After nearly two decades of producing and performing music with Aspera, King God, Holland Boys, and contributing to various projects like Pink Skull and Sweatheart, Mike Robinson has made a name for himself in the Philadelphia music scene. His production experience has lead to creating musical content for multinational sporting brands, television pilots, and online projects. It is with this vast experience that Robinson’s most recent work, Less is Modern, is his best produced work to date.
The Less is Modern recording explores the power of repetition and textural nuances found within sound design and vocal production. Consciously minimal, four of its five songs utilize a two-chord structure with layers of earworm melodies and rich vocal harmonies that create an expansive listening experience. The sonic landscape of Less is Modern vacillates between powerfully sparse verses and gorgeously dynamic choruses, deriving much of its inspiration from the natural environments of the American southwest. Expansive desert and mountain regions in California and Arizona lay the conceptual foundation for a recording that is at once atmospherically vast and solidly approachable.
Robinson's musical strength is found in his vocal performance and production, a voice that captivates the listener with its confidence and strength. Through nearly two decades of singing and producing music, he has developed a distinct vocal styling that combines layers of brooding baritones and eerily-intimate falsettos.
Utilizing an impressive selection of synthesizers, Less is Modern is a moving work of art with a thoughtfully minimal aesthetic. Robinson's use of lush pads and arppegiated basslines undoubtedly references 1980's synthpop, but also creates a sonic vocabulary that reflects the spirituality found in nature. Matt Coogan co-produced/engineered Less is Modern and brought an attention to detail and impressive musical abilities, refining the raw form of the original songs into their polished state. Additions of synth chords and sound design, as well as live guitar and percussion, gave this recording the warmth Robinson envisioned.
Influences include: Brian Eno, Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Cocteau Twins
released January 1, 2015
All songs written by Mike Robinson
Produced by Robinson and Matt Coogan at Solus Studio between Dec 2013 - June 2014.
Rick Mitchell contributed part of the music bed for end of "Never Left My Heart"
Mastered by Mark Trewalla at Full Circle Mastering.
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