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Five Albums That Changed My Life: Paul Antonio Ortiz aka Chimp Spanner

Basick Records

The instrumental progressive-metal movement has never been as thrilling as it has been in the past year or so. Groups like Animals As Leaders and Scale the Summit have proven that vocals don’t necessarily have to be part of the equation in order for a metal album to be compelling. Heck, these artists have actually proven that including vocals can sometimes even hinder a great metal record! Just think about how many records you’ve heard recently that are weighed down by weak singers.

One of the acts leading the instrumental metal charge is a English musician named Paul Antonio Ortiz who records under the name Chimp Spanner. His love for soundtracks, use of seven and eight-string guitars and ambient keyboards are the keys to Chimp Spanner’s success. All Roads Lead Here, the project’s latest EP, serves as the perfect introduction to Ortiz’s forward-thinking yet never overwrought songwriting style. Noisecreep has been playing the EP pretty much non-stop since it was released in February.

OK, it’s obvious we’re fanboys for Ortiz and Chimp Spanner, so Noisecreep asked him to take part in our ‘Five Albums That Changed My Life’ series. Just when we thought he couldn’t get any cooler, check out the ’80s soundtrack he included in his list. If we weren’t already married (and straight)…

Catch Thirtythree, Meshuggah (2005)

Amazon

“I had already been big into Meshuggah by the time this was released, so I was probably always gonna love it, but this album feels huuuuge. It’s a tough listen for some but once you start picking out motifs and themes from the chaos it’s a real experience. Definitely a big influence in as much as the vast arrangements and spacey interludes.”

Dangerous, Michael Jackson (1991)

Amazon

“This album was on repeat in my house when I was a kid. I don’t even think I knew that I liked rock/metal but the bits of it peppered throughout were a massive draw to me. Slick production too…and yeah, I thought about that stuff when I was small [laughs]. “Jam” is the grooviest thing ever, and I don’t think there’s a person alive that doesn’t love “Black or White”"

The Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd (1973)

Amazon

“I’ve actually never been a huge Floyd fan, and to be honest I can’t say I listened much to them beyond this album, but it’s undeniably awesome. It was still groundbreaking even by the time I heard it, and their use of synthsy extremes of dynamics and space in their arrangements really rubbed off on me. I can’t imagine an album like this storming the charts now, but hey, it could happen again one day, right?”

The Transformers The Movie: Original Soundtrack (1987)

Amazon

“Okay technically this isn’t an album, and I heard it first in the form of the film, but damn: “Dare,” “The Touch,” it’s gotta be allowed! I think this was one of my earliest introductions to this kind of music and it’d be years before I picked up the trail again, but yeah for as cheesy as it is, I just love it.”

The Planets, Gustav Holst (composed from 1914-1916)

Amazon

“The original space geek – this was such a visual record for me, and I loved how each track/planet had its own character and story. There’s also a badass re-recording by Isao Tomita done entirely on Moogs and other synths. Yeah, it’s as cool as it sounds.”

Listen to Chimp Spanner’s “Cloud City”

Chimp Spanner’s All Roads Lead Here EP is available now via Basick Records. You can stream the entire record for free at Bandcamp and once you hear how great it is, pick up a copy here.

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