Album Review: MAKS "Dark Days"

MAKS "Dark Days"

Toronto composer/producer MAKS delves into the dark on his debut EP Dark Days.

Released Aug. 18, this three track EP is MAKS’ first solo release in which he explores the tonal ebbs of ambient music.

MAKS, aka Maksym Chupov-Ryabtsev, is a 20-year-old Ukranian born musician who now lives in Toronto. Currently studying classical composition at the University of Toronto, MAKS’ work has already attracted attention in the Toronto music scene.

In April, MAKS participated in Canadian Music Week as part of the progressive-rock trio Inventor. However, his solo project is a distinct deviation from his work with Kevin Unruh and Keshav Sharma-Jaitly of Inventor.

Dark Days is a soundtrack without a film. It is dark, moody, and even unnerving. And it’s only three tracks long: “Prelude,” “Summit,” and “Dissolve.” And these are all things that make Dark Days enticingly wonderful.

There is something to be said for the simplicity of MAKS’ first solo EP. Think “Stranger Things” but in the realms of your own imagination. It is synth heavy but not overpoweringly so. For instance, “Summit” has moments of dominant synth effects. But the build and fade of the music combined with the occasional, and dare I say unexplainable, electronic effect will unnerve even the toughest music lover.

MAKS’ Dark Days is definitely worth checking out.