It’s great to finally check out a longer project from creative producer Anton Cullen. Breaking Through makes for a much more detailed and complex journey than the singles, and every step is notably colourful in perhaps a slightly different way. The title track alone has a vibrancy and brightness that really grabs your attention. The synths and samples featured have a slightly retro or vintage aura, not unlike classic gaming music on occasion, though the overall effect is that of a smooth and misleadingly organic ambiance. The calming backdrop of the music, that smoothness, also contrasts greatly with the high pace and manic energy of the emerging melodies. It makes for a pretty chaotic and mesmerising few minutes.
Driven paints an entirely different picture to the opener. The creatively intense introduction sees your mind fall down the rabbit hole with the soundscape surrounding you. The music is dark and dirty, industrial sounding, yet there are these snippets of what feels like a retro jazz piano shimmering every now and then – keeping a certain element of hope or joy involved. The further you travel into this one, the better it gets. The energy is intense and the soundscape doesn’t appear as your average electronic dance track or mood setter, it appears and evolves as something completely fresh. The latter half of the track showcases the meeting of the dark and the light, before veering back – as if now moving away from the swiftly passing view and returning to examine the engine. Creatively this track is unlike anything I’ve heard in quite some time.
Warfare is as hypnotic and beautiful as it ever was, feeling right at home within this project, though still more than capable of standing tall in its own light. You get so lost in the progression of each of these tracks. Anton Cullen really takes the time to create something meaningful with music, the journey from start to finish within any piece is always unexpected yet brilliantly fitting.
Galactic Groove offers up a fairly precise representation of what its title implies. This is easily the brightest or happiest track of the collection, that retro gaming feel appears in full force, and yet there are equal parts dreamlike delicacy – both fuse well to create an absolute trip for the listener.
The great thing about Anton Cullen’s sound is that although it pays tribute to many of the great elements of music making – the professionalism is there, as is the musical awareness in terms of what works well in composition – it also offers up a completely uncommon display of creativity, the likes of which are fairly incomparable at the moment. Daydreaming is the perfect example. Once you get into it, the track feels like a classic summer dance release – the energy, the mood, the uplifting nature of the vibe. However, when you break it down, or when you pay attention to the building blocks – these instrumental moments are far from what is generally incorporated in modern music. There’s a beautiful touch of originality to everything on this project, and all the while you can enjoy the music for the inspiring escapism that it is.
Heaven On Earth brings things to a close in an intensely calming manner. The opening moments hit with comforting familiarity for me, and once the beat and that leading riff kick in – you’re submerged in this appropriately heavenly soundscape. It’s a great way to finish and it reminds you just how versatile and imaginative the producer and artist is. Breaking Through is a really interesting and powerful EP, well worth listening to in full.