J Tizzle: “The Chill Zone Vol 3” – The taste is smooth and distinguishable!

As living things, we need a steady supply of certain ingredients to survive. In music, the formula is undeniably similar. A song requires both rhythm and pitch. For the musically hungrier amongst us, these ingredients are not enough. We need to add extras, such as mood, atmosphere, emotion and groove. Unfortunately, even with the proper ingredients and extras the results are not always as expected. Stagnancy spreads within the craftsman, as well as a lack of skill or emotion. Luckily one, by the name of J Tizzle (Jeffery Townsend Sr.), avoids these annoying traits. Within his songbook exists all of

Heavy AmericA: “Motor Honey (Peace)” – It’s rock. Pure and simple.

A couple of years ago, the bands to emulate in modern rock were those that flooded the radios with wickedly catchy upbeat power pop tunes. Then came the neo-metal-driven climate, where even the tame end of the spectrum became heavier. On their new single, “Motor Honey (Peace)”, Boston based three piece rock group Heavy AmericA, proves themselves among the best in the alternative rock genre with a track loaded with hooks for mainstream appeal, but with an energy and drive that keeps them from sounding like mere imitators. The new release which has all the potential to climb the rock

Scotty Seed: One of the more original and thoroughly enjoyable alternative listens of the year!

Proud of his Italian heritage and his role in the LGTBQ community as a queer artist, Scotty Seed is a musician based in the East Village of New York City. Obsessed with art, including fashion and music, Scotty, originally a Jersey boy, started taking songwriting and production seriously in his twenties. Influenced by elements of industrial, pop, grunge, PC music, electronic, and screamo music, he counts artists like Crystal Castles, Marilyn Manson, Hole, David Bowie, Madonna, and Depeche Mode among his inspirations. Fighting an ongoing battle with bipolar disorder, making music provides him with an escape from his mental health

Suburbs: “Sound of the Sea” – a rewarding new project

Suburbs is an indie rock band from Scheveningen, Netherland launched in 1995. The band that has its roots in the eighties and nineties achieved national exposure when they won the national contest “De Grote Prijs van Nederland” (The Grand Prize of the Netherlands), the largest and longest-running music competition in the country.  As of the summer of 2013 Suburbs has started a new chapter. Lead singer Arie Spaans and 2 early band members set to work to bring their old sound back. The following year they started dropping singles and video clips leasing to their mini EP “Masters” in 2016.

Martone: “Erogenous Zone” keeps the adrenaline and emotions flowing!

It was 5 years ago that pop superstar, Sam Smith, stepped up to the plate and showed the world that love songs don’t have to be heteronormative to be beloved. Smith came out publicly, stating that he wanted to be clear on what his album was about. “It’s about a guy and that’s what I wanted people to know.” He was also completely aware of how important his success is to the public narrative. Hearing your humanity represented and validated by pop culture is important, and many LGBT supporting musicians have since been stepping up to share their experiences. The

Red Tan: “Don’t You Dare!” – Vocally anchored and soulful!

Red Tan is a young widow and single mom. Living in an unfamiliar environment while suffering depression and anxiety has been a challenge that she was able to put into music on her single “Don’t You Dare!” It’s an inspirational anthem meant to help others overcome their struggles and difficulties, and achieve their goals. In the meantime it has been a healing medicine for the singer-songwriter herself, helping her to become a stronger and better person. Red Tan’s ability to create deep thoughtful music, her timeless voice, and her capacity to be so introspective, makes her extremely relatable to any

Albert J: “Grow” embraces both aural diversity and true inspiration

Albert J (formerly known as f.o.c.u.s.) is an American hip-hop recording artist residing in Tampa Florida. Moving through Maryland, DC, Virginia, NC, California and now Florida, Albert J got to experience a lot of diverse music and inspirations. From bands ranging from Sigur Ros and Coldplay to Linkin Park and Incubus, as well as many Hip-Hop influences from DMX, Kid Cudi, Mos Def and Busta Rhymes, Albert J grew up with a wide palette of sound. His 3 mixtapes “Youth Religion” (Dec 2013) “Remember” (March 2014) and “YR2” (April 2015), garnered serious attention in the Hip-hop scene, finally leading up

Knarly Jones: “Redemption” takes us on an epic journey

“Redemption”, is Detroit-based EDM producer, Knarly Jones’ second drop in a series of four releases this summer, preceded by “Atonement” which was released in June. After spending time away from music to study mathematics and physics, Knarly returns to the electronic music scene with a refined cinematic style and a slew of new releases. “Redemption” combines cinematic scoring elements with classic electro-house feel and heavy drops to create a unique sound for 2019. Knarly goes into his bag of tricks and creates an enlightening, varied soundscape that unleashes bass all over your face. With all of this to dive into, it’s

Maxime: “The Honest Me Pt.1” – a unique piece of work!

Maxime Boublil was born in Paris, France, into a musical theater family. His father Alain, wrote the musical adaptation of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, his mother was the first Cosette in Les Miserables in France. As a child Maxime played the cello and then went on to study photography Academy of Arts University in San Francisco, but he discovered what he really wanted to do, when he picked a guitar in a friend’s dorm room. After studying Music in Visual Media, Maxime went on to pursue a career as an engineer at Furstock Studios with three-time aria award-winning engineer

Absolute Doubt: “When Nightmares Become Dreams” – extreme melancholic chill!

John Francis, known by his artist name Absolute Doubt, is an up-and-coming rapper with a talent for freestyling. He works with a number of artists and producers on his latest EP “When Nightmares Become Dreams”, including Lucki, Jay Storm, and Downtime. The project imbues most of the tropes in contemporary swaggy rap music with an omnipresent breeziness that feels endemic to a luxurious daydream. The 2-song release consists of mid-tempo, gently forlorn hip-hop, padded out with New Age trap gauze. The music is pervaded by an all-embracing sonic fog. Absolute Doubt is best when he is pitted against gently fibrillating

Man from the Box: “Three Sides of a Tragedy I” – a contemporary progressive rock music project

Man from the Box has released his debut EP “Three Sides of a Tragedy I”, which is the first in the trilogy “Three Sides of a Tragedy”. The trilogy tells the story of a man that decides to hang out with his friends in a city threatened by random crime and violence. Accustomed to better times, he feels no bad things can happen to him. But he was wrong. “Three Sides of a Tragedy I” tells the story, from the victim’s point of view, while the second part takes the angle of the victim’s family and friends. Part three is seen from the murderer’s perspective.

Three-Sides-of-a-Tragedy-I-mftbMan from the Box is a contemporary progressive rock music project started by Lukas Cartea in 2015, with a strong influence from iconic bands from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. “Three Sides of a Tragedy I” is a phenomenal display of Lukas Cartea’s technological prowess, advanced instrumental abilities, and complete mastery of rock, as well an unrestrained experimental side. Packed with dense instrumentals and catchy vocal tracks alike, this EP keeps the spirit of progressive rock alive.

“Three Sides of a Tragedy I” strikes the listener in a very immediate way. That is not to say that it is mundane rock however, far from it. Man from the Box’s superb instrumental talent as well as his brilliant knack for lyrical wordplay keep the album as intelligently adventurous as it is powerful, even allowing for ambient transitions that provide a calming break in the powerful onslaught.

Even more astonishing though, under the almost accessible rock veneer lays the typical progressive complexity; entirely intact and bubbling just below the surface to reward the focused listener. In this way, Man from the Box’s remains as brilliantly original as ever through irregular solos and alternating guitar blasts, but the more accessible rock packaging adds focus and drive to the artist’s already formidable sound.

This is not your average progressive rock artist. This is a skilled craftsman that took the time to craft and work on a direction to play and a strong central theme to draw your attention. “Wrong Place, Wrong Time” sums up Man from the Box. It is precise, dense polyrhythmic rock that any competent player could learn to play but not compose. The sonic textures are massive, the guitar work stunning. We are listening to a creative statement from an accomplished musician.

Three-Sides-of-a-Tragedy-I-cover“Last Regret” brings the tension down to the kind of quiet acoustic song you wish more people would play. It is devoid of showmanship and pomp, it is a beautifully arranged and beautifully performed song that could (but won’t) get airplay. I don’t get easily excited with music today, as flash is marketed more than form.

This EP however blew me away. There is a sense of doom and psychological complexity so apparent in “Vanishing” that the hairs on the back of your neck will stand up.  “Ignorance” has flow, atmosphere, and drama, but throughout the EP there are moments of driving aggression, as on “Unpleasantly Surprised”, as well as moments of stunning beauty.

The musical forms are concise and exacting in structure and yet allow for intelligent improvisations, with plenty of light and shade. Soft melodious mood pieces alternate raunchy, full-throttle rock. It can take several listens before this music starts to make sense, so persist as Man from the Box’s continues to write with finely observed critical wit about the bleak modern social landscape.

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