‘Mystic’ Chord Progressions
Anyone who knows me well musically knows that chords are usually the first thing to ‘grab’ me when I listen to music. I swear that certain chord progressions are mystic, unlocking dormant brain energy and opening a gateway to a higher form of thinking/feeling. Not everyone ‘gets’ these kind of chords.. they are certainly not the kind of thing you’ll hear in the charts or in popular electronic music. This is cerebral music for spiritually minded individuals so drop everything, turn down the lights, turn the mobile off and put some of these tunes on to see where they take you.
What i’m talking about:
Here’s some examples of some amazing music with just the kind of chords i’m talking about. Moe Koffman’s “Days Gone By” is a beautiful musical journey with spiritual strings, emotive piano and of course Moe’s sublime flute playing. It was sampled for Jill Scott’s “Slowly Surely”
Black Sugar were a Peruvian band who came up with a loungy and cinematic epic, once again with emotive strings and this time with a lovely 6/8 time signature .. you can hear an attempt at a cover version here from when I was working as Spiritual South (I recreated everything excluding the trumpet which was recorded in the studio)
Continuing the orchestral theme we’ve got the original source of the sample used by Pepe Braddock for ‘Deep Burnt’ – Freddie Hubbard’s version of ‘Little Sunflower’ The string intro was also sampled by DJ Spen in the track ‘For the love of house’
Stevie Wonder has been a consistent deliveryman when it comes to heavyweight chords. One of my all time favourite progressions is in Michael Jackson’s ‘I Can’t Help It’ where it’s not only the chords but the way the synth bassline interweaves with them.
On a more contemporary tip, one of my favourite keyboard players is Mark De Clive Lowe who usually rinses out the music in precisely the way i’d like to hear it. Often it feels like he plays the music that exists in my head.. if only I could get my stuff out so effectively! The track below is from his forthcoming EP on Reel People Music and is a synth laden chord heavy instrumental jam.
This is all I can think of off the top of my head right now – i’m sure there are many more out there that i’ll be kicking myself I didn’t include. If you have any of your own please share in the comments section – i’d love to hear more in this vein that I haven’t discovered 😉