Website info. “Mustafa Khetty is a composer and song writer with little musical background. Born in Sri Lanka, educated in Ireland and an Irish citizen, his early years there absorbing the culture, humour, literature, ethos and musical heritage has been a lifelong inspiration. He has lived in the UK, USA, Middle East and Far East, which has contributed to a rich and diverse palette of musical influence. His influences are Indian classical, western classical, choral, Mid-Eastern, progressive rock, samba, African, jazz fusion, heavy metal, ethnic and other genres. He started composing music at the age of 12 and scored the first sketches of a rock/classical fusion concerto, toccata and fugue and other pieces by the age of 15. At the end of 2017, after nearly 36 years as an investor and IT entrepreneur, he made a complete change and returned to his first passion, music. His music style ranges across different genres and fusion of both western and eastern styles and instruments merging soundscapes forming a tapestry of moods, emotions, rhythmic patterns and harmonic layers. Often described as world music, his creative spirit is free from rules. A Bohemian at heart, his music and acoustic expressions are a reflection of his travels, life experiences and observations.”
What an interesting musical journey by Mustafa Khetty and his band Morpheus Project, in the true meaning of the word, very varied and eclectic. But also wonderfully coloured with a wide range of instruments. You have to be up to the emotional vocals, at some moments pretty theatrical. Here are my highlights of their debut album Mozaick.
A blend of soaring keyboards, nature sounds, soft howling guitar runs and synthesizer flights in the atmospheric opener Rage Before The Storm.
A dreamy climate with twanging acoustic guitar, piano, intense violin play, then an eruption with emotional theatrical vocals, and finally a majestic Mellotron choir sound in Shrill.
Between mellow and bombastic with excellent guitar play, from tender acoustic to a heavy electric sound, and outstanding interplay between sparkling piano and howling guitar in Dancing With Elves.
The title track delivers lots of shifting moods and a lush instrumentation. First a tight beat with propulsive percussion, then swinging with heavy guitar. In between a sultry violin solo and flashy synthesizer flights. In the end howling guitar runs and violin, with propulsive percussion, what an exciting blend of prog and ethnic!
The captivating and dynamic track Istanbul Swing showcases Morpheus Project in its full splendour. It starts with Santana-like conga percussion, blended with synthesizer drops, then an electric guitar joins, in a hypnotizing climate, gradually a tighter beat and fiery guitar runs. Halfway a break with soaring strings, conga, turning into a swinging rhythm with awesome Hammond organ work and fiery guitar runs. This exciting sound reminds me of Al DiMeola his jazzrock, and early Santana, wow!
More bombastic Hammond organ and rock guitar in Nights To Remember. After a mellow break with sensitive electric guitar and theatrical vocals, again a bombastic and propulsive mid-tempo, now featuring flashy synthesizer flights and heavy guitar runs, pretty exciting.
The final song Cry For Freedom turns into a very emotional experience, due to the wonderful Grand piano and violin, with strong melancholy undertones. The opera-like female voice and soaring strings are the musical translation of “the cry for freedom”, very intense. And a huge contrast to the two previous bombastic and dynamic tracks, emphasizing Morpheus Project's captivating and varied musical journey.
***+ Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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