Jacob Aiden – JamSphere http://jamsphere.com The Indie Music Magazine & Radio Network! Wed, 20 Jan 2021 02:30:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Jay Baby is set to Release “Better” on the 29th of January 2021 http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/jay-baby-is-set-to-release-better-on-the-29th-of-january-2021 http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/jay-baby-is-set-to-release-better-on-the-29th-of-january-2021#respond Wed, 20 Jan 2021 02:14:35 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=43928 Jay Baby is a female artist from New Orleans, who loves different genres of music. She describes her single “Better”, as a song to remind people that true love doesn’t have to be perfect, and that it’s worth the imperfections. A robust, elastic voice and sensitive songwriting could easily give Jay Baby a large following. The bouncy, soulful swing that provides the rhythmic foundation for the organic sounding “Better”, sets a tone of optimism, while her lyrical style contributes with direct storytelling.

Sensuality snuggles with self-awareness on “Better”, as Jay Baby analyzes the binding factors of a relationship. She’s both vulnerable and outspoken, while never afraid to admit to any miscues on her behalf. In fact she opens the song with a confessional statement: “I know I could have been better to you. You know I want you in my life forever.”

Singing a blend of R&B, pop, and neo-soul, Jay Baby’s music is interesting to try and define as she embraces a personal theme, which is at once universal. Her lyrics are as healing as the music, if not more so. And she asks you to listen to them carefully. She amply feeds the mind, heart and the spirit, at every level with the power of her words and music.

Jay Baby’s beautiful vocals and musical artistry enchant the senses. “Better” has a rapturously beautiful melody with inspirational lyrics embraced by her rich, agile, and resonant vocals. Jay Baby’s doesn’t just sing a song, she caresses it. The songstress passionately appeals to the common bonds of humanity in “Better”, as she unabashedly shares her philosophy of love.

A Jay Baby performance feels like a moving meditation, as she leads the listener into her world, exalting love that stirs up the magic, and has her audience emotionally attuned to her plight. Jay Baby is a powerful presence, a gifted singer, a talented songwriter and so much more than just a performing artist. She uses the power of song to soothe, to inspire and to transform human consciousness.

“Better” will be available on all major streaming sites from the 29th of January 2021.

Connect with Jay Baby on INSTAGRAM and TWITTER

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ANDRUM is steadily blossoming into one of the most creatively interesting acts in modern underground rock http://jamsphere.com/reviews/andrum-is-steadily-blossoming-into-one-of-the-most-creatively-interesting-acts-in-modern-underground-rock http://jamsphere.com/reviews/andrum-is-steadily-blossoming-into-one-of-the-most-creatively-interesting-acts-in-modern-underground-rock#respond Sun, 17 Jan 2021 15:04:22 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=43890 Andrew J. Stewart is a self-taught guitarist, drummer, pianist from South Jersey. The singer-songwriter has a solo project called ANDRUM that delivers a blend of influences which include metal, rock, jazz, rap, funk and others. A quick run through the project’s ever-growing catalog shows that ANDRUM opens on a hard hitting note with the one-two-three punch that is “Wasted Time”, “Burden”, and “Wounds”. The opening track wastes no time before kicking off into a heavy riff. The song feels urgent and slightly angsty, and ANDRUM’s vocals only adds flame to the fire. His voice is deep and dark, and both smooth and rough all at once, giving it a haunting quality.

“Burden” proves to be as heavy while being more driven. It’s a song full of rhythmic hits, riffs and guitar motifs, while ANDRUM’s vocals soar as he belts out gripping and intense verses in between the melodic choruses.  That being said, ANDRUM shines just as bright on the slower grungy songs like “Wounds”. There is clear sense of danger and emotional despair, as the singer-songwriter shows the same footing and confidence he does on the faster tracks.

ANDRUM’s music marks a dynamic revival for the sounds of the best bands from the ’90s who were among the biggest influences on modern rock in the 2000s; it is clear, that this is a project to watch out for, if rock is your thing. ANDRUM is steadily blossoming into one of the most creatively interesting acts in modern underground rock, commonly exploring the distinct realms of artistic possibility with each release.

Each subsequent release, functions not only as a proud and raucous mission statement continuing in the vein of ANDRUM’s prolific tradition, but an audacious announcement that the project has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.

The steady, pulsating backbeat of “I Tried” is infectious, as ANDRUM sounds at once contemplative and aggressive – a common tactic he uses. The song is built on a jangly and shimmering backdrop which foretells an optimistic future for the artist.

In both “God’s Mind” and “Lost”, ANDRUM unleashes his relentless, powerhouse drumming chops within more complex arrangements. It becomes obvious from songs like these that ANDRUM strives for something beyond being the kind of totally acceptable classic rock tune that survives for a couple months on mainstream rock radio and then disappears forever. The instrumentation and singing are equally impressive, while the guitars, keys and drums are given ample layers of power.

Bands rarely take risks anymore. Most times they stick to an established formula and keep the sounds regurgitating, preventing real artistic growth. Then you have a project like ANDRUM, always searching for a new sonic twist to its ever-changing template. With a wistful heart and soulful delivery, any song in the ANDRUM set-list can stand up on its own merits.

Smartly written, and thoughtfully orchestrated, every ANDRUM song will in some way, send a chill up your spine, especially if you like your rock raw and haunting. Andrew J. Stewart expertly crafts subversive guitar and drum-driven jams that will persistently haunt you.

His songs come through the speakers and envelopes the listener, taking them on a journey across layered crunchy emotion-filled soundscapes. This is the sound of a project stretching beyond genre or musical-era limits, to challenge what rock orientated music still can be in 2021.

OFFICIAL LINKS: SPOTIFYYOUTUBEFACEBOOK

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Heavy AmericA – “Generation Lame” tackles the socio-political climate head on! http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/heavy-america-generation-lame-tackles-the-socio-political-climate-head-on http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/heavy-america-generation-lame-tackles-the-socio-political-climate-head-on#respond Fri, 15 Jan 2021 14:56:38 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=43865 Formed in 2014 during a friends recording session, the power rock trio of Heavy AmericA, is made up of Michael T. Seguin (lead vocals, guitar), Budd Lapham (bass, vocals) and Dan Fried (drums, vocals). They released their self-titled debut EP in 2015, followed by two singles in 2016, “Up For Air” and “Full Load Amps”, which led the their full length album “Now” in 2017. The next two years saw the releases of “Easy Killer” and “Motor Honey (Peace)”, while the band continued to collect music awards, feature on radio stations, and successfully string together live shows. During the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, Heavy AmericA released the single “If You Care” – a song about depression, isolation and not giving up hope, which garnered a number of streams on Spotify.

Now with shows on hold, Heavy AmericA still intend on making 2021 a busy year for the band. Working with renowned nation radio promoter Matthew Ulanoff (Mercury, Maverick, Isotopia Records/ Concord Music Group), they embarking on a national radio campaign, and have kicked off the new year with the release of the politically charged rocker “Generation Lame”. The mid-tempo pace of the track allows for it to naturally build momentum and intensity, and then break down before rebuilding again through the band’s strong songwriting.

“Generation Lame”, is a song driven by a riff that feels equally inspired by Jimi Hendrix as it is by Led Zeppelin. As a whole, each member of the band shines as an individual, and as a tight unit on this track, but it is worth pointing out that guitarist Michael T. Seguin’s lead riff and solo motifs are absolutely fantastic.

What must be said about Heavy AmericA, is that despite how sonically, and inspired they may be by legendary bands of the golden, classic and alternative rock eras, they truly flex their own songwriting and performance abilities across this track. But then that should come as no surprise, as the band has been turning out great original material for some time now.

“Generation Lame” stands as one of their most unique tracks and an example of their songwriting at its strongest – crunching riffs, a raw but sophisticated arrangement, a building progression, great breakdowns, and roaring vocals elevate this song above the rest. The conscious lyrics and potent messages do the rest to certify the song’s impacting excellence.

For all Heavy AmericA has accomplished since 2014, “Generation Lame” is perhaps the band’s greatest achievement. Not simply for its musical quality, but for the fact that this single arrives during one of the world’s most difficult times – politically, socially and salutary. None of which intimidate the band, who tackle the American socio-political climate head on.

Rarely will a rock band quite like Heavy AmericA arrive on the scene with a track like “Generation Lame”. They put their own fresh stamp on hard-edged classic rock, reminding us what the genre was actually intended to be. In our current era, there’s probably only a handful of bands, both able and willing to do that with passion.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEFACEBOOKTWITTERYOUTUBESPOTIFY

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CELLUS.PAPI – “Figuring Less” is ready to explode onto the scene! http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/cellus-papi-figuring-less-is-ready-to-explode-onto-the-scene http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/cellus-papi-figuring-less-is-ready-to-explode-onto-the-scene#respond Thu, 14 Jan 2021 02:22:26 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=43852 Marcellus Major, artistically known as CELLUS.PAPI is an indie artist and CEO of his own label known as Strictly Business Entertainment, where he manages artists worldwide. Out of North Carolina CELLUS.PAPI is creating a buzz with his latest single, “Figuring Less”. As addictive as the substances that he rhymes about, CELLUS.PAPI’s self-effacing raps worm their way into your brain and refuse to leave.

His level of creative ownership, ensures he can control his own narrative and widen his imagination to even greater heights that aren’t caught up in anybody else’s shadow. CELLUS.PAPI knows how to make you both smile and ponder. And right now that feels especially important. A quick run through his catalog and it becomes clear that his vocals are delivered with such variety and charisma that it’s hard not to get lost in his songs.

CELLUS.PAPI’s expansive and exuberant stories draws you right into his world and this, combined with his versatile, head-nodding production, suggests we’re dealing with a real talent who will only keep growing as an artist. On “Figuring Less” there’s an insightfulness to his lyrics, and the way his unorthodox flow intricately builds only to later unravel, shows CELLUS.PAPI is just as happy exploring life’s dead ends, as he is in finding answers.

CELLUS.PAPI takes the druggy swirl of new wave and SoundCloud rap, but adds far more color. He’s an inward-looking poet, capable of transporting you somewhere otherworldly. Any artist capable of binding all these very different elements together in a way that isn’t jarring, is the kind of performer you shouldn’t underestimate.

CELLUS.PAPI weaves in and out of the beat, using a flurry of descriptive words that will bring a smile to your face. He possesses a down-to-earth humility that makes his hard-nosed storytelling raps feel like they’re always coming from a place of truth over fiction. As the beat flickers in, on “Figuring Less”, CELLUS.PAPI becomes more invested in his storytelling, and it truly feels like you’re talking one-on-one with a friend.

You don’t need to read interviews to get acquainted with the CELLUS.PAPI. He puts it all in his music. With a natural knack for a shuffling flow that separates him from most peers, he makes songs that paint the picture of his experiences and habitat, plenty of which can be heard on “Figuring Less”.

Whether he’s floating over beats anchored by sluggish keys, skittering hi-hats, or plunging 808s, CELLUS.PAPI arms himself a stash of flows and witty bars that show he has the makings of a modern rap craftsman.

CELLUS.PAPI skillfully bounces between the evolving scenes of trap and rap, and like any player who can play multiple sides of the floor, he’s warning his peers to step their game up. And while his songs are endlessly catchy, there’s also sneaky depth and nuance to his songwriting. It won’t be long until fans catch on to his movement, as CELLUS.PAPI works on making his mark in the industry. He’s found comfort in his own lane, and is ready to explode onto the scene.

OFFICIAL LINKS: APPLESPOTIFYSOUNDCLOUDSPINRILLAYOUTUBEINSTAGRAM
Contact: Strictlybusiness@celluspapi.com / Sbemanagement@celluspapi.com

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OHENE – “456” – spell-binding, illuminating and totally honest! http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/ohene-456-spell-binding-illuminating-and-totally-honest http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/ohene-456-spell-binding-illuminating-and-totally-honest#respond Mon, 11 Jan 2021 17:32:43 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=43802 We are currently living in an era of uncertainty, and the future is in question. Some of the trivial things in life don’t seem as important as they did not so long ago, and we continue to place further space between each other in an already socially distant culture. For some reason, music has always been a catalyst in bringing people back together, and that statement still holds true today. On the 25th of January, American born actor and musician, Ohene Cornelius, simply known as OHENE, will release his brand new single, “456” – produced by Japanese creative Sigi – across all major music platforms. And once again we’ll all have that common stimulant of hearing great music.

For those still unaware of this versatile talent, OHENE has been seen on the big screen (Kick Ass, Zenith), on the small screen (Blindspot, Person of Interest), on the internet (blackandsexytv), and important music venues/festivals (SXSW, Santos, A3C).

Recently he has been working on musical philanthropic efforts and collaborating with numerous indie and mainstream artists, starting the comedy showcase “Smokes and Jokes Comedy”, being a father, and maintaining his own lifestyle and clothing brand, called Harlem River Yacht Club.

Freshly off his critically acclaimed concept album, “Revolutionary Ratchet”, OHENE is set to release “456” – as we mentioned previously – on January 25th, which occurs a day after the first event of 2021, for Harlem River Yacht Club. “This is one of the first songs I’ve written and recorded since deciding to challenge myself to not physically write or type my bars,” explained OHENE. “It took me 20 mins to figure out the hook, and 2 weeks to record,” he continued. “A track meant for hustlers, it’s a song about focus and the come up while still finding love,” concluded the artist.

All of OHENE’s supporters, including myself, understand the cerebral nature of his creativity. A quick listen to his previous releases, will document his overall musical ingenuity, his singular focused vision, and his unrelenting passion to connect and impart the messages contained within his narratives. On “456”, the Harlem, New York musician, and singer-songwriter, not only maintains all of those prerogatives, he unequivocally reinforces them.

Physical attraction is both a gift and a curse, depending on how you play the game. As with many things in life, one must learn to navigate across the good with the bad, and not let any outside forces affect your judgement and vision.

Cold as ice, OHENE dominates his game of love in “456”, while also unfolding the aspirations of his grind. “We done took trips. I’m the man and shit. Now U come around all demanding shit. Girl I’m taking off on the landing strip,” he rhymes, over an insistently funky beat.

OHENE taps into his prowess as both a rapper and a singer, as he also lays down the sticky mellifluous hook: “Roll that dice like 4 5 6. Do it on the corner for love.” Some aspects of the narrative are brutally honest, and are tempered by ones of aspiration and inspiration.

This is what keeps the track spell-binding, illuminating and totally honest. Beyond the awe of it all, “456” truly showcases OHENE’s talents as a writer, rapper, and singer.

OFFICIAL LINKS:

www.ohenecornelius.com
https://www.threadless.com/shop/@HRYC
https://www.youtube.com/user/MrOhenecornelius
https://www.youtube.com/user/oHeneCornelius
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtuvc_C7iCczI-haoCeB4kA

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DICE The Gospel Souljer – “World State Address” shares his thoughts plainly! http://jamsphere.com/reviews/dice-the-gospel-souljer-world-state-address-shares-his-thoughts-plainly http://jamsphere.com/reviews/dice-the-gospel-souljer-world-state-address-shares-his-thoughts-plainly#respond Sun, 10 Jan 2021 18:58:02 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=43785 DICE The Gospel Souljer is a Canadian hip hop artist whose birth given name is Kenton Hoyte. Born in Toronto, Canada from parents of Caribbean descent, DICE has progressed his career from rejection to label owner. Uprizen Records was formed because DICE didn’t remain idle. He took personal action to improve his plight. “The label goals are to uplift the listeners by comforting them, teaching them and growing with and helping the listeners go through the trials of life,” says DICE, “leading or pointing them to the ultimate prize to which they believe can only be found in God.”

Uprizen Records is predominantly concerned with developing hip-hop, but is open to producing different genres of music. DICE The Gospel Souljer is currently promoting his single “World State Address”. The track’s narrative pretty much follows the indication of its title, as DICE unfolds the afflictions, hypocrisies and remedies of the people of the world’s conduct.

Without throwing the ‘Jesus’ or ‘God’ word about relentlessly, or even citing bible passages endlessly, throughout “World State Address”, DICE The Gospel Souljer challenges you and I to remember our identity in Christ, that we have been raised with him and are called to live for him, and serve him in everything. DICE doesn’t mess around: he shares his thoughts plainly.

By pointing out the world’s ills, DICE The Gospel Souljer cleverly gets us to look up and consider the God who reigns above. Mixing hard-hitting theological thoughts with real life application and consistently tight production. It only takes seconds to appreciate the sophisticated, layered production of “World State Address”.

DICE The Gospel Souljer paints pictures with his words, describing the troublesome global situation and the uselessness of wars, while at the same time, digging into the personal issues behind the global events, when he raps sharp focused lines such as: “Why daddy went away so long, dodging bombs over Bagdad. Afghanistan, understand, what goes around, comes right back again.”

As the song progresses, the music sounds refreshingly vibrant with some minimal but impressive drum programming. This only adds to the beauty of the words. The talented rapper and label CEO isn’t content to make the same record repeatedly, or to copy something popular from the radio, but strives for originality at every turn. All of which is evident on “World State Address”.

This single is just another example of DICE The Gospel Souljer growing and challenging himself as an artist. In general, the production lets DICE’s verses lead, allowing this to be an introspective hip-hop track that propels listeners to become more aware of the situation around them, and looking towards the solution. “World State Address” takes us from the world’s disasters, to realizing that we need a savior in our life, and understanding what our purpose is during our time on earth.

If you take some time to sit down and really absorb what DICE The Gospel Souljer is saying, you will appreciate this single a lot more. And while you’re sitting down, grab a copy of DICE’s book “Like Water to a Desert: For True Gospel Soul’ Jers in these End Times” available now on AMAZON.

OFFICIAL LINKS: UPRIZEN RECORDSINSTAGRAMTWITTERYOUTUBE

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StereoBird – “Illuminated” bursts into a wandering and wistful exploration http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/stereobird-illuminated-bursts-into-a-wandering-and-wistful-exploration http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/stereobird-illuminated-bursts-into-a-wandering-and-wistful-exploration#respond Sun, 10 Jan 2021 00:00:10 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=43772 StereoBird is a Brooklyn-based art-rock instrumental band who released their latest single “Illuminated” on the 31st of December. Their last two singles have both been compelling entries into their genre. The music here on their latest single is both more aggressive and more subtle than on previous records. Don’t think that’s possible? It is. The track is gritty and muscular, as StereoBird hit their ideas hard. “Illuminated” is an expansive beast, with crushing, killer guitar riffs, and a terrific, driving arrangement featuring a number of ideas and turgid basslines.

“Illuminated” is ripe with atmosphere, opening with walls of guitar and an urgent, uplifting feel throughout. It has an abrasive and grinding façade topped with plenty of interlacing melodic motifs. StereoBird have created a meticulous and propulsive record littered with intention. Atmospheric and palpable energy permeates the track and rarely relaxes its grip. The crushing depth of the overdriven chord progressions is perfectly contrasted by the clear melody lines.

“Illuminated” succeeds in evoking a response from the listener as all good art should do. Moreover, the track is as enjoyable as much as it is interesting. Barging through 2020, and into2021, StereoBird maintains their instrumental style in an era driven by powerhouse lead vocalists. Their chunky textures and twinkly sections are expertly balanced to create bold, arresting music.

What’s especially cool is that StereoBird run a gauntlet of impacting sounds and techniques; they lurk, they strike, the guitars crunch and immerse, the track is alternatively swift and ponderous. The band sounds alive and excited to be playing. Everything hangs together very well, cemented by the imperious sound of the guitars.

Pushing upwards inexorably, moving through grinding riffs, “Illuminated” bursts into a wandering and wistful exploration. Constantly moving around the basslines, the track is buoyed on the back of a blasting drumbeat. Suffused with prevailing movement, the guitars skitter and scrape, looping into a gigantic wave of sound, while opening out into the track’s broader scope.

Dripping with energy, packed with skill and ideas, on “Illuminated”, StereoBird assuredly open another chapter in their musical narrative. While the building blocks of the band’s sound are firmly in place, here they are used to create new architecture. Working without a vocalist forces StereoBird to think creatively about their song structures. With an expressive, albeit crunching, musical aesthetic, they are able to shroud their sound in rich atmospherics.

Purely instrumental records may be difficult to pull off, but StereoBird has more than enough creativity and muscle to show how well it can be done. By combining everything that was present in their repertoire to begin with, as well the addition of new ideas and a dash of experimentation, StereoBird have succeeded in producing a more than solid piece of art-rock that crosses over into post-rock.

Overall, StereoBird’s sound on “Illuminated” is invigorating. The song rocks out and glides under interweaving melodic motifs which fill our minds with imperative questions about ourselves, our society, and the universe as a whole.

OFFICIAL LINKS: INSTAGRAMFACEBOOKBANDCAMPSPOTIFYYOUTUBE

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EH – “Living After Midnight” ft. Tim “Ripper” Owens is a triumph! http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/eh-living-after-midnight-ft-tim-ripper-owens-is-a-triumph http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/eh-living-after-midnight-ft-tim-ripper-owens-is-a-triumph#respond Sat, 09 Jan 2021 20:56:24 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=43768 During 1980 British heavy metal band Judas Priest released their 6th album, “British Steel”, which was their first gold album in the USA. The project produced 3 hit singles, “Breaking The Law”, “United” and “Living After Midnight”. This latter track which speaks to the hedonistic, rebellious spirit of the late 1970s and early 1980s, is among the band’s most popular songs. The song has become a standard metal classic, and still holds up decades later. In fact 40 years later, Baltimore rocker and guitar ace, Eric Hall aka EH, has picked up on the song, putting it through its paces and including it on his latest album.

EH, however, didn’t just settle on simply covering the song. He engaged former Judas Priest vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens, who actually took over as lead singer, performing and recording two albums with the group, between 1996 and 2003. Owens has also had stunts in Iced Earth and Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, among others. With some astute and subtle, yet decisive creative adjustments, EH’s cover version of “Living After Midnight” is a triumph.

EH Studio

Irony of sorts is that Tim “Ripper” Owens was also the lead singer in a popular Judas Priest tribute band, so the man knows exactly how to perform Priest songs, from ‘inside’ and the ‘outside’, so to speak. Together with EH, the two bring brimstone and fire to “Living After Midnight”, while retaining all of the song’s easy on the ear catchiness. The track boasts the quintessential Priest qualities, while adding those of EH.

From the blistering drum assault to the majestic wall of overdriven guitars, “Living After Midnight” is tightly packed with an indomitable rhythm and pile-driving riffs. The perfect blend of past, present and future coalesces into a monster track, where the undeniable power of Tim “Ripper” Owens’ pipes soar into infinity.

This is a true Priest classic in every sense of the word, and the EH cover version does it full justice. If for some obscure reason you have never listened to Judas Priest, this is one of the best introductions you can be given.

It’s clear that from the moment he started recording, EH knew he was creating something special. “Living After Midnight” has the power and energy of a live recording, as he brings in a touch of technicality that sounds absolutely fantastic.

This is much more than just another milestone in the rock and metal universe. It’s hard to find complete, exciting and powerful rock music of this caliber these days. That’s probably why EH dug into the crate to pull out an all-time classic.

The riffs to “Living After Midnight” are melodic, blistering, and will definitely make you air guitar along. It has a memorable tune that you’ll keep rocking to in your head for hours. Moreover, this track really showcases the know-how of EH himself. Of an artist centered on himself and confident of his capabilities.

This is the type of performance that puts EH in the conversation. So, in conclusion, “Living After Midnight” is one of the best and most authentic covers of a Judas Priest track so far. It is something you should most definitely own.

OFFICIAL LINKS: REVERBNATIONTWITTERSOUNDCLOUDMERCHFACEBOOKSPOTIFY

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Mark England – “Fuck That Shit” (Radio Edit) – motivated for greater heights! http://jamsphere.com/reviews/mark-england-fuck-that-shit-radio-edit-motivated-for-greater-heights http://jamsphere.com/reviews/mark-england-fuck-that-shit-radio-edit-motivated-for-greater-heights#comments Thu, 07 Jan 2021 15:21:25 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=43743 I read a question on the Quora website a while ago that read: “I’m 14, is it too late to make EDM?” Rightfully, someone answered: “No. It’s literally never too late to do anything you’re inspired to do. You can start making EDM when you’re 70 if that’s what you want to do.”  All of which brings me to Mark England, the 52 year old producer from Wakefield in the UK. Mark developed a passion for music at an early age but never followed it up, as life and work took him towards another direction. It was the recent pandemic and subsequent lockdown, which offered the full-time IT professional, the time to unlock and rediscover his musical creativity.

Over and above being a de-stressing tool, music making allowed Mark England the opportunity to explore his musical ideas, all while having fun and receiving positive feedback from friends and listeners who encouraged him to release his music to the world. At an age when most successful men earn a comfortable living and have settled down into a respectable lifestyle, Mark couldn’t resist scratching his musical itch.

Mark England

The proof is in a series of Mark England single releases which soon hit global music platforms. Mark eventually assembled his self-owned skills, and multiplied it by adding the knowledge he has been gaining from the current state of EDM and electronic music in general. All of which proves that he is motivated for greater heights, despite any question of age or socio-economic statuses.

On his releases Mark England showcases his ability to access what dance music should mean – rich, vibrant, thumping anthems, sometimes featuring sumptuous vocal performances, and at others, totally instrumental. With the single, “Fuck That Shit” (Radio Edit), Mark has defied expectations and created a diverse, club-leaning winning instrumental. This track is expected to make the most ardent of non-dancers want to move their feet.

An infectious blend of springy bass lines and sleek synth simplicity, infused with a powerful sense of rhythm, and flourishes of embellishing melodies that surface continuously, “Fuck That Shit” (Radio Edit), is yet another element of proof that Mark England takes his music seriously. On this track he does a hell of a job keeping himself entrenched in the trendy sounds of a notoriously fickle and finicky EDM industry.

“Fuck That Shit” (Radio Edit) is so good largely because it melds the best of the festival euphoria, with club-styled intimacy, and emotional vibes, at which Mark England excels. “Fuck That Shit” (Radio Edit) is a remastered radio edit of a previously released track,” explains Mark, continuing: “I chose this title to reflect my feelings during 2020, and although the title is two fingers to 2020, it’s also an upbeat track to encourage people to see there is light at the end of the tunnel and the good times will return.”

The amount of addicting elements within this electronic behemoth is more than enough for the most diehard of dance music fans. “Fuck That Shit” (Radio Edit) by Mark England plays out like a powerful solicitation to listeners, to remember who they are and who they want to be, in a troublesome time full of uncertainties.

OFFICIAL LINKS: INSTAGRAMTWITTERSPOTIFYAPPLE MUSIC

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Multi-talented Lola Menthol vibrates with energy, beauty and focus http://jamsphere.com/reviews/multi-talented-lola-menthol-vibrates-with-energy-beauty-and-focus http://jamsphere.com/reviews/multi-talented-lola-menthol-vibrates-with-energy-beauty-and-focus#respond Tue, 05 Jan 2021 00:24:25 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=43729 Founder of the multimedia production company Lucky 1s Media, Lola Menthol is multi-talented creative who is a passionate musician and film director. She has worked with many other creatives, both locally and internationally – on albums, festivals, and music videos, gaining almost 10 years of experience in the entertainment industry. “I’ve always had a passion for creation and self-expression,” explains Lola. “Currently, I’m focused on Music and Film, but I also find creative expression in dance and painting. Without my art, I probably would have been dead by now,” she continues. “It has saved me many times over, so dedicating my life to this is only right. I am a part of the LGBTQ+ community and an advocate for mental health, human rights, and animal rights.”

Lola Menthol is currently completing the release of her brand new, upcoming EP, entitled “LUV”, which add to her already growing catalog. Her songs are hard-hitting and driven, while her voice can be both sweet and abrasive on the occurrence. Lola really has a wide range of sounds that she can produce via her versatile vocal cords and her musical productions. She can play the guitar, write songs, and make harmonious tunes that will grab your attention.

Lola Menthol’s voice vibrates with energy, beauty, and focus. Some songs are like an addictive drug. “Come See Me” is one such song; you can listen to this song many times without getting bored of it. Lola has such a refreshing sound compared to the more popular mainstream female singers. Her lyrics are as distinctive as her melodies. They run the gambit of everything from her observations on love to her frank perception of the fragilities, hostilities and afflictions of life.

Lola Menthol makes use of varying styles in her alternative and indie arsenal. And she does it all meticulously and beautifully amidst jangling guitars, skittering drumbeats and a flurry of backing voices on “Come See Me”. Her vocals are urgent, the lyrics explicit, and the message clear. The song has an intriguing raw unconventionality, mixed with a mesmerizing pop appeal. This same hypnotic formula is also evident on the single, “Spiraling”.

On this latter track, Lola Menthol once again showcases her songwriting skills, and a knack for catchy choruses. Lola’s songs are most powerful when they place her hard-earned wisdom at their core. Her lyrics are often so meaningful they go straight to the heart.

On the stunning “Spiraling”, she sings out direct and powerful lines, laying her thoughts out in the open. As an expert songwriter but also an incredibly gifted storyteller, Lola delivers a song full of honest lyricism, a beautiful melody, and a powerful production.

Lola Menthol’s skill as a musical alchemist, mixing melodies, vocal phrasing, and lyrical rhyming to create catchy yet intensely evocative music is phenomenal. What ultimately distinguishes Lola’s music is her fearlessness to utilize her vocals, lyrics and her uncanny ability to evoke feelings and stimulate thoughts through sound.

Lola Menthol’s powerful crooning, backed by an escalating rush of instruments and constant rhythmic momentum, all help the listener feel like they are caught right within her narratives. I have no doubt that her songs will eventually make their way into your playlists.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITELUCKY 1S MEDIATWITTERINSTAGRAMFACEBOOKYOUTUBE

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John Vento – “Highwire” will touch a nerve! http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/john-vento-highwire-will-touch-a-nerve http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/john-vento-highwire-will-touch-a-nerve#respond Fri, 25 Dec 2020 23:44:13 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=43700 Pittsburgh music veteran John Vento is building his latest album, “Brick By Brick”, one song at a time, by releasing a single per month, for the next year. Time to crank up the volume again, as the chart-topping Pittsburgh musician and co-founder of non-profit Band Together Pittsburgh, has now released his latest single and video, “Highwire”.  Vento collaborated with lyricist Bert Lauble and multi-instrumentalist/producer David Granati to help bring the song to life. While the video clip was created and produced by Jim Pitulski.

“Without a doubt, ‘Highwire’ is the most personal and meaningful song that I have ever recorded,” says John Vento. “Over the past few years multiple people have come into my life that deal with debilitating diseases such as MS, Parkinson’s, and Muscular Dystrophy. Tasks that seem so mundane to many of us are a daily struggle for these folks, like trying to keep your balance on a ‘highwire’,” he concluded.

Leaning into his strengths, John Vento was able to turn in an impassioned, and quite expressive and involved record with “Highwire” that feels wholly Vento in style, approach, and scope. The song is truly an embodiment of elemental Americana – meaning an amalgam of American roots influences. The heartfelt narrative of the song allows Vento to smoke with his soaring, powerful, and soulful voice.

“Highwire” is a testament to John Vento’s effortless and natural delivery, and were written to be as such, while blistering guitar and harmonica parts, as well as the raw production rise to meet the epic nature of this effort. Energy is something that Vento never lacks, and helps in the arrangement which was projected with anguish and frantic changes to communicate the emotional rollercoaster of people with serious challenges.

Everything about this song’s arrangement builds up the imagery that will touch a nerve, especially if the listener is empathetic towards the afflictions brought on by debilitating diseases. John Vento shows that he is willing to not preach, but press into our conscience to make us really look at who we are and what we value.

John Vento enlisted David Granati on Guitars, Bass & Percussion, Wil E. Tri on Harmonica, George Perilli on Drums and Cherylann Hawk on supporting Vocals, for added stomp, steam and burn. At a time when so much is upside down and uncertain, the only thing John Vento knows to count on, is his own true vision. Which he has been doing on every song being prepared for his “Brick By Brick” album.

Through the years, John Vento has always been fiercely committed to excellence, pressing into the music’s roots and finding ways to challenge his gifts and his muse. His talent is still undeniable, his appeal worthy of wide recognition, and it’s all unmistakable and captured with renewed passion in every moment, very much worthy of your attention, on “Highwire”.

ABOUT JOHN VENTO: John Vento also fronts The Nied’s Hotel Band, voted Pittsburgh’s Best Bar Band in 2016. Through his performances, he has raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for charity. John is a Communitas Award Winner for his work as co-founder of Band Together Pittsburgh. His leadership, generosity and work ethic are well known throughout the Pittsburgh music scene. John is a #1 international iTunes charting artist, a Billboard Magazine Emerging Artist and a 2019 International Music and Entertainment Association Award Winner. He has appeared on Fox, ABC, CBS, and NBC TV.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE – FACEBOOK – TWITTER – YOUTUBESPOTIFY

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Heistheartist – “ROOTS” goes gone all in on the power of acoustic soul! http://jamsphere.com/reviews/heistheartist-roots-goes-gone-all-in-on-the-power-of-acoustic-soul http://jamsphere.com/reviews/heistheartist-roots-goes-gone-all-in-on-the-power-of-acoustic-soul#respond Fri, 25 Dec 2020 13:26:55 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=43695 Heistheartist may look like just another eclectic American musical artist, but to underestimate him would clearly be a mistake. The Christian singer-songwriter from Central Islip, NY, is hotly tipped to be the next big sensation on the alternative urban scene. The former secular neo-soul singer signed to Bentley Records under his biological name LeeMann Bassey, skillfully blends hip-hop, R&B and Soul into an acoustic guitar and vocal mélange. He’s clearly an artist with far more depth than his image might lead you to believe.

Heistheartist has gone all in on the power of acoustic soul, and has put together a stunning collection of covers as well as his original work on the EP “ROOTS”. He has taken chances by stripping down the production in these covers, presenting naked versions of the songs – often providing new context and depth to these familiar tunes. These inspiring songs prove that music really can calm and heal us in these troubled times.

There is no fancy production or vocal effects.  The one thing that shines through these one-take-like performances, is the quality of the vocalists and musicianship. The EP gets started with the picking of an acoustic guitar, in the instrumental excerpt from Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair”, which fades into Heistheartist’s personal version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”. The more you sing it, the more you feel its truth.

This collection is unlike anything else out there today, and is a welcome addition to acoustic soul music lovers everywhere. Heistheartist teaches us how to love on his interpretation of “Lovin’ You” by Minnie Ripperton.

And lord knows if you watch your social media feeds, you’ll quickly realize that our world is in desperate need of love. That’s the prevailing message of this track, which Heistheartist executes in a more smooth and chilled atmosphere than the original. Music is medicine that’s for sure. This is a gift to us in these troubled times.

“Bright Ideas” is an original track by Heistheartist, which runs on some beautiful and uplifting, strummed guitar motifs. The singer’s words are part education, part affirmation and all part of Heistheartist’s mission to inspire.

Heistheartist vocals are soft and smooth and seem to glide out of the speakers and around the room. I like that while he has the strong vocal ability, he doesn’t feel the need to show them off by doing the vocal acrobatics that so many other artists do and can be annoying to no end.

The Ep finishes with a cover of Tori Kelly’s “Dear No One”, where Heistheartist again reworks the original template into his own personal tone and sonic interpretation. His gift for exploring the depth and complexity of cover songs is on full display here.

Heistheartist’s messages, reflections and affirmations in his musical interpretations are needed now more than ever. You’ll find yourself going back to “ROOTS” regularly, finding even more strength, courage and wisdom in Heistheartist’s performances as time goes by.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE – TWITTER – INSTAGRAM – MUSIC STREAMS

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Monty & The Kraken – “Release the Kraken – Plenty of grit and soulfulness! http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/monty-the-kraken-release-the-kraken-plenty-of-grit-and-soulfulness http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/monty-the-kraken-release-the-kraken-plenty-of-grit-and-soulfulness#respond Thu, 24 Dec 2020 14:08:34 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=43686 The phrase, “Release the Kraken,” appeared on social media trending topics recently pushed mostly by conservatives and far-right internet personalities. It is a catchphrase from the 1981 movie “The Clash of the Titans,” but this time it was used to signal an election fraud conspiracy on social media, as President Trump’s allies continued to contest the outcome of the election, which has been called for Joseph R. Biden Jr. The Kraken is a legendary sea monster of gigantic size and cephalopod-like appearance in Scandinavian folklore. According to the Norse sagas, the Kraken hides and dwells off the coasts of Norway and Greenland. It’s sheer size and fearsome appearance is said to terrorize passing sailors. Hence the phrase, “Release the Kraken,” strikes fear in the hearts of the marine-bound.

This week I was thrilled to encounter a more sensational and realistic use of the phrase, when the album, “Release the Kraken,” arrived on my desk. This 6 track urban music jewel, is a wake-up call to the industry, and all of Monty & The Kraken’s so-called pears. The 30 year old Atlanta resident brings all of his influences, and rolls them into one ear-warming package on this project.

Considering that Monty & The Kraken’s influences include anything between the Backstreet Boys and Kendrick Lamar, to the Isley Brothers and Tame Impala, you’ll understand that this artist brings a bucket-load of flavors and leverages into his tracks.

A former basketball player through college, he has been an athlete all his life. But Monty says that he is similar to the Kraken which is below the surface of the ocean and isn’t seen much, but is huge in influencing things. Now we can grasp the “Kraken” connection to this project.

As a musician, music lover, and music critic, I can say, without reservation, that “Release the Kraken” ranks with some of the most sincere, genuine, and extraordinary music I’ve heard this year. This is music for musicians, music for those who really appreciate the craft, yet also for those who simply enjoy music for the sake of being entertained.

The album kicks off with the track, “Roots”. A sultry, yet sweeping and intoxicating groove, with subtle musicianship and Monty’s amazing voice that resonates with scintillating vibrancy.  The singer makes the song “Toxic” more earthy and believable by balancing his interpretation with a baritone lead and falsetto harmony flights that broaden the dynamic range of the performance and thus the impact of the lyric.

The surprises keep coming, as Monty & The Kraken switches the sonic template from the opening guitar-inflected R&B soundscapes, to the heavy synth and keyboard backdrop of the upbeat soul-fusion on “Smoke All Day”. Monty & The Kraken take another left turn on “Electric Soul”, where the edgy urban sound blends rap, pop and alternative in an impacting amalgam.

The contemporary R&B/Pop renaissance continues in all its classiness and glory on “Damaged”, which is sleekly produced, with the guitar and lush harmonies being a big selling point, while the singer himself sounds powerful and beautiful.

“Kind Of Love” just might be the crowning achievement of “Release the Kraken”.   Monty & The Kraken keeps it old-school at the core of the song, but dresses the tune up in brand-new, current time sonics and vocal nuances. That definitely speaks to his musicianship.

In the end what really stands out to me regarding “Release the Kraken”, is how Monty pushes his voice into all the pockets, on each and every song.  There’s plenty of grit and soulfulness, when he propels those vocals, and plenty of introspection when he steps back into the arrangement.

All in all, Monty & The Kraken shines on this album.  It is consistent from start to finish with no miscues. Best of all, I wouldn’t even force “Release the Kraken”, into any one genre. It’s simply good music. Period.

Connect with Monty & Kraken on INSTAGRAM

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DJ Jack Smith – “Another Day In Paradise” and “Electric Shock” ft. Sevda B – powerful, warm, all-embracing sounds! http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/dj-jack-smith-another-day-in-paradise-and-electric-shock-ft-sevda-b-powerful-warm-all-embracing-sounds http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/dj-jack-smith-another-day-in-paradise-and-electric-shock-ft-sevda-b-powerful-warm-all-embracing-sounds#respond Mon, 21 Dec 2020 06:00:32 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=40535 Corsini Christian AKA DJ Jack Smith is an Italian DJ and producer who has been performing his one of a kind mix of disco, house, and electro pop across his home country for over 20 years. He started his career performing at the discos of the Tuscan Emilian Apennines in the late 90s, playing for diverse crowds and developing a mastery of different styles. As his career grew, DJ Jack Smith became more and more interested in producing and engineering, which currently takes up most of his time. A quick run through his catalog makes it obvious that DJ Jack Smith has always tried to push the boundaries of the genre by combining different musical elements and genres to create something magical. His tracks and remixes always have a story to tell.

“She calls out to the man on the street ‘Sir, can you help me? It’s cold and I’ve nowhere to sleep. Is there somewhere you can tell me?’ He walks on, doesn’t look back He pretends he can’t hear her. Starts to whistle as he crosses the street. Seems embarrassed to be there. Oh, think twice, ’cause it’s another day for you and me in paradise.”

In 1989 these words rang out loud for the very first time, from the Phil Collins multi-platinum and Grammy-award winning single “Another Day In Paradise”. The song about homelessness and social injustice, left many with a burdened conscious and a heavy heart, as those words echoed undeniable truths. Over the years, the social injustices remain brutally intact, while the song itself has been covered by a variety of artists, in different musical styles. Now in 2020, Italian DJ and Producer, DJ Jack Smith brings his own personal EDM version to the table.

To meet the new decade, and the ever-changing trends and tastes in music, DJ Jack Smith lifts the tempo and lays down a warm tropically-styled backdrop, driven by a thumping kick drum, and a dominating bassline that growls alongside the airy melody. The female vocal by Sevda B delivers a breathy and effervescent flow, gracefully communicating the song’s significant message.

Cleverly sugarcoated on the outside to reach a wider and younger audience, within the “Another Day In Paradise” arrangement, those lyrics still weigh heavy on the heart, and DJ Jack Smith’s resonating basslines are in total sync with that sentiment, emphasizing the urgency of the song’s core message.

Animated by the thought of combining music and a story-line, DJ Jack Smith’s previous single “Electric Shock” ft. Sevda B is another truly an exceptional one that captivates the listener immediately. Kicking off with a strong beat and a scintillating melody, the track encapsulates the bass-driven vibes and charms you, leaving a tingling sensation making you want to know what happens next.

“Electric Shock” is powerful, has warm, all-embracing synths and features the sultry and soul-searching vocals of Sevda B. It is a hard-hitting track with dark and vicious bassline, perfectly capturing the edgy tension the story wishes to achieve. The track aims to re code how EDM can deliver a story.

It is a highly ambitious project which is a far cry from regular dance tracks. DJ Jack Smith has taken a leap of faith and he has had a perfect landing with “Electric Shock” ft. Sevda B. The track has been impeccably conceptualized and executed with absolute perfection. It gives the listener an out of the world sonic experience and an insistent dance-floor groove.

“Electric Shock” ft. Sevda B is highly emotive and perfectly anchors to the mood DJ Jack Smith tries to create. Enjoying dance music is the most basic aspect of human nature. You either like a particular grouping of notes and rhythms, or you don’t. It’s that simple. Lately I’ve discovered that such a simple task is left behind when you become involved in the intricacies and multi-layered sounds of DJ Jack Smith.

“Electric Shock” ft. Sevda B is certainly far better than what I had expected and certainly far more interesting than anything I could have hoped for. Above all, it made me pay attention. As such, I found myself intrigued with almost every sound that I heard.

The unadulterated pleasure of enjoying EDM music in an effort to experience new sounds is an art that has been lost for some time now, with so many clones doing the rounds. Thanks to DJ Jack Smith I’ve rediscovered that pleasure again. DJ Jack Smith evolution as a producer has been evident and fluid, with each passing release serving as a landmark in his journey.

The meticulousness weaved into the drums, bass and chord progressions is immediately apparent on “Electric Shock”, making the tune supremely enjoyable and easily one of DJ Jack Smith’s strongest offerings, while its uplifting undertones are capable of raising the energy levels of any dance floor.

Both“Another Day In Paradise” and “Electric Shock” ft. Sevda B serve as yet another enlightening portal into the seasoned producer’s psyche; true labors of love that showcase his willingness to constantly progress, communicate and innovate.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEFACEBOOKINSTAGRAMSPOTIFY

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The Rapper Dopé – “For My Dreamers” – Smart wordplay, melodic hooks and high level production http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/the-rapper-dope-for-my-dreamers-smart-wordplay-melodic-hooks-and-high-level-production http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/the-rapper-dope-for-my-dreamers-smart-wordplay-melodic-hooks-and-high-level-production#respond Sun, 20 Dec 2020 11:36:11 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=43619 Signed to DUCMG Records, on his debut EP “For My Dreamers”, The Rapper Dopé is flamboyant as hell, riding the exuberant beats with the excitement of someone who is hearing them for the first time. He lays down so many backing vocals, as to seem an entire vocal harmony choir. But that’s not the entire message. Rather, its how good The Rapper Dopé is at the pure art of rapping. Anyone who thinks he can only handle melodic sing-song rap, and can’t straight spit, is not paying attention. He can launch into rapid-fire triple-time rhyming, and effect any cadence he wishes to.

Young talented rappers have making huge strides in the hip-hop rap industry of recent.  And even though the new wave of rap unquestionably has its low points, there are quite a few exceptions who bring straight creative fire to the table. The Rapper Dopé definitely falls into the latter category.

The first track off the EP, “Win” meets all the requirements for an opener, quickly showcasing The Rapper Dopé’s near unbeatable chemistry with his beats. Smart wordplay and high level production serves as an early testament to the quality of the EP. Another example of The Rapper Dopé’s ability and versatility is the second song off the EP, “Time”.

Here The Rapper Dopé turns up the dial on his melodic and singing strengths, while the beat bangs with driving groove and a twisting bassline. This track could find itself on a number of different genre radio stations.

Unfolding more emotional complexity than the initial songs, “Dreams” puts the spotlight on the rapper’s rhyming skills and lyrical flow, as he spits his truths about ambition and aspirations. It’s not just about glamour and hype, but the passion behind the grind. The production is also extremely impressive.

“Glow” sticks to the same impacting template – an atmospheric and expansive production, supported by vivid lyrical imagery and killer rhyme schemes from The Rapper Dopé. The middle section of this EP, presents an absolute performing apex from The Rapper Dopé, as he continues to stun with “Problem”, dishing out heartfelt verses and technically stealthy flows.

“Rush” delivers another full house of rich melody, and a smartly crafted, effects-laden vocal hooks, showing off all the artist’s creativity, and highly adaptable vocal cords. All throughout this recording, The Rapper Dopé displays immense talent with his free flowing vocals that go between quality rap and a variety of vocals.

“Gemini” presents yet another high point on “For My Dreamers”. This mid-tempo banger showcases a catchy and soulful vocal hook, while The Rapper Dopé tantalizes the listener with his precision.

“Lies” offers a slower and darker cinematic production that is at once impressive. Both the mellifluous singing and the punctilious rapping is instantly captivating, locked inside a musical backdrop that builds an intoxicating sonic aura. It’s a perfect complement to the dizzying flow of The Rapper Dopé. This talented artist shows himself to be a force on this EP, notably delivering agile rhymes and being honest and incredibly transparent in his narratives.

*** Grab a ticket HERE to attend The Rapper Dopé’s virtual concert, called “For My Dreamers” w/ The Rapper Dopé, taking place January 8th 2021. ***

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEFACEBOOKINSTAGRAMSOUNDCLOUD

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‘Welcome To Sha-La Land’ – There’s a large number of truly epic moments here! http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/welcome-to-sha-la-land-theres-a-large-number-of-truly-epic-moments-here http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/welcome-to-sha-la-land-theres-a-large-number-of-truly-epic-moments-here#respond Sat, 19 Dec 2020 13:06:52 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=43599 The Welcome To Sha-La Land album, featuring songs by DownTown MysticBruce EnglerThe Discontent and Monte Farber

The 4th of December saw the release of the new single, “Test of Time” by Downtown Mystic.  This is the lead track on the ‘Welcome To Sha-La Land’ album (released 18th December), featuring songs by DownTown Mystic, Bruce Engler, The Discontent and New Age Guru Monte Farber. It’s a roots-rocking track with a positive message about love that endures and is especially poignant in this time of the Covid-19 pandemic. DownTown Mystic songwriter/producer Robert Allen comments, “This pandemic has been a shock to all of our collective systems and our personal emotions are something that doesn’t get a good deal of attention. Test of Time is for all the people who did not get a chance to share a final goodbye with their loved ones.”

Bruce Engler & Robert Allen

‘Welcome To Sha-La Land’s’ cohesion is largely a function of the consistent presence of DownTown Mystic who is featured on all tracks with Bruce Engler and The Discontent. Set within memorable frameworks of roots rock melody, tempo and drive, the variety alone could sustain a listener’s interest over the 14 track collection.

The album finds a positive balance between the random and the fleeting, the rational and perdurable. There’s a large number of truly epic moments here, like the opener ‘Test of Time’ (DownTown Mystic ft. Bruce Engler), which also features Trixter/Ra bass player PJ Farley, and the late great drummer, Tommy Mastro of The Discontent. This is followed by ‘One More Chance’ (Bruce Engler ft. DownTown Mystic), and the crushing ‘Pollution’ (The Discontent ft. DownTown Mystic).

Untouched by trends and uncorrupted by even a modicum of potential major label and mainstream fame DownTown Mystic continues on his journey of independent resilience delivering thunder and lightning via the Sha-La Music record label. All of which is evident throughout ‘Welcome To Sha-La Land’. The magic continues with the slow-burning ballad ‘Standing Still’ (DownTown Mystic ft. Bruce Engler) and the mid-tempo reggae-inflected strum of ‘Fiona’ (Bruce Engler ft. DownTown Mystic).

Never one to follow road maps too closely, if not for the fact that he sticks to rock’s essential core elements in most settings, DownTown Mystic has masterminded perhaps one of Sha-La Music’s strongest and most captivating collective albums to date. Hearing ‘Welcome To Sha-La Land’ is like chancing upon an enchanted radio station, crackling with distant affected melodies and wisps of harmony, awash in chunky driving rhythms and shards of overdriven guitars. ‘Dying Breath’ (The Discontent ft. DownTown Mystic) perfectly epitomizes the aforementioned statement.

DownTown Mystic

Moving forward we find an alternative version of ‘Better Day’ (DownTown Mystic – Acoustic Mix), followed by another classic-sounding, heartfelt, acoustic-driven ballad, ‘The Last Teardrop’ (Bruce Engler ft. DownTown Mystic). ‘Dead End Space’ (The Discontent ft. DownTown Mystic) takes us back to the sound of rich guitar crunch and sweeping melodies.

‘3-Way Heartbreak’ (DownTown Mystic) is built to rock the house with a sticky rhythm and a euphoric chorus. It is purposefully followed by ‘Good Karma’ (Monte Farber) for a moment of deeper introspection and respite. This moment initiates the array of bonus tracks, which include: Test Of Time Single Instrumental’ (DownTown Mystic ft, Bruce Engler), ‘Last Teardrop Instrumental’ (Bruce Engler ft. DownTown Mystic), and ‘Give Me A Message’ (Monte Farber).

The message this collaborative album leaves me, is that Robert Allen aka DownTown Mystic is an enigma, an inspiration, and some kind of rock n’ roll genius, and he makes sure that the company he keeps are pretty much on the same level. To which ‘Welcome To Sha-La Land’ plays unabashed testimony. This is yet another perfect introduction to DownTown Mystic’s musical world.

OFFICIAL LINKS:

Listen to Test Of Time Single: https://tinyurl.com/y2bg5vwn
SoundCloud: https://tinyurl.com/y2cklz69

Videos:
Test Of Time: https://youtu.be/mtgctEoyykA
Baby Believe Me: https://youtu.be/rbfS0k5hz9Q
Please Be There: https://youtu.be/hsVGryiMh_8
Night Time Girl: https://youtu.be/VVxyHZRmLvo

Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/yx9ojdfo
Apple Music/iTunes: https://tinyurl.com/y6koxp76

Homepage: https://downtownmystic.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DTMystic/
DownTown Mystic YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/DowntownMystic1
DownTown Blog: https://downtownmystic.net/blog/

Twitter: @DTMysticband
Sha-La Music: http://sha-lamusic.com
Twitter: @shalaman

iPluggers: https://ipluggers.com/downtownmystic
AirPlay Direct: https://tinyurl.com/yyolvqsl

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Red Roll – “Call Me Mad” is literally brimming with magnificence! http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/red-roll-call-me-mad-is-literally-brimming-with-magnificence http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/red-roll-call-me-mad-is-literally-brimming-with-magnificence#respond Sat, 19 Dec 2020 06:36:06 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=43594 “Call Me Mad”, the first single off the album “At The End The Beginning” by Italian rock band Red Roll, is a true masterpiece of alternative rock music that shows how beautifully epic this art can be when it’s done right. The song twists and careens through rock, grunge, metal and punk, displaying some iconic riffs and heavily layered walls of guitar, alongside a relentless rhythm. Red Roll aspire to building a powerful legacy with their music. And they can only go up from here.

Red Roll prove their sound is timeless in “Call Me Mad”, defining a sound that will no doubt continue for decades to come. Discussing the single, the band explained: “We chose this song as our first single because it is what most represents us, it provides an overview of what Red Roll is, in its different stylistic nuances and influences.”

“Call Me Mad” gets in your head without frills, conveying direct and instinctive emotions: exactly what we seek in making music,” Red Roll continued to elaborate. “The lyrics instead talk about points of view. What is madness? We look into human needs and try to find out why we always must rationalize and give a name to everything, also to those things that cannot be categorized or enclosed within a word.”

On “Call Me Mad”, Red Roll manage a balance of searching lyrics with loud riffs, anthemic vocals, and breakneck energy. Sometimes, a track is just perfect.  Nothing needs to be added or taken away.  It is simply right the first time. This what Passo (vocals and guitar), Jhonny (drummer), Leo (guitar and vocals) and Cesi (bass), have achieved with this single.

“Call Me Mad” has the soaring vocals, it has the hardnosed guitars, the mind-blowing drums and the throbbing basslines.  Furthermore it has an edgy vibe, and it reeks of passion. The sound Red Roll create is large and loud. The virtuosity of the instruments is mesmerizing, while the skill and refinement of each player will blow you away. The track is literally brimming with magnificence.

What makes “Call Me Mad” so damn enjoyable is, despite the mighty impressive technical ability and crunchy heaviness, the track remains wonderfully accessible to most. It’s clear from the outset that Red Roll were determined to make a record they could really be proud of, something that would put the band on the map, as well as introduce their album “At The End The Beginning” to the world.

Red Roll was launched many years ago in the Bolognese Apennines. From a very young age, the 4 members approached the world of music as a diversion from reality. After 15 years of musical experimentation, they gave life to Red Roll.  Within just two years Red Roll had become a registered trademark. As well as being a band, it has also became a craft beer and a line of T-Shirts.

In recent years Red Roll have performed in many concerts and events, such as the opening of the Nomadi concert and the live event at the Bormio Ski Slope during the Ski World Cup. “Call Me Mad” is a great listen if you want something fresh yet extreme, a perfect contrast.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEMERCHINSTAGRAMFACEBOOKYOUTUBESPOTIFYVIDEOFANLINK

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Ambrose – “Out of Nowhere” is designed to communicate stories, poetic imagery and emotion http://jamsphere.com/reviews/ambrose-out-of-nowhere-is-designed-to-communicate-stories-poetic-imagery-and-emotion http://jamsphere.com/reviews/ambrose-out-of-nowhere-is-designed-to-communicate-stories-poetic-imagery-and-emotion#respond Fri, 18 Dec 2020 22:47:25 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=43572 In her eyes, in her songwriting, and in her vocals, lifelong Yukon artist Shirly Ambrose, artistically known simply as Ambrose is energetic and passionate. Her music is unique and special, for it can be listened to from various perspectives and angles. Regardless of whether you are happy or sad, her 10-song, 70 minute plus sophomore album, “Out of Nowhere” seems to be apt for the present moment. She is worthy of the accolades received, or still to be received for this gem. Personalized vocals, striking piano, and unique style all reflect an artist who wants to reveal to the world her true talent without compromising her special qualities in the name of trying to blend in with the insipid, superficial styles of today’s trendy market products.

It’s hard to describe Ambrose in few words. She’s an unusual individual – strong principles, open-minded, forward-thinking and diligent in her ambitions. There is no denying she is beyond unique, and distances herself in sound from any of the popular female artists out there today. She truly holds her own, and her sound is something to take in and appreciate.

“Out of Nowhere” is not to be savored, nor assessed, on the premise of glossy and elaborated, high-tech, electronic production work, perfect-to-pitch, software-tuned vocals, and all the other overwhelming bells and whistles that produce pristine pop vessels – shiny on the outside, and empty on the inside. Ambrose pretty much sticks to the bread and butter of music. Its core essentials.

“Out of Nowhere” is designed to communicate stories, poetic imagery, landscapes, relationships, emotion, passion, and above all, love. Love of self, for others, nature and life itself. At least for me, this much transpires, in varying degrees, from each and every track on this album. For Ambrose it’s not simply about the note being sung, it’s about the emotion and message being diffused.

Even the opening song, “Emotions” makes it clear when Ambrose sings: “Emotions have a way of taking you further than you ever knew.” And then declares: “Been a victim of them my whole life. And in that I must confess…” There can be no doubt that her sound has changed, and has changed for the better. The music is now dominated by her defined vocal stylings, inspired lyrics, as well as those songs driven by keyboards.

“Day into Night” hints to thoughts of existentialism as Ambrose examines the contradictions of growing older and wiser. “Everything” is clearly an ode to someone beloved as Ambrose exclaims: “You’re my everything I always wanted.” Moving forward, “Deep Waters” maintains the theme of love and devotion, opening rather passionately: “You have known me for my whole life. I have loved you for my whole life”.

This album is Ambrose’s best work to date, and is compiled of some of her most beautiful and well put together work. Like “Time To Wish”, and the acoustic-guitar driven “Some Say Love”, which has had extensive airplay on Russian Radio 102.2 FM. Not to mention the resonant piano-dominated “Heaven Only Knows”, which is also infused with the warm sounds of an organ.

“Oh the Klondike so right. Our land of vision and might. Where others come and wanna stay. And learn the pioneer way,” sees Ambrose pay homage to her chosen land on “Sunlight at Midnight”. This is followed by the upbeat “Out of Nowhere”, which also showcases the reverberating instrumental orchestration by Paul Cecchetti, who contributes his musicality across the entire album.

The album closes with the poignant and soul-searching “Never Alone”. The entire album is a journey of sorts, taking you into the mindset of Ambrose and showing off to the world what she has been wanting to do all along. She has matured, set herself apart, and thrust herself towards developing her potential. She’s now a songwriter at her highest peak, showcasing her articulate lyrical gifts.

Ambrose takes care to explain that she is a recent songwriter who has been cornered into singing her own songs but songwriting has been her dream for over forty years. Never wanting to force music, she almost gave up the fantasy until three years ago when songs started to flood her. “I had an obsession with music when I was young that exceeded most people and it seems it has come full circle for me,” she says.

“I always had music deep down but it could never quite surface creatively, until my forties and something profoundly shifted within me,” continues Ambrose. “Somewhere deep behind these vast hills of consciousness, was a reservoir or music screaming to be released, that only personal earthquakes and volcanoes could accomplish.” Which is what happened preceding the making of “Out of Nowhere”, I presume.

Connect with Ambrose on her WEBSITE and on FACEBOOK. Stream and download her music on BANDCAMP.

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David Tv Barnes – “Lost Time” is smooth, soulful, and rich in tone http://jamsphere.com/reviews/david-tv-barnes-lost-time-is-smooth-soulful-and-rich-in-tone http://jamsphere.com/reviews/david-tv-barnes-lost-time-is-smooth-soulful-and-rich-in-tone#respond Fri, 18 Dec 2020 18:35:17 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=43567 There is considerable excitement in hearing an artist with the ambition and accomplishment of saxophonist and producer, David Tv Barnes as he uncovers the tools and skillset he brings to every project. His track, “Lost Time” is smooth, soulful, ambitious and rich in different colored tones.  It puts the spotlight clearly on his art. Being a single, the new recording dares Barnes to achieve his varied goals within a narrower palette and timeframe. It cranks up the expectations, and David Tv Barnes delivers the goods.

Among his many strengths, this exceptional improviser and soloist is very good at steering away from the expected. David Tv Barnes began his career as an 8 year old prodigy in Brooklyn, NY. Before his 18th birthday he was marching in Walt Disney World’s Parade of Lights with The New York City All-City Marching Band, performing for Mayor Bloomberg at Gracie Mansion.

Over and above being praised by legendary trumpeter, Wynton Marsalis, and teaching musicians and vocalists at Columbia University Teachers College Improv Camp, David Tv Barnes has gone onto opening for Gladys Knight, Boyz II Men, Jimmy Cliff, Beres Hammond and many others. His studio work includes being part of the Grammy Award Winning album “44/876” by Sting & Shaggy.

From the first moments of the R&B/Soul infused instrumental, “Lost Time”, Barnes uses a range of tonal colors with exceptional control, and unfolds unusual intervals in creating melodies that sound like fresh saxophone voicings. His saxophone is fully on display on “Lost Time”, as is Barnes’ ability to guide his arrangement through a performance that can sound as passionate as it is smooth and mellow.

“Lost Time” achieves a sublime atmosphere through harmonic playing and through lushly layered brass sections. David Tv Barnes forges a patient approach on this track, which allows himself to often play in his higher but still smooth upper register, sometimes a careful octave above the piano line.

“Lost Time” is the sound of a truly well-developed musician who embraces both the breadth of his creativity and the focus of his intent. Soulful and sensitive, David Tv Barnes is making music that burns with personal intensity, expressing feeling through a modern musical language. Barnes has obviously spent his time learning not just what notes the saxophone can play, but what tones and timbres it can create.

David Tv Barnes has a distinctive way of creating an ambiance of deep pathos without falling into overwrought sentimentality, and this blend of expression is compelling on a song such as “Lost Time”. There are passages which feel deeply rooted in the jazz tradition. Then there are moments that feel charged with modern urban swagger.

What’s more, David Tv Barnes, on “Lost Time”, has chosen put focus on the sense of effortless, soulful, organic sound that tends to compel audiences to listen. This approach also allows the song to burst out of the speakers in a tuneful melody. There is little doubt that the once 8 year-old prodigy from Brooklyn, David Tv Barnes is among the highest echelons of contemporary saxophone players today.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEINSTAGRAMTWITTERSTREAMS

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