HND Music Lecturer Phi Yaan- Zek has just released his long-awaited new album.
Phi has over 20 years teaching experience emphasising the inspirational and creative aspects of music.
At Kidderminster College he teaches guitar, composition, music theory and studio production. As a recording artist Phi has made his mark with 8 acclaimed album releases, including his latest expansive double opus ‘Reality Is My Play Thing’, and has recorded and performed with some of the world’s most respected and revered instrumentalists.
‘Reality Is My Play Thing’ via Age of Wonder Records was recorded in Southern California and London, this expansive double album of genre-bending progressive tracks unites Phi with a bunch of his long-time friends who happen to be a collection of the world’s most respected and revered instrumentalists. ‘Reality…’ sees the continuation of Phi’s 15 year collaboration with global drum superstar Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, Aristocrats)
The album also features a number of current and former HND Music Performance students, such as Chloe Mogg, Mirron Webb, Theone Dawes, Will Allman, Ben Gillman and Tom McKeever, contributing backing vocals and additional vocal layers, and Raphael Jezukiewicz on saxophone.
Chloe Mogg states on her Facebook page: “I’m featured on “Le Fétiche Du Toit” off Phi Yaan-Zek’s album which is absolutely insane!”
HND Music Student Dan Griffin, describes the album as “mind blowing”.
All the music students have been very inspired by the album, both musically and also having it feature a number of their musical heroes such as Marco Minnemann on drums and Bryan Beller on bass. They are over the moon to have it associated with the college, and feel very motivated by the music video in particular to achieve their own artistic goals. A second promotional video for the album is being made by college lecturer Rob Groucutt, which features appearances by a number of college music students.
Phi said: ” I feel the album has been a massive artistic success with raving reviews by top music industry professionals”. Joe Satriani/Steve Vai bassist Bryan Beller says: “All I can say now is: Man, was it worth the wait! The arrangements are huge, painstakingly intricate, the work of someone who obviously toiled for thousands of hours putting perfect last touches on everything. The mixes are rich, detailed, and purposeful; aggressive when they have to be and pretty when they need to be. The compositions stood up even better than I’d remembered them, both adventurous and mature. Everyone’s playing – Phi, Mike Keneally, Marco Minnemann, and, ok, me – was exemplary.”
Virtuoso keyboardist Lalle Larsson (Karmakanic, Anderson/Stolt) has a connection to Phi’s story that runs even deeper, having worked with him since the early 90s. Rounding out the core band are Frank Zappa band legend Mike Keneally on keyboards, vocals and guitar, and bassist-to-the-stars Bryan Beller providing the signature low-end presence that has underpinned records and tours by Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Dethklok and The Aristocrats for the last two decades.
The first music video from the album filmed in Malibu, California and featuring Marco Minnemann, Bryan Beller and Mike Keneally along with Phi can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJiM9JZ4KLI