Well, here’s something interesting for a change. Wav-Legion is a collaborative effort from (as the title alludes to) Canadian producer, musician, singer-songwriter, “Wav-Dr.,” and California singer-songwriter, “Bonnie Legion.” The album was made over a seven week period after first connecting on the blockchain music site “Choon” (which admittedly I had never heard of until now.)
Comprised of 13 distinct tracks, Wav-Legion offers an eclectic mix of electronic music fused with a variety of musical elements from other genres. The songs often feature a subtly dark electronic backing, though the actual beat style varies widely from song to song. To give you an example of the kind of fusion we see here, the track heavyweight combines a Terminator style retro electro synthbeat with groovy twists, excellent lounge-like female vocals with accents of trip hop and pop. It’s also a duet where the Wav-Dr has vocal parts as well, delivered in a casual yet effectively hypnotic demeanor. This is a true experimental album. People without appreciation for the avant garde will not know what to make of it. That’s okay, the talent and quality of display here make this music appealing to almost anyone, even if the listeners don’t take full advantage of the deeper meditative forces at work here.
Now based in Ohio, Atlanta bred artist “Young Corn” has a new single titled, 3. The term he uses to describe his sound is “melodizing.” Young Corn’s delivery is laid back while maintaining a engaging pace. 3 is noteworthy for its catchy and somewhat unconventional lyrical gems like “gonna fly first class to Japan in my UFO.” The song just has a very chill vibe, and Young Corn’s relaxed voice is easy on the ears (no pun intended.) This artist is an ambitious young fellow with dreams of revolutionizing music. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but 3 is an impressive hip hop song it its own right, and Young Corn has all the necessary tools to carve out a presence on the national stage.
Transition is the 5th album from critically acclaimed guitar driven power jazz rock trio “Eddie Arjun.” The album is so impressive that if I had heard it without knowing anything about it, I would have assumed it was made by classic rock legends from another era. Most contemporary musiciansmanship doesn’t even come close to this level of quality. Many years ago I used to work for a company that sold vacuum tube electronics, and I can think of a zillion customers that would have killed to achieve the kind of authentic vintage guitar amplifier tones achieved on this album. Transition gives off a very groovin’ 70′s vibe without sounding like a throwback or novelty. It only sounds retro in the sense that most people just don’t expect people to play guitar this well anymore.
My favorite song on this album has to be the title track, Transition. It’s peppy, lively and dynamic straight from the guitar intro. Some of the speedier technical guitar work about 2/3 of the way through this song is so intense that it gives me flashbacks to climactic boss battles in classic games like Double Dragon (which featured electronic music intended to emulate this style of guitar.) Another notable track is Lavalust. The bass lines in this song would not seem out of place in the archetypal abandoned warehouse rooftop chase scenes of iconic shows like The Mod Squad.
While the band is classified as “power jazz rock,” in some of these instrumental tracks there is plenty of psychedelic rock ambiance and even occasional surf-like tones. The speed of the songs also vary from heart-racing to turtle pacing. Always artful and never boring. They pack enough variety in these jams to keep the listener mesmerized all the way through. It’s actually very humbling to listen to musicians who can operate at this unreal skill level. Totally professional from beginning to end.
The album is officially scheduled for release on February 1st 2019.
Dance to Sleep is a genuine and captivating new song from SJ, off of his EP, Nikki. It’s a well crafted, adult contemporary acoustic rock song. The vocals are clearly what drive the track and SJ’s voice manifests as the perfect balance between working class charisma and romantic sentimentality. He is actually a very good singer and doesn’t employ any production tricks to mask deficiencies in skill (because there are none.)
Stylistically, the song gives off some light bluesy vibes while retaining a slightly upbeat and positive message. Dance to Sleep seems to slow time for us at a particular point, to give us a break to enjoy the moment. As the lyrics suggest:“For now we’ll just dance to sleep.” In the future there will be excitement and adventure and who knows what, but for now let’s just enjoy the quiet moment. Dance to Sleep is ultimately a kind of meditative lullaby for the soul. Not the kind of lullaby that will actually put you to sleep, but the sort which will lull you and your partner into a shared state of momentary reflection, giving you each the chance to appreciate what’s right in front of one another.
YaBoiM.OE’s music is alive and well with a trailblazing entrepreneurial spirit. One of his latest singles 9 to 5 demonstrates how lessons learned while paying his dues in the workforce have enhanced his character and increased his power level. His delivery is oozing with a sense of earned confidence and charisma on this track. Lyrically, he flows synergistically with the chiming back beat while displaying great instincts for timing. 9 to 5 also makes strategic use of echo and layering for emphasis of key points within the song. It’s a good effort from an artist who’s clearly focused on what’s ahead and on overcoming the obstacles to get there.
Bass is Pumpin is a house track from up and coming artist “BlackLight,” who’s based out of Omaha, Nebraska. The song is a classic dance party jam, vaguely reminiscent of the golden era of early 90′s techno songs. It’s well structured and filled with hypnotic, positive energy. Finding just the right balance between repetition and musical dynamicism is difficult with a house track like this, but BlackLight manages to achieve just that by utilizing a wide variety of samples and implementing subtle adjustments in the backbeat throughout the song. BlackLight characterizes his music as being the product of his “sonic vision, kaleidoscopic vision and style.” Bass is Pumpin is a legit release by an artist that is clearly well versed in the art of creating dance music.
The first thing that came to mind when listening to Rikke Norman’s Fragile is that stylistically, Rikke represents a kind of avant garde, indie pop equivalent of artists like Vitamin C, though perhaps Princess Chelsea would be a better comparison. Fragile consists of a quirky, superball bounce beat, swell guitars, midi-like synth sounds and some excellent, twee vocals. The song also features grammy award nominated singer, instrumentalist and songwriter, Jarle Bernhoft. It’s a pretty pop song that just gives off really good vibes. The video matches the delightfully innocent tone of the song and mixes in some groovy, psychedelic visuals. Rikke has plenty of releases under her belt, and this one is terrific. Why doesn’t someone like this ever win Eurovision?
Taken from his latest album, RainWater Project,Jonah Melvon’s new single, What’s Good For You kicks off with an artful piano intro. It leads into a loungy number with elements of soulful jazz until finally metamorphosizing into a full blown hip hop jam. The seamless blending of all these components is what makes the whole a good song. The artist here really seems to take pride in his creation and revels in the prospect of advancement of broader community goals. Issues like culture and identity are never far from the surface here. What’s Good For You has an elegant aura about it which elevates the track musically and intellectually above standard hip hop fare. This recording serves as a great representation for the Oakland music scene.
Only Love is a single from Charlottesville based band, Pale Blue Dot, from their album Anatomy. Really just an all around good production here. Only Love at first glance has a pretty straightforward progressive rock sound, based around the solid songwriting talents of Tony LaRocco and musical craftsmanship of the other members. What really distinguishes this particular track is the trumpet (credited to John D’Earth,) which accentuates the song and gives it a soothing, jazz-like quality. Only Love combines passionate, serious lyrics with a cerebral, dream state ambiance while giving the listeners a boppin’ backbeat and rhythm they can still get down to on the dance floor.
I Don’t Care is a club banger from southern style hip hop artist, Marcus Christ. The single makes use of echo and dramatic synths to create an escalated sense of excitement throughout the song. Marcus’ delivery is characterized by a laid back and methodical demeanor, like when someone speaks slowly but with an intensity that tell you they absolutely mean business. It’s a pretty straightforward and high quality club jam, but I could picture people enjoying this on a late night drive through the neighborhood with friends lookin’ for the next kick back and just having a ball. One gets the sense that stylistically there is some 90′s west coast influence. What began as a hobby for Marcus has evolved into an illustrious career. Previous time spent in jail has only served to be a source of renewed inspiration for this determined and seasoned hip hop artist.