Kali Ma & Cypher the Avatar – ‘Peaches n’ Sage’ – A hypnotic and fitting foundation

If you ask the duo of Kali Ma & Cypher the Avatar, better known as CxA what the goal of their music was, their reply would probably be, it’s to make a place where all listeners can come to feel safe and relieved from their pain, anxieties, and all other stresses in life. Because that’s exactly what their Cloud Rap single, ‘Peaches n’ Sage’ sounds like. Cypher the Avatar is one of the best alternative rappers mainly because of his presence. He’s confident but not cocky; honest but not vulgar. Cypher comes across as someone who is genuine and sure

VerseBorn: “Cheat Code” ft. Menhir demands a huge amount of respect

“Cheat Code” by VerseBorn ft. Menhir is a mostly uninterrupted stream of consciousness. Breaks in the story only occur when one the language switches from English to Italian and back, and when the plot ends and another begins. To call this track unique would be inadequate. The storyline is extremely complex, with recurring motifs. It’s hard to follow, but that’s the point. VerseBorn and Menhir want your undivided attention for the track’s entirety. Straight off the cuff, the listener is thrust right into the action. In true artistic fashion, interconnecting storylines are articulated through interconnecting verses. But even when they

New Songs to Confront Rising Tide of Hatred by Rev Peter Unger

Rev Peter Unger embraces a pastoral sense of beauty on the spacious skies of I Believe in Second Chances. Throughout the piece Rev Peter Unger explores the oft-ignored benefits of faith. One of the greatest elements of faith rests within the idea of forgiveness for past transgressions. No one is perfect and attaining perfection is a life-long goal. Lyrics focus upon this concept the improvement of the self. Without forgiveness however, this goal becomes impossible for if all were judged by their worst actions self-improvement would remain illusionary at best. Low key arrangements help to place Rev Peter Unger’s voice

Brian Hutson’s Debut Album “Habit” is Released

This week saw the release of Brian Hutson’s Debut Album. Habit is the name of the album that coincides with the song title track featured on his debut album. The album which has already sparked early interest follows the critical acclaim of his EP Midnight Sessions and enormous success of his single released in the fall of 2018. Like many artists, Brian draws influence from his personal life and experiences. This driving force allows him to express his feelings through music. Reflecting on love, lust, heartbreak, and triumph Habit is the result of memories from the past two years, all

YHN Hammertime: “Cash Out” – relatable lines over a sleekly banging beat

YHN Hammertime is a rap/hip-hop artist based in Washington DC. He often collaborates with fellow artists from the DC area. After a string of single releases, he has dropped his first official mixtape “Gang Meets Gang”. From the album comes the highly infectious single “Cash Out” along with its classy visual, now viewable on YouTube. With this album, YHN never seems to be trying to make one track for the thugs, one for the hip hop heads, one for the club, one for the backpackers, and one for the playas, etc. Although you could still attribute those labels to the

Hro Palyan: “White China” scores many transcendent moments!

Hro Palyan is an up and coming Armenian-American Hip Hop artist based in Granada Hills, CA. His journey into a musical career started during childhood when he learned how to play the electric guitar. Hro’s older brother was influential in introducing him to the world of rap and hip-hop and to fellow artists who encouraged him to learn music production tools like Fruity Loops, Reason, and Pro Tools. Influenced by the likes of Dre, Eminem, Xzibit, Nate Dogg, Snoop Dog, Tupac, Naz, Jayz, Dmx, Hro used the production tools as a coping mechanism that allowed him to express himself, and

Enzo: ‘Light Me Up’ – an absolutely sublime listening experience

DJs speak with their hands. Producers who can’t use words, express themselves through sound. On the other hand, it’s almost true that in the electronic music realm, the weight of the music can render words secondary. That’s not to say that producers aren’t using their voices…it’s rare but quite possible. Some producers over a number of electronic genres have stepped up to the mic to express themselves vocally, others engage the perfect voices to execute the needed emotion. Once such creative is Enzo, a self-taught musical artist from Boston, Massachusetts. His work as a producer and DJ has led to

Exit To Eden: Describes the extreme situation of hate-love, on their new Goth ‘n Roll single “Love At First Hate”!

Passionate, yet hateful is the story of Exit To Eden’s latest video clip. The Austrians around frontman Bernie Pfeiffer, celebrate the March 22nd, 2019, release of their associated Goth ‘n Roll single, entitled ‘Love At First Hate’ and give an audiovisual preview of their upcoming mini-album “Love And Other Nightmares”, especially Fans of traditional gothic rock alá The Sisters Of Mercy, The Cure, or Bauhaus are guaranteed to find it appealing.  In a nightmare of hate-love, the protagonist described in ‘Love At First Hate’, whose story is presented in first-person perspective, seems to be. Two extremes, passionate love and

Javyn Knight: “Exodus” – Relatability, positivity, and general geniality

Javyn Knight releases his debut EP, “The Gospel Of Javyn” on March the 24th. The artist’s arrival to this event has not been an easy one. He left home at sixteen to join the army, completing his basic training and part of his AIT training, when he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He went on to be officially discharged and found his way back to civilian life. It was then that Javyn decided to flip his future and pursue a different, but just as passionate, career route. Javyn Knight aka The Blacc SINatra grabbed hold of a mic and started reppin’ South

Silvertung: “(BUT, AT WHAT COST??!)” – assailing swagger, an abrasive bring-it-on vibe!

Award-winning rock band Silvertung, has landed on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Radio Chart three times. The Mid-Atlantic quartet, made up of vocalist Speed, lead guitarist Codey, bassist Sam Sour, and drummer Danno, have also opened for groups like Godsmack, Disturbed, Shinedown, Slipknot, Staind, Papa Roach, Buckcherry, Filter, Drowning Pool, Anthrax, P.O.D., and others. With three albums and one EP under their belt, Silvertung, in collaboration with Thermal Entertainment, have dropped their latest album “(BUT, AT WHAT COST??!)”, produced by Steven Wright, whose credits include Slipknot, Mars Volta, and Rihanna. This is the type of release that occurs when a band

KAVA: “Shikaakwa” Is Just A Phenomenal Album!

KAVA does what comes natural to three Chicago music veterans when writing, rehearsing and performing together. Ryan Behling (bass/vox), Wilson (guitar) and Marshall Greenhouse (percussion/electronics) first met while forming AfroZep, a national touring act that fuses African influences into Led Zeppelin covers. The trio clicked from the start. It quickly became obvious that it was time to move away from strictly arranging together and start writing original music.

So they packed their cars with as many instruments as they could fit and headed far out of the city where they locked themselves up in a cabin for the weekend and experimented. The result was about 20 hours of recordings that included tightly composed odd time grooves in the vein of The Mars Volta, to 15+ minute minimalist jams which featured drones supplied by the Juno and Kaossilators.

KAVA has since continued to hold retreats, toured the country, performed local shows (often fully improvised), recorded 2 studio EPs plus an experimental improvised EP and in the summer of 2013 released their first full length album entitled Shikaakwa.

Every now and again a band capable of not just capturing the spirit of a bygone era but portraying it with uncanny authenticity and accuracy arrives, and in an era where music lovers seem increasingly ravenous for psychedelic-inflected, stoner rock, Chicago’s KAVA are precisely that act.

Shikaakwa is just a phenomenal album. I have not heard any contemporary record that so strongly fits the 60’s psychedelic rock vibe, yet perfectly represents modern rock. That said, this recording sounds like it was transplanted from that era – in tone at least. Something sets it apart, however, because if it were straight up 60’s, it would sound dated and stale.

The rhythms are hard, driving and pulsing without being fast. The sound is mesmerizing, hypnotic and there is an effective drone to the music. Ryan Behling, the lead vocalist, is a great compliment to the music, while the variety of guitar licks by Wilson, that supplement Marshall Greenhouse’s rhythms and drones, are sprinkled throughout. There is occasional dissonance and distortion which enhances the retro experience.

The music is blues-infected; the lyrics are plaintive, informed, and emotionally conscious. There is a depth of symbolism in some songs and a more overt meaning in others. And despite the fact they can best be categorized as stoner-psychedelic, there is a lot more going on. This is a very talented group and Shikaakwa is such a very solid recording. Dim the lights, turn it up, and let the music wash over you.

This group and particularly this recording are tremendous finds. If Jim Morrison had ever gotten depressed and joined Robert Plant in a psychedelic hard-rock/blues band, then the result might sound something like KAVA. Who in turn sound like a mix somewhere between Led Zeppelin and the Queens Of The Stone Age with a huskier Steve Perry on lead vocals. I told you they were a tremendous find!

Of the seven tracks I was most blown away by “Keep It Alive”, “Tornado Eyes”, “Warroom” and “Staring Into Fire”.  It takes a little while for the tracks to fully sink in, but like the effects of a good wine, when it does, this haunting rock music is simply intoxicating.

All through Shikaakwa,  KAVA plunge into taut blues-rock, ghostly hard-rock, fuzzy bass melodies, cycling electric guitars and other supernatural dirges. In a nutshell it’s dark psychedelic rock that’ll have you checking your calendar to see which year it is. I can’t wait to hear what they do next!

kava-400

OFFICIAL LINKS & WEBSITES:

Artist Website

iTunes

Facebook

 

About The Author

Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.