Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the latest single from one of our favourite instrumentalists, Alec Berlin. Beat Confabulator (All Night on the Floor) was released on February 16 2023, and we’re just bowled over, once again, by Berlin’s creativity and flair.
Alec Berlin has an uncanny ability to create instrumentals that take influences from more genres than would make sense to name, go off down a jazz-inspired rabbit hole, and yet still create music that is more than accessible to the average listener.
We’ve come to know and love Alec’s music here at the Send Me Your Ears studio and we’re always excited to see his name reach the top of our reviews pile again.
Beat Confabulator starts with a building guitar riff and with each fresh bass note, you have absolutely no idea what’s coming next! The build leads you into a funk-rock/ glam-rock style section, returning to the guitar riff the listener has already gotten comfortable with. Berlin has exceptional skill with this technique. His music always returns the listener to something more comfortable and predictable before disappearing off on another tangent.
We found ourselves nodding and smiling as the funky glam rock section returned, but just as we’re getting comfortable with that, you’re into a whole new section with offbeat drums and an almost Latin feel section – and the thing is… the transition between sections is so crisply and smoothly executed that it feels perfectly natural.
The rise and fall within the soundscape of this track maintains your interest throughout. There are heavier sounding full-blown rock guitar solo sections and another way Berlin keeps your interest is by constantly changing up the tones and effects used on the guitars. Yes, his music may have no vocals, but the changes in styles and tones easily keep the listener completely engaged. Our attention didn’t falter for a second throughout this 5-minute track. Each section is expertly crafted and performed. There’s a definite nod to Pat Metheny in the smooth jazz section which fades the song out, and you’re left at the end wondering just how Berlin manages to master so many styles and genres in the space of 5 minutes without it sounding even remotely forced or jerky between sections.
Ideas from our ears
A fairly large high shelf boost set at around 11kHz would bring out so much extra brightness and ‘shimmer’ from the drum track in particular and would give the whole track a boost in presence and clarity. A smaller boost around 55-60Hz would also enhance the ‘thump’ of the kick. Finally, a light compressor/ limiter and around 3dB of make-up gain would give the track a little more punch as well as raising the overall volume. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.
Honestly, we’re in awe of the musicianship and versatility of Alec Berlin. A world-class musician creating astounding instrumental music. We cannot recommend him highly enough.