Gravitas Recordings Releases Virtus in Sonus III
Austin-based music label Gravitas Recordings did it again with the release of their third Virtus in Sonus album. Virtus in Sonus III is a stunning collection of tracks highlighting the varied sounds of their unbelievably talented collective of artists. Truly, this album is a work of art with its inexplicable ability to take so many different musicians and create a unified album with a connected journey from track to track. It demonstrates the label’s dedication to highly curated music and ability to choose artists who will mesh and grow together.
The album features twenty tracks and all of them are gems, but for the sake of brevity I’ll focus on three that became my most welcome earworms after listening to them.
The first piece I want to write about is is by new label artist Bassline Drift. “Drink the Water Down” is a highly emotive track that oozes emotion. It is cinematic and intriguing, incorporating a beautifully balanced combination or organic tabla sounds with deep, bassy tones. Halfway through, the track changes up the rhythm, dipping briefly into a trippy experience while the lyrics ask us to, “run away.” Gladly. I will gladly runaway with this piece. “Drink the Water Down” creates a journey in only a few minutes, it’s the kind of track where I have to sit and think after I listen to it. It reminds me of no other artist, yet is incredibly familiar and lovable.
This track flows into CloZee’s “On the Riverbank“. Not only thematic but musically as well. This song opens with percussive water sounds. It too incorporates vocals yet in a much more alien form. The track pulls the listener from one place to another. Sweet string-like sounds, delicate little percussive rhythms and all the while the steady sound of water. It’s magical, it’s transcending, I dig it.
I could go on and on about all of them. But, skipping a bit to the end of the compilation is another track that uses those other-wordy vocals in a very different way,“Madrugada” by Spoken Bird. This track has that manic-synthy-glitch that I have missed in electronic music. It isn’t a fast-paced song but it has perpetual motion that keeps me moving while I listen to it. It crescendos almost unnoticeably at first into big, hardhitting moments, and backs off to create tender moments of breath. I hope to see more in this vein from Spoken Bird.
Each track is dynamic, distinct and different, but they come together smoothly. There is a traceable thread from one piece to another; it’s satisfying to listen to as a whole, yet each track shines on its own as well. Once again, Virtus in Sonus shows us how compilations are done.
Virtus in Sonus III is out now. Check out the Gravitas Recordings’ SoundCloud for more information about artists and their Facebook page to stay up to date on more new releases. If you’re headed to Austin for SXSW be sure to see some of these Kings and Queens of music live and in their element as well, here’s an event you mustn’t miss!