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

Latin Kings: “Worldwide” – complex and imaginative but grounded in realness

The Latin Kings created a lot of hip-tracks which were dissected and disbursed to other groups along the West Coast, when Warner Bros. hesitated to take a chance on a bunch of Puerto Rican and Mexicans rappers who were waiting to set the world alight. Due to a lack of technology to get their music distributed independently back then, the Latin Kings would have to wait until they were grown up and raising families before deciding to get back into the studio and produce the original “Puertoroc Posse/Latin Kings” LP, the industry faint-heartedly refused to release in 1990.

Latin-Kings-groupNow KOOL HEC SI and DJ FUEGO 1 is all set to go with the album “Worldwide”. The Latin Kings is a major breath of fresh. They are rapping from a Latinos perspective, they drop beats that are more than dope, and write lyrics about everything. The rhymes are complex and imaginative but grounded in realness. Everything about this album, the beats, samples, and rhymes, makes it a king among kings in the hip-hop world.

As you start off with the song “KLoKI” you wonder if there could be anything that could beat the feeling of listening to Latin Kings. Then as you continue listening to tracks like “B4U Go Cruisen”, “SoCKS”, “Giga-Hoe’s & Puta’s” and “Latin America”, you know the answer to the question. You’re like glued to the music. The Latin Kings remind you of the good old days when rap was interesting and had some creative skills behind it, instead of a bunch of over-hyped rappers bragging about how rich they are or how many cars they have. Latin Kings’ “Worldwide” is a classic rap album and they sure don’t make gems like this anymore…or let’s say it’s very hard to come by one in the game of rap these days.

latin-kings-logoWhile following the gangster rap format, and having its fair share of profanities and violent/drug references, the songs touch on political and social matters in an in-depth way too; doing a great job of flowing and appealing to even those who may not find those specific topics all that interesting. In other words, this is an excellent album with some great songs. Period.

“Worldwide” is able to achieve what many of the new rap albums of today fail to do. It’s a great listen with songs that are simply about more than bragging about “bling-bling” or that type of nonsense. If you’re a big fan of 90s rap, then chances are you may take an instant liking to The Latin Kings, just like I did.

KOOL HEC SI and DJ FUEGO 1 will take your mind on a trip down memory lane where the real classics came from.  I was completely hooked by the grooves which were as cool as the rapping. Clearly these guys deserve more acknowledgement, as they did back then. Only this time around Latin Kings don’t need any major labels to put their music to the public.

latin-kings-fuegoLatin Kings are by far one of the best Latino underground rap groups to walk the face of the earth. They bring color, ingenuity and astonishing lyrics to flows that are obviously melodic in structure, due to the musicality of the Latino flavors embedded in their songs. A lot of work was put into this dope album, and you can tell it all paid off well. This is real hip-hop that’s way better than the mainstream radio stuff. When you spin this album, you hear many layers of sweet sound. Among the finest of the genre, richness and funky goodness which was the norm.

The now motto basically is “Find one simple hook and play the piss out of it”. Long gone are the days when you’d find daring and unique sounds on a Rap album. What you have today are essentially Pop artists in disguise. Dig the unassumingly deep and funky tunes on this album like, “Get Papers”, “Casi Como Yo”, “Whatever” and “Kruked Halo”, then fast forward to the current radio charts to understand the contrast.

In a way, the Latin Kings’ sound is a microcosm of what Rap was, and not what is called Rap today. If you like the current state of Rap and Hiphop, then more power to you. Taste in music is as subjective as any other art form, if not more. I’m only saying that if you want to know what real rap should sound like, and what once defined the genre, then grab this album. “Worldwide” has the same creative ideas, musically and lyrically, just advanced 25 years…and that’s a damn mean feat!

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