It’s very difficult to describe someone as prolific as Misha Panfilov. So, I feel the best way to define him is to think of a “Trivial Pursuit Playing Piece,” where each pie piece represents one of the bands he heads up, and each band has its own distinct style and genre. Yet, when looked at all together, create the whole musical persona of Misha. This is the lens I would like to view his latest endeavor, Days As Echoes.
The vibe on this sophomore release channels Krautrock philosophy and Library music, peppered with elements of jazz, Ethiopian, cinema, ambient and bits of everything between. This atmosphere is created from all the instruments Misha uses and the resulting compositions are heard as repetitive patterns that are forged from the multiple layering of melodies. Thus, creating six unique songs with emotional granularity, yet collectively encompass a genuinely positive “feel good” vibe…with a hint of nostalgia.
Moods of the day, moods like echoes say,
A future of hope is yours, by following the Sun’s ray.
The opening track, “Days As Echoes,” is a dedication to a much simpler time when the sky was bluer and the snow was whiter…just like how you remember it when you were a child. A time when people honestly cared more about everything as a given, and not as a selfish accolade. A time when optimism seemed within reach. In other words, nostalgia marred by awareness.
…Leading to a path where the skies are not gray.
Where dreams of castles in the air are the mainstay.
“In A Dream” has a style that pays homage to both spiritual jazz and ambient music. A simple theme is introduced and leads to the climax of this stormy dream, putting it all in perspective. That pivotal point when one realizes the truth by re-tracing the events, which led to the epiphany of how to find the answer while traveling within this airy soundscape.
…Diurnal or nocturnal, day or night,
Traveling the path of truth must be done without fright.
One can’t help but feel a definite traveling vibe that comes from “Moonscape Waltz” To me, it has a dual-characteristic that can be visualized as a train trip, either at sunrise or sunset. Regardless, the time is not of major relevance, but the actual pursuit is. Lao Tzu said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with that first step.” This track takes you beyond that initial step into this vast world toward your destination as you search for the truth.
…The unknown is real, but you know the deal.
People need people to show which direction you point the wheel.
“Together” is the most peaceful and solo oriented compositions of this album. It shows how one cannot achieve happiness alone, but the importance of having someone special or a group of others to help along the way. Not only to help seek your goal, but also the ability to enjoy the scenery while on your journey
…The end of this tunnel has a light that’s so bright.
Illuminating the trodden way, your destination, now in sight.
One is free from the chains of the unknown as you listen to a “Few Layers For Smith”, a dedication to a friend. A song that draws energy from the ECM works of Steve Reich, thats married with a primitive lo-fi basement setting. Its positive force breaks those encumbrances and gives you a glimpse of your prize. But you ruminate on this and come to the conclusion that the path that led you there is equally important as the goal itself. Question is, how do you share your realizations and experiences?
…The route was cast, the trials have passed.
The glittering treasure you sought is yours now, at last.
“Ocean Song” meanders from the ritual rhythms of its shoreline to the crashing riptides of unbridled guitar feedback, creating this raging ocean atmosphere. However, its message is quite clear and states that people’s goals and experiences are not just meant for personal growth, but to be shared with
others, so that they too can live vicariously thru your story and somehow utilize it for their own.
…The prize has been won, but the journey is never done.
You now have the responsibility to share everything under the Sun.
These six songs, each with its own sound, collectively comprise the vibe of this album. One cannot help but feel a sense of joy and fulfillment when listening to it. Each song has its own unique mood, yet together create an atmosphere of hope and happiness that has no choice but to spill out of the listener. I feel this was the ultimate goal of Misha’s on this record. Quite a challenge for the man who never sleeps, but is always searching for the perfect beat. One may not fully grasp his musical mind, but this album does give you a gateway into the moods and magic of Misha!
- Brent Sawicki