Prolific “black metal/bass music” outfit LUNA13 is back with a video for their new release, Toxic Black. It differs from some of their previous work aesthetically in that it utilizes animation rather than demonic comstume/horror live action performance. The animation is top notch, practically Pixar quality (but a little bit cuter.) The imagery and colors combine visual elements of goth, emo, halloween and casual demonry, with some pagan vibes thrown in for good measure. Doomsday lyrics demonstrate hypnotic horrorism, laying things out plainly with lines like “Your God will not save us.” The “guitar” sounds are particularly intense and foreboding. Although, as it turns out this band actually doesn’t use any stringed instruments, and that sound is created by creatively wrapping sub bass in distortion. Musically I’ve already grown accustomed to this band’s professionalism. Their releases are a cut above the kind of “basement metal” bands I grew up listening to. LUNA13 has perfected their own sound and niche, but still show a willingness to experiment with presentation.
Toxic Black effectlively conveys a sense of impeding doom throughout. However, it accomplishes its apocalypticism not with nukes and 99 Red Balloons style super high tech jet fighters but with the forces of the natural world itself coming together in a perfect storm to consume us: trees, wolves, black widow spiders, mystery birds. The backdrop, even when kaleidoscopically colorful remains ever bleak. The hoplessness of resisting is continuously driven home to weaken our morale. And yet, it’s all so enjoyable. Like the scene where the tree comes alive in Poltergeist, you can’t look away! I hope this group can continue to crank out releases at this impressive pace.
Bubble Gum is a new single from Cannady Law Beats. This synth driven instrumental is epic and futuristic. Featuring a brooding ambiance and eclectic arrangement, the track straddles the line between EDM and hip hop. Bubble Gum has a relaxed pacing but a high stakes vibe. Production here is top tier, with the sound coming off as clean and professional. This beat actually has some killer synths. Overall I would describe this jam as retro-futuristic and casually intense. Bubble Gum is very slick and a lot more poppin’ than the innocuous title suggests. Be sure and check out the song below.
Dope-WRLD is a new album from hip hop artist DopeAMean (also featuring Juice WRLD and Ghost Kid). With song titles like Walmart and Rest Yo Neck you can’t go wrong. DopeAMean’s deep, commanding vocal presence and deadpan delivery make these jams a smooth listen. The lyrics are surprisingly catchy and deep, with DopeAMean demonstrating a willingness to reflect on his mental state and those of others. He also throws out some anecdotes anout his life. While some tracks are mellow and contemplative, others such as the opening number, Fuck Is U On are hoppin’ party jams. The lyrics are tight with the beat, even when he’s improvising. This guy really knows how to rap and craft songs effectively. The backing beats on this album are often dark and synth driven, giving the tracks a low-key intensity, with some sampling here and there to flavor things up. Fuck Is U On is probably my favorite jam. It has a killer intro that left me with a great first impression, and the crisp delivery just flows very nicely. DopeAMean isn’t overly flashy with how he presents himself, but he definitely has talent. The guest artists on this release rounds things off nicely, adding another stylistic dimension and providing the listener with some vocal variety.
Red Sunset is a new full-length album from Belarus based band, Flame of Life. When I say “full-length” I actually mean epic, as this release contains a whopping 25 tracks, the equivalent of 5 EPs! The band has pioneered their own micro genre of music they refer to as “lazer,” which combines elements of industrial, punk-rock and nu-metal. You get the idea with songs like Accumulator and Violet Native. There’s an avant garde, experimental punk style lyrical delivery with the pacing more along the lines of what we would see from bands like Korn. The backing music is largely synth driven, reminiscent of New Order but with a hint of industrial/metal. Race is one of my favorite tracks on this release, with its catchy intro and unpredictable sound transitions, like switching back and forth between worlds ina video game. Red Sunset would make the perfect soundtrack for a long, meditative late night drive into no man’s land. The listening experience is surreal, and these guys definitely have their own distinct sound. Even on just a cost per track basis, you definitely get your money’s worth.
Deep in Life is a new single from artist Dj Ray. The song is featured on her self titled EP and available on all major streaming platforms. With this track, Dj Ray demonstrates a rather unique and unconventional style that combines elements of a variety of different musical genres. Ultimately it falls under the umbrella of hip hop, but the avant garde intro had me guessing. At times the music almost seems like it will go in an alternative, EDM or adult contemporary pop direction. The backing is piano/synth driven while the vocals have a metallic, futuristic quality. True to the title, the dreamlike ambiance give provides a cinematic ambiance. Dj Ray makes good use of vocal layering for effect and the overall mix is solid and cretive. Really a respectable entry. I recommend you check out the rest of the jams on this EP.
LIFE$TYLE ( No x Hook ) is a new single from hip hop artist, JBAN$VGE, hailing from the south east area of LA (562). Production is credited to Trillmatic. This pimp tight jam demonstrates a firm grasp of fundamentals in delivery and hip hop songwriting. JBAN$VGE doesn’t come off as flashy or tryhard. He sticks to the content and keeps the focus on the music. His laid back, stream of consciousness style of delivery flows nicely, while the lyrics are surprisingly motivational. He raps about struggle and perseverance but keeps the drama to a minimum. It’s all about pushing ahead. The beat is mellow and hypnotic, but not without a pulse. This is a decent and straightforward hip hop tune. It’s a promising entry for a young hip hop artist working his way into the game.
Be on the lookout for his new project with the lead single Exposing Da Fake.
Halasana Girl is a new single from Darshae Kiér. The style is pop-reggaeton, which is essentially a blend of contemporary pop music and reggae. I have to say, it’s rather smooth and pleasant to listen to as the Caribbean vibes are paired with crisp and flavorful pop synths. This jam is just overflowing with style and charm. The beat is bright and fun but has a firm kick to it. The production quality is top notch and really helps to distinguish the genre. These aren’t your grandpa’s old reggae records. Darshae is a charismatic performer and seems to genuinely be enjoying himself and living the life. I suspect we’ll be seeing more releases from this artist in the near future.
Under Control is a new EP from Kamryn Marie, a Maryland-based pop artist (originally hailing from Washington DC). These tracks feature some spacy, retro synth beats, combining 80s dance vibes with contemporary vocal aesthetics. This is what 21st century pop is supposed to be like. The songs are peppy and bright, with Kamryn Marie’s quirky and beautiful vocals serving as an emotional pick-me-up. Fun is blended with sentimentality and a touch of sensual romance. Somebody With a Broken Heart is catchy to the max and a real gem of a song. A good way to describe it is if you put some sweet lyrics to VHS aerobics workout music. Kamryn has a pretty voice, but I’m also impressed with her creativity in songwriting. She’s crafted a memorable little niche here as an artist.
We Are Who We Are is a new single from ITSTALENTNIGHT, a music duo based in Los Angeles. As the title suggests, the track is an anthem for self-expression. It combines elements of hip hop and EDM and quite honestly features one of the coolest futuristic beats I’ve ever heard (which is synth driven and has that slick, polished LA sound). This track is very clean, professional and minimalist. Everything about this jam is high octane, from the clear, charismatic delivery to the electric energy in the music itself. We Are Who We Are is a club-ready crowd pleaser. It’s exciting to listen to and will capture the listener’s respect immediately.
Child of the Night and Wasted Promises are two new singles from Netherlands based hip hop artist, III-SCAR (which I believe is pronouced like “triple scar”). His style falls into the realm of “alternative” hip hop and has a bit of a darker, avant garde flair to it. With Child of the Night you get the idea right away. It’s creepy but in a good way, like horror movie rap music basically. The backing synths pull you in and are especially memorable. His lyrical delivery is tight and hypnotically monotonous, giving the track an extra haunted vibe. The skills are definitely there, as I found myself nodding my head along with the beat and timing once I started getting into it. Wasted Promises is a little brighter and more upbeat, with the delivery taking on a more dynamic and melodic character. The song displays a surprisingly sentimental side while still retaining the artist’s shadowy imprint. Both of these jams are worthy of a listen, so go ahead and give them a whirl.