alongside a similar drum loop to the track before it. 'Bacchanalia' brings an action adventure in the form of guitar riffs and cinematic vocals. We conclude with 'conclusion' - a hint of Punjabi is found in this themed instrumentalisation that transitions into the signature sound of rock that is packed with guitar riffs once more. This project is a masterpiece of pure genius. There is nothing more to it than that. This is an album that is made for film. I have really enjoyed hearing this artist's originality. Stream below and make sure that you check out what Tyler Kamen has to say about his artistry in the interview below.
What would be your ultimate achievement for your latest single? Is there a particular vision that you had when putting the album together?
The goal with my latest album "Artichoke Pythagorum" was to push the boundaries of what I could do musically. I wanted to challenge myself to create intricate prog rock sections that fit within the context of the album's story. I also wanted to create a new trilogy to act as a vehicle for my next upcoming releases (similar to what I did in 2021 with The Spectacular Machine trilogy).
If you could define music in one short sentence (no cheating) what would you say?
Music is the purest artistic expression of the human soul that extends beyond the tangible.
When did you first realize that you had the potential to be an artist? Is there a memory that has stuck in your mind as the turning point for you?
A: I grew up with music (my parents owned and operated their recording facility in NYC called Kamen Entertainment Group Inc. since the early 80s) so I gravitated towards the idea of being an artist at a very young age. When I was 11, I remember a friend giving me a guitar magazine and that is the moment I think I truly decided I wanted to play guitar and become a musician.
How would you define your sound?
Eclectic, zany, psychedelic, spiritually awakening
Cubase, Protools, or neither?
This might be a tricky one but Studio vs Live - Which do you prefer and why?
I have always preferred studio albums (especially those based in the 60s/70s rock spirit). Creating an audio space in a stereo atmosphere is an art form in and of itself. I almost compare it to that of a physical piece of art like a painting or sculpture. While a Live album is capturing a performance of a group, it still doesn't capture the energy of actually being there. I feel like with a studio recording you can create more of an impact on the listener emotionally, spiritually, etc. Not to say that a Live recording doesn't have impact on a listener, as it surely does. I guess it really comes down to the individual's human and cosmic experience in relation to their bond with music.
How do you collaborate with vocalists and other artists?
I have worked on music with many incredible musicians. Currently, I have been working on the new TYDY EP (my band with my long-time friend Dylan Bressler) and we have been working remotely over Zoom through the pandemic. Whenever I have the chance, I love to work with people in-person either in one of our homes or at a practice space. My mother, Marina Kamen, who co-founded Kamen Entertainment group, Inc. with my father, also collaborates with me on projects, which has been a very special thing to share.
If you had the opportunity to work with one of your favorite musical artists, who would you most like to collaborate with and why?
Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, David Gilmore of Pink Floyd or Trey Anastasio of Phish. All three of these musicians are pioneers of rock music and created the foundation for my entire musical foundation.
What are your future plans? What can we look forward to for the rest of 2022?
A: I am currently working on a few albums to be released in 2022! My next solo record "The Tale of Moon Hollow and Other Ghost Stories" and the new TYDY EP "3D", as well as the next album in the "Artichoke Pythagorum" series (details to be announced). Also looking to start playing live again in NYC soon!
Where can we find the album? Links to socials and distribution handles
You can find "Artichoke Pythagorum" along with all of my other releases on all streaming platforms.
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/tyler-kamen/1196446917