The internet has changed a lot about the way albums are produced. Now that people stream music and singles and hits can be listened to without the context of an album at the click of a button, many albums are losing the art of ordering. That is, finding the balance between the big and the small. Luca Bash did not forgo the search for balance on his first release in two years. No, Keys of Mine is a journey through the joyous and the thoughtful, the fast and the slow. This is an album that unfolds like an experience.
Keys of Mine opens with the big, but melancholic, “Backstage”. The song is smooth, aided by the saxophone and the touches of the guitar, and introduces the album both thematically and atmospherically. The trademark groove is brought in on “Beyond the Screen”, and is followed by the gentle and late-night “Your Tomorrow”. There is something cathartic about the album as it progresses. From lounge-vibes and a classic delicateness (“The Sun’s Everlasting Smile”) to huge funk tracks (“Millennium Idiot”), there is no mood that goes forgotten.
Italian artist Luca Bash began as a violinist, though now rocks the guitar. With licks and solos that almost transcend the songs they belong to (“Beyond the Screen” and “Black Swan’s Walls” are examples), the guitar fights gloriously against the saxophone for top marks throughout the album. This battle is at the heart of the compositions, and the album is at its best when Bash gives in to mood: “Paradise Cafe” embraces a fun, upbeat pace with stand-out drums and acoustic texture, while “Women’s Way (Nu Shu)” brings something ominous to the table with backing vocals and a puncturing piano.
Never one to end on a small note, Keys of Mine ends in celebration, and after all the ups and downs this feels about right. “Upwind” uses quick acoustic picking and up-front vocals to create a mood, then allows the drums to explode the track into action. A saxophone solo is joined by the guitar for a final showdown — and we are left on a high note, ready to start all over again.