Pool Moon Elephant: “Island’s Eye” – the elder statesmen of modern dance music

In the last 6 or 7 years electronic dance music has turned into an even bigger monster. Avicii dominated Spotify, David Guetta headlined festivals, and Calvin Harris is one of the world’s highest-paid performers. It means that festival line-ups, the charts, and some would even argue Ibiza, are oversaturated with the stuff. But the Swiss electronic duo who go by the name of Pool Moon Elephant prove they can also hold their own relevance in a very busy genre. Riccardo Studer and Ivan Nurchis, this time around, use intriguing collaborations to remix their single “Island’s Eye” which has been released in 3

M.C. ZackAttack: “Rap Or Die!” – on his daily grind!

Zachery Duncan, or rather M.C. ZackAttack , has been influenced by new age lyrical poets who speak their mind through music since 2010. Soon he’ll be releasing his newest mixtape “Mind Over Madness”. M.C. ZackAttack  has recently dropped his single, “Rap Or Die!” Let me start off by saying this track isn’t for everyone, you either love it or hate it, I would say it’s a hit and miss for certain people.  We all know that the quality of hip-hop has gone downhill, with a lot of artists either going for shock value with vulgar lyrics or relying heavily on glossy production

MoEoStAr: “Algorythmic Intelligence” – You’ll find a sense of comfort in the quaintness

Norwegian Independent producer Mattias Gillis Winge Rudh better known as MoEoStAr, played the clarinet and saxophone in various bands while growing up. He started producing in the 1990s, but gave it up while pursuing an engineering degree. For a period in his life, he was simply an active music listener, until he discovered the new production software via a smartphone app. In 2016 he started the “less than a $1000 Album” project, where he aims to produce and release a full album on a $1000 budget. In the meantime MoEoStAr has dropped the single, “Algorythmic Intelligence”. Notwithstanding its modern technological

J.Dot & KD: “To Whom It May Concern” – Low on frills and rich with introspection!

I noticed that J.Dot makes his best music when he’s rapping about being a responsible man, or when he’s creating something with substance and meaning, as opposed to trying to make contemporary radio hits or battle rhymes (although he is an excellent wordsmith).  This is mostly what happens on his 4 track EP, “To Whom It May Concern”, that narrates the evolution of relationships in its various forms. To put it all in perspective, this sounds like a powerful and mature work. Something tells me J.Dot experienced things that impacted him over the past years and this album is bred

Jack Soundfield: “Shine” – You can dig deep or soar to the shore

By profession Jack Soundfield is an engineer who has travelled around the world. He has lived in Canada, Germany and Switzerland. Besides uncovering the secrets of the globe Jack has a passion for music and experimenting with instruments and sounds.  “Before publishing a song, it is mine alone,” says Soundfield. “After publishing it, anyone can listen to it and decide whether to identify with it, or love it, or both.” Jack, who has been composing music since 2009, recently released his debut album, entitled “Shine”. “I have to admit,” explained Soundfield, “that my girlfriend – a solfège teacher of the

G.H. Hat: “Piano Jam 2 (Ode To Kygo)” – an authentic human expression

Modern acceptance, or lack there of, in electronic music hardly comes as a surprise. Just look back through the history of music and how the 17th century technology spread. Musicians no longer had to master a particular bow technique on the violin or cello in order to play the perfect note – They just had to press a key. Can you imagine the horror of the purists at the time? They probably all thought that the piano was destroying the soul of the music. What it did though was simplify things. It reduced what was really essential and human. People

JaVez: “When I Was Uptown” has the power to captivate audiences

JaVez is a 23 year old Maryland recording artist who sings, raps, produces, and mixes his own music. The self-taught Baltimore area artist has a penchant for Kanye West, Usher, Jay Z, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Chris Brown. He also grew up listening to singers like Brian McKnight and R. Kelly. JaVez plans to one day be a successful CEO of a record label and iconic recording artist. JaVez is the true definition of an artist, he isn’t afraid to be himself and put himself out there. The lyrics alone prove that. Add in some fantastic production and the

HR Live At CBGB’s 1984 – an essential part of alternative music and punk culture

HR is most well known as the lead singer of revolutionary reggae punk rock band Bad Brains. In their day Bad Brains could have been easily mentioned in the same breath as The Ramones, The Sex Pistols or The Clash, such was their greatness. Yet the band has evolved many times in its long history, playing across many genres of music including jazz, hardcore punk, alternative rock and reggae. HR has been making music since 1976 with Bad Brains, and along the way until today, he has been acclaimed for his reckless punk screaming just as much as he has

Callum Crighton: “The Rose” – a strong ear-catching melody

Even while everything I know about my musical taste should violently reject the cheese-camp synth pop and adorable mainstream swoon songs of the 80’s, I’ve enjoyed that music ever since I was first tricked into listening to the smooth, velvety crooning of the Brit pop chart invasion during that period. I can’t really explain why I loved that music so much, I guess for the same reason people eat cheesecake: It’s loaded with sugar, almost unbearably sweet, and probably isn’t the healthiest for you, but goddamn if it doesn’t make you feel so good inside when you eat it up.

Virgil Blue: “Pain Of Loss” – gorgeous washes of sound

Virgil Blue has released his debut EP entitled “Pain Of Loss”. Inspired and influenced by Prince and Sade, Virgil, a multi-instrumentalist who started out making music at the age of six, when he picked up the saxophone, produced much of the music that can be heard on this EP. Virgil who recently moved from the suburbs of Detroit to LA has put together 6 smooth trance-like tracks that that flaunts ambient, RnB and trip-hop flavors. If you’re looking for something atmospheric and hypnotizing, then this recording may be of serious interest to you. Fragile, tender and soulful, Virgil Blue’s voice will

Nehedar: “High Life”

Nehedar is the project of singer-songwriter Emilia Cataldo performing in the NYC area since 2001.

The daughter of two New York musicians who fled urban life for the country, Cataldo was born in Southbridge, Massachusetts, where her family lived in a barn on the outskirts of town. Music always permeated their home – her mother a hippie piano teacher from a Jewish home & her father a Puerto Rican jazz saxophonist.

The Cataldo family which grew to six children, moved from Massachusetts, to Miami FL, & eventually to the religiously-infused town of Zion, Illinois, on the outskirts of Chicago where Cataldo briefly attended high school.

Cataldo quickly grew disenchanted with her small town surroundings. As soon as she was old enough, she left high school to travel the country, and later the world, on a journey that would eventually lead her to Israel, where she would study the Jewish faith in Seminary, and take on the Hebrew name Nehedar, which means ‘wonderful.’

While spanning indie-rock, folk, jazz and pop genres, the music of Nehedar has continued to deliver her blend of deeply personal yet quirky lyrics, beautiful vocal harmonies and a variety of instrumentation that sets her music apart.

Her new album, which was released this month is entitled “High Tide”. Nehedar delivers an album that seems designed for comfort and easy listening. Featuring slow, medium and up tempo songs which are frisky and very beguiling.

There’s something hypnotic about quirky female singer songwriters. Quite possibly it’s the wryness of outlook that comes from combining intelligence and emotion with maturity. Three qualities that are to be found in abundance in Nehedar’s latest offering.

There’s a certain surefootedness to the album. Every step taken – even when on tricky ground – takes the songs forward and much of what keeps these songs on the ground is the sumptuous and sophisticated production, which takes turns at presenting retro synth sounds as well as modern pop mixes.

On the first half of the album, the sounds are all extremely reminiscent of the Eighties. Strings, synthesizers, pianos, moogs and drum machines abound all across the songs, while Nehedar pitches her ethereal sounding voice amidst these lusciuos retro arrangements with absolute ease. Providing much of the enjoyment gained from this album.

On “The Interrogation”, for example, the vocoder interludes give the feeling of a distint urban tale countering Nehedar’s country prom styled vocal. While on “High Tide” a moogish bassline riff delivers a similarly startling effect. Providing a spunky background for Emilia Cataldo to sing her catchy chorus lines over.

On “Distracted” and “Tinkerbell” you clearly get the impression that words flow effortlessly from songwriter’s pen and her voice is weathered with sufficient apathy to ensure that each one of these words rings true.

“Take It Apart” has definite jazz and latino influences. Rhythmic beats and stabbing horns keep this track stomping throughout, while Ms Cataldo’s surefire, rollercoaster vocal-phrasing, makes it all sound so easy. Simple and effective, as is “The Song No One Hears” a tongue-in-cheek pop melody with a definite Morcheeba sounding arrangement creeping around the edges.

It appears that up until this point of the album, no deliberate attempts have been made to really impress the listener, but rather a more concerted and successful attempt to charm and enchant instead.

It is on “Intro”, that the production takes an impressive drastic left turn. The sound instantly becomes more austere, dark and determined.

“Dig Deep (Parts 1&2)” seriously confirms this impression. Accompanied by a simple tambourine beat, Nehedar offers a stunningly haunting vocal performance. Quite honestly, this is the Nehedar that I personally find more appealling.

Moving ahead things only get better. “Unlove Song” is my absolute favourite track on the entire album, and is definitely suited to, and ready for radio play. Beautifully sung with a bittersweet lyric to match and wrapped up into a tight modern arrangement.

“Baby I’m Falling” doesn’t fall much far behind the top mark either. If like me, you’re just a sucker for a good melody, a straight guitar riff rhythm and an honest-to-goodness Sheryl Crow type vocal, you’ll love this one too.

“Ocean” and “Opening” further demonstrate how much more impressively Nehedar sounds over a guitar driven background as opposed to a synth arrangement. Above a six-string strum, Emilia’s already endearing vocal timbre sounds significantly more determined and grittier.

Track 14 presents the final song of the album, and yet another sharp turn in production.

“Count Down The Days” is a big booming brass arrangement which could so easily have come off a broadway musical by Lionel Bart. If nothing else Nehedar flaunts her fiery versatality, with another showstopping performance.

The album “High Tide” seems deliberately split down the middle, between the Eighties sounding tracks and the Modern-pop sounding ones. Both are convincingly done and Emilia Cataldo’s voice lends itself to either genre equally well, and with absolute ease.

I however, particurlay like the “modern pop sounding genre” which sets in from track 8 onwards.
It presents a craftier, more reflective and impassioned sounding Nehedar.

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