On a weekly basis, The Groove Seeker goes in search of killer grooves across rock, funk, hip hop, soul, electronic music, jazz, fusion, and more.
Free Moral Agents: “North Is Red”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/01-North-Is-Red.mp3|titles=Free Moral Agents: “North Is Red”]
Mars Volta fans know Isaiah “Ikey” Owens as a master keyboardist, also lending his talents to the related experimental dub/reggae side project De Facto. But Owens’ own one-time side project, Free Moral Agents, has transformed into a full-time band with a second studio release, Control This. Though his musical associations are enough to give him reputable standing as a versatile and adaptable session player, Free Moral Agents is far from sounding like a complex math-rock outfit.
The band’s music is, however, complex in its own way. Control This is an omnivorous kind of record — as diverse as it is visionary — and is comfortable in taking on different musical personas at once. Over a combination of ambient pop and trip hop, crunchy guitar riffs and avant-garde fusion motifs construct a critical foreground, and the esoteric vocals of Mendee Ichikawa make for a strong and fitting melodic element.