Killed by The Architects Breathes Life into Tabula Rosa

By Deuce

So, Killed by The Architects is a solo project by Jamie Berkes. He just dropped his most recent LP, Tabula Rosa, at the tail end of last month.

Now, as a true solo endeavor, the young man’s responsible for all the music on the project (which was produced by Antony Ablan). Not coincidentally, then, the sound is brash, overt, and in your face. The electric guitars, for example, are routinely mixed louder than anything else, which is no small feat with the artist’s proclivity for delivering drum patterns that are front and center in the tracks.

Out of all the above instruments, in addition to some highly freaky-deaky synthesizer work, you know what you’re going to get the most out of on this project? The bass. Quite simply, money’s got some bass lines that are out of this world and turn, flip, and jam so hard they sometimes sound like tubed guitars.

But unh unh, that’s just Killed by The Architects working his wizardry on that electric bass guitar. Throw on a record like “I’m In Love”—a dramatic departure from some of the sheer loud, defiant sounds that populate the rest of the album, and tell me that bass line isn’t hitting.

What’s really significant about it is it’s not striving to overwhelm you like some of the other instruments (again, one can’t miss the electric guitars are numbers like “God Complex” or even “North/South”. It’s low key and, in its understated way, is simply working harder, and perhaps even more earnestly, than the other instruments are.

Granted, the artist gives the bass a run for its money with his vocals, which are frequently elongated as though he were trying to hypnotize you. Still, he reprises the sheer efficacy of his bass playing time and again, particularly on “Seventeen” which has all the makings of a true hit. It revisits the unwavering theme of those of oh so young babes but, more importantly, has rivers of bass in it, churning about and giving you something to really hold onto, no matter what he’s talking about.

Oftentimes the bass is accentuated by that aforementioned synth work that weaves in and out of the LP, characterized by high notes that perfectly counterpoint the motion of the bass. Whatever or however it goes, it’s certainly one of the main draws on this project, and a reason to keep going back to it for another listen.  

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