Franco Esteve: “The Hunt” – a backdrop to life itself

Three years in the making, the loosely tied together, classical crossover, concept album, “The Hunt”, represents a masterwork for Puerto Rican multi-disciplinary artist, Franco Esteve. The award-winning filmmaker and music composer, once again forges his intense-storytelling, and vivid imagery-driven compositional skills. Esteve’s music not only engages the ears but also intrigues the mind and feeds the soul. “With The Hunt, I wanted to do something different, expressing through classical, orchestral music, the images and feelings one gets from life itself,” explains Franco Esteve, continuing: “Whether it’s the drive of ‘The Hunt’, the insomnia of ‘The Wait’, or the sadness of

Plastic DJ: “Giving Up” – Truly euphoric, refreshing and atmospheric!

The album “Giving Up” by Barcelona-based producer and singer Plastic DJ, is the very best that the blended genres of Deep House, Downtempo and Electro have to offer. The thing that sets Plastic DJ so far above his contemporaries is that he’s genuinely talented as a musical composer, and stunningly enchanting as a singer. The music is of a baroque complexity, and here’s no overpowering bass or wailing synths. It’s like listening to a dream. You’ll play this in your car when you want to relax, at home when you’re at the beach or sitting on the porch, or as

One Step From Everywhere: “Somewhere in Between” – an insistent rhythmic thrust, adorned with fiery guitar work, and soaring vocals

One Step From Everywhere is a Seattle based band that does not limit themselves to genre or style. Primarily a rock band, with a passion for playing live, they are not afraid to add shades of any style that may strike a chord within them.  Their album, “Somewhere In Between”, is a full and complete artistic statement that can function equally well as an introduction to and summation of the varied strengths of this band. The production and engineering also aids immeasurably in this regard. The sumptuous mixes place the listener deep within the instrumental interplay of a band whose

Kingdom Atlas: “Severe Spheres” – ripping rock combined with lucid moments of intense and beautiful melody

Kingdom Atlas is a Georgia-based hard rock band that was originally launched as Rising Tide in 2013by, Grant Purvis with friends Nick Blake and Adam Chiarella while studying music with them at Georgia Southern University. The lineup of Purvis (vocals, guitars) and Blake (guitars, keyboards), along with Devin Ruiz (bass), Aaron Coburn (drums) and Cody Barber who replaced Chiarella as lead guitarist in 2015, was stable until the groups disbanded in 2017 due to schedule conflicts and some members graduating. In 2018, Purvis, Blake, Coburn, and Barber reformed with the new name Kingdom Atlas to record their debut album “Severe

Tiaday Ball drops two new singles – “Current” and “Good To You”

Tiaday Ball has released two follow up singles to her first release “Favors”. The songs “Current” and “Good To You”, are both now available anywhere you get digital music from. Tiaday stated: “R&B has been the foundation of my life in music since I can remember. Gospel, soul and R&B were always playing in the house or being sung by my father who was also a singer and he loved Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Donny Hathaway, etc. One of the first songs I ever learned how to REALLY train singing along to was “A Song For You” by Donny Hathaway.

DAV!D&CLARA: “Repair” – rugged and intense!

The man and machine duo of DAV!D (David Castillo) and his computer CLARA, better known as DAV!D&CLARA, are back with a new single in 2019, called “Repair”. The track is taken from the upcoming album, “CONFESSIONS OF THE MACHINE” to be released early 2020. Much of this latest single displays a minimalist, almost survivalist element, as if every movement, gesture, and note is conserved and used for maximum effect. DAV!D’s songwriting principle seems to be “less is more”, a sentiment CLARA seems to adhere to perfectly. Together they have an artistic sensibility that’s far from common. The song is based

Catch up with Boston based group Urban Lights Band

Boston, MA based Urban Lights Band is an eclectic group of musicians and artists who harness the power of all styles of music to create unforgettable experiences. They are seasoned professionals committed to providing quality musical showcases that bring various audiences together. Their global mission is simple; aspire to inspire! If you are in the Boston area you can find them at:  May 25th 2019 – Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen- Boston, MA June 20th, 2019 – The Milky Way – Jamaica Plain June 21st 2019 -The Middle East Night Club (Corner Room) – Cambridge, MA Hook up with Urban

Royal: “Letter To Cecil” narrates his hardships, his grind and his contributions

Royal is a hip hop artist who currently resides in Hockessin, Delaware. He understands the importance of giving back and he performs at dozens of middle schools and high schools. In the past, he has donated the proceeds from concerts and albums entirely to the community, spreading his generosity to the surrounding neighborhoods. Royal has performed alongside artists such as Waka Flocka, Meek Mill, Yo Gotti, YG, and Tory Lanez. His latest project is the single, “Letter To Cecil”. Here Royal seems to be hungrier than ever and is out to remind hip-hop of the abilities that should eventually bring

‘The World We Live In’ EP by ‘Redford’ is Out Now on Glasstone Records

Simon Ratcliffe (BASEMENT JAXX): “Redford have a unique fresh and lush sound with strong heartfelt songs, gorgeous melodies – not to mention superb musicianship.” Mastered by Greg Brooker (Dejstil feat Peter Hook – Joy Division / New Order, You Love Her Coz She’s Dead, Micky Diana) Polish indie-rockers Redford have announced their arrival with a brand new single, cinematic video clip and a new Ep on Glasstone Records. The new Ep The World We Live In is on streaming platforms now, and you can watch the video for the single To The Morning below on YouTube.  With a brand

Iskar D’Abrel: “Ruins of You” – a compelling musical depth

Perhaps Iskar D’Abrel’s only misfortune is releasing his music at the wrong time.  Had he dropped the track “Ruins of You” in the 70’s, 80’s or even early nineties, he surely would have been recognized universally along with other greats of those eras.  It was a time where artists were not defined by a specific genre and allowed to approach different styles of music with a creative freedom almost totally lost today. Iskar is a master of song construction.  No song in his catalog is just a repeat of parts.  Each song is its own story; each follows its own

Jewish rap pioneer SHI 360: “Chapters: Jewish Rap Bar Mitzvah”

SHI 360 is a Jewish rap pioneer. He is an Israeli born Canadian rapper, producer and performer. Being raised by North-African parents in the complex reality of Israel has influenced his music to reflect an eclectic mix of Middle Eastern melodies, North African Rhythms and thought provoking lyrics. His ability to switch between English, Hebrew and French rhymes has opened up the doors to a global audience. After receiving global acclaim with his various releases, SHI 360 has decided to rework his debut album “Chapters”, thirteen years after its original release. Recorded in the pre-digital era, SHI 360 wanted to give the tracks a fresh new sound which more people could access online. Hence the release of “Chapters: Jewish Rap Bar Mitzvah”, a remastered version containing 13 tracks plus 4 remixes.

CHAPTER-SHI360-COVERThe fact that most newer music, and rap in general, has devolved into mind-numbing garbage, becomes clearer when you listen to this album. SHI 360 comes out flying in all of his tracks. If you are a hip hop head from the 90’s, this is the kind of album that would be talked about in all circles. 90s hip hop really set the stage for things to come in the next 10 years. It’s too bad that 10 years later, hip hop just does not measure up, bar a few exceptions such as “Chapters”. This particular time period for hip hop was more about the music as in beats, rhymes, lyricism, creativity, and all that makes hip hop great. And that’s what this album contains – only it has now been turbocharged sonically and brought into the 21st Century by SHI 360.

SHI 360 is by far one of the best Israeli rappers ever to walk the face of the earth and he proves it yet once again on “Chapters: Jewish Rap Bar Mitzvah”. This amazing album and artist is somewhat underestimated by the mainstream radar. If you have not heard of any of the SHI 360 music or style, this will get you hooked first time. He catches some deep lyrics with clean cut productions and mixes them into a warm dark haven that takes you to another dimension. You can tell when a musician is totally into creating, not just a song, but a work of art. SHI 360 in my mind is an artist and not just another rapper. To say that SHI 360 knows what he is doing is an understatement.

CHAPTER-SHI360-350It’s good to see an artist grow and mature musically over the years, but it’s even better when they know how to go back to the sound that got you interested in them in the first place. Only this time they do it better. SHI 360 definitely does that with “Chapters: Jewish Rap Bar Mitzvah”.  Ever since his music career began, he has had lyrical skills that have always been hot and crisp like fries fresh out of hot grease. One listen to “Jacob’s Ladder”, “I Was There”, “Open Your Eyes”, “Resistance” or “Chapters” not only confirms this statement, but also certifies SHI 360’s introspective and socially conscious verses. Outspoken honesty and versatility is this album’s strength. Its hard tracks are just as amazing as its soulful or socially-conscious tracks.

If you’re sick of non-talented rappers pushing out the most simplistic irrelevant banter, with a cheesy hook and a stupid dance rhythm, you’ll need a daily dose of “Chapters: Jewish Rap Bar Mitzvah”. Seriously though, this is a very good album. I love that SHI 360 always tells stories in his songs. I enjoy how he is able step back and bring an outside perspective as well as firsthand experiences into his lyrics. In my opinion SHI 360 is probably one of the most underrated underground Hip hop artists currently doing the rounds. So what made SHI 360 go back and courageously restyle his debut album 13 years later? Who better to tell us than SHI (Supreme Hebrew Intelekt) himself!

What was the idea behind releasing a remastered version of “Chapters”, 13 years after its original release?

SHI360: I got the idea from a fan that wrote me how “Chapters” is his favorite album and more people should know about it. “Chapters” came in a pre-digital era, and today, more people can access music online. So I was waiting for the right moment and what’s better than a Bar-Mitzvah?

What are the major differences between the 2002 version of “Chapters” and the latest release of “Chapters: Jewish Rap Bar Mitzvah”?

SHI360: The Bar Mitzvah Edition is digitally remastered and has 13 tracks instead of 17. It also has 4 remixes. One of them is from the biggest hip-hop artist in Turkey – Sagopa Kajmer. We actually connected thanks to “Chapters.”

Between lyrics and music production, which did you handle on “Chapters”?

SHI360: On the original “Chapters” I was only handling the lyrics. I have grown a lot as an artist since… So in the Bar-Mitzvah Edition, you will get to see me on the production side with 2 remixes done by myself.

CHAPTERS-SHI360-680Are there any featured artists on “Chapters” or do you handle all the rapping. And who actually sings the hooks, like for example on “Jacob’s Ladder”?  

SHI360: “Chapters” was featuring most of the big Hip-Hop names in Montreal at the time: Obscure Disorder (A-trak’s group), Manchilde, Mr. Malish, and TFS singing the hook on “Jacobs Ladder.”

Since the original release of “Chapters” and the new remastered version, how much do you think your rapping style has changed, if at all?

SHI360: I think my rapping style progressed and has grown since to be more versatile. This was my very first album. I was raw, young, and didn’t have the same experience as I have today. However, it’s still positive, still conscious.

In the same context how much do you think Hip-Hop and the music business in general has changed during this time period? And do you think it’s for the better or for the worse?

SHI360: Hip-Hop changed A LOT since then. Some will argue that it’s a question of taste, but I genuinely feel like Hip-Hop had more meaning back then. More substance.

How much does it bother you, to know that you could sing songs like “Open Your Eyes” and “Resistance”, in 2002, in 2010, in 2015 and probably even in 2020, and nothing would have changed in the socio-political world?

SHI360: This is an unfortunate reality. We will always have people with their eyes blind to the truth. I try and shed light through my music. If I’m able to touch one soul – I feel a great accomplishment. I’m also an optimist so I do believe things will change for the better.

Why did you add the title “Jewish Rap Bar Mitzah” to “Chapters”? Is there a specific significance to that?

SHI360: There are a few rappers that are Jewish, but there were no “Jewish rappers” at the time I came out. No one rapped about Being Jewish, Sephardi, Israeli, etc. They were just rapping. I put that on the map, so it’s the “Bar-Mitzvah” of Jewish rap! Simple as that.

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