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Mellowdrone
Rocking the USA!



 
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Jonathan Bates pursued music after spending an enlightening childhood and adolescence in Miami, Florida, Jonathan moved to Boston, Massachusetts. Bates was good enough to receive a scholarship to the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Massachusetts there he played music and learned about cold weather because of the boring snow and rain, one couldn't go out much, so Jonathan started writing and recording music on his computer he decided to call this music Mellowdrone.
.....After the cold became too much Jonathan then moved to sunny Los Angeles California where he now p l a y s becoming an absolute studio wizard, which is exactly what Bates did. He began working with some simple computer equipment and keyboards that allowed him to create, program, mix and record music. That's when his alter ego -- Mellowdrone -- was born. He produced his first home-brewed EP, " ... boredom never sounded so sweet," in 1999, which set the foundation for what would become an ongoing exploration into the worlds of electronica, Synth-pop, rock 'n' roll, and even New Wave.

A second EP, "glassblower," would catch the attention of A&R rep Tony Berg, whose track record includes discovering Beck and the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Berg would make Mellowdrone one of his first signings after coming onboard ARTISTdirect Records. .......Things are really looking up for Mellowdrone, who has received some rave reviews for his artsy new EP, "a demonstration of intellectual property." He has opened shows for such notable names as Elbow, South, Remy Zero and Starsailor. Now he's joining the big leagues serving as main support for Johnny Marr and the Healers. Bates transforms into a one-man band who, like Einstein turned symphony composer, has made a habit out of recording impressive EPs in the same room in which he snoozes. A Demonstration Of Intellectual Property, his third such outing, is a six-song affair that'll have no trouble fostering anticipation for the proper full-length, due later this year. Jonathan Bates and in many ways he has a lot in common with other modern "out in left field" artists such as Beck, Angie Aparo and Vast. The music isn't nearly as heavy as Vast's. I draw the comparison due to the fact that Bates is a songwriting / recording machine unto himself. He sequesters himself in his bedroom studio to write, record and produce his own music and as a result you get the full measure of his musical vision not the vision of some high priced record producer. Relentlessly pursue the task of capturing that vision on tape (or rather harddrive). Stylistically the music has an experimental feel to it but Jonathan Bates doesn't fall into the trap of being a self-absorbed, the songs have a freeform feel but underneath you find Structured and contain most of the elements of successful pop tunes; melodic hooks, a moving rhythm and vocals you find yourself singing along to.
.... After listening to Mellowdrone it may not be for everyone but those with an ear for the Melodious musical explorations of Beck and Radiohead should feel right at home with this disc. As the name suggests the music is on the mellower side of the street and has a droning quality to it. But for the most part, the droning has an almost hypnotic power that evokes curiosity and compels you to keep listening. On "No More Options" Jonathan does find the before mentioned formula. The verses are compelling escapades into Radiohead "Creep" territory that lead to powerful choruses that sound like what you would get if U2.
....The vocals are just dripping with emotion as Jonathan takes you on a ride into his consciousness. The bottom line Mellowdrone would still standout even if the musical universe was filled with high quality artists.

By Randy Cohen

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