Local Review: mr.gizmoe– Semper Ad Meliora
Local Music Reviews
Semper Ad Meliora
mr.gizmoe = The Field + Balam Acab (Wander/Wonder)
Someone recently told me that EDM gives them a “heady headache.” Sure, I totally agree, but what can relieve this so-called headiness? What’s club music for people who don’t actually go clubbing? Are obnoxious raves the only way to fully absorb yourself in this so-called genre of electronic? Nada. An L.A. native, Zachary Alonzo, who goes by mr.gizmoe, gives us minimal electronic jams with peculiar, chill beats and an all-around vibrant soundscape, which I believe is an adequate solution for our exhausted, on-the-go brains.
The first song, “Begin,” feels simultaneously tranquil and distant, already transcending us into the LP’s atmospheric experience of sound. There’s a smooth transition to “Towards Better Times,” illustrating Alonzo’s versatile use of mixing and beat-making with a quick-paced tempo accompanied by hazy lyric samples. The following song, “Nothin’,” carries a strong hip-hop style that’s pretty striking—hell, let’s get Drake on this and have him start rapping and see where it can lead to. “Kept You From Being Lonely,” the body of the album, has a prolific tune that conveys, again, such contrasting emotions. Happy or sad? It’s complicated.
My personal favorite, “When You Come Around,” is dense to perfection and truly delivers the gist of Alonzo’s architectural talent of music making. Semper Ad Meliora is very much thought-out and poised from start to finish. And the last track, “Everything Ends,” has listeners pondering the relief of impermanence. Everything does, in fact, end. Whether it’s the loss of iPhone photos, a messy relationship or an unpredictable pandemic— all is constantly changing because nothing is timeless. As Alonzo himself states on his Bandcamp: “With each ending, we are presented with new opportunities, new beginnings. We would be remiss to not use them to grow, learn, feel, experience, and connect in more meaningful ways.”
With that, we might as well savor what we have in front of us for the time being. Semper Ad Meliora (which translates to “always toward better things”) is an LP everyone can enjoy due to its natural simplicity, diverse shades and whimsical tone. Give it a listen and ride the wave, my friends. –Kassidy Waddell