Having founded, performed and recorded for over a decade with well respected Charlotte, NC power-pop outfit, The Ravelers, multi-instrumentalist Mike Brown has chosen to take a completely new direction with his latest project. No longer feeling the constraints of maintaining a band with live performance obligations, Brown has taken full advantage of this freedom by pushing his music beyond the expected. As The Man From RavCon, Brown now focuses on creating adventurous and atmospheric instrumental music featuring Mellotron enriched arrangements accentuated by piano and organ, interweaving synths, throbbing bass, dynamic percussion, and melodic guitar.
The first four Man From RavCon releases, Zombie Pimp Cowboys From Outer Space! (2010), Everything Is Golden (2010), Rides Again (2011) and Night of The Beast (2011), explored the sounds of spaghetti western, surf/instro rock, blaxploitation and B-Horror Cinema. These efforts earned the praise of a wide variety of listeners, and provided a solid foundation for future stylistic development.
With the arrival of The Traveler (2012), The Man From RavCon took a large step forward by effectively consolidating his various influences into what Creative Loafing praised as his most organic and integrated release to date. Vintage Guitar Magazine featured a glowing review of The Traveler in the top slot of the “Hit List” in their December 2012 issue. Perhaps best considered as the soundtrack to an exotic retro vacation of the mind, The Traveler remains a fan favorite to this day.
Described by listeners as kaleidoscopic, stratospheric, transcendent and euphoric, Skyscraper (2013) further integrated The Man From RavCon’s varied influences, and received positive press from a number of sources, with UK publication PROG Magazine, declaring it to be a straight-up classy affair bringing to mind some heavyweight artists, including Mike Oldfield, Vangelis, and Hank Marvin.
The Puzzle Master (2015) and Strange Universe (2016), delved deeper into progressive rock territory, and featured weaving synths & guitars, soaring mellotron, and alternate rhythms that provided listeners with an even more expansive sound. Both albums received high marks from a range of publications/sites including RockShockPop (The Puzzle Master is the type of thing you want to lie down and listen to alone in the dark, just to really take it all in properly), and Progression Magazine (Strange Universe is an alluring musical time capsule fueled by analog synth timbres, psychedelic prog motifs and spacey rockin’/ambient hues that entrance, charm and certainly keep you guessing what might come next.)
Well, what comes next is, as they say, a whole ‘nother story. Blending influences of 70’s classic FM album rock (The Rolling Stones, Kraftwerk, Steely Dan, Supertramp) with the melodic prog/instro flavor developed over previous releases, The Man From RavCon’s ninth release, Another World (June 22, 2018), may be considered a somewhat more accessible work than his most recent offerings, but is no less adventurous in scope. Contributions from guitarist Larry Smith (who also performed on Starlight from The Puzzle Master), and flutist Jeff Eacho help to lend some tracks a more lighthearted, breezy vibe that help to make Another World the perfect soundtrack for Summer 2018 and beyond.
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