Jason and Robin Campbell’s “Reflect – Metal of Tao”
Piano keys that dance back and forth with a hesitant violin. A vocal that interweaves its verse in between the ebb and flow of the adjacent instrumental harmony. A brother and sister playing off of each other’s sonic strengths in an attempt at striking the perfect balance between ambient stylization and new age harmonization. Sophisticated but easily as accessible to the casual listener as it is the hardcore audiophile, the music we find within the five minutes that exist between the start and finish of Jason and Robin Campbell’s “Reflect – Metal of Tao” is intoxicatingly surreal, to say the very least. Here, melodicism and mightily evocative poetry know no certain boundaries, with the brother and sister duo developing the song refusing to conform to any particular aesthetic or school in their search for audiological peace. I’ve never been the biggest fan of new age music, but when it comes to a release that is as staggeringly intriguing as this one (as well as its parent album Five Elements of Tao) is, you don’t have to be a genre aficionado to appreciate the majestic quality of the textured soundwaves put before us.
The production quality here aside, “Reflect – Metal of Tao” is a really pristine composition that wouldn’t have to be touched up very much to have as cratering an affect in-person as it does in this studio recording. The emotion that Robin Campbell has in her words is reflected within the tender thrust of the keys her brother Jason is commanding in the background of the track. The lyrics hold the narrative together only so much in this song; in all reality, they’re not the element these two musicians are sourcing the majority of the mood from in “Reflect – Metal of Tao.” That role undisputedly belongs to the harmony between the vocal and the strings exclusively, which not only contextualizes the words being sung to us but further extends the passion of the players in this track to anyone who might be listening on the other side of the speakers. It makes me curious to hear the Campbells perform together live, which is an event I hope to see a lot sooner than later this year.
If you’re as into surreal sonic exhibitionism as I am, Jason and Robin Campbell made the perfect song for you to spin this March in “Reflect – Metal of Tao.” Although all six of the tracks on Five Elements of Tao are defiantly addictive and spellbinding in all of the areas that count the most in a modern new age record, there’s something really special about what this track represents and shares with us about its composers. This brother and sister team have made some amazing music in the past, but together in this release, they demonstrate aesthetical wit and wisdom that just aren’t as common as you would think they are in today’s eclectic alternative underground, and for my money, their talents couldn’t have been put to better use than they were in “Reflect – Metal of Tao.”