[ELECTRO FUNK/SOUL] Manic Focus – ‘Cerebral Eclipse’ Album Review

[ELECTRO FUNK/SOUL] Manic Focus – ‘Cerebral Eclipse’ Album Review

[ELECTRO FUNK/SOUL] Manic Focus – ‘Cerebral Eclipse’ Album Review


[ELECTRO SOUL] Manic Focus and GRiZ - "Life Goes On"

I have to admit, music got away from me for a minute. Life can be a crazy bitch and trying to keep up with what she’s thinking will do you in. It’s been a hectic few weeks, and the time I’ve spent with my mistress has been few and far between. Between the reality of a full time job that I’m as passionate about as music and a schedule that doesn’t require the sleep I do, finding time to get back to my roots can sometimes be like chasing the proverbial dragon.

I find myself centered now, as I return the calm of a somewhat learned chaos my life has become. But it’s the recurring themes in my music that seem to be the revolving center, as I find myself constantly drawn to certain sounds at certain times. Here and now it’s the familiar deep grooves and funky vibes of Manic Focus, the Chicago producer who today released his latest full length album, Cerebral Eclipse, a ten track journey that features some of the biggest names on the live-instrument electronic scene.

Cerebral Eclipse is perhaps all the more appropriate for me to make my staggered writing return to The S&S as what has become known as electronic funk – umbrella term – really embodies more than what it’s name suggests. While the elements combined hint at flavors of soul, funk, EDM, and hip-hop, it’s the breaking down of these genre barriers and bringing them back together into a unified, yet diverse product that gets my ear buds perky.

From the Pretty Lights-esque beginnings of “Trail Blazin'”, tinged with hip-hop spice from Eryn Allen Kane and ProbCause to the laid back soul of “Life Goes On” featuring GRiZ, Manic Focus manifests a sonic world full of chunky bass, space-aged synths, and Southern Gospel choirs. And there’s no lack of live instrumentation on the album, as Dominic Lalli of Big Gigantic fame lends the effortless cool of his sax skills to “Bumpin’ In The Voodoo” and the talented Michal Menert brings his tasty grooves to “Space Scholar Synthesis”.

Trying to hone Cerebral Eclipse into on one distinct sound in a genre that contains so many unique aesthetics is a difficult task. There is no way to define it properly given those boundaries. That’s the reason I dig the production so much – it’s a small taste of so many great flavors all rolled into one delicious, frosted-covered, dripping desert cake. After so much time away, it’s a welcome treat to remind me why I love writing, sharing, and most importantly, listening to music.

Check out the full stream of Cerebral Eclipse below and check out Manic Focus’ tour schedule after the jump to see if he’ll be in a town near you with the likes of Big Gigantic, Grizmatic, and HeRobust.




10/28/2014 – Lincoln Theater w/ Big Gigantic – Raleigh, NC
10/29/2014 – The NorVa w/ Big Gigantic – Norfolk, VA
10/30/2014 – The Music Farm w/ Big Gigantic – Columbia, SC
10/31/2014 – Eagles Ballroom w/ Grizmatik – Milwaukee, WI
11/02/2014 – Voodoo Music Festival – New Orleans, LA
11/05/2014 – Baltimore Soundstage w/ Break Science – Baltimore, MD
11/06/2014 – Mr. Smalls Theatre w/ Break Science – Millvale, PA
11/08/2014 – Pearl Street w/ Break Science – Northampton, MA
11/12/2014 – Culture Room w/ Break Science – Fort Lauderdale, FL
11/13/2014 – Orpheum w/ Break Science – Tampa, FL
11/19/2014 – Bourbon Street Bar w/ HeRobust – Auburn, AL
11/20/2014 – Vinyl Music Hall w/ HeRobust – Pensacola, FL
11/21/2014 – Zydeco w/ HeRobust – Birmingham, AL
11/22/2014 – Anthem w/ HeRobust – Nashville, TN
11/28/2014 – Mill City Nights – Minneapolis, MN
11/29/2014 – Eagles Ballroom – Mandan, ND
12/04/2014 – Blue Moose – Iowa City, IA
12/13/2014 – Diamonds – Louisville, KY
12/30/2014 – Decadence Music Festival – Denver, CO
12/31/2014 – Miramar Theatre – Milwaukee, WI


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Kris Hi there! Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Sights and Sounds. Been doing this music writing thing for most my life in one way or another and loving every opportunity it's brought along. Shoot me an email if you have any suggestions for the website, comments, or if you just want to chat. Cheers!