Venetian Castle – ‘Venetian Castle’

The debut album from Maulberry, Venetian Castle explores a heady sound steeped in electronica, funk, and rock. The Venice, CA-based duo of Eric Maul (guitars/bass/synths) and Jeremy Rist (percussion/drums/loops) balance jam band musicianship with lo-fi elegance, valuing improvisation as well throughout this free-flowing gem of an album.

“Paddling Out” opens the album with immediate intrigue. A debonair bass line meshes with spacey synths for a late-night immersion, bridging sensual funk and atmospheric electro-pop with delectable results. The album’s title track follows shortly thereafter, riding on a thumping rhythmic momentum with house-friendly sensibilities. “Whale, Anyway” brings us back into the spacey electronic realm, fitted alongside guitar tonal lingering for another grippingly constructed soundscape.

Another album highlight, “Graveyard Groove” delivers a sweltering appeal with some excellent guitar work. Bluesy, confident guitar lines drive into the mellow rhythms of “Camping in the Rain,” representing one of several successful interludes on the album. “Paddling In” naturally continues the title track with its spacey hypnotics, sending off Venetian Castle with memorably atmospheric appeal.

“Graveyard Groove” is also featured in the genre-based, best-of Spotify compilation Emerging Indie Soul.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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