Chapter X is a new release from Audiobreeze, an artist based in Sofia, Bulgaria. The song bills itself a “melancholic piano piece,” but really it is so much more. The tone may be evoke emotions of sadness, yet it comes in the form of a lovely and elaborate musical composition. Chapter X is pure ambiance. The slow piano pacing, deep space sounds and rain (yes, the song actually has rain,) provide the track with a brooding atmosphere. It all has a very “cinematic” feel to it. While I listened to it, I actually pictured sad, contemplative scenes from various films I have seen. Though it’s only one track, this is a very professional release, and hopefully we’ll see more from this artist.
Originally Emil 13 had intended to pursue a career in massage therapy, but as fate would have it, and injury to his thumb led him to return to his passion for rapping. His new single “Angela” is an upbeat party jam. It’s hard not to feel the contagious energy and enthusiasm in this track, which features a very full and epic musical backing. Emil 13’s delivery is peppy and charismatic, without coming off overbearing or cocky. His vocals have great clarity. “Angela” is a casually romantic song that is smart enough not to get too mushy or emotional. It’s a nonstop, whimsically musical funfest that doesn’t give you a break to rest.
Barcelona based duo, Voluptas Mors have created an eclectic electronica musical experience with their recent releases, which blend many styles of music to formulate a sound that is both familiar and original. One of their latest releases titled “Imagination” combines 80s synth vibes with contemporary sounding indie vocals. It’s a good combo, creating an energetic and lively brand of indie pop. Their simple yet peppy song “I Love You,” provides the best example of this. This music belongs on a movie soundtrack, (hopefully a movie good enough to deserve it.)
Another one of their jams released earlier this year, “intelligence” is more chill and laid back. The best way for me to describe the song would be as a form of “futuristic lounge music.” Beautiful female vocals with an slow and ambient synth backing.
BUCK50ENT presents “Rollin,” a new single featuring OG Kaylyles, C Dollas & Get Right Sour. I have to say that the cover image is pretty pimp tight and looks like something out of a Grand Theft Auto game, even though the song itself is low key and chill. For a 3 minute jam, Rollin packs a lot in and makes the most of the track. The rappers manage to successfully create some harmony together and play well off of each other. Rap tends to be a very individual driven and sometimes ego driven medium, but these guy do a great job of making it about the song and the crew rather than themselves. There is some impressive lyrical flow, but it functions as part of an actual melodic song. This is a nice, laid back jam for cruisin…for people that aren’t about the drama.
Rhett Retko’s “And I Told Her So” (From the EP Thnx For The Ride) fuses classic rock’n’roll with contemporary style. This is impressively achieved without coming off as a throwback or “retro” novelty band. The musiciansmanship here is excellent, and the band works well together as a cohesive unit. It’s almost like they held a casting call / audition like The Monkees and got the best people they could find for each available spot in the group. Both performatively and aesthetically, they all seem to be on the same page, too. The music comes of as a cross between 60’s garage rock and 90’s alternative, with some contemporary influence as well. “And I Told Her So” features charismatic performances and quite nice technical guitar work. The vocals are on key and fairly dynamic, right where they should be (and I’m even basing that on the live version.) The energy and enthusiasm of Rhett Retko are contagious.
Kentucky based hip hop artist “YOUNG C” has released a video for his new track, “STAYD DOWN.” It appears to be set primarily in Lexington (Kroger Field is one of the locations.) The song is about someone recently released from prison after having served some time. People can have a change of heart in prison, sell out their friends, or transform themselves into something crazy. However, YOUNG C reassures his homies that he’s still the same guy and has stayed true to himself and the crew. STAYD DOWN seems to me to be about doing what you have to do to survive but also maintaining your integrity.
Musically, STAYD DOWN is surprisingly well constructed. A lot of indie rappers just throw some shit together and call it a song, but this track has structure and YOUNG C seems to have a natural talent for lyrical narrative and timing. His experiences give the song a personal touch. This jam is a good example of what can be achieved with a little bit of effort and passion. The repetitive chorus is also pretty damn catchy.
“All Falls Down” is a new track by John J off his new album, “Still Howling Too.” It’s a high energy, action packed, little jam. The video reminds me vaguely of a tricked out version the opening title sequences to James Bond films. The song itself is a top tier production. For someone not particularly well known, John J shows surprising skill as a rapper and manages to put together a solid collection of songs. His assertive but measured tone gives the music a “life of the party” vibe (particularly in “All Falls Down.”) John J’s vocal delivery is noteworthy for its power and clarity. The beats and backing tracks add an ambiance of excitement and high drama.
Some of the other songs on “Still Howling Too” like “It’s the F*ck it In Me” and “5 Star 2.0” have a bit harder edge to them, almost like the kind of mid 90’s rap you’d hear people bumpin while driving around in the golden days. “Faded,” the last song on the album, is probably my favorite. It serves as a mellow, laid back finale (and appropriately features actual howling noises in the intro.) It just seems so much more melodic and sparkly than some of the other songs. “Still Howling Too” is a worthy album and solid, authentic effort by John J.
“Dark Matter” is the fourth album from Nega Blast X (a trance, techno and industrial music project formed in 2010 by Burbank Music Arranger, Author and Digital Artist Dominic R.) The album gets right down to business with the opening title track, which is high octane dance music, with an edge. It is a solid club jam, the kind of song that makes you feel like you just downed an energy drink and are off to hit the dance floor.
The album stays fairly consistent throughout, with a few nice twists. “Cutter” for example is one of those more uplifting techno songs that’s a little more cerebral, yet just when you think you have it figured out, the track transitions to some NES-like, chiptune music. I can’t explain how or why it works. It just does. “Electric Rain” has a more serious quality to it. It opens like an epic opera would be very good for a late night chase scene in a film. “Fire Bomb” and “The Fifth” are the darkest songs on the album. They’re just plain badass.
What impresses me about this album is the way the artist is able to generate emotion, mood and ambiance without lyrics or vocals to direct you. I mean maybe it helps if you have an imagination, but there’s no denying that these songs make you “feel” something and tap into your central nervous system. There are some powerful forces at work here, dark forces. My favorite song on this album, is probably “Electric Rain,” which is a beautiful musical composition and adds another dimension to this project.
“ELUSIVE” is a new track from experimental, Paris based singer/songwriter, TENNIN. It is minimalist in nature, with just a slight percussive backing and could probably work even if it were just spoken word. TENNIN has an excellent voice and makes creative use of pacing and and cadence to lend the song an avant garde feel. The tone of the song is delightfully hypnotic even with the somber atmosphere. I thoroughly enjoyed it. ELUSIVE will appear on TENNIN’s EP titled HOMNI, which it set to be released in early 2018.
New single available from rapper, “iLLy,” titled On 4 Sum. It’s a pretty straightforward hip hop song, which utilizes some moderate vocal effects processing and overall is pretty smooth. iLLY has a pretty good flow and transforms his voice into a prominent instrument. The backing music is melodic and easy on the ears. It kind of has the feel of a late night, laid back radio jam. The backing vocals add an extra dimension to the song giving it a fullness and complexity to push it to the next level. This guy’s music will likely continue to get better as he begins to experiment more with the sound.