5. It's All Coming Back
6. Pour te Parler
7. Trance Shapes
9. Release Me
10. Improvisations (Part One)
11. Improvisations (Part Two)
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There is a Zen-like quiet to Robert Miles.
Sitting or standing, he has the ease of someone in balance, at
peace with his music and soul.
Robert Miles has just released his long
awaited album, Organik, and for those unfamiliar with
his music, this is a very good thing. Miles has consistently
pushed himself on a journey of examination and discovery, and
fortunately, he has recorded it for the rest of us to hear.
"Time to work. Time to relax. Time to reflect," begins
Organik. What follows is an unblinking tapestry of hope,
frustration, exploration, and redemption.
Organik might be the most compelling
Miles album to date. Set for release on Miles’ own Salt
Records, and signed in America by Shakti/Virgin, the album
refuses compromise, either musically or philosophically. It is
intensely personal, woven from Robert Miles’ struggle to
remain true to his music and principles. Along with
synthesizers, guitars, and voices, Organik was recorded
with a 25 piece orchestra, which adds a powerful, yet human
texture to the sound. At times, Organik seems to
welcome listeners to join Miles and examine their lives within
his music. Not all composers are this open, but this is
characteristic of Miles’ compassionate nature.
Miles is best known for songs featured on
his 1996 album Dreamland. Around this time, clubs in
northern Italy favored very aggressive, very caustic techno.
When the clubs closed, young people, still wired from the
dance floor would recklessly drive off into the night. Many
never made it home—at one time 10-20 deaths or injuries were
occurring weekly. Miles and some other DJ’s developed a new
type of music--danceable, yet more thoughtful and melodic, in
hopes it would calm people down before sending them home. This
style became known as "dream music" and its appeal resulted in
a dramatic decline in post-club deaths. The lead track on
Dreamland, "Children," was written after Miles viewed
photographs his father took of children victimized in war-torn
Yugoslavia. The delicate piano melody lilting over the dance
rhythm was an overnight sensation and made Miles a household
name throughout Europe and the world. The appeal of "Children"
took Miles by complete surprise. "It was an innocent time, an
innocent song. Pure. I had no expectations of its success--it
came straight from my heart."
Miles’ next album 23AM was released
in 1997 on Arista Records. Expanding on the style of
Dreamland, 23AM took the listener on a journey from
birth to death. The album was both a critical and commercial
success, earning Miles further accolades as a thoughtful
composer who pushes the boundaries of dance music.
Unfortunately, this quest for growth did
not agree with conservative commercial marketing, and Miles
decided to the best course was to go independent. Leaving BMG/Arista
and management, Miles spent the next three years regaining his
Ironically, that quest makes up much of
Organik. Tracks like "Separation" and "Wrong" allude to
breaking with an expected path in search of something new. The
Miles of Organik is perhaps not so innocent as before,
but wiser, and perhaps with greater appreciation for beauty
wherever is it found. Along with dream music, Miles is known
for techno, trance, and drum n’ bass, but within Organik,
the listener can hear echoes of Middle Eastern ghazals,
alternative rock, and suave spy movie soundtracks. And Miles
himself reaffirms his optimism as "That Small Bubble of Life
Floating on a Sea of Nothing" becomes "Endless," a music
destined to continue forever.
Through it all, his fans have steadfastly
supported Miles; this has been a source of artistic and
spiritual strength. "When someone sends me an email, or tells
me in person that my music has connected with them, helped
them through difficult emotions—there is no feeling like it."
Unlike many popular musicians, Miles actively maintains his
and often posts on his message board, or shows up in a chat
room. He even answers all his emails. Miles seems grateful and
still a little overwhelmed by the warmth and support he has
received from his fans.
Miles is also excited about the future of
music. "There are so many talented musicians and DJs out
there, working late at night, getting no sleep, simply for the
love of it." He is very excited about a new contest on his
website. Miles has set aside special tracks that young and
unknown producers can download off of his site and remix.
Miles will listen to the remixes, select his 2 favorite
tracks, and award the producers $3000 each. Even better, each
track will be released worldwide, giving the winners
unprecedented exposure and opportunities.
And for Miles? He smiles as he ponders his
future. He would like to do movie soundtracks, nodding
appreciatively when Italian legend Ennio Morricone is
mentioned. He is also interested in the possibilities opened
up by the Internet, and new media technology. But regardless
of the future, he knows one thing, "I am an artist. I speak
through my music. Whatever I do, the music will be there,
growing, learning. Endless."
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