Robbie Tee – JamSphere http://jamsphere.com The Indie Music Magazine & Radio Network! Tue, 23 May 2017 23:36:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 “Sunshine” – Artem Cithara (ft. Nicole Elizabeth & Slick Sax) like a whirling cool breeze! http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/sunshine-artem-cithara-ft-nicole-elizabeth-slick-sax-like-a-whirling-cool-breeze http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/sunshine-artem-cithara-ft-nicole-elizabeth-slick-sax-like-a-whirling-cool-breeze#respond Tue, 21 Mar 2017 17:43:13 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=27821 The scene opens to the midnight skyline of a neon city while Slick Sax’s saxophone blows like a whirling cool breeze through the balmy summer air, muting the buzzing fluorescent signs that clamor for attention. All the while, Nicole Elizabeth’s breathy vocals murmur and soar above the four-to-the-floor piano-driven beat on the stunning new feel-good […]

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The scene opens to the midnight skyline of a neon city while Slick Sax’s saxophone blows like a whirling cool breeze through the balmy summer air, muting the buzzing fluorescent signs that clamor for attention. All the while, Nicole Elizabeth’s breathy vocals murmur and soar above the four-to-the-floor piano-driven beat on the stunning new feel-good single release from Artem Cithara, entitled “Sunshine”. The track is an appropriate composition from a mysterious artist, songwriter and producer whose only goal is to be taken seriously–not only as an EDM icon, but in the context of finer arts.

While much of the electronic music world is still buzzing in circles, trying to find a new route and momentum forward into an uncertain future, Cithara is offering up the other side of the coin: a track with an infallible 90’s aesthetic vision decorated with all the latest electronic craftsmanship.

Though it’s undoubtedly a track for driving down palm-lined roads along the beach front in the July heat, it’s more than a coincidence that it has arrived now. It all means one thing: Artem Cithara is anticipating the season, as well as his peers, showing that he is taking himself seriously. And so should we.

Sunshine” (ft. Nicole Elizabeth & Slick Sax) is a thoughtfully executed and dauntingly coherent Vocal House track, which conjures immediate and unflinching imagery within its first few notes and doesn’t stray for a single second thereafter.

At a time when even the most revered producers are self-effacing, glorified clowns, seeking the most futuristic and complex sounds and collaborations, Artem Cithara has somehow managed to avoid the gimmicky madness modern EDM.

The result is a stunning track that conveys a fully formed aesthetic vision through an immaculate sound stage that stays simple, clean and crisp. Sunshine” (ft. Nicole Elizabeth & Slick Sax) is a genuine delight that skillfully walks the razor thin line between that which feels great to hear and that which feels great to dance to. And he hits it dead bang in the center.

Of course no matter how we cut it, the saxophone is probably this track’s defining factor, and which ultimately separates Sunshine” from the rest of the genre. If you aspire to that stylistic tone, flush with the entire harmonic spectrum – low lows to high highs, where the frequencies delicately balance to form a sublimely enrapturing sonic ambrosia, you’ll find it in Slick Sax’s playing.

Saxophone aside, the vocal element is largely there to form an additional melody within the track, and Nicole Elizabeth does this remarkably well. Silky smooth and with a seductive, breathless female vocal, the whisper-soft melody creates an experience of bliss, coupled with a bassy undertone that adds urgency and punctuates the vibe throughout.

The additional joy is that Artem Cithara has maintained a style that feels warm and original. And for a genre that tends to be satisfied wallowing in established trends more than any other, this is a much needed buck for the mainstream’s standard.

OFFICIAL LINKS: SOUNDCLOUDYOUTUBE

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GARCY420: “Bitter Breakup” – far beyond our usual comfort zones! http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/garcy420-bitter-breakup-far-beyond-our-usual-comfort-zones http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/garcy420-bitter-breakup-far-beyond-our-usual-comfort-zones#comments Wed, 15 Mar 2017 22:15:04 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=27694 GARCY420 is probably one of the most polarizing acts in electronic music – even for his biggest fans. Now the Australian returns with another one of his challenging tracks, and yet again makes a case for his steadfast, no-shits-given experimentalism. To be clear, he has a strong interest in all things technical and is fascinated […]

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GARCY420 is probably one of the most polarizing acts in electronic music – even for his biggest fans. Now the Australian returns with another one of his challenging tracks, and yet again makes a case for his steadfast, no-shits-given experimentalism. To be clear, he has a strong interest in all things technical and is fascinated by the idea that you can take music production to another level by using an iPhone coupled with Garageband, Howie Weinberg Mastering, and Audio Convertor etc. “Welcome to the world of virtual music. Real time instruments and sampled beats with fast tempo, high energized, hard rock, dance, dubstep, hip hop and pop – A new direction in the evolution of music,” says GARCY420.

Listening to the music GARCY420 isn’t really comparable to much else out there. While he’s been working far beyond the curve he left behind years ago, he has not quite left the basic structures and mechanics of music behind altogether.

In a sense, he still makes pop, rock, dance or whatever genre he tackles from time to time as that particular music was meant to be made, as an amalgamation of rhythm and melody that encourages both physical and emotional reactions from the listeners.

However, these same tropes and structures are expanded and contracted so far beyond our usual comfort zones that they seem to take on an antithetic, experimental quality that is uniquely their own. Instruments are electronically generated made from samples, waves and algorithms that mangle the conventional musical landscape but are, at their core, nothing more than the fundamental mechanics of music, just presented from a vastly different production point of view.

The “Bitter Breakup” single captures GARCY420 at his most elemental and entropic, and serves as a treatise by which his vision can be better understood. To approach this music, listeners are encouraged to take everything at face value, to digest this material tabula rasa and let the music inscribe itself into a blank slate in your mind instead of having to overwrite years of conventional perceptions that do nothing more than obscure and cloud the impact of the music itself.

GARCY420’s style is in its purest form here, as a mutating, organic mass of beat-driven synthetic sound stretched out over a 3 and a half minute improvisation, that sounds like a hybrid blend of Daft Punk’s Dance-Pop, DJ Umek’s Techno pulsations and Iggy Pop’s Funk-Punk vocal musings.

The “Bitter Breakup” is nothing if not wholly and unequivocally GARCY420’s musical credo through and through, and functions on a macro level, as a symbol for the vast ocean of sounds contained in his prolific and ever-changing canon.

While it’s a monumental achievement to have such a unique catalog of music, what is perhaps the most impressive is the ability of GARCY420 to be so aware of his place in the musical field, and to be able to constantly condense, reformulate, and reevaluate his own sound. This candid understanding of his own vision is what keeps him at the top of his game and in front as well as left-field of the pack…of which he has no interest in being a part of!

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEYOUTUBESOUNDCLOUD

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Alex Stickels: ‘Made From Scratch’ – imbued with road-tested tightness http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/alex-stickels-made-from-scratch-imbued-with-road-tested-tightness http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/alex-stickels-made-from-scratch-imbued-with-road-tested-tightness#respond Mon, 13 Mar 2017 00:54:37 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=27632 After touring the world with several artists as their drummer, Alex Stickels pulled a Phil Collins/Dave Grohl and came home to write and front his own rock songs. ‘Made From Scratch’ is his debut EP, on which he was a one-man band, playing all the instruments, arranging the whole project, and stepping out front to […]

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After touring the world with several artists as their drummer, Alex Stickels pulled a Phil Collins/Dave Grohl and came home to write and front his own rock songs. ‘Made From Scratch’ is his debut EP, on which he was a one-man band, playing all the instruments, arranging the whole project, and stepping out front to sing all the songs. The EP sounds instantly familiar, imbued with both a road-tested tightness and the world-weariness of nouveau rock star. It’s custom-built to hold off the haters while Stickels figures out how to complete the full-length album.

Every song is performed so well; each is absolutely delightful to listen to. Alex Stickels has a wonderfully unique voice; in male singers, I want the voice to have character, and Alex’s definitely does. Here he maintains the illusion of carelessness and effortlessness while executing the tracks beautifully.

Sometimes an artist is simply too good not to make it. Alex Stickels may just be one of this rare breed. He is destined to be grasped by the just-off-mainstream as an alternative rock hero.

The album opens with the rather low key psychedelic track “Higher Highs” which features some stunning retro guitar riffs. Leading right into the brilliant “Radio Silence“. This song should spark a flurry of excitement in those who haven’t heard it, and when you hear it, you’ll understand why.

Slow and textured, the song displays all the sonic dimensions Alex Stickels is capable of – from mellow, understated bridges to rich and lush cinematic buildups.

Next up comes “Enrapt“. Another consistent and catchy track, which on any other album would be a stand out, or from any other band, would be lost amongst the better tracks. The entirety of the song is so wonderful you’ll not want it to end.

Call it alternative, call it art-rock, call it guitar music, it doesn’t matter. ‘Made From Scratch’ sounds wonderful, as it moves between being crunchy and edgy as well as melodic and mellow. I know it sounds like I’m bagging on this album completely, but I actually like it a lot.

The guitar parts interchange wonderfully, and even though they are not incredibly technically difficult, you would be very hard pressed to find an EP filled with so many catchy riffs as this one.

All in all, ‘Made From Scratch’ is definitely worth a listen. Anyone who has not heard this EP needs to, for it has the potential for anyone to pick it up and think that it’s a classic immediately. Simply put, Alex Stickels has every quality alternative and indie rock requires from its finest exponents and this EP is where they all come together.

OFFICIAL LINKS: FACEBOOKINSTAGRAMTWITTERSOUNDCLOUDYOUTUBEBANDCAMPSPOTIFY

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Norunoua: “Chrysalis” – a musical narrative is so vividly real! http://jamsphere.com/reviews/norunoua-chrysalis-a-musical-narrative-is-so-vividly-real http://jamsphere.com/reviews/norunoua-chrysalis-a-musical-narrative-is-so-vividly-real#respond Tue, 31 Jan 2017 22:43:10 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=26724 Mannie Cutean started the experimental project ‘Norunoua’ from the suburbs of Detroit. As a live set started to evolve with an APC and a Maschine, Steve Cotton a longtime friend from grade school, joined in on synth guitar to make the live show more versatile. This synergy has eventually led to the twelve-track “Chrysalis”, the […]

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Mannie Cutean started the experimental project ‘Norunoua’ from the suburbs of Detroit. As a live set started to evolve with an APC and a Maschine, Steve Cotton a longtime friend from grade school, joined in on synth guitar to make the live show more versatile. This synergy has eventually led to the twelve-track “Chrysalis”, the duo’s debut album. I have been blown away by this album since it was introduced to me by and really served as a transition from moving into IDM from being a trance fan.

I have listened to the whole album numerous times and I find it relaxing, upbeat and melodic. Electronic is subjective to the individual listening to it, if you are looking for a more structured rhythmic electronic album, with beautiful and intricate soundscapes this is absolutely a must own or at least listen to it and check it out.

When it comes to IDM, Norunoua sits near the top of the heap. They obviously don’t get the credit they deserve just yet as they are only starting out with this recording, but make no mistake they will do in a very short time. You can tell that Mannie Cutean has done his homework here.

This album is so detailed, yet never overwhelming sonically. It sounds completely unlike anything to have come out in recent times. Every sound effect and sample is used to absolute perfection here to create one of those rare albums that have the ability to transport you to a different place and time. The album has a running narrative taken from its title – “Chrysalis represents metamorphosis, a process in which a gathering of elements reconstruct themselves into a different form.”

And the musical narrative is so vividly real that it paints a picture with every track. As I sat back and listened (and you’ll want to sit back and listen, completely focused, for full effect), I couldn’t help but unconsciously create a story around the images so convincingly forming in my mind.

The album is a concept album, and it can have a story, but that story completely depends on the mood, imagination and experiences of the person hearing it. This is about your own personal metamorphosis, and “Chrysalis” is your soundtrack. This sort of listener participation is a rarity that should never be overlooked when selecting music.

I’m almost certain that many would have the urge to describe Norunoua as a fusion between the surgical explorations of The Aphex Twin and the elastic soundscapes by Boards of Canada. But Norunoua, of course, are in a genre of their own.

Combining intricate beat-work with expansive synth melodies that keep on swirling into inter-winding sonic tangles, Norunoua creates a unique mesh of sound which is as abstract and experimental as it is cerebral and astute. Norunoua bring the ‘I’ to the ‘Intelligent Dance Music’ acronym.

What I really appreciated in their sound is the particular attention to the developing melody, its musicality and very fragile tone.  Here’s another set of electronic artists to definitely keep track of in the years to come.

Essential tracks: “Bloom Positive”, “After We Talked”, “Squeak Toy”, “Frosty Feelings” and “Skyliner”.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEFACEBOOKSOUNDCLOUDYOUTUBEITUNESGOOGLE PLAYSPOTIFY

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Zahira: “Ascension” – soul-induced electo-pop music with special twist and appeal http://jamsphere.com/reviews/zahira-ascension-soul-induced-electo-pop-music-with-special-twist-and-appeal http://jamsphere.com/reviews/zahira-ascension-soul-induced-electo-pop-music-with-special-twist-and-appeal#respond Sun, 25 Dec 2016 14:34:18 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=26074 That Zahira is an all-embracing artist is already clear just from reading her biography. This singer, songwriter, and producer, debuted live in the early 2000s with jazz influenced soul and reggae material and then expanded into an experimental neo-soul, electronic fusion. Born and raised in Canada, she quickly embarked into modeling, dancing and singing in […]

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That Zahira is an all-embracing artist is already clear just from reading her biography. This singer, songwriter, and producer, debuted live in the early 2000s with jazz influenced soul and reggae material and then expanded into an experimental neo-soul, electronic fusion. Born and raised in Canada, she quickly embarked into modeling, dancing and singing in gospel choir. Zahira has studied jazz, pop and Indian vocals, as well as jazz piano, West African drumming, dance, studio engineering and electronic production.

Aside from her native English, she has written and performs songs in Hebrew, Sanskrit, Arabic, Spanish, French, Michif and indigenous languages, in an effort to share her message with the world. Zahira has also toured internationally, including Israel, Mexico, Canada, the Dominican Republic and Bali.

Zahira, who has already worked with some top flight artists and producers, recently released her new single, “Ascension”, which she describes as ‘an anthem for revolution’. No doubt Zahira is definitely hot property as she hits us with her latest track.

As you would probably expect this electro-pop is a combination of synth and alternative pop that gives a really good sound, and of course there are Zahira’s wonderful vocals. Building upon the emotionally reflective base of her voice, the singer has fine-tuned her approach and created a cohesive work that is presented as a powerful journey – “We be united by the cause / Undivided by the walls / Towers come to fall / But the people’s truth / Is revolution.”

Zahira may seem like yet just another name in an endless list of female electro-pop singers, but what sets her apart is the sheer passion in her vocal delivery, the pristine beats, and the tight songwriting. There is also something about Zahira’s singing style and the music production that really sets her apart from the likes of other pop divas.

Basically she isn’t just another typical pop singer, because she has that intangible, ‘alternative something’ that gives her soul-induced music a special twist and appeal. “Ascension” is the kind of glorious, hook filled single that other artists of this genre only wish they could make; the type of song that could top the charts for weeks on end, but one that has a far deeper meaning that what may appear on its glossy surface.

As far as the technical aspects of the track is concerned, the sound quality is great and the attention to detail in the production is cutting edge, curated scrupulously by Producer Jaya Raise, who also shares songwriting writing duties with Zahira. Finally, the solid mastering by Eric Meyers puts the final high quality seal on this recording.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITESOUNDCLOUDFACEBOOKINSTAGRAMTWITTER

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Philip Ackowsky: “Walking On the Clouds” emerges as a strong, energetic and intriguing track http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/philip-ackowsky-walking-on-the-clouds-emerges-as-a-strong-energetic-and-intriguing-track http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/philip-ackowsky-walking-on-the-clouds-emerges-as-a-strong-energetic-and-intriguing-track#respond Thu, 22 Dec 2016 03:35:00 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=25993 Dj, Producer, and Mastering Engineer, Philip Ackowsky has released his new Tech-House single “Walking On the Clouds” released by Old School Music. The track embraces a sentiment that John Digweed once expressed about minimal electronic music – That is, that good minimal techno contains as much relative importance in the audible sound as it does […]

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Dj, Producer, and Mastering Engineer, Philip Ackowsky has released his new Tech-House single “Walking On the Clouds” released by Old School Music. The track embraces a sentiment that John Digweed once expressed about minimal electronic music – That is, that good minimal techno contains as much relative importance in the audible sound as it does in the absence of sound. The track masters the devilish attitude that accompanies darkened rooms, seedy nightclubs and unfamiliar faces.

Like wind rushing between city buildings, the sound on this tune carries more force than it cares to show. And despite its near-minimal presence, I found myself bouncing around to the music as I had a listen. I argue that this type of musical incongruity sometimes makes for a better listening experience.

Philip Ackowsky discards the fat and puts all the lean meat on one bone in “Walking On the Clouds” and emerges with a strong, energetic and intriguing track. Leave it to Ackowsky to take minimal under his covert wing and make it appealing.

This is an interesting period for Tech-House genre. For the last 2-3 years many deejays have spun a wide array of minimalistic electronica in the search for the pulse of house music and perhaps blaze a path forward that is unique and interesting while reflecting their own style.

Philip Ackowsky has experimented along these lines, and this song reflects an almost signature Ackowsky sound which is best indicated in the way Philip handles space, and a consistent rate of peaks embedded across track.

This is not just atmospheric music, it is intense, seductive and the power behind it is best described as magnetic. “Walking On the Clouds” unfolds and unfurls at its own hypnotic rate, letting the music and beat breath and gain life.

If you’re just one of those people who delight in listening to a studying master forge new musical territory, you’ll enjoy Philip Ackowsky’s work. The quality of the recording is outstanding. The engineering is second-to-none, and the track is inspired; in summary? State-of-the-art!

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEYOUTUBESOUNDCLOUDFACEBOOKBEATPORTINSTAGRAMITUNES

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Natt Moore: “Alpha” ft. Ella Bianchi is as much about the journey as its component sounds http://jamsphere.com/reviews/natt-moore-alpha-ft-ella-bianchi-is-as-much-about-the-journey-as-its-component-sounds http://jamsphere.com/reviews/natt-moore-alpha-ft-ella-bianchi-is-as-much-about-the-journey-as-its-component-sounds#respond Wed, 21 Dec 2016 15:18:36 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=25981 Natt Moore, owner of Contempstrumental Records, as well as electronica, experimental, and ambient, composer and producer, based in UK has released another single, entitled “Alpha” ft. Ella Bianchi. This again, is a true gem – Natt surprises me each time he releases his music, as you can hear the progression and expansion of sounds. “Alpha” […]

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Natt Moore, owner of Contempstrumental Records, as well as electronica, experimental, and ambient, composer and producer, based in UK has released another single, entitled “Alpha” ft. Ella Bianchi. This again, is a true gem – Natt surprises me each time he releases his music, as you can hear the progression and expansion of sounds. Alpha” is hardly a re-invention of the wheel for Natt Moore.

Rather, it’s a solid triumph for an ever-evolving artist who is deep into developing his own unique style. As distinctive as it is complexly atmospheric, the track is as much about the journey as its component sounds.

Commanding all the familiar electronic music components with ease, this is infused with the organic warmth of the piano, strings and voice harmonies. It’s delivers a kind of crossover sophistication between simple ambient and movie soundtrack flavors.

Natt beguiles by opening “Alpha” ft. Ella Bianchi with a piano tinged with melancholic lamentation. “This is the kind of music that dilates your pupils. The intimacy of it is unmistakable. The slow heartbeat rhythm builds gently as the power of the strings engulfs the track. I

t’s a delicate act of building up and balancing congruent, organic and harmonic elements and it is where Natt Moore continues to shine in his arrangements. Towards the middle and right until the end there is a fixating of the atmosphere as the music moves in steady linear progressions — blending intoxicatingly powerful strings and glistening keyboards together with melting harmonies.

Alpha” sees the confidence and scope of his Natt Moore’s sound blossom; the track unfolds in ornate, powerful flourishes to reveal an attuned sensibility for orchestral grooves and delicate textures, as strands of ambient inflections are woven into ripe, expertly crafted progressions of organic sounding electronica.

Whilst Alpha” ft. Ella Bianchi is hardly a stylistic leap of into the unknown there’s definitely a more confident and varied use of textures and instrumentation than on previous releases, and it marks yet another, very much worthwhile chapter in Natt Moore’s continuing story.

OFFICIAL LINKS: FACEBOOKBANDCAMPITUNESSPOTIFY

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Xotic Yeyo: “Mothership” – a crazy funky freak-out! http://jamsphere.com/reviews/xotic-yeyo-mothership-a-crazy-funky-freak-out http://jamsphere.com/reviews/xotic-yeyo-mothership-a-crazy-funky-freak-out#respond Wed, 14 Dec 2016 23:19:47 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=25903 Xotic Yeyo is an original Funkjam band that originated in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Consisting of Stu Sauce on guitar and lead vocals, Rod Reiter on bass and Cody Orange on drums. The three met by chance through Craigslist. The band recently released the lead single “Mothership” off their EP “Down 2 Funk”. Xotic Yeyo should be […]

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Xotic Yeyo is an original Funkjam band that originated in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Consisting of Stu Sauce on guitar and lead vocals, Rod Reiter on bass and Cody Orange on drums. The three met by chance through Craigslist. The band recently released the lead single “Mothership” off their EP “Down 2 Funk”. Xotic Yeyo should be on every funkmeisters playlist and their new single is no exception. These funkateers have churned out a raw, grinding, grooving, and grungy fortified classic. This is hyperbole, yes. But this is also the truth.

“Mothership” will roast your funk sensibilities with a clap and shuffle delivery that showcases everyone’s abilities, vocally and instrumentally. Xotic Yeyo pushes the boundaries and reimagines the genre with jamband deviations, which allows the arrangement to be more loose and jangly.

Xotic Yeyo comes at its audience in full force with the release of “Mothership”. On the 4-minute plus record the band touches on every influence that has spiraled together over their combined years of playing.

Xotic Yeyo’s signature hornless funky style resonates powerfully while their raw rocking appeal shines through this rhythm-propelled tune, which is compelling, demanding, and provocative.  Stu Sauce’s halting vocals are quirky and deliver neat bits of beat poetry that transcend the song to an almost surrealistic level.

Cody Orange finally allows us to hear some real drumming, and not the predictable, computerized beats of modern musical productions that we’ve become too accustomed to. Where the funk begins is with Rod Reiter, who masters the bass as a preacher does the Holy Book. His bass slides about on a slaphappy jam; it’s fuzzed, dingy, sticky and hot.

Stu Sauce carries this on with his nimble, cotton-picking guitar, which can switch between slinky strums and psychedelic solo drop in a heartbeat.

So yes, we live in a world where music fans soak up corporate mess and bands that thrive on attitude but not necessarily good songwriting. In this case, Xotic Yeyo delivers both. “Mothership” is a record that is a complete microcosm filled with rhythmic, harmonic and melodic niceties.

It is a different sounding sort of funk record and there is a reason why; the track carries a sign of maturity without abandoning the energy and raw zeal of the band. “Mothership” provides all the style, attitude, and experience of Xotic Yeyo, plus more. It’s a crazy funky freak-out that could keep stoners and skaters, alternateens and jocks, all together in the same room…funking!

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEYOUTUBEFACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM

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Conscious: “Waking Up The Neighbors” – an incredibly outgoing piece of work! http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/conscious-waking-up-the-neighbors-an-incredibly-outgoing-piece-of-work http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/conscious-waking-up-the-neighbors-an-incredibly-outgoing-piece-of-work#comments Mon, 12 Dec 2016 13:59:27 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=25828 Brett Prusinski who goes under stage name of “Conscious”, is a 22yr old Western New York native. He is best known for being featured on AM Buffalo and working alongside national touring acts such as Steven Cooper, Mc Lars, Mega Ran & Mark Battles. Conscious is involved in every end of the production, including writing […]

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Brett Prusinski who goes under stage name of “Conscious”, is a 22yr old Western New York native. He is best known for being featured on AM Buffalo and working alongside national touring acts such as Steven Cooper, Mc Lars, Mega Ran & Mark Battles. Conscious is involved in every end of the production, including writing all of his own lyrics, as well as directing and editing all videography and photography. Conscious, who was attracted to the entertainment industry from a very young age, recently headlined his debut mixtape release show “Waking Up The Neighbors”, containing a collection of songs which play testimony to what ‘a boy with a mic and a dream’ can achieve.

Conscious oozes confidence on this 7 track journey of lubricious rhymes set to craft productions. He spits about what he aspires to: gratification, how to attain it, and the energy expended in the process. Yet despite, the lures of pleasure and fame, he doesn’t ignore the hints of the pitfalls and pain that can be found along the way.

Conscious covers familiar ground, spinning similar tales of partying, and the desire of fornicating without the decadence ever growing stale, like wandering through different, enticing corners of a club.  By weaving such tales of danger and pleasure, Conscious delivers a bevy of vicarious lyrical escapes to his listeners. He manages to differentiate himself from easy comparisons to his peers – while also acknowledging them, with his own style.

He is not as corny as Macklemore, nor as scary as Eminem was out of the gate, instead he is an earnest and afflicted newcomer; a different breed with the same urgency of becoming a star. Conscious is supported by a couple of features on “Gassed Up ft Stretch Tha Kid (Prod. By Concept)” and Back On ft Jake Lilly (Prod. By Concept)”, but his mostly on his own, and at his best, on tracks such as: “The Come Up (Prod. By Heady)”, “Hardbody (Prod. By Heady)” and “Latly (Prod. By Dimuro)”.

Occasionally on “Waking Up The Neighbors”Conscious takes pause, offering moments of introspection and reflection. On “Latly (Prod. By Dimuro)” he provides a lyrical reminder, in a melodic singing voice, of how far he’s come, and how he is doing it by himself the hard way, while on “Conscious – Notice Me (Prod. By Concept)” he continues to remind listeners of his personal grind.

All throughout these tracks, beneath the partying and boasting, Conscious sounds grateful to see his hard work is paying off. For a debut mixtape this is an incredibly outgoing piece of work. Most dudes want to try and make a huge splash and drop a bunch of bangers and songs with zero lyricism, but Conscious almost does the opposite. Not that the bangers are not present. They’re there, it’s just that he hasn’t left the lyrical input behind.

Conscious’ style and music is trend-setting. He blazes his own path rather than follows, and offers a very refreshing and mature sophistication, for a recording freshman, something you can recognize instantly, yet it also reveals itself slowly as you become more familiar with his style on each subsequent listen.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEYOUTUBEFACEBOOKTWITTER

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Jacob Didas: “Lucid” has musical templates that are deep and wide in tone http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/jacob-didas-lucid-has-musical-templates-that-are-deep-and-wide-in-tone http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/jacob-didas-lucid-has-musical-templates-that-are-deep-and-wide-in-tone#respond Mon, 12 Dec 2016 01:55:50 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=25817 Jacob Didas grew up in Buffalo, New York. After high school, he contracted into Army ROTC while completing his bachelor’s degree in nursing.  After officially commissioning as an Army Officer and graduating school, he received orders to attend training in San Antonio, Texas and was then stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii where he currently resides.  Through […]

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Jacob Didas grew up in Buffalo, New York. After high school, he contracted into Army ROTC while completing his bachelor’s degree in nursing.  After officially commissioning as an Army Officer and graduating school, he received orders to attend training in San Antonio, Texas and was then stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii where he currently resides.  Through the chaos of the military and the stressful schooling, music was always a source of comfort and inspiration for him.  After learning how to play classical piano as a child, improvisation quickly became his main focus.  This skill was essential in the creation of his first official album, “Lucid”, which he produced, wrote, recorded and mastered independently in his own studio.

Jacob Didas explained that on recording the album, much of his inspiration comes from a history of battles within his own mind, along with the lessons learned and the appreciation he gained as he came to terms with this struggle.  I should note right off the bat that I only recently picked up Didas so I don’t have any experience with his demos or any other material.

But what immediately drew me into “Lucid” was Jacob Didas’ musical diversity – the highs and lows his songs flow between are the kinds of musical experiences I love. I came into this album with high expectations and completely blind to what the style would be.

Didas is liberal with his influences and often pulls from outside the usual hip hop bag of tricks but I was still surprised at how different this was from anything I’ve heard in the genre this year. I appreciate hip hop, but I’m also a big fan of a lot of various genres, so I suppose I may be an exceptional case in regards to appreciating what he’s created here.

That said Didas deserves any accolades he garners for this effort. This contains a very finished product with some songs going through several progressions, all sonically linked and yet distinct and interesting.

The sound itself encompasses a lot of the music sounds derived from the last few years in a way that is supremely impressing. Didas can switch from acoustic to electric, and electronic, in an instant, and even in the same song.

Something he does on the album opener “Drumroll”. At the same time he can go from stripped down and percussive to layered and epic, with full-on orchestral strings, which you can encounter on the track, “Manic”. By the time “Deluded” has concluded its course, Jacob Didas has shown the ability to be a competent rapper with solid punchlines, intelligent word play, and impeccable flow.

All throughout, this album ditches the familiar themes and sound of hip-hop for something much more different, more epic and intense. Spacey melodies precede guitar-laden beats, funky rhythms that feature ethereal choral singing, or maybe Didas crooning rather than rapping – these are all possibilities you will encounter across the 10 tracks that make up “Lucid”.

You will also bump into a quirky and sprawling piano-driven tune, entitled “Phantom”. But believe me the surprises don’t end here, with the bubbling synth totem “Homebound” coming up next. It’s clear we’re dealing with a dude with oddball but hugely effective smarts and suss.

Jacob Didas’ musical mood boards have templates that are deep and wide in tone. Making this album a bold, striking, sprawling rush of guitars, synths, percussion and bright splashes of sonic color, which is all the better for Didas to conjure up some high-level lyrical angst. Jacob Didas proves on “Lucid” that he is as much of a creative force as anyone in the underground rap world today.

OFFICIAL LINKS: YOUTUBEFACEBOOKDATPIFF

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Han Sino: “The Blue Shapes Score” – a feeling of ethereality and intoxication! http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/han-sino-the-blue-shapes-score-a-feeling-of-ethereality-and-intoxication http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/han-sino-the-blue-shapes-score-a-feeling-of-ethereality-and-intoxication#respond Sat, 10 Dec 2016 06:05:05 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=25787 The musical magician Han Sino has recently released his new full-length album “The Blue Shapes Score”, a collection of perfectly chilled electronic tracks and his best one to date. Sino appears to have permeated the electronic music scene silently and seamlessly, building up a small fan-base merely from his musical merit alone, with most critical acclaim […]

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The musical magician Han Sino has recently released his new full-length album “The Blue Shapes Score”, a collection of perfectly chilled electronic tracks and his best one to date. Sino appears to have permeated the electronic music scene silently and seamlessly, building up a small fan-base merely from his musical merit alone, with most critical acclaim resulting from his last album, “Blending Sounds”, and his latest work, which is set to be recognized by an even wider audience.

“The Blue Shapes Score” follows on from Han Sino’s previous work, incorporating the same trip hop, nu-jazz and deep soulful electronica influences seen in previous works, but progressing the music’s sound: this album integrates more complex bass lines, as well as ambient-groove and jazz-infused influences, a combination which makes for something delicious and intriguing.

The album’s stand-out tracks “Indigo” and “Turquoise”, blends dreamy percussive and synth sounds with a abstract beats and marks the greatest progression in Sino’s body of work, while “Persian” is an easy listen, its laid-back melody flowing effortlessly and providing an intriguing listen.

The record drifts into more varied tones as the track-list progresses, with “Pastel” embodying this very feeling, which means the whole album leaves you with a feeling of ethereality and intoxication.

For an artist who has been working in perfecting his new breed of electronic music, Han Sino has shown that the music industry is starting to open its mind to the possibility of a multitude of sub-genres. To the unaccustomed ear, “The Blue Shapes Score” may seem a little strange or obtuse, but Sino holds no pretensions. This is honest, expressive electronic music at its very best.

“The Blue Shapes Score” sees the confidence and scope of Han Sino’s sound blossom; tracks unfolding in ornate, colorful flourishes to reveal an attuned sensibility for orchestral grooves and delicate textures, as strands of experimental fusion, nu-jazz and trip-hop are woven into ripe, expertly crafted progressions of groovy down-tempo electronica.

The songs maintain a dynamic that allows each element to float gently in and out of the foreground rather than competing for attention. There is also a slight curve into a more hip-hop territory. Whilst “The Blue Shapes Score” is hardly a stylistic leap of faith into the unknown there’s definitely a more confident and varied use of textures and instrumentation than on previous recordings, and it marks a new, very much worthwhile chapter in Han Sino’s continuing story.

Han Sino, who describes “The Blue Shapes Score” as the ‘imaginary soundtrack of the blue color fairy x erotic variations’, uses software, as well as hardware sequencers, and digital and analog keyboards, to which is added traditional instruments, to produce the 12 original creations on this album.

Han Sino continues to set the standard for deep end grooves that favor taste and subtlety over bombastic machismo. Sino’s inspiration grows with every album release, culminating in a rich organic feel providing insight into his skill as an instrumentalist, as well as a producer.

OFFICIAL LINKS: BANDCAMP – YOUTUBE – FACEBOOK FAN – FACEBOOK PROFILE –SOUNDCLOUD – GOOGLE+ – TUMBLR – TWITTER

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KYROS: ‘Vox Humana’ – a whole new musical phenomenon! http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/kyros-vox-humana-a-whole-new-musical-phenomenon http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/kyros-vox-humana-a-whole-new-musical-phenomenon#respond Fri, 09 Dec 2016 00:35:59 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=25771 KYROS (known as Synaesthesia 2012-2015) formed in 2012 in London, England and consists of Adam Warne on lead vocals and keyboards, Joey Frevola and Sam Higgins on guitar, Peter Episcopo on bass guitar and Robin Johnson on drums. The five-piece unit came together after Adam was in need of completing the band line up to […]

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KYROS (known as Synaesthesia 2012-2015) formed in 2012 in London, England and consists of Adam Warne on lead vocals and keyboards, Joey Frevola and Sam Higgins on guitar, Peter Episcopo on bass guitar and Robin Johnson on drums. The five-piece unit came together after Adam was in need of completing the band line up to transition from a solo studio project to a fully-fledged performing and writing group. The band’s debut album featured artwork designed by Freyja Dean, the daughter of legendary album cover artist Roger Dean. KYROS has also performed a number of impressive shows, including supporting high profile bands such as Marillion and Anathema.

In 2016, KYROS released their maxi-single ‘Cloudburst’ and their double album, ‘Vox Humana’ through their independent label KMG.  Most people rate their favorite bands 5 stars, ‘Vox Humana’ is a totally different musical experience. This is original music that sticks in your head and just won’t let go.

kyros-liveDescriptive words that come to mind are: original, complex, rich, interesting and cutting edge. The rhythms, melodies, and arrangements in ‘Vox Humana’ just get more interesting with every listen. The music and the lyrics are arresting. These guys are top-flight musicians, demanding the listener’s attention from start to finish.

The album is extremely eclectic and mixes so many genres. It is the epitome of progressive and experimental rock, and is quite possibly the prog-rock album of the year. I hope I don’t turn off potential fans by using that label to describe them, but they break the rock mold in a way that really can be defined in no other way.

Expect to find music that is written for the sake of music that breaks boundaries, that forces the listener to think and experience concepts outside of the easy boundaries of cultural and social norms and that are forced upon us by the media and industry.

Sonically, KYROS recalls the best of progressive’s past and present. It is difficult to point to one musician in the group that is not necessary for the overall sound. Every player in the group deserves mention. The collective delivers compelling soundscapes, metrically complex and angular riffs, and freely open jams.

This recording can’t be described without referring to pure emotional energy. Again, like in precious few recordings that I have encountered, luckily my stereo goes loud enough to make me feel the emotional connection that is obviously intended here. And I’m talking about the sort of emotional connection that is set and executed via songs like “Cloudburst”, “Persistence of Vision” and “New Paradigm”, for me the best three songs on CD1 of the double-pack.

The songs sort of buildup, firing out of the gate with wild time changes, and then melting into heavy guitar riffs and solos, as well as spacious vocal melodies that soar and fly alongside the musical arrangements, finally concluding with thick layers of harmony.

Simultaneously being a music lover and cynic, I am usually hard-pressed to easily accept new music by a band I don’t know much about. I am used to the few listens it takes for me to decide what I really think about a project. KYROS convinced me immediately, and is still convincing after several turns of heavy rotation.

kyros-logoThe vocals just absolutely kill it for me from track one, while the rest of the band truly shines, the vibe is certainly that of a collective that rocks in all aspects of the definition. I would love to decipher each song, but this is a review and not a novel. Brilliant and unique, CD2 just picks you up and takes you into a new world of musical mystery.

“Mind Electric”, the first track, is the perfect blend of creativity, musical talent and sheer passion as well as rock insanity and hard-hitting psychedelia. From the very moment “Speak To Me” starts, until its ending, the band works in full-steam-ahead instrumental mode, rarely stopping for breath.

The track just grabs you and pushes you to the edge, with the force of its dense music. “Persistence of Perfection” starts off loud – a blazing twisting bassline, hammering drums and howling guitars are buried somewhere in the twisting melody, before slowing down to a melodic vocal and sprawling arrangement. And it’s followed by the eruptive “Monster,” which starts with a swirling storm of clashing keyboards and sharp drums.

Among the distorted buildups and the blazing droning tsunamis of twirling bass and guitars, the epic rocker “Hounds” sets in with the power of a sandstorm, and landslides of sputtering riffs, and wailing vocal laments.

Rest assured, anyone who embraces this album as a fully realized work, worth listening to many times, in its entirety, will find an appreciation for its characteristic unique, otherworldly vibe, as can be heard on  “The Darkness Grove” and the brilliant “Boiling Point” – a whole new musical phenomenon, and one that is fiercely listenable. I’m still digesting the final two tracks and this album, and it’s a mammoth one. ‘Vox Humana’ is without doubt the blueprint for modern-day progressive rock.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEFACEBOOKYOUTUBE

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Fugitive & the Vagabond: “Novella” – full of unforgettable songs http://jamsphere.com/reviews/fugitive-the-vagabond-novella-full-of-unforgettable-songs http://jamsphere.com/reviews/fugitive-the-vagabond-novella-full-of-unforgettable-songs#respond Thu, 08 Dec 2016 05:08:51 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=25748 Fugitive & the Vagabond, the Brisbane (Australia) alt-folk band, is made up of Jordan Merrick (Songwriter, Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica), Morgan Palmer (Guitar, Vocals), Damien Tuffield (Drums), Jonny Smith (Keys) and Louis Devereaux (Bass). I am entranced by both the musicality and the clever and thoughtful lyrics of “Novella”, the band’s new 10 track album. As […]

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Fugitive & the Vagabond, the Brisbane (Australia) alt-folk band, is made up of Jordan Merrick (Songwriter, Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica), Morgan Palmer (Guitar, Vocals), Damien Tuffield (Drums), Jonny Smith (Keys) and Louis Devereaux (Bass). I am entranced by both the musicality and the clever and thoughtful lyrics of “Novella”, the band’s new 10 track album. As a whole the album considers the nature of love, loneliness, longing and desire, with a few humorous twists. The vocals and instrumentals are both energetic and polished as one would expect from a band of this caliber.

fugitive-the-vagabond-350Fugitive & the Vagabond’s overall style on this album is a charming blend of alternative folk-country and rock.  This is a recording that makes you think and makes you happy at the same time. This is a band and an album that anyone could love. The collection of songs contains all of the good things that the Fugitive & the Vagabond’s represent, musically.

There are satisfying harmonies, some great playing of instruments (primarily acoustic), and most of all, a very good set of tunes. In this day of so many overproduced recordings, it’s nice to hear a pure and clean version of this band that allows all of their joy and passion in the music to come through.

From the most basic, stripped-down standpoint, music, well, any art form really, is meant to provoke emotion. Anybody could technically learn how to strum a guitar and sing a tune, but not everybody can make you feel it like Fugitive & the Vagabond’s. This album provides truly thought-provoking music.

Every word is genuine. Each lyric is placed not because it rhymes with a previous line, but because it is meant to be there. This is what I appreciate about this band: a common thread of honesty that winds through every one of their songs.

In particular my favorites are: “You Got Him”, “Talkin’ City Blues”, My Girfriend”, “Queen Of Versailles”, “Lighter and Note” and “The Wild”.  There is a heartfelt comprehensiveness to each of these songs that is well aware, in its poetry, of its thoughtfulness.

The lyrics, melodies, and stories all blend from one song to the next making the entire album a beautiful narrative. Are Fugitive & the Vagabond the next big thing in a genre that is ever-expanding? They certainly bring formidable skills to the table.

The plain truth though is that this is a great album, full of unforgettable songs, strong melodies and crystal clear instrumental and vocal performances. The album “Novella” indicates that the band is indeed totally revved up, to fully deliver their considerable potential.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEFACEBOOKBANDCAMPSPOTIFY

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Hot Rod Hearse: “There by the Road” is deeply impressive in its textures http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/hot-rod-hearse-there-by-the-road-is-deeply-impressive-in-its-textures http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/hot-rod-hearse-there-by-the-road-is-deeply-impressive-in-its-textures#respond Sun, 04 Dec 2016 09:02:26 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=25671 Hot Rod Hearse from Wexford, Ireland, consists of Hotrod Suzi and Zeff Ryder. The band who play a brand of music they like to call Thrift Shop Rock, released their debut single, “There by the Road” in August 2016.  Any band that can throw in The Animals and Walker Brothers vocal influences along with an […]

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Hot Rod Hearse from Wexford, Ireland, consists of Hotrod Suzi and Zeff Ryder. The band who play a brand of music they like to call Thrift Shop Rock, released their debut single, “There by the Road” in August 2016.  Any band that can throw in The Animals and Walker Brothers vocal influences along with an epic alt-folk soundscape, psychedelic 60’s fuzz and deep delta blues, all the while making it sound fresh and contemporary, has a recipe for success.

Hot Rod Hearse

Hot Rod Hearse

If they didn’t already exist, somebody would have to invent them. Hot Rod Hearse brings a delicious combination of vintage sensibilities and modern production to the table.

It has been a while since we have embraced truly talented musicians instead of cookie cutter American Idol conveyor belt sound. The minute the track kicks off, the band’s soulful, blues influences float casually to the forefront, alongside the thick layer of melody.

Outside the obvious expectations that deliver and exceed in fine alternative blues-rock, “There by the Road” has some of its strongest moments when the band strips back the wall of sound.

Zeff Ryder also knows how and when to hold back; a quality in musicians equally as admirable and impressive as an epic performance. These qualities bare great results as they allow enough space not only for a variation in timbre and tone during the song, but also for the vocal delivery to be as strong and passionate as possible. And man, does Ryder deliver!

Hot Rod Hearse injects a lot of soul into the tune, oscillating between electric blues-rock to fire-hard alt-folk. The result is a raw edged sound. Crispy drum and bass form a foundation with solid authority for a burning bluesy groove. It’s got heart. It’s got honesty.

It is deeply impressive in its textures which complement the vocal melody and captivating harmonies. “There by the Road” is 4 minutes of music that is a joy to keep returning to.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEFACEBOOKTWITTERYOUTUBE

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Latent Anxiety: “Salvation” makes you rethink the concept of industrial music http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/latent-anxiety-salvation-makes-you-rethink-the-concept-of-industrial-music http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/latent-anxiety-salvation-makes-you-rethink-the-concept-of-industrial-music#respond Wed, 30 Nov 2016 17:52:13 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=25589 Songwriter, producer and musician, Ilja Rosendahl is at the helm of the award-winning project Latent Anxiety that mixes dark industrial musical themes with rock, pop and dance influences. Fresh off the press, the project has just released the album “Salvation”. The record is pretty downright accessible and a gateway entry point for anyone remotely interested […]

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Songwriter, producer and musician, Ilja Rosendahl is at the helm of the award-winning project Latent Anxiety that mixes dark industrial musical themes with rock, pop and dance influences. Fresh off the press, the project has just released the album “Salvation”. The record is pretty downright accessible and a gateway entry point for anyone remotely interested in this genre-blend, dialing down the experimental edges that Darkwave or Industrial is sometimes known for. And you should be interested Latent Anxiety, especially if you dig Nine Inch Nails.

Ilja Rosendahl

Ilja Rosendahl

The project’s influences might not be entirely mainstream, but it is there – in an entire sub-genre of Gothic keyboard and guitar rock, in a way harkening back to the early stuff from the ‘80s, right up until the modernity of the 21st century thrown in.

Ilja Rosendahl’s vocals can be both straightforward melodic or low and menacing but always easy to parse, and when you listen to what he’s saying, much of it comes off as being a stream-of-consciousness.

Sometimes though, the lyrics tend to go over your head, not because they’re not captivating but simply because “Salvation” is such a damn tuneful beast, one that isn’t afraid to go in many diverse directions, that you are overwhelmingly mesmerized by the soundscapes.

This album does what it does so satisfyingly well, that it makes you rethink the concept of industrial music. While NIN’s Pretty Hate Machine was a keyboard based album, you think of the more metallic “Head Like a Hole” and what followed in that band’s catalog as what the definition of modern industrial should be like.

Hammered home by Ministry’s following of the same path in the early ‘90s. But Latent Anxiety here make keyboards sound just as devious and menacing without going too far over the top: and when Ilja lays his hands on the electric six string it can be bone crushingly good.

This is certainly dark music that you can dance to. Latent Anxiety has honed its sound to a point where it is remarkably commercial in ambition to an extent, but never losing its cult-like core sound.

The album cover artwork

The album cover artwork

While the majority of his industrial brethren have faded, are dying of natural causes or have somehow managed to stick around way past their welcome, Ilja Rosendahl stay consistent and relevant, in an ever changing musical world. Yet Ilja executes

“Salvation”, distinguishes itself from the rest in its genre, because it does not sound as if it has been thrown together in a couple of hours on a laptop using plug-in software.

And if the proof is in the pudding, then I urge you to check out standouts like “Alone”, “Binary”, “Gorgeous Mystery”, “Rhythm Machine” and “When The Lights Go Out”. This last song is probably the most radio-ready and could easily stand proud on any Top40 chart.

Overall, “Salvation” is a strong record that I honestly think stacks up well against anything in this genre you’re likely to find on the market currently, even if it doesn’t re-invent the wheel, it creates a number of little wheels to savor with delight.

Ilja Rosendahl is in top form throughout. For the most part, the songs have a verse-chorus structure and are built with a wide variety of sounds – which is what makes this recording so accessible, and so thoroughly entertaining on so many levels.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEITUNESTWITTERYOUTUBESOUNDCLOUDWIKIPEDIA

 

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Staying for the Weekend: “Hell No” – when you’re tired of the vacuous music populating today’s airwaves http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/staying-for-the-weekend-hell-no-when-youre-tired-of-the-vacuous-music-populating-todays-airwaves http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/staying-for-the-weekend-hell-no-when-youre-tired-of-the-vacuous-music-populating-todays-airwaves#respond Sun, 27 Nov 2016 20:00:53 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=25543 You might ask: what separates Staying for the Weekend from thousands of other so-called indie bands? Well, what makes them stand apart is what I call a trademark sound, meaning infectious hooks that don’t turn into full-fledged choruses, remaining instead a hint, a tease to the ear. They have melodies that of all sudden swerves […]

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You might ask: what separates Staying for the Weekend from thousands of other so-called indie bands? Well, what makes them stand apart is what I call a trademark sound, meaning infectious hooks that don’t turn into full-fledged choruses, remaining instead a hint, a tease to the ear. They have melodies that of all sudden swerves to a different direction, riffs that instead of exploding into the bombastic apex you’d expect, implode or morph into something else.

staying-for-the-weekend-350bTheir songs are simple and direct, yet imbued with an intensity of emotion not often found in modern music (or at least not as genuinely).  “Hell No” is that culmination, a record of monumental emotional depth that also manages to genuinely rock.

While listening to the track, it’s apparent that Staying for the Weekend is breaking new ground, opening up their sound and exploring new territory with direct song-writing that packs an emotional punch.  If you’re tired of the vacuous music populating today’s airwaves then give “Hell No” a spin.

You can never predict what’s going to be an ear worm. You’re unsuspecting and they sneak up on you. And then, before you know it, it’s taken over. After a few days of listening to “Hell No”, I’ve realized that it’s nearly possessed me.

staying-for-the-weekend-350It’s only when you realize you’re whistling a riff, or humming a vocal line whilst making a coffee, does it dawn on you that it has you in its grasp and there’s no escape. And this is what Staying for the Weekend achieves here, without even trying I think.

Why?  Staying for the Weekend inhabit a world of blurred and mixed influences. Are they a rock band? Are they a pop band? Are they an indie band? The correct answer is…all three, again, without even trying. Their songs are driven by Ryan Morris vocals whilst the music is full of flourishes and oddities that are exhilarating and addictive, burrowing their way into your head.

The dirty guitar riffs, courtesy of Kurt Krafft and Carson Mays, the mud-slinging drums by Mac Gibbons and Wade Luplow’s rolling bass, all will entrance you. Yes, I know I already told you, but it’s true, all without even trying. They’re just so damn good. The question is what happens when Staying for the Weekend really starts trying!

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEFACEBOOKINSTAGRAMTWITTERVEVOYOUTUBESPOTIFY

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Phil Whiteley: “Three” – a genre treading balancing act! http://jamsphere.com/reviews/phil-whiteley-three-a-genre-treading-balancing-act http://jamsphere.com/reviews/phil-whiteley-three-a-genre-treading-balancing-act#respond Sun, 27 Nov 2016 11:18:31 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=25522 Phil Whiteley is an Australian musician, guitarist and composer. He has recorded and released three albums, pertinently titled, “One”, “Two” and “Three”. This latter release is an incredible album that was so much better than I expected. The album is an interesting mix of music, between electronica elements, pure pop, some alternative rock, and funk influenced […]

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Phil Whiteley is an Australian musician, guitarist and composer. He has recorded and released three albums, pertinently titled, “One”, “Two” and “Three”. This latter release is an incredible album that was so much better than I expected. The album is an interesting mix of music, between electronica elements, pure pop, some alternative rock, and funk influenced numbers. There’s something that will appeal to most people here, especially if you have a taste for retro sounds, because there’s something nostalgic about Phil Whiteley’s sound, and it has a common denominator for all music lovers – melody, in bucket loads.

phil-whiteley-350bAfter listening to the album multiple times before writing this review I can proudly say it was well worth the wait. With the combination of Phil’s voice, lyrics, and instruments blending all seamlessly together this is a perfect example of popular music art that transcends trends, age and genres.

Bottom line: a very enjoyable album for anyone with an open mind. Girlfriends, boyfriends, single people, married people, old, young, male, female. Phil Whiteley’s hooks them all, and he does so from track one, the brass and piano-driven “Connect”.

To prove he does not stand by any one style of music, Phil switches up into an urgent and edgy alternative beat on “Civilized Man”. And then he steps right back down into a elegant, almost loungy arrangement on “Got Nothin”.

To be able to express so much artistic influence with a strong touch of personal uniqueness, all within the space of three songs, is a solid attribute to any musician. You can sink into “I Can’t Breath” to such an extent you can’t even remember whether it is day or night.

It is really a fantastic song with some great drumming to match. “Let It Go” is a sweepingly beautiful piece of work to, with lyrics that haunt the mind as all good poetry should.

phil-whiteley-350I’m not overly enthusiastic about the faster tempo tracks like “Gfu”, but that’s a personal thing, as I have a special affinity with slow-burners, besides I feel that Phil Whiteley’s vocal style is well suited to a slower song as he manages to extract all the emotion out of it – Exactly what he achieves on “No Love”, which does a balancing act between being a slow and mid-tempo song.

One of the reasons I enjoyed this album so much is because of Phil’s gift for storytelling, and if you aren’t thrilled with “Three” the first time through, I would suggest going back and listening to it from this vantage point. But don’t forget to listen to the final track, “What Would You Do”; I think it contains Phil’s best vocal performance on the entire EP.

It shows the strength and power of his delivery, as well as the gentle nuances he is capable of. This is my favorite track together with “Something’s Got To Give”, which has a great melody and arrangement.

“Three” is an amazing album with so many varied musical styles and voices that enchant and haunt. Phil Whiteley is always great throughout, as he works his song writing down to a fine science and is able to pump out a wealth of good material, demonstrating his ability to both satisfy and entangle his listeners with his creations.

OFFICIAL LINKS: CDBABYJANGOYOUTUBE

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The Bash Dogs: “Captain Harly” – it rocks, it’s trippy, it’s haunting, and it stays with you! http://jamsphere.com/videos/the-bash-dogs-captain-harly-it-rocks-its-trippy-its-haunting-and-it-stays-with-you http://jamsphere.com/videos/the-bash-dogs-captain-harly-it-rocks-its-trippy-its-haunting-and-it-stays-with-you#respond Sat, 26 Nov 2016 00:23:21 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=25468 Hailing from Orange County, The Bash Dogs are a power trio consisting of half Korean brothers Nate (guitar and lead vocals) and Jeremy Barrett (drums), and groove master Nathan Schmok (bass and backup vocals). In an age where any new music that is not derivative of something that was once great for its own time […]

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Hailing from Orange County, The Bash Dogs are a power trio consisting of half Korean brothers Nate (guitar and lead vocals) and Jeremy Barrett (drums), and groove master Nathan Schmok (bass and backup vocals). In an age where any new music that is not derivative of something that was once great for its own time is pretty much guaranteed to be garbage, I was sure I’d be relegated to a life of contempt and cynicism.

the-bash-dogs-bandBut hearing “Captain Harly”, the band’s new single and video, for the first time was nothing short of a reawakening event for me. To hear a track which shines with the finest attributes of classic rock sound without regurgitating them, yet with its own distinct sonic identity and a coherence throughout is an experience I’m not likely to have any time soon.

This is sheer brilliance in songwriting, execution, and production. Though the quality here should stand beyond comparison, to overlook the Jim Morrison style of Nate’s vocal delivery would be admittedly ignoring the elephant in the room. On that note, The Bash Dogs could somewhat be likened to an alternate-history revisioning of the Doors, but certainly not limited to them, and that’s only part of the story.

From the touching lyrics to the perfect combo of melodic hypo-groove psychedelia, “Captain Harly” sounds vaguely familiar while also feeling entirely new. It could so easily be a lost track from 1971- it rocks, it’s trippy, it’s haunting, and it stays with you.

And if you’re sick of American indie bands that don’t let their drummers do anything other than keep 4/4 time, The Bash Dogs kick out the jam without embarrassment in mid song. “Captain Harly” may instantly remind its listeners of an era driven by British psychedelics, but in the midst of the arrangement you will notice strong Cali surf rock tones.

the-bash-dogs-crowdFortunately the songs layers extend deeper than these immediate impressions, so deep that after having listened to it for a few times you will find yourself discovering little nuances. That’s the payoff with a track like this.

The overall sound is peppered with familiar stylistics: fat snare pulses, echoed vocals, crunchy lo-fi guitar and smooth baselines, all with stunning precision. While taking sonic cues from the past, The Bash Dogs take psychedelic and classic rock music to a new place.

“Captain Harly” is a fluid, drift-through-the-clouds, trippy psychedelic rock gem with an engulfing sense of melody that will sweep you to a fantasy land where every dust nugget is a glittering golden angel – naked, smiling, and beckoning.

The video pretty much mimics the song in quality and theme choices. This too looks like it came out of psychedelic’s golden era, with scratchy video frames and washed-out color filtering. Having a wide spectrum of creativity and talent, The Bash Dogs, on both their single and video, sends you through mind-altering and expanding waves of music and visuals in less than five minutes.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITESPOTIFYINSTAGRAMFACEBOOKTWITTER

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Uplift: “Catch A Feel” – from Reggae to California feel music! http://jamsphere.com/reviews/uplift-catch-feel-reggae-california-feel-music http://jamsphere.com/reviews/uplift-catch-feel-reggae-california-feel-music#respond Thu, 24 Nov 2016 13:02:23 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=25452 Uplift is four guys with one dream and infinite vision, inspired by Reggae and Rock and all their music heroes. The band members who are from the Imperial Valley 120 miles East of San Diego, are Joche – (Vocals/Guitar), Tricky Ricky (Bass), Goose (Drums) and Jacob (Guitar). These guys are relatively unknown to the rest […]

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Uplift is four guys with one dream and infinite vision, inspired by Reggae and Rock and all their music heroes. The band members who are from the Imperial Valley 120 miles East of San Diego, are Joche – (Vocals/Guitar), Tricky Ricky (Bass), Goose (Drums) and Jacob (Guitar). These guys are relatively unknown to the rest of us, but they are absolutely tremendous musicians. If you like great grooves and a high recording quality then get this.

The band logo

The band logo

Uplift is one of those bands that just hits you. They have a ton of great songs. They write good music, with positive lyrics and spread a lot of love in their lyrics. In fact their latest EP, “Catch A Feel”, could have been entitled ‘Catch A Feel of Love’, as the five tracks sound like the book of love – both universal and personal – which is a nice fresh touch, considering all the lamenting music we have to deal with daily.

And you’ll ‘catch a feel’ right from the opening slow-burner, “Around”, with its hypnotically jangling guitars and the emotional sun-drenched vocals. It’s hard not to nod your slowly, or tap your foot to this smoothly understated gem.

Influenced by everything from the mainstream popularity of Reggae to California feel music, to even a bit of rock, Uplift’s “Catch A Feel” EP fully puts out a signature sound the four piece band will surely be engraving in fan’s ears going forward.

“Feel Good” grabs the listener’s attention the second you hit play and let the first few chords of the track fill the room’s atmosphere. Vocalist Joche embraces a melodic, soulful, while the track instantly gives the listener a taste of just about everything that this EP holds in store for them, whether it’s a snazzy touch of tasteful drumming or some great catchy guitar riffs, it all comes in a completely enticing package waiting to be unwrapped.

Uplift

Uplift

For being a band so into creating a vibe, Uplift’s attention to detail is impeccable. Whether it’s one of the guitar lines found on “Telephone” or “You”, or the drum and percussion patterns highlighted on a track like “Be Free,” the great variation really helps to round out the EP, within a genre that can get somewhat repetitive or indistinct over time. “You” is one of my personal favorites, drawing a very subtle relaxed aura around a crunchy and driving guitar sound.

Strangely enough, as it is in hard rock, so it is in reggae – an essential part of gaining credibility and engaging large audiences depends on the quality of the lead vocals. If the lead voice does not fit the genre like a glove, the band will almost certainly be doomed – the musical history books are full of those – no matter how good the music is.

Luckily for Uplift they have the perfect match with Joche, whose voice drips with emotion and authenticity. The rest of the boys, bring home the bacon, so to speak, by turning in solid performances that create just the right musical feel for Joche to wallow in. So after a couple of spins of this EP, it will be hard for you not to “Catch The Feel”. And if you don’t feel it, check your pulse…or change your pusher!

OFFICIAL LINKS: ITUNESSPOTIFYFACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM

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