Michael Raintree
Through the Depths of Hell I Picked Up the Phone [CS/DL; Medium Sound]

Sean “Oreo” Jones is an oft-cited pioneer of the Indianapolis music scene. Beyond being a pivotal member of the Ghost Gun Summer hip-hop collective, a driving force behind the Chreece festival, and a man helping LPFM from an outpost not far from Garfield Park, he’s just an all-around creative person. Few communities can point to someone as innovative, and equally as helpful to those in his wake, as Jones in their own boroughs. And he never stops.

Case in point: his latest release under his soul-drenched alter-ego, Michael Raintree. Through the Depths of Hell I Picked Up the Phone is sold as experimental soul and nothing could better pinpoint the chances and risks Jones takes. Bits of 80s R&B, John Carpenter soundtracks, rap, and komische-inspired melodies stew within the river Styx. And that’s just on “Cute Drunk”.

But Jones’ penchant for collaborating with seminal experimenters in and around the Indianapolis scene (in this case, David Adamson and Mark Tester among the group) pushes and expands his own musical vision, as he has challenged himself to do through all his projects. By mixing disparate genres and being unafraid to explore what makes them seductive is what creates the experimental soul record Through the Depths of Hell… aims to embody. The melodies are stretched thin and warped from the flames of Hades, but at the end of the day Jones is able to find that 80s sized cell phone to make a LONG distance call to Earth’s future to tell us he still cares.


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