On the eve of the release of Mustafa Khetty’s anticipated debut album ‘Mozaick’, all should prepare themselves for a journey through the nuances of classical, prog and world music genres presented with an ethereal narrative and otherworldly style. Dropping Friday (March 19th), the album is immense in feel and immersive in nature, while it shows off impressive composition work and never tiptoes the line of pretentiousness. In a word, it’s delectable.
The epic musical experience begins with ‘Rage Before the Storm’, which sets the tone immediately with that sound of rolling thunder that bleeds into synth, while various strings create an intense introduction. Even though it is the shortest track of the album, it has a lot of impact, establishing what awaits listeners in an elegant, natural-feeling way. It carries a moody undertone, and even with the swells of melodic synth, it has a very melancholic vibe held throughout. The transition into ‘Shrill’ is stark, but continuing the melodies and tone allows the audience to sink back and let the track wash over them. ‘Shrill’ itself is hauntingly beautiful in its use of strings and piano. Coupled with the dramatic vocal performance that appears alongside these elements, it is elevated to a climatic piece with theatrical crescendos aplenty. In addition to operatic backing vocals, it presents itself reminiscent of a rock opera whilst remaining completely authentic at the same time: no niches or clichés but rather a bold composition with an edge that renders it genuine.
‘Dancing With Elves’ greets the listener with low pitched synths that conjure up visuals suitable for 2001: A Space Odyssey. It leads into a rhythmic section dominated by the guitar that weaves effortlessly throughout the established backing instrumental. With pacing that allows the track to remain energised for its entire runtime (just over six minutes), this behemoth explores rock elements thoroughly in a way that shows a fundamental dichotomy to the genre. Surrounding said explorations with exciting acoustic riffs and an ever-present piano allows ‘Dancing With Elves’ to become fully realised musically.
‘It’s Who We Are! Mozaick’, a lead track from the album, incorporates instruments from various cultural backgrounds to generate an eerie and mystifying feel. Combined with brilliant builds, it demonstrates the compositions’ potential to create visceral, visual reactions in the listener. Each track featured on ‘Mozaick’ is driven and forges images of a narrative in the audience’s head, allowing each person to experience the journey differently.
‘Tomorrow Never Comes’ once again blends music from various cultures in a way that appears innate. With an increasing tempo and layering, the track slowly comes to life, aided by the featured vocals. Adding elements of metal (especially with the voice and heavy guitar used) ‘Tomorrow Never Comes’ has a real bite to it that playfully battles with the pop-like atmospheric synth, leaving a finished product with clear intent and masterful execution. ‘Waiting’ not only reinforces the compelling energy heard before but offers a wonderful dabble in pure Prog. It highlights the melodic strength of Khetty as a Master of Ceremonies, who delivers a powerful and raw product on this one. Whilst climatic, it doesn’t feel like an end, more like a hope to carry on.
Two other lead tracks on the album, ‘Istanbul Swing’ and ‘Nights to Remember’, are different in style but similar in their impressions on the audience. ‘Instanbul Swing’ is upbeat, full of life and funky. Still containing previously heard components, it builds upon them by featuring notable bass lines and a real free form spirit. On the other hand, ‘Nights to Remember’ is heavier and sounds like a glam rock song straight from the ’80s. Drowning in skilful guitars, it is high energy but much more linear than ‘Istanbul Swing’. Pink Floyd-Esq and packed with passion, it is a fitting contrast providing a weight all its own. As lead tracks, they play well against each other whilst maintaining their individual sparks.
‘Cry For Freedom’ completely embraces the classical influences for the album. It is clean and haunting, utilising each instrument well and creating an ethereal air to the track. Emotional yet grounded, it is another demonstration of pure composition excellence and adds a layer of sophistication to the revisited melancholic tone established earlier.
Overall, ‘Mozaick’ is an incredible collection of pieces that hold up against each other without coming across fragmented. With evident respect to its influences and exceptional care placed on the overarching presentation, the album is might just be one of the most exciting compositional projects to come this year. Its fusion of Prog, classical and world music is masterfully done – and Mustafa Khetty’s Morpheus Project is a fantastic example of how individuals can join together to act as a vessel for emotion beyond human language. Whether this is your usual type of content or not is irrelevant as it transcends being pigeon-holed by genres. To repeat my earlier word choice, it is simply delectable.
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