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

A good duet, in our modern age, is a rare thing. There are plenty of features, guest verses and co-writes, and the cameo drop-in is a dime a dozen. The number of genuine duets, where vocalists share verses and tell a story together in the space of a song, is very small. If your optimism fails you, as you wonder whether there are enough great acts to keep hit radio stocked with worthy pop music duets, it’s reassuring to find that Natalie Jean and Levi Moore have a first-rate single to carry us through the next few months, all by itself. The

MAKI: ‘Waking Up With The World On Fire’ – truly majestic — grandiose, slowly unfolding, and extremely cinematic

The world is a fragmented place, with fear and hate giving rise to isolationist movements around the globe and huge portions of the population turning inward rather than outward towards each other. As such waves of bigotry spread like wildfire, the music scene becomes extremely important, not just because it means more great music, but because it connects us all together on a wavelength that hits the human heart, soul and mind even harder, faster and deeper than anger can. A creative constant in the field of communicative contemporary Instrumental music, is MAKI who focuses his ample talents on a

3 Phase – ready for genre domination!

The names Chirag Shah, Prasham Deliwala and Melvin Saldana may in themselves not ring a familiar bell in your ear right now. Probably, neither will the moniker ‘3 Phase’, nor their 6 track self-titled EP. It’s logical, it’s the law of the industry’s hype machine – cast a light on the big label clones, and leave the independent creatives in the shadows. Luckily the internet has a different set of rules.  On hearing the 3 Phase EP, the lofty ambition, the focus and dedication of this creative collective of producers, songwriters and vocal talent, makes sense – its six tracks

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

The singer, songwriter and author, Sy, releases a brand new single produced by Rueben Wood. The track “Get Out Of My Dreams” is the first single release written by the artist in 2018, since writing two self-help books, “A Swan Among Ducks” and “Saying Yes to (No): Learning the Power of (No) before the end of 2017. This track soulfully captures the spirit and feel of the emotional journey of grown womanhood. It is juicy, dynamic, soulful, gorgeous, and it is nourishment for the soul…and mind, as it examines the intricacies of a relationship built on want and lust. As

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)”,

Eddy Mann: “Simple Things” will leave you breathless and in a state of euphoria

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

Emmanuel Dalmas – a natural ear for a good melody!

Emmanuel Dalmas is a multi-genre music composer from the South West of France. A company founder and high level executive in the scientific industry he started composing in late November 2016 as a weekend hobby, and continued feeling an intense growing pleasure in learning more and progressing in music composition. Dalmas has since been consolidating both his craft and catalog, with a series of single releases that move between Pop, Easy Listening, EDM, as well songs in his native French tongue. From his home studio Emmanuel produces instrumental and vocal tracks, engaging talented male and female voices to complete his

Mannequin: “Science (cruci)Fiction” – more than just another extreme metal outfit

Formed in early 2015, Mannequin is an extreme metal band from Hexham, North-East England. The band consists of Benjo James (lyrics, lead vocals, keyboards, programming, production) and Jack Wilson (guitars, bass, drums, backing vocals, production).

Their second EP, “Science (cruci)Fiction”, establishes the band as more than just another extreme metal outfit, expanding its search for identity within the walls of Gothic rock and Thrash Metal, as well as its quest for sheer aural destruction.

Mannequin-350bMannequin’s dip into the sci-fi element of their music is a masterpiece and a half. As soon as the opening track “Grave New World” kicked in I was in love with this album, it’s a real atmospheric piece and a great lead-in to “Intelligent Malign” a roaring romper-stomper of a track.

The tracks themselves are all awesome, no turkeys here. “Do Androids Scream?” continues to rage as hard as the awesome previous track and there’s plenty of variation to follow, notwithstanding, the only 5 tracks.

The epic “Fashionista Dictatorship”, is certainly a step away from the norm, with an almost tribal-sounding and some Celtic influences seeping through the arrangement and its pretty damn good too.

It’s plain to see this is where Mannequin take a major step away from being just another ‘extreme or thrash metal band’, introducing a bit of experimentation into their style. And Benjo James’ vocals are as beautifully aggressive as ever. Pugnacious, loud, heavy, thrashy and experimental – Mannequin is at their peak with all of their best elements thrown-in, on “Cyberdrunk”.

Lyrically, the band is just as scathing, brilliant and actual. How else would you describe the opening verse from “Cyberdrunk”:

(Pain becomes pleasure in dark corners of the internet

She stumbled into addiction, a hervert stuck within a harlots web)

Her imagination soiled where once it shone clean

Retinas scarred from watching filth in razor sharp HD

And its reference to George Orwell’s visionary novel will not go unnoticed to most futurists:

A million infant souls cry out in torment, for fear of the world they’re to be born into

Turning women into products, fetishised for globalisation

1984 sees its 21st century realisation

Mannequin-350Benjo James growls powerfully without sounding cheesy like many other singers from the genre, while Jack Wilson’s rhythm guitar and rapacious riffs are also flawless. “Science (cruci)Fiction” is emotional, evocative, and heavy – the basic requirements for solid metal and it’s subgenres. Now add the experimental edge, propulsive grooves and supercharged lyrics, and mix that up a bit with blistering thrash elements. The result is a monumental EP with pummeling attitude!

The sheer power of Mannequin and the potent fury they create as well as the crossover sound storms they kick up, is never overwhelming, remaining accessible to a wide variety of metal fans. Translated – they have a thick and heavy sound but the music is still understandable to the masses!

This album has so many great aspects to it, it’s impossible to write about them all. Suffice to say that if you were trapped on a desert island and could only take five newly-released metal albums with you, “Science (cruci)Fiction” would be one of them. Not bad for brand new band!

OFFICIAL LINKS: SOUNDCLOUD

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