Category Archives: Reviews

Blow_Flyy – BLEED 4 YOU


Canadian artist Blow_Flyy’s single BLEED 4 YOU packs a lot of punch into its 2:40 run time. Off of his freshly completed album, BLOOD N HONEY this jam gives you a taste of what kind of delightful goodness is in store. The melodically eerie and attention grabbing synth-like intro draws the listener’s consciousness into the music immediately. The song doesn’t waste any time. Like a confident chess player bringing out his best pieces early, Blow_Flyys colab partner Keonte Beals’s vocals appear toward the beginning of the song. His voice dazzles and leaves an immediate impression that the song is a professional endeavor. The harmony and dynamic tone of his delivery are stylistically comparable to legends like Usher. The singer can hit some high notes. For his part, Blow_Flyy’s delivery is crisp and punchy, right on point. His voice helps to anchor the track and adds a second layer of emotion to balance out the female expression.

Blow_Flyy prides himself on having clean content. BLEED 4 YOU is a genuine song which never veers from the realm of respectability and occasionally touches on sensitive issues like loss and family quarrels in a very personal way. There’s real passion here. The song is the expression of a man pursuing ambitious dreams while maintaining an eye for doing the right thing.

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Jake Haze – Hazey


Hazey is a new album from hip hop artist Jake Haze. A good way to describe it is that it’s almost like a family photo album in musical form. With intensely personal lyrics and touching anecdotes the release serves as an ajar window to one man’s world. At 15+ substance filled tracks, the sheer volume of content in Hazey is impressive in and of itself. What is uniquely awesome about this album though is that the level of creativity (especially in formatting) is off the charts. For example, Voicemail to Savannah isn’t simply a metaphor, it’s a song that’s literally in the form of a voicemail on someone’s answering machine. It is artfully done though, in a way which the musicality captures the awkwardly genuine romanticism of the moment. None of these songs are “cookie cutter” either. There is a great deal of musical variance with the backing tracks, and none of the tracks feel like padding or filler. Jake’s delivery comes across as humble and unassuming. He keeps his ego in check and is not shy about revealing his vulnerabilities in these lyrics, which deal with family issues, the pursuit of dreams and often just the mundane struggle to make ends meet. This album is a genuine work of art, one which deserves much more exposure than it is likely to receive in mainstream hip hop circles.

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Alisa Chirco – Give Me More


Give Me More, a new single from Alisa Chirco, hypnotizes like a kind of slow motion disco. The background music in this jam is laser-like and ethereal. This song is a light show in musical form, and Alisa’s charismatic vocals take center stage. Her voice has enormous presence and she sings passionately and professionally. With advancements in recording technology, it’s very easy for people to record pop songs nowadays that sound decent. However, this track is top tier and if it accomplishes one thing, it manages to establish Alisa Chirco as an artist who’s a cut above the vast majority of aspiring vocalists.

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Kevin Edward – I Will Find You


I Will Find You is a new track from Kevin Edward. It’s a laid back, summertime pop song. It offers a bright romantic ambiance with tropical vibes. After listening to this song a few times, I admit that it kind of grows on you. The chorus lyric, “I will find you” is quite catchy and gives this jam a legit pop hit feel. The best way I could describe this music is that it reminds me of something that might be playing in the background at a store like Hollister. They usually have pretty decent soundtracks with a lot of indie cred compared to places likes H&M, so that is a good thing. Musically, I Will Find You is pretty groovy and has elements of surf, though my perception of the sound is likely influenced quite a bit by the high quality video, which is positively aquatic. Kevin Edward is actually a decent singer, too and isn’t afraid to take chances, pushing his vocals to the limit. The song is set to be released on the live album, “The Kev & Janis Show” on Thanksgiving.

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Jamit – Taeb Ecnad


In case you didn’t notice, Taeb Ecnad is “Dance Beat” spelled in reverse. This latest track from Jamit pays homage to the late King Stitt (a DJ in Jamaica.) One can detect some slight Caribbean vibes in this dance music. Taeb Ecnad combines a dreamlike space ambiance with tribal undertones, all wrapped into a crisp analog sounding mix. The laser like synths contributes to the song’s retro-futurist aesthetic. This is another solid entry from Jamit. It’s casually dreamy while retaining an engaging nightlife intensity and offers 5 full minutes of meditative dance floor goodness.

For more info:

Taeb Ecnad by jamit

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Apklypz – Golden Spiralverse

Logo Man

Golden Spiralverse is a genre defying debut single from “APKLYPZ,” a musician who has been around the block a few times and paid his dues. A conceptual electronic track, Golden Spiralverse has elements of retro futurism, at times reminiscent of ambient video game music. It’s very cerebral, the kind of jam one would hear in the background of a performance art presentation. APKLYPZ has described the mix as “dense,” and the sound strikes me as being loosely similar to industrial techno music from the early 90s. The difference being that this recording emits brighter, more positive vibes. Don’t be fooled by the run time of the track either. There are a lot of dynamic changes, as well as unpredictable musical twists and turns packed into this abstract little jam. It’s like an entire album condensed into one song, almost like someone’s life flashing right before their eyes just before the apocalypse. The artist also has a background in video production, and it shows. The production quality on both the music and the video is top tier. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this picked up for usage in a television commercial or something. It’s very lively and engaging.

APKLYPZ Artist Promo Profile Pic

For more info:

Spotify: Apklypz on Spotify

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Hakon Skogstad – Two Hands to Tango


Two Hands to Tango is a full length album from classically trained, professional pianist, Hakon Skogstad. In terms of recorded piano instrumental performances, this album is about as good as it gets. This guy has studied piano all around the world at some of the best institutions and received private lessons from high profile teachers in a variety of disciplines and styles. What strikes me about Two Hands to Tango is how lively and vibrant it is considering the recordings are just piano and nothing else. I think people underestimate just how difficult it is to record songs with one solitary instrument and still manage to create a sound which mesmerizes the listener. Yet, Hakon Skogstad manages to do just that. He effortlessly maneuvers the keys and seems to have a built in calculator-like intuition, a complete mastery of the mathematics of the pacing in his songs. He alternates between tepid and brooding moods to playfully quick hopscotch without missing a beat. The tracks feature a level of complexity and sophistication that’s instantly appreciated by anyone whose ever attempted to jam on the piano. My favorite song on this album is Canaro en ParĂ­s, which is bright and has an excitable form.

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Jamit – Star of Wonder


Star of Wonder is a new single from Singapore based (but originally from Melbourne, Australia) artist Jamit. The song draws from a range of electronic musical styles and is characterized by a bright and hypnotically uplifting sound. This track has enough of a pulse to be a party jam but it’s still mellow enough to be enjoyed alone in a moment of meditative reflection. Emotionally, something about it gives off very positive vibes. The synths are very chime-like and cerebral. Star of Wonder is mostly instrumental, although vocals (credited to “Bassa”) occasionally make unexpected appearances to accent the song. Anyway, I came away from this song with a good feeling about Jamit’s music. It has an energy to it and a sense of openness.

For more info:

Star of Wonder by Jamit

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Luxury Eviction – Master of None


Though it was apparently “recorded using legendary audio equipment from Abbey Road and Capitol Records,” Luxury Eviction’s Master of None would have sounded great even recorded on 4-track in someone’s closet. Blair B’s vocals are just that powerful. Her songs could almost be described as avant garde, alternative, and ultimately more substantive versions of James Bond film theme songs like For Your Eyes Only and All Time High. The tracks on this album just have a very epic, symphonic feel to them, but with some edgier, brooding undertones. The songs are very meticulously put together and well crafted. Though they were recorded on top notch (analog?) gear, there isn’t a bunch of processing or post-production tinkering with the sound. It’s mostly left in its fresh and undisturbed form, accented with traditional reverb and delay. My favorite track on this album is probably Dragonflies in Hurricanes, which features some radically retro synths.

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One Week 20 Years Ago


[Fran and Stephen are observing from the roof of the mall]
Francine Parker: What are they doing? Why do they come here?

Stephen: Some kind of instinct. Memory of what they used to do. This was an important place in their lives.
– Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Hard to believe it’s been 20 years since Barenaked Ladies’ One Week was a popular, chart topping hit. I remember driving around Tempe in the fall of 1998 listening to The Edge 106.3 FM, and it seemed like this song was on the radio every 5 minutes…sometime between songs such as Harvey Danger’s Flagpole Sitta and Third Eye Blind’s How’s It Gonna Be? These songs were heard many times on trips to and from Blockbuster Video (as well as Hollywood Video) to rent and return erotic thrillers, midnight outings to Denny’s, lonely drives to North Phoenix, my job at Abercrombie and all the rest.

One Week was one of those cheesy songs that I would have never admitted to liking but knew the words to and would secretly enjoy when it came on. It wasn’t passionately hated enough for me to like ironically, the way I later did with boy bands and Vitamin C, it was at least preferable to rapcore, a genre which I loathe to this day. In 1998, I would have complained about all the music on the radio sucking except the oldies station. This seems laughable in the context of today, when nearly every pop song is processed gibberish. In hindsight, we didn’t know how good we had it! One Week has the feel of a relic from a much more innocent and carefree era. It might as well be 100 years ago and a different country. The plethora of pop culture references in the lyrics are characteristic of Generation X works made at what Bret Easton Ellis refers to as the “height of the empire.”

Watchin X-Files with no lights on,
We’re dans la maison
I hope the Smoking Man’s in this one
Like Harrison Ford I’m getting Frantic
Like Sting I’m Tantric
Like Snickers, guaranteed to satisfy

I remember thinking these lyrics were so dumb, but not because I was opposed to the idea of cheesy pop culture references in songs. It’s just that the particular items referenced weren’t things that I personally was into. I did after all, write a song about Michael from Melrose Place. To revisit and paraphrase that memorable line from 1978′s Dawn of the Dead, such things had an important place in our lives.

I felt as though I owed it to Barenaked Ladies to write something about One Week, given how much enjoyment this jam gave me in 1998. 20 years later I can finally admit it.

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