Saint John musician Eric Muir explores new territory with his latest electronic project, Meorkat.
Call it an isolation project or a perhaps simply a reflection of all that 2020 has given us thus far. Whatever the inspiration behind Meorkat’s debut album Instrumentals may be, the results offer a reprieve from the daily onslaught of good, bad and ugly that has so far defined our current year.
Taking a break from his longtime project, the Saint John based indie rock band The Wayouts, Muir has created an album of electronic instrumentals that blend elements of hip hop and pop with a collection of sampled vocals pulled from various public domain films like Reefer Madness and The Brain that Wouldn’t Die, as well as sounds taken from the United States Library of Congress Citizen DJ project.
“I began recording Instrumentals in March, 2020, just before the provincial lockdown,” said Muir. “Using the digital audio workstation FL Studio, I combined a variety of hardware synths like a Korg MS20 and software synths with my Akai MPK 249 to create the main melodies and leads.”
There are obvious nods to the Black Lives Matter movement with an entire track dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr’s famous Drum Major Instinct speech, delivered just two months before his murder.
Muir cites the influence of Vince Staples, MF Doom, J Dilla and others as inspiration in making this record.
“I tried to approach each song in a unique way, inspired by the techniques and production of J Dilla,” he said. “I especially love the way Dilla humanized his music by disabling the quantization on his AKAI MPC 3000, to give a sort of a loose, or more natural feel.”
Across the album’s 13 tracks, Muir establishes a relaxed tone that proceeds to build in complexity and depth as the album progresses without every straying from the chill hip hop theme that guides this entire collection.
Muir is donating all the revenue from Bandcamp digital sales of Instrumentals to the New Brunswick Black History Society. He has so far been able to donate over $250 through album sales. All profits from streaming sites like Spotify and Apple Music have been arranged to be donated to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Color of Change.
Instrumentals was released July 3.