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

Bloomer: “Good Morning, It’s Breakfast Time” – washed away by sunlight and a downpour of musical ideas

Bloomer is a rock band from Baltimore, MD created by musical partners Luke Boardman and Matt Zorzi. The band’s sound emerges from a mix of 70’s & 90’s Rock, Soul and American Roots Music. “Good Morning, It’s Breakfast Time” is contemporary indie rock at its finest. The music is sprawling and psychedelic. The mood can range from rocking to mellow. Bloomer is a band that has great song writing abilities and expressive improvisational abilities. Depending on the given song, the band moves effortlessly between straight rock and psychedelic infused jam-band grooves. This 4 track EP showcases both the band’s alt-rock

“Final Curtain” represents yet another progression for Roger Cole

Roger Cole is anything but predictable. Other than the fact that excellence flows in abundance from his river of musical and artistic expression, his music (usually together with his partner in crime Paul Barrere) is always engaging on an emotional level. Here on his solo effort, the single, “Final Curtain”, Cole is not content to repeat himself, nor is he afraid to confront difficult subjects or at least ideas that many artists don’t frequent. This time around there is this ongoing tug-of-war between moving on and living in the past. The time when someone needs to say no, and the

Pauline Frechette: “Always Lover” (feat. David) works its magic

Not so much a singer as a sublime song stylist, Pauline Frechette returns to release an impeccably performed love ballad simply entitled “Always Lover” (feat. David). Avoiding any pretense or extravagance, Pauline stretches her breathy voice to gently embrace the lyrics, as she brings out the ultimate best of her vocal and piano artistry. Pauline wanted you to hear the instruments, the vocals, and the emotion in the breathing etc., instead of a sonic rush of noise. She does this by allowing some ‘quiet’ in the recording. Pauline is blessed with a great voice, a distinctive and beautifully frayed tone

Lyndon Rivers: “Nothing I Can Do” creates a celebration in your head!

For fans of Lyndon Rivers who love dance music, house, and techno, this is not an EDM single. It’s not the house music that we know Lyndon Rivers to have made, with filtered sampled loops, drum machine-programmed beats, and electronic harsh noise. It’s not any of that that. You can’t fist-pump to this music; you can’t go nuts to it. Well you can go nuts, but in a different way you’re normally used to in the club. So when you listen to “Nothing I Can Do”, the new single by Lyndon Rivers for the first time, go into it with

An Old Friend: “I am, I was” reaches for stratospheric heights

An Old Friend is an upcoming Alternative Rock band based out of Long Island, New York, they have been said to be significantly ahead of most contemporary peers in their stylistic niche; they show an ability to stray from the norm and focus on truly innovative fragments, as opposed to one linear hook yearning for radioplay. Founded in 2011 An Old Friend continue a career of sustained excellence, the new 6-track EP, “I am, I was”, bursts out of your speakers and infects your heart and mind like few other modern-day recordings. Not only is the production quality of the music

Onur Selcuk: “Fever (Bayrasa Avant-Garde Mix)” – a Chillout Lounge version all his own!

The song “Fever” was originally written by Eddie Cooley and Otis Blackwell, who used the pseudonym John Davenport. It was first recorded by Little Willie John in 1956, and has since been covered by numerous artists from various musical genres. Running through the musical annals of time, you will find a Moulin Rouge-type version by French female singer Lorie, a Disco version by Swedish artist, Madleen Kane. You might even bump into a Salsa mix done performed by Cuba’s La Lupe, or more classical styled versions by Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Michael Bubblé or John Farnham. Not to mention those by Madonna, Beyoncé, James Brown and indie-folk artist, Meiko. But this list is almost endless.

onur-selcuk-350aSo with that many varied and influential interpretations already doing the rounds, what would induce a creative mind like Onur Selcuk to piece together his super-clicked YouTube-watchable version – “Fever (Bayrasa Avant-Garde Mix)”? Well certainly not financial gain, as the video footnotes clearly state: This is strictly non-commercial, not to be released, not used for promotion, not monetized, no advertising revenue of any kind or any other financial gain. Under fair use, no copyright infringement intended. Strictly purposed for sharing and commenting with friends.”

So what was the real reason then? Well, WhatsApp, that’s what! Onur says that the whole idea came together after a group chat, while simply making plans for breakfast. Now if you’ve already shot over to watch the video out of sheer curiosity and are wondering from where the typewriter theme originated, or why the visuals have a retro look and feel, and how they fabricated the drum beats out of actual typewriter sounds, you need to know that Onur and friends are not your average videographers!

Onur Selcuk, who was a State Conservatory weekend attendee, has studied Film & Television at UCLA Extension, vocal technique at the prestigious Juilliard School, and has worked on TV commercial sets and Broadway productions. In turn he is now coaching vocalists and teaching voice for actors. On hand to help Onur rebuild “Fever” from the ground up, were music arranger Ozan Bayrasa, screenplay writer Zeliha Sönmez, sound mixer Murat Bulut, and backing vocalists Sibel Gursoy and Tuba Onal Kozanoğlu.

onur-selcuk-350bOnur Selcuk has a singing style that is at once a throwback to the crooner days and then completely new. If you’re looking to hear a male vocalist with that ‘doesn’t sound like he’s been sucking in helium’, or just looking to hear someone who can really sing and doesn’t need to scream at an audience to prove it, you owe it to yourself to check this out. Onur has a more than competent voice, an interesting style and a natural flair when it comes to singing pop classics like “Fever”, or rather “Fever (Bayrasa Avant-Garde Mix)”, the new version title.  I would really love to hear him sing some original music too.

In comparison to modern-day singers in a similar niche, such as Michael Bubblé or Harry Connick Jr., Onur brings a more individual style and sensuality to the music which has nothing to do with body movement or physical attributes, but rather a performing attitude. Onur’s rendition of “Fever” plays with the tempo and adds a few percussive tricks to make this Chillout Lounge version all his own. He sings this with an understated enthusiasm and panache that is practically infectious; no unnecessary breathless whispering, nor any over the top screaming. Onur Selcuk sings it straight, and never misses a beat. Together with an all-round sublime and classy music production, and superbly filmed video clip, “Fever (Bayrasa Avant-Garde Mix)”, ignites an even brighter flame into the burning fire that is “Fever”!

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