11 July 2015 (released)
12 October 2015
With a reputable career spanning over two decades as a multimedia music composer, instrumentalist and orchestrator, Nashat Salman boasts the expertise to create an immersive aural experience like none other. It comes as no shock then that Meilen-Zurich composer delivers a creative palette of tones and textures with his latest four-track EP, ‘Universal Melodies’. Combining an appreciation of sound with intricate technical ability, this enjoyable album is a confident tour de force from the Jean Michel Jaar school of soundscaping.
Almost literally actually considering that Nashat Salman studied Orchestration and Film Scoring at Music School. And this is what he infuses into each beautifully atmospheric score. It’s like Salman is telling a story without dialogue; it’s like conveying a narrative using unexpected instrumentational synergies and structures that constantly evolve as if the album is reacting incidentally to visible imagery - in essence, its structure is comprised of scenes rather than sections.
‘Summer Night Joy’ is an exotic Latin pop number with typical, lively fingerstyle guitar conducting the melody and fiery horns at an upbeat tempo. It genuinely exudes a comforting breeziness of summery splendour and is a swaggering, multi-layered composition that is possibly the least iconoclastic track performed.
The following song, ‘Dancing Star’ continues the World Beat lilt of the album, except it’s modernised and digitised with a crunchy bassline, a mixture of hip-hop and two-step house drum loops and polished with ambient synthesis. Here, Salman has formulated an authentic Electronica instrumental, but with the hypnotism of Arabic musicality thrown in.
Finally, ‘Chasing’ funks things up. Think groovy sonata on an electric keyboard, backed up by a cupboard of collaborating arpeggios. Comprised of only two phrases that are developed throughout, this pacey song perspires perpetual energy.
Can we assume with this being ‘Volume 1’ that there will be a ‘Volume 2’ sometime soon? It would make sense as Salman is clearly talented but one feels as if he held back on this EP – not because of the lack of songs or the duration of them, but more to do with the detail left oddly out of ‘Dancing Star’ and ‘Chasing’ in particular. This being said, ‘Universal Melodies’ is still as complex stylistically as some of the most enigmatic pieces of music created.