Lake of the Lion embodies embody emotive sounds and textures

Lake of the Lion is the brand name and moniker for Luxembourg music composer and producer, Daniel Kohnen, who is steadily building up his catalog and increasing his fan-base with regular new releases. In recent years, ambient instrumental and soundtrack scores have been following a certain trend. Composers seem to have this motif of creating overblown pieces with harsh lead instruments blasting out from the blue and background strings creating suspense with their melodies. Sure it was fun for a while, but within that little span of time listeners were just begging for it to stop because composers had this

Natalie Jean and Levi Moore: “The Letting Go” speaks the language of the ordinary person

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3 Phase – ready for genre domination!

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Sy: “Get Out Of My Dreams” – grab this R&B and Soul extravaganza

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IJK: “Johnny & June” – sounds invigorated!

Alternative rock artist Imad Jack Karam, known by his initials and stage name IJK, is a Dubai-based, Lebanese singer-songwriter, who has released critically acclaimed songs and recorded with internationally known music producers in prestigious London studios. Both his singles “Space Odyssey” and “Dancing Shadows” garnered a positive reception from fans and critics alike. IJK has a style that can move between edgy modern-day alt-rock and sixties rock n’ roll crooning.  He recently published his latest single and supporting, fully animated video, for the song “Johnny & June”. So, how does this new offering cope? Very well, in truth. “Johnny &

TRVP HIPPI3Z: “On Lock” – no lack of muscular skill-flexing!

TRVP HIPPI3Z is a Canadian rap duo who just dropped their latest single entitled, “On Lock”.  Listeners beware. This product has been known to blow up and cause fires in a variety of stereo systems, due to the super-hot fire provided by this crew. TRVP HIPPI3Z is a team-up that has risen as great exemplars of righteous chaos. Their supersonic sound and hard-nosed imagery gives them a mysterious sheen, but the duo have grounded themselves via booming production, and a sonorous verbal presence, coupled with their willingness to fuck you up. Their chest-beating bravado is explosive on “IDGAF (Prod. THZ)”,

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At first as a musician, I created music, then as an A&R executive I challenged it, now as a music reviewer, I explore it.  Of the three, the latter is the most difficult. Criticizing or appraising somebody else’s creation is no easy task. Enjoying it is one thing, understanding it another, and translating it is even more arduous. The funny thing is, I’ve always hated describing music. It’s such a volatile and subjective art, that nobody should really have the authority or the presumptuous audacity to judge the level of enjoyment or emotion any one piece of music is capable

Kitson Lau: “Be By Your Side” – an expressive paean to love’s transformative powers

Kitson Lau wears many hats – a musician, songwriter, singer and graphic designer, he is also a medical graduate. Initially without any musical background, Kitson became inspired by Norwegian record producer and DJ, Alan Walker. This passion drove him to learn music and song production. And soon, with dedication and focus Kitson Lau hit the top of the China Kanjian ING 10 Charts with his Mandopop albums. Since signing to Sony Music Entertainment Malaysia, Kitson has been encouraged to record English songs, so now he is making his official debut via Sony, with the song “Be By Your Side”, which

Earpiphany: “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs” – multi-faceted emotions

Dan G.Hagerman aka Earpiphany is a songwriter, arranger, composer who writes many genres, including his latest pop-rock offering, “Ultraviolet Dreams”, done with Aubrey Whitfield, a talented female music producer from the U.K. who also does the vocals. The track is taken from the “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs” EP. Dan lives near Los Angeles with his lovely Japanese wife of thirty-five years, Reiko, and his daughter, Holly. “We love Japan, sushi and Huskies!” affirms Hagerman. In any potential mythology built up around the music of Earpiphany on “Ultraviolet Dreams”, Whitfield may represent an irrepressibly sanguine voice and Hagerman the barbed

Rog & Glenn: “Close The Club,” Impact And Power!

This could quite easily be the summer of 1976, standing in a record store and holding this album. Steely Dan, Roxy Music, Pink Floyd, 10cc, The Alan Parsons Project, Genesis, Frank Zappa…and who the heck is Rog & Glenn? I took it straight to a friend’s house, and we had a listen. Needless to say, it just about took our faces off. This is the winter of 2013, the album is, “Close The Club,” yet it still has that ’76 effect. An amazing display of power and finesse, from a duo that have been writing and recording music together, since 1986.

Glenn Hubbard is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who has worked with more great musicians than he can count. Roger Brandon has kept a lower profile on the music scene but has also worked with an impressive cast of characters and has been a prolific creative force for many years. According to the duo; “This album is a new approach to songwriting, production, and collaboration between musicians, combining elements of progressive rock, improvisational jams, dance music, and even a touch of Broadway…”

The duo credits much of the album’s inspiration to an unusual approach to songwriting, which they say they stumbled into accidentally. “We used to write one song at a time, starting with a seed of an idea and working on it until we had a complete recording,” Brandon said. “This time, we came in with hardly any song ideas, so we just jammed.”

“We set up a keyboard and microphone for each of us, hit record, and let it flow,” said Hubbard. The approach resulted in a surprisingly large quantity of partially written songs, which the artists then spent months refining.

So what exactly is “Close The Club?”  An album reminiscent of rock’s golden era, which is still very much ahead of its time – pop and progressive rock  – spacey but not druggy – acoustic but not unplugged – jazzy without being jazz – conceptual without being a concept album, with each song flowing beautifully into the next. Rog & Glenn’s music is punctuated with constantly shifting tempos and equally complex time signature changes. Their musicianship rivals or surpasses that of the majority of their indie contemporaries, and unlike many groups with stellar musicians, their songs still flow effortlessly together, never staying one place long enough to become stale, repetitive or overly self-indulgent.

From the opening “That’s What You Get,” to the loud and racy, “Thing That Goes,” until the quieter closing title track, “Close The Club,”  the incredible dynamics that were the hallmarks of 70’s progressive rock music, are ever present. For a 2013 recording, the production work here is nothing less than extraordinary, while the song arrangements sound incredibly retro and vibrant, it has all the impact and power you’d expect from a modern production.

Brandon and Hubbard say much of the album has the spontaneous feel of newly inspired ideas, because that’s precisely what it is: improvisational songwriting recorded for posterity.  “We want people to understand that this is a recording of two guys having a great time and experiencing the reward that only a creative process can offer,” Hubbard said.

Choosing the standout tracks here, are quite simply child’s play for a 70’s connoisseur, like myself; “One Of Them,” “Good As Advertised,” “Have A Good Time,” “Hit The Wall,” “PR KMA,” “Fake It,” and “Close The Club,” quite simply hold their own. Of the 3500 albums in my rock collection, this one will definitely find its proud place on the shelf alongside the others.

Other musicians on the album include Jeremy Cayton on drums and Shawn Roberts on auxiliary percussion. “Those guys are amazing,” Brandon said. Two of the songs also feature lead guitar work by Rusty Blanton, whom Hubbard credits as one of his greatest musical influences. “He’s a western North Carolina guitar god,” Hubbard said. “We’re so lucky to have him on this record.”

If you too are a nostalgic rock fan, tired of samples, loops and wavs, what are you waiting for? A week ago I also never knew who Rog & Glenn were? Now they’re constantly on my stereo…on repeat play!

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