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Alt Ego is a new direction for cousins Callen Petersen and Jody Abel. They have pivoted from their Acoustic Element days to create a new project that, while still leaning on familiar elements, introduces large-scale production. Their first album is self-titled, making its way through various forms of electronic and dance music.
The album starts with a surprising modern spin on an iconic piece of music. ‘They Call Me Crazy’ takes the melody of ‘Habanera’ from Carmen, played on strings, over a hip hop beat while Lakota Silva gives a seductive vocal performance to top it off.
It’s only halfway through second track ‘The Sound’ that the album introduces a significant amount of synthesizer to the mix. It features another established name, Mathew Gold, who seizes the opportunity to deliver a masterful performance – he proves himself capable of husky lows and glassy highs with equal ability. While there are more electronic elements here, there’s still a sense of balance ensuring that no one aspect overpowers the rest.
One of the standouts tracks has to be ‘Take What You Want’, which features rapid-fire vocals matched to lengthy sub-bass choruses. Jade Hubner and Desmond John work well together both in terms of their roles in the narrative and their technique. The final touch here is a wound-down acoustic-centric bridge, highlighting the fact that the duo have not abandoned their core influences.
Alt Ego’s immense instrumental technical skill plays an important role on this debut, while the production element provides an outlet for their apparent experimental side. Instrumentals ‘Spanish Tech’ and ‘The End’ set a different tone that allow them to take greater advantage of their roots but those tracks still hold their own against the busier numbers.
An all-star bill of guest vocals meets an effective marriage of classical and modern influences for a massive debut from Alt Ego, sure to keep the Dance charts busy for weeks to come.
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Listen to “Alt Ego” below on Deezer.