CD Title: Say
Label: Heavy Right Foot Records (2017)
Rating: Great Stuff 4/5
This is the new musical project from Touchstone founder Rob Cottingham, a quintet known as Cairo. Not to be confused with the old American Prog band also named Cairo the music of THIS Cairo is nowhere near as ďheavyĒ and instead brings a more symphonic-electronic vibe to the party. Itís a sound I immediately feel in love with. Itís grand, itís big; with panoramic swells of music which introduce a myriad of musical ideas that blend melody, counterpoint and skilled musical craftsmanship. At just under an hour, there are thirteen different tunes here, some just a couple minutes long and one just under ten. There is a well-developed story going on here, dare I say a concept and as a result a few of the shorter pieces are atmospheric-mood-scapes that feature spoken word narration. But donít let the length of some of these tunes fool you, some of them form dramatic transitions or what might be called flow-through compositions that all go towards making the music on Say come off as a much grander affair. Iím an unabashed keyboard fan and sprinkled throughout are some great synthy runs, very contemporary synthy burbles, buzzing, and sweeps and I loved every one of them. Male and female vocals go some distance adding layers of depth to the overall sound of Cairo, it keeps things changing. Great melodies are contrasted against lush instrumentation and inventive musical change-ups. On one level it sounds clean, simple and mainstream and yet the more you listen the more you begin to hear the details, and itís the details that give the music of Cairo a high grade from me. Recommended listening.