The Tailsman is available at:
February 8th, 2016
VERY few artists come across that differ from the pack…
and present something genuinely new and fascinating. Of course, there are some terrific artists (past and bygone) that demand fond investigation and admiration. What I am talking about are those acts that go the extra mile and unveil music that sounds completely fresh and exciting. Before I come to Night Wolf- and the man behind the moniker- I wanted to look at Chill-out sounds and instrumentals; putting listeners into a song- and the key producers/collaborators emerging right now. Away from the heaviness of Rock and Alternative; through to the seductiveness and sedate Folk motifs: There are a great range of genres for every listener out there. Whatever your tastes and preferences you are pretty much sorted. I have had the privilege of reviewing so many different acts- covering most genres in modern music-and am always amazed when I happen upon something genuinely new and unexpected. Whether it is Jazz or Pop: If an artists does something new with the genre; it makes the listener experience that extra bit rich and rewarding. Chill-out/instrumental music is not often heralded and focused in the mainstream: It tends to be something that plays in the underground and not often uncovered. I am not sure why genres like Chill-out are not played and represented more across radio and music in general. From the ‘90s club classics to the ambient soundscapes that take your mind somewhere else- there is a wealth of magic to be found here. It does not have to be an instrumental track either: Adding a vocal to Chill-out/Electronic compositions can result in a wonderfully rich and evocative song. I feel there is still too much emphasis on the voice- and creating mood and texture- that compositions seem to be second-best and overlooked. Some of the best bands and artists are synonymous with their compositional innovation and talent. Too many listeners go for immediate impact and something familiar: They are overlooking sounds that have so much more nuance and longevity to them. Songs that leave the lyrics/vocals out- and compel you to imagine your own scenes and possibilities- have so much potential. If you have lyrics and vocals left in, you know what the song is about really- or have fewer outcomes to choose from. By setting-aside those dynamics; you can elicit far more and leave songs completely open to that individual. What I love about Chill-out- sounds that are dreamy and dig into the soul- are what they do to the mind and body. It is great being jolted and struck into life: Music that relaxes me and gets my mind working; that will always mean a lot more to me. Ryan Wilcox is the man behind Night Wolf and has always amazed me with his production and composition talents. From harder and more slicing cuts- that have dark undertones and bite- to something dreamier and more luscious: The man can pretty much do anything he sets his mind to. Before I continue on my point, let me introduce Night Wolf to you:
“I am a composer/producer/artist working with MusicJar (UK) + SumSerious Music LLC (USA) + Sky Rocket Records (Europe) + GungHo Music Group Ltd (China).
Started out in rock bands as a drummer, had classical piano training at the age of 7, gave up after grade 3 to concentrate on my own music. Alongside solo projects I work with my partner Centrist (Mike Ziegler) From Dekalb Il. We formed into Harmony’s Descent around 1 year ago.
Please stay a while and sit back and browse over some of my work, please leave feedback as its always welcome, I am always on the look out for new artists, accapellas and producers to collab with”.
Night Wolf is an artist I have been following for years now and always amazed by how stunning the music is. What is most impressive is how each song draws the listener in. It is not music that boasts egos and showboats at all. You get compositions that are for the listener and bring them into that experience. Wilcox writes tracks that are for the mind and soul: You cannot just listen to one of his tracks not take something away from it. Emotive and dramatic- romantic and symphonic- you get a range of genres and styles thrown into an exhilarating boiling pot. He is a producer that has attracted a great array of singers and collaborators. Keen to work with a promising up-and-coming musician: Names and artists have all been eager to share their talents with Night Wolf. I am stunned more artists have not come through and wanted to appear on Night Wolf material. Every time I hear a new composition (from Night Wolf) I think about the vocal possibilities and all the potential you can get from that track. Those amazing production values- the musical innovation and wonder- and you have limitless songs that demand stunning vocals and a passionate talent. Wilcox recently launched his Songs of Travel blog. This is a venture that sees our hero travelling Europe and writing a new song in every country he visits. Looking at the blog- the people and sites Wilcox visits- you have songs that reflect the country’s geography and multiplicitous joys. Away from Songs of Travel, Wilcox is writing music for films too. Uncle Sam Needs Money and Jester Hill are two new songs- both amazing and different- that showcase a rare talent with a big future ahead. From the E.P. days- and the development and evolution you get from each one- Night Wolf has new inspiration and ideas. The Tailsman is a track that will please existing fans and sure to bring new people in. I will be excited to see what is next from a producer that seems to have no limitations. Constantly inspired and in love with music: There is no telling just how far Night Wolf can go. I hope the social media numbers climb and more people discover one of our finest composers and musicians. I love discovering musicians that are anything but predictable and samey. Each time I come across a new Night Wolf composition, you get something new and genuinely fascinating. With so many new endeavours and plans under his belt: Who know just what this year will have in store? I can see an album arriving perhaps. Maybe Night Wolf will unleash something that goes back to his Moonlight E.P. (released in 2013) or a series of travelogues from his adventures. There is so much going on with him now- writing for film and looking for hook-ups- I would like to see an array of singers lending their talent to the music.
When looking at The Tailsman; one must look back and see how far Night Wolf has come. The new songs being out right now- there are several on SoundCloud- have a lot in common with previous offerings. With Night Wolf, you never get a total departure and about-face. The producer does not want to put off existing fans and constantly have to reinvent himself. Even from the earliest days, the songs had such depth and variation- hard to compare two songs to each other- and the evolutions and steps lie elsewhere. What you get now- from the earliest days perhaps- is that huge confidence and nuance. Night Wolf’s early cuts had plenty of passion to them, but if anything, the latest offerings showcase an artist with renewed direction and intention. Perhaps travel and time has led to this step-along and improvement. The Tailsman digs even deeper than songs across previous E.P.s and seem tighter and more focused. You get the same amount of joy and bliss but the music is more concentrated and disciplined. That said, the consistency- the songs will keep existing fans happy- is the most important aspect. Night Wolf never drops a step or produces weak songs- not one since the creation of his act- and right now you have a talent that can get even better and bigger. The fact Night Wolf is so in-demand- having his music featured across T.V. and film- can be attributed to this consistency and growth. Artists that leave big gaps between releases tend to lose a bit of edge and quality. Night Wolf has never really been out commission, and as such, keeps honing and developing his craft. The Tailsman finds the young artists in new form and finding inspiration once more. In the past I have known what various tracks are influenced by- whether political stress or social issues- but here things are less direct and more open. It is a song that has no set meaning- or not one I can see- that means every listener will have their own ideas and mindset. If anything, Wilcox is becoming more diverse with his compositions and finding fresh angles and influences. Traveling across Europe- part of his Songs of Travel adventures- that scope is wider and bolder. This rate of progression and curiosity is a positive sign that can lead to a wonderful E.P. or album. I know Night Wolf has enough material and new steps to fill an album- let’s see if that happens in 2016. What existing fans will find is the quality rising once more.
It has been a little while since I have reviewed a new Night Wolf song. Not knowing what to expect-if I would hear something that recalled the early days- it was fascinating sitting down with The Tailsman. The first notes see some rising strings/synths that have edginess and a haunt to them. Mixing intrigue and curiosity to them; bringing in some passion and romanticism to the fold- a song that gets inside the mind right away. Tense and taut beats come to the fray to create a building atmosphere that takes the song in another direction. The composition keeps building and you get a real sense of aesthetic and drama early in The Tailsman. In the early exchanges the focus is on beats and the way they tumble and work. Almost finger-clicked and tumbling: There is a stunning mix of pitter-patter and direct slams. Tumbling, swimming and dancing: It is hard to overlook the beauty and magic of those notes. As I have said before- in the introduction about depth and nuance- every listener will have their own ideas as to what the composition is trying to say. It is an instrumental track that will see thousands of different visions and storylines. It is quite rare to discover artists that create instrumental tracks that possess so much emotion and possibility. Most music has vocals and lyrics, so when faced with something that contains neither it gives you a chance to arrive at your own conclusions and decisions. Those slamming and cutting beats then start to fuse more with the electronics. Compelled and driven by that constant sound- the swooning and swaying electronics- you have a beat that jumps and moves with a restlessness and sense of purpose. My mind was imagining a shadowy man lurking in the dark of a huge city. The neon lights might be buzzing and there is a strange sensation in the air. Perhaps there is a mission or job to be done- here is a spy or government figure- and a definite target in mind. With nary another body on the streets; you get drawn into an adventure or mission that is sure to build in intensity and force. Listening to The Tailsman and it seems like a track ready-made for T.V. and film. It is a song- even in the earliest moments- that could score a tense drama like Luther. In that same spirit, I could see it soundtrack a big Hollywood scene or inside a low-budget Indie film. I get little flecks of past Night Wolf work, although to be honest, we have such a leap and new sound at work. Whilst existing fans will find a lot to recommend- it does not completely negate that solid core- you have so many new ideas and possibilities. There is a catchiness and addictiveness to the beats that get your head nodding and the feet tapping. Joining that exciting percussion are twitchy and spacey electronics that spark and elicit a quirkiness and odd charm. My early impressions- regarding spy-in-the-cold-danger- start to mutate and alter as the song progresses. There is romanticism and chill to the track that gets me thinking about love and something more relaxed. Reminding me of acts like Massive Attack- who could deftly fuse the dramatic with romantic- and here’s a song that keeps blossoming and providing fresh promise. Captivated by that insatiable beat- that seems to provide new story-line with each moment- the listener will have their own ideas as to what the song represents. Thinking about it, I get remembrances from dreams and something quite abstract. The Tailsman has that dreamy quality that takes you somewhere strange yet safe. The composition remains fairly accessible and light- previous Night Wolf numbers have been more carnivorous and attacking- and that sense of calm is always there. Part of me sees the song as a travelogue and glimpse inside a foreign land. There is that sense of movement and energy that got me thinking about passing landscape and new cities. That nervous energy and passion could be the representation of new discovery and foreign scenes. As I said, everyone will take something different away from the listening experience.
The Tailsman is a song that showcases new promise and ambition from one of the U.K.’s finest talents/producers. A vibrant, rich and atmospheric track here: We have a song that never allows the heart and mind to become involved and immerse themselves in a strange and beautiful number. It is also a song that could be given new life were a vocal to be attached. I know Wilcox is looking for artists to work with and it seems like The Tailsman would suit a female voice and soulful performance. It is a song that could fit some great lyrics and be backed by a committed and rich vocal turn. Whether that is the direction Night Wolf will take- or if it remains an instrumental track- what we have is a song with so many possibilities and potential. The production values and superb which allows all the notes and ideas to come out with clarity and naturalness. Having a few other new songs out there- I will give an overview below- it has been a creative and fertile period for the young producer. It has been a while since I have heard Night Wolf so excited and dedicated to the act of music-making. There is new passion and a lease of life that translates into The Tailsman. Here, we have a song that could fit into a variety of situations and places. It has the potential for radio play and will surely be picked up by stations that have championed Night Wolf previously. In addition, the track could find new followers and it will be exciting to see if it features on upcoming films and T.V. productions. Congratulations to Night Wolf on another step forward from an artist that becomes fascinating and promising by the year.
There are five new songs out there that Night Wolf is keen to share. Jester Hill has enraptured violins and echoed vocals that create an odd and trippy opening. Bonding with hard-hitting beats- it races and gets underway with intensity- you get drawn into the drama and emotion poured out. A dangerous and busy opening few seconds; the combination of elements- violin and beats together with vocals- then leads to something symphonic and driving. A sound collage that could easily score T.V. and film scenes a-plenty- no listener is immune to the drama and racing heartbeats that come out. The song mixes various different genres into the pot. There are Dance and Electro. elements joined by classic guitar- Flamenco and Salsa tangos inside the notes. Dancing piano and juttering strings give the song an edginess and anxiety; mixed with the grand passions and lust and the song gains new majesty and life with each passing moment.
World of Delusion has spoken vocals- with dancing pianos and strings- that gives a different angle to other songs. The addictive and mesmeric composition brings strings and piano together in a peculiar and powerful dance. Teasing and hissing beats provide energy and uncertainty around a mind that is besieged by contrasting thoughts and emotions. Differing percussionary notes- sounds of a tabla or bongo lurk underneath perhaps? – are interrupted by vocal snatches that have me wondering about the origins. While the compositions remains fairly grounded- repeating its ideas and consistent as it goes- it is those vocal passages that perhaps get the mind guessing. I am not sure who spoke them but you get various different snippets come out- “Your mind is what there is” for one- that ends with a very clear message: The necessity of remaining in a state of delusion.
Uncle Sam Needs Money is edgier and recalls past work of Night Wold. Vocal snippets- Uncle Sam needing money- reminds me of the work of The Avalanches. That experimental and cut-and-paste freewheelin’ sees the track constantly on edge and fascinating. It is a song that is breathless and is constantly pressing. The beats tumble and slam with intent whilst those jagged (and wordless) vocal snippets create an odd sound that gets inside the brain. You cannot escape the sense of suffocation that comes through through the track and the urgency that pervades. So many ideas and so much life is put into a song that doesn’t even top three minutes. It is a testament to the talent an ability of Night Wolf that Uncle Sam Needs Money seems like one of those epic tracks.
These new tracks show different sides to Night Wolf that unite the past and embrace the future. Continuing the ideals of political unrest and anger (Uncle Sam Needs Money) you get dreamy soundscape and entrancing music nestling together. I can see these tracks sit alongside one another on an E.P. and it will be exciting to see how they fuse with one another. It is clear there is a lot more potential and music inside Ryan Wilcox. If you have not heard the new music then make sure you do not overlook it- some of the finest sounds he has ever created, for sure.
Night Wolf is one of those acts that never seems to tire and pause for breath. In a music world that sees so many short-stay artists do their thing- play a few tracks/E.P.s and then fade away- it is encouraging to see a musician that gets better and bigger. It is not just the passion and energy that impresses me: That variation and evolution is stunning to hear. Having that potential and openness- not bound by particular genres and vocals- you get such rich and variegated sounds. Every new moment (from Night Wolf) takes you somewhere special and wonderful. Following the Songs of Travel blog- and the songs that represent each country Wilcox has visited- you imagine all sorts of scenes, streets and people. Vibing from the beauty and uniqueness of each country: You get an aural representation of every sight, sound and flavor from that nation. When listening to his E.P.s; I was amazed by the boundless invention and talent that was brought into every song. Whether inspired by financial woes and political issues- or problems in love and relationships- our hero always injects so much potential and passion into everything he does. The Tailsman is another side to a composer/producer that differs from early work- in terms of the sound and inspiration- but retains that distinct and Night Wolf-esaque reach. You have a composition that encourages the listener to immerse themselves inside the song and imagine what is unfolding. I am not sure what the exact origin behind the song is- I prefer to leave that to my imagination- but listened to it again and again. Every new play reveals hidden beauty and possibilities: A song that evokes a wealth of emotions and ideas. I have loved reviewing and discovering the past work from the Bedfordshire-based talent. Wilcox is one of those humans that does not like resting and allowing too much time to past. Influenced and motivated by everything around him- from different countries to news events- you are guaranteed to hear more Night Wolf work throughout 2016. With his film scores and work- there are examples being unveiled at the moment- I am sure we will get a new E.P. or album. What form that will take- maybe a series of numbers based around Songs of Travel or something that harks to past E.P.s- it will be interesting to see what direction Night Wolf takes. Before ending things here, I wanted to circle to the original points around Chill-out and immersive music; the great producers that are coming through right now.
It might be a bit narrow to call Night Wolf’s music ‘Chill-out’- there are so many genres he mixes into the music- but you certainly gets music that elicits emotion and a response. It is quite daring presenting music that is compositional and encourages the listener to think deeply. The modern scene has that fixation with great vocals and band music: Night Wolf seems like a renegade that is making music that balks trend and seems more credible for doing so. There are so few genuinely wonderful musicians emerging that separate themselves from the mainstream and go much deeper. What Night Wolf does- and has been doing for years now- is create soundscapes that have that chilled and ambience to them. You get emotions and passions coming through: There are energy and raw emotions that provoke all manner of thoughts and scenarios. The Tailsman is another insight into a fascinating talent with no limitations. The reason I have followed Night Wolf so closely is the originality and variation he provides. Each Night Wolf song takes you into the music and allows your mind to drift and imagine. I hear so few musicians that involve the listener and really provide that depth and detail. Night Wolf tracks have that colour and majesty in every moment. If you are looking for something that distances itself from the disposable nature of music- those artists you know will not stick around long- you need to get involved with Ryan Wilcox’s alter ego. He is one of the finest producers around and stands above his peers. There are some near-genius producers working across music- from the club D.J.s to those scoring films and T.V. – but Wilcox seems to have his own niche and sound. Having appeared on B.B.C. Three Counties several times; various artists lending their voices to the music: Just what can the rest of this year give to Night Wolf? Well, it is sure to be another busy and productive one from our hero. I hope those social media numbers get themselves rising- he deserves a lot more attention and supporters- and will be enthralled to see where this rare and special talent goes next. The Tailsman is on SoundCloud now and is joined by Jester Hill and Uncle Sam Needs Money. With each song title, you can probably arrive at your own conclusions. When you listen to the music- and let those compositions get inside the head- you might change your views or discover new potential. That is the mark of a truly great musician/producer: Someone who can keep surprising and prompting you to revisit the songs time and time again. Ensure you investigate The Tailsman and let its beauty and power get inside the mind. Once you do…
IT may never get away.
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