A prominent figure in the emotive dance scene for nearly 20 years, SKULLandHEADPHONES is an EDM project led by Tiro Rivera. “Funky Dreams”, is a track off the self-titled 4 track EP by SKULLandHEADPHONES, produced via Tiro’s production company called Insane Produzionz. In fact it’s the opening track on the recording, and is the perfect way to start the EP, as it really sets the tone for the entire experience. Just like the introduction to an essay, this creation grasps the listener’s attention and really exhibits the entire timbre and tone of the EP. “Funky Dreams” immediately hops into a nice melody, while slowly introducing more and more elements into the song, and working itself into a nice rhythm. It features a nice back and forth of groove and a very 90’s-sounding synth. This track makes me imagine myself traveling somewhere, thirsty for adventure and new sights.
“Funky Dreams” brings out many emotions. A simple feel-good melody mixed in with lush strings and shimmering retro keys, fills you with a sense of nostalgia. Something that SKULLandHEADPHONES’ music does to me most of the time anyway.
The genre of this song sounds like funky dance-pop, although an artist like Tiro Rivera hardly fits into anyone else’s genre. It’s always the subtle nuances of a recording that make the difference between a track being just good and being great. Perhaps Tiro has been paying strict attention to these subtleties, as “Funky Dreams” is certainly one of his finest.
The mood is set right away on as the analogue-like keys move in and set up permanent residence. The clean retro groove wraps those same keys around a head-bobbing bounce that wears a ribbon of tinkling melodic slivers.
A song like “Funky Dreams” reveals the depth and audacious nature of SKULLandHEADPHONES’ arrangements: Tiro thinks like an ensemble, not like an individual instrumentalist when he composes. This allows him to create art that is so much bigger than himself.
It is this attention to detail along with the sensitive interplay between the bounce and the smooth that causes SKULLandHEADPHONES’ latest to beg for repeated listens. Taking the many mastered elements from his past work, “Funky Dreams” represents something all musicians aspire to, yet rarely ever achieve.
But where SKULLandHEADPHONES stands above all else is within his ability to perfectly intertwine earworm melodies and driving rhythms within the easy-listening landscapes he creates. From every bar of breathing instrumentation to the clever transitions throughout, “Funky Dreams” is brought to life.
Hence SKULLandHEADPHONES brings to us yet another inspiring display of artistry and originality. At its finest, Tiro Rivera’s music showcases his masterful understanding of composition. Frequently unfolding into an arrangement of awesome coherence, between sound, groove and emotion. SKULLandHEADPHONES enjoys incorporating as much as possible into his music, without ever overdoing the overall quality.