MUSIC

PLAYS ELECTRONICA BY ONE CELLO

by MAX LILJA

The debut solo album. All music by Max. All music performed on electrified and acoustic cellos by Max. Produced by Max. Recorded by Max. Mixed by Max. Mastered by Henkka Niemistö at Chartmakers. Cover art: "Conversation" by Antti Rönkä. Layout by Max.

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SOLO ALBUM REVIEWS


The Sound Of Confusion August 23rd 2013 by Karla

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Max may have plunged head first into relatively new waters by adding a contemporary electronic twist to classical cello music but there’s an underlying ethereal darkness that elusively trickles through the electronic vibes marking some of the tracks with a kiss of death. Yes, the album speaks in many different magnificent tongues and each voice is a polite conversationalist who waits patiently before unravelling their separate secrets. Opener 'I Sound My Sound' loosely chugs and rattles before soaring to euphoric almost orgasmic acoustic cello, heights. 'Now' follows with spooky chiming bells, and has a huge dark electro- industrial kick that doesn't distract away from the organic cello melodies. 'A State Of Mind' was probably recorded underwater next to a school of fish. Gargling aquatic beauty, it's your perfect soundtrack to a day of snorkelling.

'Count Phase' constantly changes pace and direction and has an '80s electronic meets Celtic folk vibe. 'Like This' juggles a sense of urgency and apprehension in its bassline, 'It Is In' is sharp and pulsates with a kraut edge. 'The End' is soft, slow and tender, reminding us of the power of the cello.'You Me' starts with a head rush of electronic sound and is almost trance-like. Then there’s 'Qualified' that has a somewhat jumpy hip-hop beat under desperate, echoing cello lines and lastly there’s the shrieky, intrusive 'In SoS' that creeps and cries and conjures slightly oppressive, crunchy imagery. 'Plays Electronica By One Cello' seems to be classically timeless yet comprised of a breezy modernity and a grandeur which sees that no two tracks are the same. In terms of contemporaries, Max Lilja stands niche-less and impenetrably alone waving an educating flag out in welcome to a whole new cross-breed of fans.

Read the full review at
The Sound Of Confusion




Victim Of Sound May 14th 2013 by Christine Caruana

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Lilja has created something beautiful...

Read the full review at Victim Of Sound




Echoes And Dust
May 4th 2013 by Dave Guzda

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The overall sound of the album is refreshing and unique. The cello has such a moving and distinctive voice throughout the album and it expresses a diverse range of tones, moods and feelings. The cello's voice sings loudly because a vocalist doesn't. All the songs on Plays Electronica by One Cello are instrumentals. I found the pairing of cello and electronica works quite well. The electronic music creates a perfect musical canvas for Max to paint evocative scenes with his cello. The album clips along quickly with ten tracks clocking in at just over 34 minutes with all the tracks under 4 minutes long. The "loop album button" on your device, computer or stereo was meant for Plays Electronica by One Cello.

The album kicks off with the crisp and clean 'I Sound My Sound'. A catchy opener that blends an engaging cello melody alongside a groovy electronica beat. There are some darker tones that creep into the album however. 'Now' is a crunchy dark track which is accented by a reoccurring somber bell. Equally prickly is the bassy track 'Like This' and sinister kung-fu flavoured, tension filled 'Qualified'. It is a deeply evocative track and conjures a different scenario in my mind every time. By contrast "A State Of Mind" is mellow, gentle, light and tranquil, much like the track 'The End'.

The album alternates back and forth between the lighter and darker tracks, slower and faster tracks creating a very inviting flow. Max impresses with all the various voices he creates with his cello. The electronic end is consistently well paced and complimentary. While the music is light at times it is never dull and Max adds extra effects or instrumentation often to create a variety of compelling sounds.

Occasionally I could sense the heavier edge of Max's background lurking in the mix wanting to poke through but it never does. Perhaps one day he'll release Plays Metal by One Cello...

Plays Electronica by One Cello is an impressive and innovative merging of musical genres. Max Lilja utilizes electrified and acoustic cello to illustrate the versatility and potential of the instrument in modern music. The album is catchy, convincing and begs to be replayed. Those looking for slick, melodic, addictive electronica blended with the unique tones of a cello may never take Plays Electronica by One Cello off shuffle on their stereo. Give this a spin.

Read the full review at Echoes And Dust



Burst Magazine May 1st 2013 by Korina P.

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Max managed to introduce us in a totally new and innovative sound!

Read the full review at Burst Magazine



mousique
April 16th 2013 by Peter

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Max toont zich op dit album een ware meester in het bespelen (en manipuleren) van de versterkte cello. Luister maar eens naar het prachtige Count Phase, met zijn minimale ritme, eenvoudige maar pakkende melodietjes en onheilspellende onderhuidse spanningsbogen. Zo af en toe neigt de muziek naar electropop (zoals bv in Now) maar over het algemeen blijft het allemaal redelijk minimaal. Zo af en toe hoor je (of denk je te horen) wat metalinvloeden voorbijkomen (Qualified), maar dit album neigt uiteindelijk toch het meest naar ambient/lichte electronische muziek. Een heerlijke soundtrack voor een luie zondagmiddag.

Read the full review at
mousique



In2music April 16th 2013 by Αριάδνη Γ 

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Φέτος κυκλοφορεί το πρώτο solo album, με τίτλο “Plays Electronica By One Cello”, σε ήχους electro, όπως αναφέρει και ο τίτλος. Τριών χρόνων δουλειά και νομίζω το αποτέλεσμα ήταν καλύτερο και από αυτό που θα περιμέναμε. Νέοι πειραματισμοί, κάτι που δεν είχαμε συνηθίσει από τον ίδιο, κομμάτια “ακουστικά” και μόνο, που έχουν μια δόση ώριμης και ίσως μακροχρόνιας πείρας στο ηλεκτρονικό στοιχείο. Δεν είναι άκρως διαπεραστικό, αφού το έχει δέσει πολύ διακριτικά και μπορεί να ακουστεί από όλους.

Μην ξεχνάμε ότι αρκετές συνεργασίες τέτοιου είδους, ήταν προ καιρού με καλλιτέχνιδες τις metal ατμοσφαιρικής και όχι μόνο, σκηνής.
Μια πολύ καλή ακουστική συλλογή 10 κομματιών, όπου το κάθε ένα έχει να σου χαρίσει και κάτι διαφορετικό. Θα μπορούσε να είναι, για όσους θυμάστε, μέσα στις επιλογές του Café Del Mar, και να υποστηρίζετε και πολύ καλά.

Λούπες και ηλεκτρονικά στοιχεία, μπλεγμένα με τέτοιο τρόπο που θεωρώ ότι σου προκαλεί σεβασμό στο άκουσμα τους. Προσωπικά λάτρεψα την δουλειά του και κατάφερε να με ταξιδέψει. Ακούσματα γνώριμα, μα τόσο καλοδουλεμένα που δεν θα περιμέναμε τέτοια αξιοσέβαστη δουλειά απ΄τον Lilja.

Ευχόμαστε κάθε επιτυχία και φυσικά σας το προτείνουμε ανεπιφύλακτα.

Read the full review at
In2music


Stalker Magazine April 14th 2013 by Carina Ullmann

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– back then, cello rock was something new, just as Lilja´s music is something new and hard-to-pigeonhole now.

The result is an instrumental album that combines electronic with cello sounds – and it was done in an impressive and fascinating way. Monotony is no issue at any time thanks to the different and diverse tonal elements. Every song tells a new story that the listener can make up in his or her own mind.

The mix of electronic beats and the melodies, carried by the diverse cello sound, are pleasantly catchy and help the listener to relax and just focus on the music itself. It´s not advised to put this record on while you´re doing something else, as it would clearly be a waste - too many details would get lost. Time and time again, Lilja manages to build up atmosphere and suspense in his songs, and manages to sustain them from start to finish - this is quite an achievement!

Absolute must-listens are “The End” and “It is in”, yet also “Like this” as well as “Count Phase” are close on the two first mentioned songs´ heels! As a conclusion: Lilja managed to create an album that you simply want to listen to over and over again as there is always something new, new sounds, influences, for you to discover. Thus, the music never loses its fascination. One can only hope that this is not going to be the only album of this kind by Max Lilja!

Rating: 10/10

Read the full review at Stalker Magazine



Melody of the Soul April 12th 2013 by Basak

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Before listening to this album, you have to keep in mind that this is neither a metal nor an Apocalyptica-like album. This is completely different stuff. Some of you might know Max Lilja from Apocalyptica or from being the touring member of Tarja Turunen but when you are listening to this album, you have to kind-of forget all of this. You will understand why I mention this because “Plays Electronica By One Cello” is not like the other albums you have heard; it is completely unique and one of a kind.

What would be the best way to describe this album then? You can think of it as ‘what if the electronic music entwines with the beautiful instrument of cello?’ The question might raise some eyebrows but Max Lilja manages to combine the elements of electronic music and cello so well. The album starts in a soothing way with ‘I Sound My Sound’ and that’s what attracts me to this beautiful masterpiece. Listening to this album from the beginning to the end will be soothing for sure because although it can be considered as an electronic album, the effect of the cello really is soothing and even in the most lively and colorful songs, the cello ‘calms down’ the effect that the electronic music has on the song.

One thing I like the most about this album is there are no lyrics; the cello and the electronic music tell all the stories and represent all the emotions throughout the album. This makes the album ‘open-end’; it’s up to the listener what to feel in songs. For this reason, it is also quite difficult to mention which songs have a sad-vibe or which songs have a happy-vibe; it totally depends on the listener’s imagination and feelings. It is also really difficult to pick a favorite from the album; almost all of the songs have their own character and they all represent different feelings. It’s like entering to an art museum and trying to pick a favorite piece of art! However, I can say that ‘It is In’ represents the dominance of cello whereas ‘You Me’ represents the electronic side of the album. One thing that is also easily recognizable is the fact that the album gets faster with each song; it starts out really soothing and becomes completely electronic towards the end.

“Plays Electronica by One Cello” can be considered as real art in today’s music industry. It is quite rare to listen to an album which is so dynamic yet so soothing. This also shows that the industry needs musicians like Max Lilja; it is not easy combining completely different elements of music and creating a masterpiece. I recommend this album to anyone who wants to listen to a ‘good-quality’ music album!

Rating : 10/10

Read the full review at Melody of the Soul



WRUV April 10th 2013 by justintime

Plays Electronica By One Cello is the solo debut from Finnish cello player Max Lilja. Lilja’s music has taken many forms throughout his career beginning with his training at the prestigious Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. From there he joined the Heavy Metal band Apocalyptica, then hooked up with Hevein and finally worked with former Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen before striking out on his own. Lilja has taking a different turn with Plays Electronica By One Cello, exploring the electronic side of music with his cello. The music is Dark Ambient and has a strong Gothic feel with hints of Industrial and IDM mixed in. There is also a Kraftwerk feel imbedded in the tracks, a sharp electronic sound that adds another dimension to the music. Lilja has done a good job of creating an album that showcases the cello without overwhelming the listener. He has drawn upon his previous experiences to create an electronic album that is dark and sometimes foreboding but also is elegance and beautiful as well. This album proves you can merge an ancient instrument with modern electronic music to produce a new and innovative sound.

More reviews from WRUV



Monologue Chronicles 
April 9th 2013 by Kenta

Del headbang a la pista de baile, Max Lilja es conocido por ser uno de los fundadores de la muy importante banda Finlandesa Apocalyptica, la cual en su momento creo un nuevo sub-genero del meta, el chelo metal, y que hoy en día es una de las bandas de metal más comercializadas en todo el mundo, el destino lo saco de Apocaliptyca y lo llevo hasta la banda de Tarja Turunen (ex vocalista de Nightwish) la cual incluye un chelista en vivo. Max tardo bastante en manifestarse con una creación propia desde entonces, pero la espera ha valido porque esta vez, de nuevo Max nos trae un estilo de música completamente nuevo, no es metal, no es cello metal, ¡es Electrónica tocada por un chelo!

El músico Finlandés liberara su álbum debut el próximo 12 de Abril, que además ser el debut de Max como solista será el debut de un nuevo estilo musical, y Monologue Chronicles tuvo el privilegio de escuchar en exclusiva la nueva propuesta musical, escuchamos el álbum en su totalidad y realizamos una reseña para que nuestros lectores puedan tener una idea de que va este disco, ¡desde ya les puedo decir que está muy recomendado!
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Le asigno al disco una calificación de 9.0 sobre 10, y lo defino como una excelente opción para los amantes del metal que quisieran ahondar en otro género musical no tan comercial y realmente de calidad, esta electrónica hecha por chelos contiene algo de sinfónico y es un sonido del cual puedes enamorarte, realmente te transporte a muchas situaciones con cerrar los ojos, no aburre porque no es un disco tan largo de hecho es muy compacto, y sencillo, las canciones no son tan largas y creo que sirve perfectamente como un break entre discos de metal o como un a música conceptual para un espacio donde compartas con amigos en un ambiente interesante pero tranquilo, es música con la que puedes reflexionar, viajar e incluso bailar, esta sería un nuevo género que podríamos escuchar en reuniones de música electrónica, ¡seria genial!

A las personas que sean seguidores de este estilo de música ¡les recomiendo el disco! Es un disco lleno de ingenio y una propuesta diferente a lo que generalmente conlleva la música Electronica.

Read the full review at Monologue Chronicles