Friday 11 June 2021

Album Review: Carmen Suite by Daniel Niles


Carmen Suite


Daniel Niles


The album Carmen Suite is the latest offering from London producer Daniel Niles. Noted as the soundtrack to the years 2015-2020 it is a dedication to the love of his life. Across twelve instrumental tracks the album focuses on the ups and downs of life together. From the good times such as Friday nights at the cinema or just walking together through the streets of London or on holiday, to the darker times of pain, anger, and misunderstandings.

So, let’s take a walk shall we…

The album opens to drums and piano notes on 2nd Movement which sets up this kind of introduction where you feel it’s like the opening of a movie and you are flying over a city scape. That city is London and soon the scene seems to change, you feel you are descending into the city streets and come to rest outside of a window and looking into a new world. As this mental picture solidifies and the vison of life beyond the window clears, things change, pounding drums with synth and electronic notes creates a mind-bending vibe and the energy you feel is that of a place where Echoes of the past abound. Thoughts of past events come easy here and soon your awareness is alive with the time you first meet someone and those first tentative steps as love blossomed. As memories float through you mind the mood changes once more with a chilled beat featuring notes of tambourine and synth’s. Reve elicits a mixture of feelings as the word itself (the meaning that I discovered) is an old word used to describe a manager, bailiff, or similar type figure. This put’s you in mind of the day-to-day grind and doing your best in a tough world and there are times where you might struggle and risk losing your possessions.

Some of the best times we have with those we love are the simple moments like simply walking together and the jazzy vibe of drums, bass and sampled sounds on City Waltz really bring that to mind. There is something special about sharing those moments with someone special as you watch the world go by and just taking in the visual and emotional pleasure of the moment. The jazz vibe seeps into the drums, piano, and horns of Blue Green and transports you to a stunning vista of a Mediterranean Sea. A place where you can have a chilled time in the seaside attractions or just splashing around together in the warm sea. Again, we move from one scene to another with differing emotions as the sax, Piano, bass, and upbeat drum invite us to look into Schatzi’s Eyes. I felt that Schatzi is a child, and this gave the track such a deep meaning. A child’s eyes convey so many emotions from the moments they first open their eyes as a new-born, unable to speak, to the journey they take you on as you watch them grow.

Every day the sun rises and the new Day Begins and here that day dawns with an upbeat drum driven vibe. It puts you in mind of all those days you’ve begun in so many ways. The days you awoke alone or together, the days you just lazed about and the days where it was frantic as you overslept. So many days and so many ways in which to walk into them.  As we ponder the days we’ve had, a laid-back vibe of drums and organ notes allows us to drift to those days we are in our heart centered space together. Perhaps it’s just after a storm, the rain has passed and as the sun shines once more and Rainbows form,  warming your hearts. This is the perfect moment to do something together and the musical backdrop of drums, horns, guitar, and cymbals, is the perfect soundtrack for us to experience a Movie. Not just any movie as Kino is the highest form of film or cinema artistry and this track perfectly captures that mood after you have both enjoyed a good movie on a Friday night.

Now as we all know life is not always a bed of roses and we have to take the rough with the smooth in order to grow. The Piano, Drum and big cinema soundtrack vibe of Katze’s Jeopardy really brings to mind those moments where it all gets messy, we argue, and misunderstandings can put us in a dark place where we question or relationships. After every argument there are those moments where we feel hurt, and the laid-back drum and brass notes of Katze’s Pain reflects those times. With our emotions strained we seek to understand and to talk, and as we begin to calm, we reconcile and feel the love once more. The album ends on an interesting note with heavy drums and horns on Bis Bold. As the music carried me, I wondered how this title referred to anything in a relationship with a loved one? Then something just seemed to fit, Bis is a Latin word meaning twice and bald is when you are devoid of something, or you are completely open. This happens only a couple of times in our life once when we are born and again when we meet out soul mate, at least that’s where it took me…


There were a few things that struck me as I listened to this album. First and foremost is that this is a well-crafted musical journey that has its feet rooted in the emotive journey we all take with a loved one. Secondly, I liked the way that certain track titles have double or deeper meaning such as I have noted already and doing this adds that extra dimension for the listener. Lastly, and something I really love about instrumental albums, is that the sounds can take you to many different places, it all just depends on what situation you are listening to it in at the time. There really is no right or wrong way in what you feel to an instrumental track.

I really liked that Daniel has used his production skills to create an easy listening Hip-Hop album that encapsulates the memories, thoughts, and feelings of such a deep subject. Many people do not always associate Hip-Hop music with being able to express the emotions of such a subject. But you just have to remember that the core essence of Hip-Hop from its early days was Peace, Unity, Love and having fun, so all you need do is to find the right beat and the right samples to help you express that. Big credit to Daniel here for building in those off-beat subliminal suggestions and musical side doors that allow the listener to branch off into new worlds whilst still enjoying the core element of his project, Love.

If you’re a lover of Hip-Hop or not, I still reckon this one is well worth checking out and having a go at immersing yourself in…

Carmen Suite is available now.

Time for me to drift outta here,

See Ya,


Postscript: I have not done this before but, in light of some additional information from Daniel Niles I felt I wanted to add this separately and not to rewrite the whole review. When you are writing and doing your research there are times that the information you find is not perfect and changes your whole view of a piece of music. Talking to Daniel regarding the review, he informed me that some of the titles include German words. So, here is how this new information can change your view of things and how it highlights the way everyone can feel something different when listening to the music.

Track 3 REVE: My original research found the meaning in Old English and so went with this however, the French meaning of the word is dream. So, this changes the vibe of the track completely and where once the music gave you these visions of scenes of struggle and grinding in life. Now it brings to mind the dreams we all have as we consider the future together or even the dreams, we have in sleep that can be positive, negative or just downright weird.

Track 6 SCHATZI’s EYEs: Overall I got the mood of this one perfectly as I did not find a definition of the word and went solely with my intuition (which is mostly what I do). The only thing different is the focus. In German Schatzi means Sweetheart and so here the meaning of the word just changes our point of view slightly as we think of how it makes us feel looking deep into the eyes of our sweethearts and how the emotions conveyed by them changes with the moment and situation.

Track 9 KINO: Here I was kinda lucky finding several meanings and chose wisely as the German meaning for Kino is Cinema.

Track 10 & 11 KATZE’s JEOPARDY & KATZE’s PAIN: With these two tracks I went on intuition and with the note’s Daniel added to the album’s description on Bandcamp. It all worked perfectly. Now in German Katze, as I had discovered, means Cat. Now I was not sure how to fit this into the review at first and was going to add it into the summary but, it fits perfectly here as it is also a pet name for Carman, so we see how it fits to mood of the tracks.

Track 12 BIS BALD: If you take into account where my intuition took me when I researched some meanings for the title, then you can see dramatically this is going to change. Bis Bald is German for “See You soon” which is exactly the kinda thing you say to someone perhaps when you leave for work in the morning. It really does change the vibe of the track but, not that deep loving feeling.

I hope this helps you get the deeper meaning of the tracks and an insight into how Daniel has put his heart and soul into each and every track.

The link to get the album on Bandcamp is below and be sure to check out Daniel's other work while you are there.

Have a good one,

Peace Out,



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