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Published on July 8th, 2014 | by PRESENCE


From Sentimental Love To Universal Love

Just like his music, Arthur Abhez is a man of many layers. Tech guru by day, and connoisseur of retro recording equipment in his spare time, Ahbez prefers to work with old machinery and gadgets,  “I just think it’s so sad to neglect machines that work perfectly just because something newer came along.” This recreational hunting of old treasures as he spends his days ironing out the quirks in new ones is just one of the intriguing ironies about this sincere and thoughtful artist.

His debut album Gold, fittingly recorded on an 8 track tape deck and two and a half years in the making is a reflection of his ideas about music and artistry. “Gold is really inspired by every person who’s vocation or art is their fulltime way of earning a living. Specifically, it was inspired by artist Rohan Wealleans, who’s hard work, effort and dedication to his art really struck a cord with me.” Ahbez isn’t flippant about music and the meanings it can communicate. He understands that music can be the key to meaning, and should be thoughtful, intelligent and of great substance.

Inspired by the “great music acts from the 60’s folk scene,” Neil Young, The Grateful Dead and The Vibes, to name a few, Gold is lyrically sophisticated. The ingrained lyrical messages transmitted in different ways throughout the album. Tracks like Walk On are stories, told in detail, others, such as The Fundamentals, are 4 lines long, and chilling in the directness of their ideas about modern society. Ahbez, believes in the artists responsibility to inspire change through their art, just like these trail blazers that evoke his music. “I really like their whole attitude, they’re hung up on spreading love through lyrics and getting people to open up. It was a change from sentimental love to universal love and complete freedom, which I really admire.”

Unlike the offerings of many acoustic/ folk contemporaries, Gold is interesting and multilayered, a special kind of creation.  The most impressive thing about the album is that each track really does have a different kind of energy. The reason for the success of the albums original feel has got to be Ahbez’s dedication to the cause. “I mixed it myself because I’m very particular about the way it sounds, I didn’t want anyone else to touch it.” So, with a loving hand, Gold was mixed and coaxed into the piece of legitimate art it stands as today, an album with “shifting moods.”

A humble man of music, Ahbez’s self critical nature lends him to being the kind of musician you trust not to fill your ears with generic crap. If he’s happy with the product, you can believe that it’s worth a listen.” I listened to it over and over to make sure I didn’t get sick of it, and I guess that’s my favorite thing about it, that I can still really enjoy listening to it. Hopefully in 10 years, it’ll still resonate with me and I’ll still get the same kick out of it as when I made it.”

The road to making Gold has been one less traveled, and one that is not finished yet. Ahbez hopes there to be a new album in the next year. “I’ve been writing and refining, there’s a lot of material left over from Gold, which has been archived, so hopefully some of that will see the light of day.” As far as the tour trail goes, there are upcoming opportunities to make this mans acquaintance, “We’re playing in August at Grey Lynn Hall for a fundraiser for an online blog.” I’ll be there, reveling in the truth that emanates, from this humble muso… will you?

Article by Anna Schlotjes


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Started in 2008, PRESENCE ZINE (originally called Presence Magazine) is a window into a lifestyle of bohemian coolness. It is for people looking for something new: bands, writers, comedy, photography, fashion designers and artists.

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