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Gary Dranow – “Digitize” ~ An adventurous stylistic departure for a blues-rock stalwart!

“Digitize” is not what I’ve come to expect from Gary Dranow. But in a good way. Where much of his repertoire that I’ve heard has been standard-issue rock music, “Digitize” embraces electronica in a very exciting way that’s a definite departure from Gary Dranow and The Manic Emotion’s usual work.

The song opens with a mid-2000s-esque synthesizer section, and it’s very hooky. A synth lead plays a riff while piano and guitar hang in the background as a high hat builds into the first verse. This instrumentation continues until the chorus hits: a post-Linkin Park-ish nu-metal part that hits hard. Also of note is the extended section that takes the place of a bridge: including what sounds like throat singing and the powerful lead vocals by Klym Apalkov, this is a major change from Dranow’s bread and butter. And I like it.

Digitize” scratches a very particular itch: the one that’s been notably unsatisfied since this particular style of music faded away in the mid-to-late-2000s. There’s always been something exciting about the combination of synthesizers and heavy guitar work, and – for technological reasons – it’s long been a combination that’s remained largely unfulfilled in its potential. Recent developments in prog metal aside (which has its own problems with overindulgence and musical extravagance) there’s not really much in the way of accessible, pop-oriented music fusing the two sonic palettes. And for that, I have to give Dranow credit here, especially with the inclusion of the (again, not sure on this) throat singing section.

As with most of Dranow’s work, the song is produced immaculately, mixed extremely well, and ready to sit on a (in this case, experimental nu-metal) playlist. Moreover, it’s adventurous; “Digitize” is a sonic journey unlike anything else I’ve heard from Dranow and credit must be given where it’s due; he’s done a great job with this one.

Listen to "Digitize" on Spotify here -

You can check out Gary Dranow’s (band) website here:

A brilliant addition to the repertoire -

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