Michal Menert reminds us why funk is so freaking cool. The artful producer returns to gift us with a new project titled Fearless. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know he’s the freaking man for being best friends with Pretty Lights. He also played an extremely integral part of Pretty Light’s early production. However, let’s not ignore the fact that Michal Menart is an absolute legend on his own. His contributions to the electro-soul genre will not go unnoticed on our watch. We even included him in one of our articles about Artists Not To Miss at Gem & Jam earlier this year!
Who is Michal Menert?
The innovative mastermind inflicts raw emotion with his captivating production. He draws classic inspiration from old school sounds ranging from hip-hop, rock, funk & soul. Together this formula is blended all together into a euphoric listening experience. Using a guitar and keyboard paired with his analog synths to provide a vibrant and funky reverb throughout the tunes. The producer meshes retro basslines with distorted, vintage vocal samples and glitchy 808s to cast a feeling of nostalgia while expanding your horizons towards the future.
He dove headfirst into the waters of electro-soul on his own platform. And the producer delivered a remarkable and genre-defying debut project, Dreaming of a Bigger Life. Throughout the decade he continued to revolutionize and further push the genre forward. Space Jazz, was a monumental album for the scene. Michal Menert showcased a plethora of rising and unknown talents who have now become the leaders of the new school.
But that’s not all…
Continuing to further push his sounds to new limits and expanding on his creative process, the producer first introduced the Michal Menert Big Band. This ultimately followed with the Pretty Fantastics. The two groups allowed the producer to incorporate more of a live element to his sound and performances.
Is there anything this man seriously can’t do? Oh, we forgot to mention he started his own label, Super Best Records? The label boasts talent like Late Night Radio and Maddy O’Neal. For goodness sake, the dude went on tour with Dead & Co for a year as an Ableton engineering. Talk about every Deadheads’ dream come true.
This latest work of art is sort of victory lap if you will as the producer delivers some of the best production we’ve heard out of the Colorado native.
Michal Menert starts off the Fearless right with the eponymous track.
“Fearless” really gets us in the mood to groove. The producer starts off with samples galore to set the mood until the hook kicks in. The rhythm embodies everything about the electro-soul genre; right down to the psychedelic bass music samples mixed with the defining old-school essence of the genre.
The second track in Fearless—”Too Blind”—will funk you up.
This collaboration with Electric Hawk favorite Daily Bread blew our minds. Its funky yet melancholic melody along with the repetition of the too relatable lyric, ‘I was too blind to see,’ hits close to home. The juxtaposition of the beautiful horns and soothing synths to the track’s desperate and distraught vocals add another layer of emotion. Much like any standard soul song, “Too Blind” boasts minimal lyrics, giving the beat the spotlight without sugarcoating on emotion.
You can’t have a funk album without some feel-good tracks and “Keep On Livin'” does exactly that.
This is especially good since its predecessor and successor are pretty emotional “in your bag” songs. The song is super funky, and vibey, and is definitely the definition of a trip in the woods track. The bridge of mystical crooning soothes you into the last calming vocals of the song. Only to give you a transition into Menert’s emotionally encompassing next song.
“The Way It Used to Be” is built on jazzy basslines that are intertwined with funkadelic samples.
They range from groovy lo-fi raps to soulful vocals. The rap samples provide the depth within each verse while they lead way to the bridge of distorted female vocals, plucked straight from Motown. As she sings about ‘the way it used to be,’ Menart weaves back in the hip hop vocals flexing his smooth mixing transitions. We are instantly blasted into a state of higher thinking. The flawless basslines and dreamy keys guide us on a trip of reminiscence.
“More Shine” is an infectious and bubbly tune that’ll surely provide you with a little inspiration.
The energetic piano keys immediately draw us in. Lively and bouncy basslines sway back and forth. Dreamy vocal chops intermittently slow things down allowing us to vibe out a little bit. Synths and glitched out hip-hop drums take center stage to create a meteor shower of up-tempo funk. Then, the tune concludes with a message of positivity. Menert asks for us to be as kind to other people as you would want them to be to you. A little message we could all change the world with.
“Afterglow” is a memorable curtain call to cap off this masterpiece from Michal Menert.
The track sits at about 6 and a half minutes. We’re not complaining, as it’s simply a remarkable journey through one’s inner self beauty. The serene and calming sounds of nature are looped throughout. Raw and delicate piano melodies that are simply soothing on the soul. The bass is gradually amplified during the track, creating a conscious feeling of there being a light at the end of the tunnel. Close your eyes and take it all in. These comforting beats gradually crawl over your body and entrench you like rays of sunshine on a scorching summer day. A spectacular ending to a sensational work of art from this legend.
Michal Menert really shows his chops throughout this EP, never leaving you bored for a second. The man is a genius and shouldn’t be overlooked, and we know we’ll be here to support every move on Electric Hawk!
Listen to Michal Menert – Fearless below:
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