Every day for the past two years or so I’ve been listening to Brian Altano on the various podcasts that he co-hosts, whether it’s The Comedy Button or Super Knockin’ Boots. I’ve spent hours listening to him rant about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, ThunderCats and whatever else pisses him off, so it’s always weird for me to think that he’s the one behind this amazing instrumental album.
Ever since I listened to Altano’s first album, Robotobots, earlier this year, I’ve been so excited for the release of Misanthrope, and that excitement was well warranted. Misanthrope is more of what I loved about Robotobots, hip-hop influenced beats, juxtaposed with electronic synth elements and sci-fi samples. That may sound kind of weird, but trust me, it’s good. One of the strongest aspects of both Robotobots and Misanthrope is the atmosphere that Altano creates with each track. Altano said that Misanthrope was “designed for the modern worker bee, fighting for independence in an era of social overstimulation” and you really get a sense of that dystopian environment when listening to it. This atmosphere is furthered through the narrative that the sci-fi samples create, which add a whole other level to the complexity of the album. Misanthrope isn’t just an instrumental album, it’s a concept album. An interesting addition to Misanthrope, that wasn’t present in Robotobots, is the collaboration with guitarist Thomas Rakowitz on the tracks One A.M., Silver Shank and If You Need Me I’m Gone. The two met through the Facebook fan group for Altano’s podcast, The Comedy Button. It’s extremely cool to see a collaboration like this happen, and I hope the two continue to work together.
Overall, Misanthrope is a great listen, whether you have it on as the soundtrack to your day or actually dedicate some time to fully immerse yourself in it. Its amazing flow will seamlessly transition you from one song to the next without you even noticing it, and its creativity, feel and uniqueness is something that’s hard to come by these days. The best thing about Misanthrope is that it’s free to download and stream, so you don’t really have a reason to not listen to it. However, if you do want to support Brian Altano so that he can make more amazing albums, you can also purchase it on iTunes.
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