Published on October 22nd, 2020 | by Dj Smoke0
Red Giant Project – Betta Man Feat. Tre Aces
Living legends combine master-level skills for truly original album ‘Red Giant Project’
SAN DIEGO, CA – The ultimate collaboration of musicians who are masters at their craft comes together with an deeper progressive new sound on a new LP called “Red Giant Project.” Spearheaded by Matthew Burke AKA Burkey and sound-designed by Matt Madonna, the project features an array of living legend instrumentalists in Karl Denson, Tah Rei, John Avery, Shane Hall, Tre Aces, and Lynx DeMuth. The juxtaposition of vocalists Burkey and Hall, who also plays guitar on some tracks, combines for a human element that weaves tastefully through the music in ways that never distract from the full scope of the production.
“Beauty is the intention,” Burkey said. “This project could be called R&B and Blues pumped up on bass music. Or it could just as easily be labeled as Americana, or Neo-Soul Trap, or even Lofi-Trip-Hop-Downtempo. It’s ambient poetry with strong hooks and vocal synths that dance through gritty, analog sound. And it’s done by all of these people who are masters of their craft, and then blended together by Matt. It’s something really incredible.”
Madonna and Burkey met some years back while touring with different EDM projects. Madonna was with Love & Light while Burkey spent about a decade with Vokab Kompany. The two would often bump into each other at festivals or on the tour circuit, and sometimes they’d bounce ideas off each other or even play around with different sounds or write songs together. Both of them were doing songs that were high-energy, club-based EDM music upwards of 120 beats per minute and higher. So their collaborations backstage tended to be slower and more ambient, exploring different ways to incorporate the sounds they’d become familiar with into more downtempo and relaxed vibes. Madonna eventually retired ‘Love & Light’ while Burkey continued with Vokab Kompany, and the two of them kept in touch.
In 2016, Burkey had the opportunity to start working with Karl Denson who is a legendary sax player best known for his work with The Rolling Stones, KDTU, and Greyboy Allstars. He’s even featured with the band Sexual Chocolate in the iconic Eddie Murphy comedy “Coming to America.” When Madonna heard that Burkey was working with Denson, he sent them a beat he’d been working on at home, and Denson was so impressed that it sparked an idea from Burkey.
“The whole process created a whole pure vibe,” Burkey said. “We’d all gotten older and didn’t fit that party scene anymore, and our songwriting had taken on a deeper aspect – from the chords to the sound design to the lyricism and everything in between. Matt had become the ultimate sound designer. He can spend days on end just making a sound, and he’ll create his own sounds. He’ll spend a 20-hour session searching for the best kick drum, manipulating 200 different kinds of drums until he’s found that best sound. So he was the perfect person to blend all of the things that these masters at their craft were bringing to the table.”
Burkey said the collaboration has been so overwhelmingly positive that the two friends have decided to pursue more projects in the future. He said they have the first record focusing more on a Neo-Soul, Jazz vibe with Blues guitar and swaggy Hip-Hop–esque vocals. And like a Red Giant star that burns at its brightest in its later stages of life, the “Red Giant Project” showcases the bright burning talent of these veteran artists in a way that cannot and should not be ignored.
To listen to the Red Giant Project or to follow these artists on social media, please visit:
“Wait It Out ft. Karl Denson”