Dakú Lights: “Illuminate” – a consistent palette of genre-melding pop offerings

London based alternative pop band, Dakú Lights, was formed in April 2016 by the three band members who are represented by their own distinct color to match their personality, with Bhavini being red, Haiiiro as pink-orange and Panda as purple. They have a unique blend of music which incorporates Pop, Kpop, EDM and Urban influences. Currently pursuing a record deal, the band is focused on producing high quality music and building their stage presence for international audiences. Dakú Lights recently released their 5-track EP, entitled “Illuminate”. The title takes a cue from the band’s name, as Dakú means ‘dark’ in

Henry Metal: “So It Hath Begun” will grab you by the balls with a cruel squirrel grip

Henry Metal might have a fine veil of satire embracing the project, but he makes just about the best tribute to the excess of the 80’s and 90’s hard rock and metal genres ever. He has just released his 9 track album, entitled “So It Hath Begun” which contains great songs, which are very easy to bang your head and sing along with. The tracks all have a grooving and slamming feel, plus cool shredding and solos. In fact Henry Metal sounds no different to any of those legendary rock and metal bands from the golden era. You either get

Aeronaut: “Skara” – excellent progressive buildups and rhythmic backflips

Aeronaut can be described as Progressive Rock, Post-Rock, Indie, or simply Alternative Rock, but that doesn’t really matter. All I know is that this project delivers very interesting, fresh, and well-rounded music. Aeronaut has a huge dynamic range, from extremely fast and heavy with smooth, powerful vocals to very relaxing and atmospheric. The music is very melodic, clear and well-produced, the song “Skara” flows and changes to new and exciting ideas. The guitars are very lush and full sounding, during both heavier and mellow parts, while the bass and drums thump and bang in all the right places. Aeronaut is

Eric Hausmann: “Soaked” manages to tap into a very specific emotional core

Eric Hausmann is a multi-instrumentalist and film composer. He has produced music for a number of Malaysian films, in addition to scoring for a variety of New York film productions. He performs live as a guitarist with Portland’s Tres Gone, and Malaysia’s Space Gambus Experiment. He is formerly a member of The Gone Orchestra and Brainwarmer. Hausmann recently released “Soaked” a seven track recording which is described as “A cross-section of Asian dub-fused rock n’ roll with deep India influences.” But it’s probably more than that, as I’m hearing post-rock, world fusion, and ambient rock influences injected into these tracks. Eric

MOOD: “The Wave” is in the right lane!

Hip-hop has changed – there’s no debating that – but change isn’t always indicative of something bad. That being said, it’s refreshing to hear more rapping, with the exception of one or two bridges, versus the continual rap/sing mix that’s permeated mainstream as of late. You’re allowed to appreciate more than one way of creating music and while a lot of rappers have the notion that they should be singing as well, there’s a place for it all, especially if you don’t have a decent singing voice. You obviously can’t disregard one lane of Hip-hop while claiming to be a

EsZ: “If You Didn’t Get This Message, Call Me” – an audacious creative effort

On his new album, “If You Didn’t Get This Message, Call Me”, EsZ aka Erron’s Attic comes out swinging from the first song, a great balance between classic Hip Hop and modern. As usual EsZ gets well thought out ideas through his songs in innovative ways; you definitely get the feeling he has the lyrical substance he wants to express. Although we’re in a dismal era of Rap currently, this could be one of those instant underground classics. EsZ catalog is filled with parables, fables, morals and lamentations, forms of storytelling that compress people and experiences into neat, digestible lessons.

Luna 13 – the solid foundation for gut-ripping synths

The award winning Los Angeles band Luna 13 is forging a new genre of music they call Black Metal/Bass Music. Their brutal yet groove based electro-metal incorporates elements of electronica, death metal, and industrial rock – all done with electronics, which means no string instruments. Music maker Dr. Luna, creates a metal sound with synthesizers and by wrapping heavy distortion around sub-bass. Luna 13 who has been performing live for a few years now, opening for death metal/industrial and electronica projects alike, came into its own when Lilith Bathory joined in 2015. Since, Lilith, the band’s front woman, has been booking modeling jobs

Dezzyano: “Hello World: The Renaissance” – a cohesive feel and tone throughout the album

Now I’ll be honest, before this album was released, I didn’t know much about Dezzyano, the rapper raised 5 mins from Atlanta on Six Flags Dr. I decided to give it a go. And I became a very unlikely Dezzyano fan. The 16 track album, “Hello World: The Renaissance” starts off strong with ‘Anita Baker’. It has an extremely catchy refrain built on a bass and horn driven soul soundscape. This sets the tone for the album, which sees Dezzyano finding different ways of telling his story with catchy hooks and intense verses. From a critical standpoint, this album has

Sick.Life: “Dreamers” – showcasing the diversity and talent of the roster

Sick.Life a collective of artists and an independent music label based in El Paso, Texas. A couple of months back they released their critically acclaimed album, entitled “Contagion”. Now off that album comes the single “Dreamers” produced by NZO, and featuring Josh Brown on the chorus and bridge, while the verses are handled in order of appearance, by Sonny Weston, Lavoe, C.Notes and E$ BFNE. For hip-hop fans growing up in the 21st century, the Sick.Life collective is simply a perfect match between raw lyrical muscle and dynamic production. I listened to the track last night with the intention of

Cassie Holt and The Lost Souls: “Curvy Girl” makes a strong statement

These days, it seems anyone can make an R&B record. However, recording a soul track takes that special intangible element that not all have. Cassie of Cassie Holt and The Lost Souls, offers cadences that move in an affable manner as she declares her sense of self-worth on her latest single release, “Curvy Girl” which tackles the theme of body positivity. She never rushes the pace. She intones in different ways to let the song build in complexity. Think of it as the aural equivalent of a Lego set. One can use the simple bricks in different styles and colors

Roger Cole & Paul Barrere : “Musical Schizophrenia” – this is a majestic, soaring, almost spiritual album

The time draws near when the independent titans of rock will give rise to the mother of all indie classic, old-school rock albums that will become the center of the independent sonic solar system, the album that is “Musical Schizophrenia”.

These guardians of authentic guitar-based rock, who together form the power duo of Roger Cole & Paul Barrere, have completed their very own personal history-making, world-shaking soundtrack that will rock your very soul. One can expect nothing but hell-fire rocking from a team that has constantly released a string of singles that has covered everything from acid-rock, progressive-rock, psychedelic-rock, blues-rock and alternative-rock over the last two years.

Roger-Cole-Paul-Barrere-680The album, musically and lyrically, is superb. The 10 tracks on “Musical Schizophrenia” are all excellent examples of the all-encompassing term – ‘rock’. The arrangements are lush and creative while the instrumentation emphasizes acoustic as well as electric textures. Roger Cole & Paul Barrere can rock, but they also have more of a deep subtle feel to their blues-based rock themes, which is in the same caliber as Tull, Floyd and Dire Straits – without forgetting the Americana singer-songwriter influences in the spirit of Tom Petty, Neil Young and Steve Miller. This music is timeless because it is thoughtful, introspective and mature, making relevant social statements along the way.

There was a lot of good music made in the 70’s that had nothing to do with being commercial, that wasn’t made for dancing to and wasn’t for head bangers either. This is what Roger Cole & Paul Barrere take me back to. The type of music that makes you think and feel, without making you become agitated. It can be emotional, it can be dark and it takes you to faraway places in your mind. It’s the kind music you played in a boarding school, alongside Bad Company, Doors and Stones in the prime of your youth.

Roger-Cole--Paul-Barrere-400If you missed albums which are simply created as an artistic expression, look no further. The moment this album opens with the guitar-hook on “The Quiet Man” you will be sent into a dreamy reverie. Then crank up the headphones and totally immerse yourself in the beauty and lushness of “Moto’s Monkey”. Moving on, you would have to search hard to find melodic vocal arrangements as developed as you’ll find on the tracks “Breakdown”, “Breathe”, “Bad Blood” and “Just Keep Walking”.

All throughout the album, the songs are saturated with Roger Cole’s clear and vibrant vocals along with Paul Barrere’s crunchy guitar riffs sprinkled with tasteful leads. In-between, there are streams of acoustic guitar strumming and string-picking played by the two musicians, along with ample piano tones to satisfy your most organic needs. Especially on tracks such as “Mary” and “Sail Away”.

“Musical Schizophrenia” is one of those true gems that commercialized radio will undoubtedly sweep under the carpet — choosing instead to play the usual predictable swill. This is a majestic, soaring, almost spiritual album which features the duo of  Roger Cole & Paul Barrere at the very peak of their maturity, energy and excellence. If you want a well-produced album that explores literate themes, with first rate vocals, exquisite playing and vibrant arrangements, you really can’t do better than “Musical Schizophrenia”.

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