Michael De Salem
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"CD Review – Something Getting Wrong, by Michael de Salem"

Michael de Salem’s first CD is a brooding masterpiece that has a dark, ominous sense of foreboding, with musical rays of hope peering through.

The multi-instrumentalist fuses piano, keyboards, bass, guitar, and drum programming, along with beautiful, searing cello from Ann Nina, to sculpt edgy, shadowy music that reflects de Salem’s perceptions of the disharmony that exists between Earth and its inhabitants.

The set opens with “Metropolitan,” a solemn soundtrack to life in the city, with police sirens wailing quietly in the background. Reflective pieces like “Sentimental Steps” and “Remind” are sentimental without being sappy.

The three most solid tracks on the album, “Emergency Talking,” “Tribal Interlude,” and “Something Getting Wrong,” are representative of de Salem’s overall sound, which is industrial and progressive yet lush and melodic, with a beat that is infectious but not bouncy.

“Emergency Talking” starts with a pensive theme that increases in intensity, and “Something Getting Wrong” fleshes de Salem’s jazz-rock fusion sound to its fullest. “Tribal Interlude” is the most gripping of the three and as a result the album’s most formidable and probing track, propelled primarily by pulsating, rhythmic percussion in lockstep with equally pulsating, rhythmic bass notes, resulting in an entrancing, ritualistic, cinematic sound.

De Salem has created a compelling musical vista, both grand and subtle, that is riveting from beginning to end.

--Raj Manoharan - RajmanReviews


"Michael de Salem Something Getting Wrong"

7/4/11
One of the drawbacks of reviewing so many CDs is that it’s often difficult to find something truly unique about an artist’s music. Then an album like Michael de Salem’s Something Getting Wrong comes along and stands in a category of its own without being so “out there” that it’s impossible to relate to. Swiss composer and multi-instrumentalist Michael de Salem is also a human and environmental rights activist who has extensively studied physics to gain a better understanding of the behavior of the natural world. Those studies led to the shocking discovery that Earth would eventually become unable to sustain any form of life as a result of the actions and choices of an un-evolved human consciousness. A self-taught musician, de Salem’s approach to composing the music on this album was to combine musical expressions of life experience with his extensive knowledge of natural sciences. He says: “Every sound in my compositions is chosen to dance with the other, identical to the way elements inherently come together to compose matter.” The results are extraordinary in their depth and intensity. More melodic and rhythmic than most ambient music, subtler than most rock, darker than most new age, de Salem deftly blends piano, keyboards, guitar, and drum programming along with Ann Nina’s cello to create a soundtrack to life in peril. De Salem further explains: “I wish to plant a song as a seed in the mind, heart and soul of the listener in hopes that the seeds will blossom into flowers and trees that live infinitely embedded deep into the consciousness of the being.”


Something Getting Wrong begins with “Metropolitan,” a darkly intense piece that opens with a strong rhythm and the sound of sirens. The heavy beat continues as the musical themes range from sinister to pleasantly upbeat. It’s a startling piece that sets the stage for what’s to come. “Sentimental Stops” is much quieter and more flowing. Piano, voices, strings, guitar, and atmospheric sounds are layered to create a shimmering piece that floats peacefully. “Emergency Talking” utilizes deep bass tones and a strong slow beat to create a sense of urgency that intensifies as the piece evolves. Ann Nina’s cello is especially effective here. “Remind” is more ambient with a simple but magical piano part over sounds that convey the feeling of floating in deep space. The title track is as intense as its name. The beat will bring you in, but the wordless message will hold you there as you experience its poignance and urgency. “Higher” offers hope and solace with bells, piano, voices, a gentle beat, and lots of open space. “Not An End” concludes our journey thoughtfully and reflectively as we ponder the messages of the music. Kind of jazzy, ambient, and ethereal, there is no easy way to categorize this or any of the other eight tracks. Bravo to Michael de Salem for staying true to his vision and creating a masterpiece of contemporary music!


Something Getting Wrong is available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!

Kathy Parsons

MainlyPiano.com - Mainly Piano Kathy Parsons


"Something Getting Wrong by Michael de Salem"

June 20, 2011

Although the translation of the album’s title into English by Swiss musician and human rights activist Michael de Salem may create an enigmatic air, his motivation as a recording artist is perfectly clear: in his view, we face a global crisis that can only be remedied by a major shift in human consciousness – and for him, music is one key to effecting that change. Since Michael’s beliefs and observations are intricately connected to his music, understanding them will be helpful to have a greater sense of the context it has evolved from. Known as “The Peace Capital,” Geneva, Switzerland where Michael was born and raised has a long tradition of peaceful coexistence and political neutrality. Switzerland also seems to be fertile ground for spawning fellow musicians like Andreas Vollenweider, who in a modern version of “beating swords into plowshares” delighted audiences by creating beautiful sounds from chimes made out of recycled artillery shells.

According to Michael, “Our present day atmosphere is nothing but a clear reflection of the level of consciousness evolution of the human species… it becomes apparent that humanity has lost its universal conscience along with the ability to survive fruitfully and peacefully with nature and each other.” He believes that only a radical inner transformation of humanity and its rise to a higher level of emotional maturity and spiritual awareness will be effective in creating change on a massive scale. And for him music, which is a universal language that transcends global boundaries and creates unity, is a vehicle for the awakening of consciousness.

Interestingly, although his music is totally instrumental, Michael composed it with the hope that it “will gift the imagination with a contemplative melodic platform to awaken deeply rooted memories and emotions while opening the mind to freedom of expression.” There is definitely a lot of emotional content in his ambient electronic music. In fact, a few words I would use to describe it would be “dramatic”, “evocative”, and “cinematic”. The album opens with the aptly titled “Metropolitan” that begins with an edgy atmospheric urban vibe and a siren wailing in the distance, that flashed me back for a second to the Stevie Wonder classic “Living For The City.” Punctuated by a pumping bass line, the song eventually moves into more melodic terrain. Keyboards, ranging from synthesizers to acoustic piano, play a prominent role in the creation of these soundscapes, along with cello, drums, and guitar, which is used sparingly yet effectively.

The next song slows things down with a lush dreamy bit of ambience entitled “Sentimental Stops.” Like so much of Michael’s music with its wonderful texture and dynamics, I could easily envision it being used in a film soundtrack. Interesting diversity exists from one song to the next over the course of the CD, yet there is a presence and sonic signature that he brings to his music, which makes it feel like a cohesive body of work. I particularly enjoyed the earthy groove and interweaving layers of sound on “Tribal Interlude,” as well as the last two songs – the upbeat “Higher” and “Not An End which, like a few of songs on the album inhabited somewhat similar territory as the music of Patrick O’Hearn. A slowly unfolding composition called “Remind” evoked a romantic heart-opening quality with strong emotional resonance and soulfulness.

Being a longtime student of Physics, it’s no surprise that science and art are like the yin and yang in Michael’s creative efforts. In his words: “Every sound in my compositions is chosen to dance with the other, identical to the way elements inherently come together to compose matter.” It is this sense of unity and working together for the greater good that is the medium and the message of Michael’s artistic expression.

Michael Diamond, Music and Media


- Music and Media Focus


"Something Getting Wrong - Michael de Salem"

The Swiss born artist Michael de Salem’s album Something Getting Wrong definitely captures his world view, “Something Getting Wrong is a musical reflection on how I have come to perceive the world over the past 25 years. I intend for my music to make people consciously aware of certain unpleasant and pleasant incidents occurring amongst humanity by building my music around particular events that have evoked my attention.”

There is plenty of conscious inducing music to be found here. It is hard to get through the songs without being put into some type of reflective state.

The first thing noticeable about “Metropolitan” is the sobering beat used throughout the song. Along with the beat are the sound of sirens and other background music used to convey the city atmosphere. There is a real sense of walking down a big city street and getting lost in the anonymity provided by the concrete jungle. “Sentimental Stops” does have a sentimental touch to it like the title implies. It is sure to rise up emotions, but it has the benefit of doing this without being sappy. “Lost But Not Afraid” is another very good song and one of the true gems of the album. The music is subtle and haunting. Be sure to pay attention toward the end of the song. It is the best part.

“Emergency Talking” is a different sounding song from the rest and it stands out for me on the album. The beat is distinctly different by being heavier and it also has the characteristics of feeling more spacey and out there. “Remind” is an eerie song. There is this feeling as if something is wrong and impending, but it is unseen and creeping up on you.

The title track “Something Getting Wrong” is a great song and is my favorite one on the album. There is a magic to it that should not be missed. Like the name suggests, “Higher” has a transcendent quality to it, mirroring the reflective theme that has been running so far. Bringing the album to a conclusion is “Not An End.” The song is appropriately named because it leaves the listener pondering over what was just heard. The experience of it all does not end when the music stops playing.

Something Getting Wrong is not an album to rock out to or head-bang to, and you probably will not be dancing to it either, but that is not what is about. The music of Michael de Salem has an introspective and meditative quality to it that is meant for personal reflection. That is what makes this album so enjoyable to listen to. It is the type of music that gets better and better with each listen.

Key Tracks: Metropolitan, Lost But Not Afraid, Something Getting Wrong

Brian McKinnon - Muzikreviews.com Staff

August 4, 2011


For Questions Or Comments About This Review Send An Email To info@muzikreviews.com - MuzikReviews.com


"Michael de Salem - Something Getting Wrong (MSM 7193)"

The album that grabs me from the first note is a rare thing but that is what Something Getting Wrong by multi-instrumentalist Michael de Salem did when I first slotted it into the CD player. Described as an ambient electronic soundtrack in the press notes, and I can't fault that comparison. It does feel like a movie as yet unfilmed - there is a timelessness to the music, and a spaciousness to the soundscape. Indeed, the opening track, Metropolitan, with its broodingly funky theme ought to be fronting some CSI-type TV series - Isaac Hayes would have loved it. Michael de Salem wrote all the music and performed it, save for the cello of Ann Nina, and has created a near orchestral big sound that is very impressive. The album doesn't strike me as being overly ambient in the Brian Eno sense of the definition, but it so vividly paints a soundscape across the stage of ones' loudspeakers. It reminds me a little of the type of sound and style that David Arnold utilises for his movie soundtracks. Having said that, this album should also appeal to rock and soul audiences, and the jazz crowd too. The musical language is just so rich and enveloping, the nine tracks spread outward without being rushed. The track titles are: Metropolitan, Sentimental Steps, Lost But Not Afraid, Emergency Talking, Tribal Interlude, Remind, Something Getting Wrong, Higher, and Not An End. To sum up: Something Getting Wrong is one of the best albums I have heard in a long time and is most highly recommended - one of my albums of the year so far - and Michael de Salem is an impressively talented musician. Buy this!

For more information about this artist, album and availability visit: www.michaeldesalem.com - Borderland Review UK


Discography

Something Getting Wrong by Michael de Salem 2011

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Bio

MICHAEL DE SALEM
Awakening Consciousness through Music

“I wish to plant a song as a seed in the mind, heart and soul of the listener in hopes that the seeds will blossom into flowers and trees that live infinitely embedded deep into the consciousness of the being” ~Michael de Salem.

Michael de Salem was born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland, the world’s most compact metropolis also known as the “Peace Capital.” Michael’s roots are firmly planted in his homeland where he peacefully resides free from the chaos that befalls many other countries. As a teenager he became very conscious of this chaos and injustice that plagued the world around him. Michael’s young spirit was intensely affected by the disharmony between human beings and the Earth. He longed to discern the manic consciousness that befell mankind as he observed his fellow peers becoming disconnected and rebellious.
De Salem went on to study Physics at the University of Geneva to gain a better understanding of the behavior of the natural world. His studies brought forth a shocking discovery that planet Earth could eventually become unable to sustain any form of life as a result of the behaviors and choices of an un-evolved human consciousness. Michael began to feel a deep sense of how something went wrong with humanity somewhere along the way and began to contemplate his piece in this puzzle. From his childhood experiences and observations, he came to the conclusion that our children need deep spiritual teachings about consciousness and the natural world to manifest a sustainable future for our planet and its inhabitants.

Amidst a disharmonious yet beautiful world, Michael discovered an avid sense of harmony when one day, he picked up a broken classical guitar and began to play. This discovery brought so much joy and solace to Michael’s heart and spirit and sparked his desire to further explore and study music on his own accord. He eagerly accomplished the first recording of his guitar on a tape deck while using headphones as a microphone. This prompted Michael to pursue a career in music and soon enough he began working at The Annual Montreux Jazz Festival, which is known as Europe’s most prestigious music festival. He worked as a representative for some of the world’s leading Guitar brands.
Michael made his recording debut as a guitarist, co-composer and producer on several African, Pop, Punk, and Spanish albums released in Switzerland, which in turn lead to the debut of his first solo album - Something Getting Wrong.

De Salem took a very unique approach when composing his music by combining musical expressions of life experience with his extensive knowledge of natural science. He explains,” Every sound in my compositions is chosen to dance with the other, identical to the way elements inherently come together to compose matter.”

Something Getting Wrong combines a unique musical articulation of Michael’s perspective on the disharmony that plagues our planet, coupled with his advocacy for human and environmental rights. Michael composed and produced the album and develops the sound on guitar, keyboard, piano and drums. He hopes his music will gift the imagination with a contemplative melodic platform to awaken deeply rooted memories and emotions while opening the mind to freedom of expression. Something Getting Wrong truly evokes the curiosity of the listener with an alluring ambient electronic soundtrack accompanied by the haunting melodies of a cello.

Michael says, “Something Getting Wrong is a musical reflection on how I have come to perceive the world over the past 25 years. I intend for my music to make people consciously aware of certain unpleasant and pleasant incidents occurring amongst humanity by building my music around particular events that have evoked my attention.”
De Salem is currently working as a sound engineer in Geneva and fosters his passion for Physics by traveling the world on occasion. He frequently visits a quaint coastal city by the name of Salem in Massachusetts. This colorful and culturally diverse place is known for an impressive display of historic architecture and mysterious stories that span almost four centuries. Michael feels a deep connection to the mystical energy of Salem and senses a profound synchronicity in having the same name.

CONTACTS

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Phone: (905) 470-1230, Fax: (905) 470-7771

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Phone: (323) 851-3355

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