Dr. Mindflip



I’ve been told of a time when the copyleft/copyfree multiverse of musical releases was nearly devoid of quality production; There was artistic merit, but it was most often poorly executed. That isn’t the era of #ccmusic I know.

I’ve dabbled for a decade, but over the last year or two I have gravitated away from the orbit of traditional copyright-protected art and culture so completely that I feel it is my duty to invite y’all to this celebration of unbridled buffoonery and liberty. To summarize:

Traditional copyrights reserve ALL rights. This means sharing copies, integrating material into theatre or cinema, remixing, mashin’ up, or disc-jockeying will require payment of royalties or an otherwise explicit arrangement with the rights holder(s).

Copyleft/copyfree reserve SOME rights. Creative Commons licenses are the most popular iteration of this model for artistic works. Creators choose from a variety of layers of protection. Some creators choose zero protection by effectively unlicensing their works to the Public Domain. There are too many other flavors of copyleft/copyfree licenses to mention them all here.

Dr. Mindflip makes modern pop music of the sort I appreciate. I believe all art is derivative, but the combinations of tones, timbres, and ‘scapes are infinite. Although it should be noted that an album of this length is usually known as an EP, Every Waking Moment shows Dr. Mindflip to be a master of reinventing catchiness.

“Rootless” creeps into your scene with a familiar acoustic piano melody. The vocalist establishes an informal yet competent tone; He’s ruffled, but that’s coordinated. He sings intimately at first over the bouncing piano lines as drums, bass, and a panoply of other elements gradually elbow their way to the fore. The result is an energizing, soulful, sing-along-inducing tune. Have you ever thought, “Wow, that first track really exemplifies everything a first track ought to aspire to”? That’s how I feel about “Rootless.”

The benevolent doctor continues the second track, “All Time Low,” with more falsetto, and dozens of back burners fueling a rambunctious percussion section. A driving beat—which, as a constant, barely arrives on time—is mixed with confessional, hectic verses which resolve in dreamy refrains steeped in reality-check gratitude sauce. Ingredients include “summer breeze” and “no sense of unease.

“Took a Walk” is a cool, jazzy antique in a metro-pedestrian mode. The casual impetus of the piano, this time complemented by smooth flute-work and minimal acoustic guitar embellishment carries the listener down the sidewalk and through a mild exorcism.

“Grey Day” subtly juxtaposes some of the possible themes of this short album beautifully: The playful experimentation of youth; self-reflection on the fruits of “belly-aching” and “regurgitation.”

The lyrics are introspective for the most part, and some could be classified as self-deprecating. Truthfully, I’m a fan of narratives containing appropriate amounts of self-deprecation followed by (at least) attempts at resolution.

The sonic circumnavigation of Dr. Mindflip’s current state is a journey well worth taking. It will make children dance and put dogs at ease.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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  1. Jamie says:

    This review is truly exquisitely written. Time to go listen to the ep.