Lake of the Lion embodies embody emotive sounds and textures

Lake of the Lion is the brand name and moniker for Luxembourg music composer and producer, Daniel Kohnen, who is steadily building up his catalog and increasing his fan-base with regular new releases. In recent years, ambient instrumental and soundtrack scores have been following a certain trend. Composers seem to have this motif of creating overblown pieces with harsh lead instruments blasting out from the blue and background strings creating suspense with their melodies. Sure it was fun for a while, but within that little span of time listeners were just begging for it to stop because composers had this

Natalie Jean and Levi Moore: “The Letting Go” speaks the language of the ordinary person

A good duet, in our modern age, is a rare thing. There are plenty of features, guest verses and co-writes, and the cameo drop-in is a dime a dozen. The number of genuine duets, where vocalists share verses and tell a story together in the space of a song, is very small. If your optimism fails you, as you wonder whether there are enough great acts to keep hit radio stocked with worthy pop music duets, it’s reassuring to find that Natalie Jean and Levi Moore have a first-rate single to carry us through the next few months, all by itself. The

MAKI: ‘Waking Up With The World On Fire’ – truly majestic — grandiose, slowly unfolding, and extremely cinematic

The world is a fragmented place, with fear and hate giving rise to isolationist movements around the globe and huge portions of the population turning inward rather than outward towards each other. As such waves of bigotry spread like wildfire, the music scene becomes extremely important, not just because it means more great music, but because it connects us all together on a wavelength that hits the human heart, soul and mind even harder, faster and deeper than anger can. A creative constant in the field of communicative contemporary Instrumental music, is MAKI who focuses his ample talents on a

3 Phase – ready for genre domination!

The names Chirag Shah, Prasham Deliwala and Melvin Saldana may in themselves not ring a familiar bell in your ear right now. Probably, neither will the moniker ‘3 Phase’, nor their 6 track self-titled EP. It’s logical, it’s the law of the industry’s hype machine – cast a light on the big label clones, and leave the independent creatives in the shadows. Luckily the internet has a different set of rules.  On hearing the 3 Phase EP, the lofty ambition, the focus and dedication of this creative collective of producers, songwriters and vocal talent, makes sense – its six tracks

Sy: “Get Out Of My Dreams” – grab this R&B and Soul extravaganza

The singer, songwriter and author, Sy, releases a brand new single produced by Rueben Wood. The track “Get Out Of My Dreams” is the first single release written by the artist in 2018, since writing two self-help books, “A Swan Among Ducks” and “Saying Yes to (No): Learning the Power of (No) before the end of 2017. This track soulfully captures the spirit and feel of the emotional journey of grown womanhood. It is juicy, dynamic, soulful, gorgeous, and it is nourishment for the soul…and mind, as it examines the intricacies of a relationship built on want and lust. As

IJK: “Johnny & June” – sounds invigorated!

Alternative rock artist Imad Jack Karam, known by his initials and stage name IJK, is a Dubai-based, Lebanese singer-songwriter, who has released critically acclaimed songs and recorded with internationally known music producers in prestigious London studios. Both his singles “Space Odyssey” and “Dancing Shadows” garnered a positive reception from fans and critics alike. IJK has a style that can move between edgy modern-day alt-rock and sixties rock n’ roll crooning.  He recently published his latest single and supporting, fully animated video, for the song “Johnny & June”. So, how does this new offering cope? Very well, in truth. “Johnny &

TRVP HIPPI3Z: “On Lock” – no lack of muscular skill-flexing!

TRVP HIPPI3Z is a Canadian rap duo who just dropped their latest single entitled, “On Lock”.  Listeners beware. This product has been known to blow up and cause fires in a variety of stereo systems, due to the super-hot fire provided by this crew. TRVP HIPPI3Z is a team-up that has risen as great exemplars of righteous chaos. Their supersonic sound and hard-nosed imagery gives them a mysterious sheen, but the duo have grounded themselves via booming production, and a sonorous verbal presence, coupled with their willingness to fuck you up. Their chest-beating bravado is explosive on “IDGAF (Prod. THZ)”,

Eddy Mann: “Simple Things” will leave you breathless and in a state of euphoria

At first as a musician, I created music, then as an A&R executive I challenged it, now as a music reviewer, I explore it.  Of the three, the latter is the most difficult. Criticizing or appraising somebody else’s creation is no easy task. Enjoying it is one thing, understanding it another, and translating it is even more arduous. The funny thing is, I’ve always hated describing music. It’s such a volatile and subjective art, that nobody should really have the authority or the presumptuous audacity to judge the level of enjoyment or emotion any one piece of music is capable

Kitson Lau: “Be By Your Side” – an expressive paean to love’s transformative powers

Kitson Lau wears many hats – a musician, songwriter, singer and graphic designer, he is also a medical graduate. Initially without any musical background, Kitson became inspired by Norwegian record producer and DJ, Alan Walker. This passion drove him to learn music and song production. And soon, with dedication and focus Kitson Lau hit the top of the China Kanjian ING 10 Charts with his Mandopop albums. Since signing to Sony Music Entertainment Malaysia, Kitson has been encouraged to record English songs, so now he is making his official debut via Sony, with the song “Be By Your Side”, which

Earpiphany: “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs” – multi-faceted emotions

Dan G.Hagerman aka Earpiphany is a songwriter, arranger, composer who writes many genres, including his latest pop-rock offering, “Ultraviolet Dreams”, done with Aubrey Whitfield, a talented female music producer from the U.K. who also does the vocals. The track is taken from the “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs” EP. Dan lives near Los Angeles with his lovely Japanese wife of thirty-five years, Reiko, and his daughter, Holly. “We love Japan, sushi and Huskies!” affirms Hagerman. In any potential mythology built up around the music of Earpiphany on “Ultraviolet Dreams”, Whitfield may represent an irrepressibly sanguine voice and Hagerman the barbed

Red Shift: “By Design” sounds meticulously crafted and built from the ground up!

I have to qualify myself as a ‘new fan’, because I really didn’t know anything about this band until now, so what I’ve found out is the following: Red Shift were formed in late 2015 and are based out of New York. The quintet consists of Tim Ortiz (Vocals, Synth, Guitar), Kieran Dupper (Guitar, Synth), Chad Jones (Guitar), Andrew Frasier (Bass), and Eric Hobus (Drums).

Though relatively new to the scene, members have collaborated in various bands since 1999. Red Shift recorded their first single, “Around The Sun,” in February 2016, and have now completed their first EP, “By Design”, which includes 3 more tracks besides “Around The Sun”.

Red Shift

Red Shift

The songs are all hard, crunchy, and catchy as hell. I could easily see just about every song on this EP making it to radio airplay. They are all very radio-friendly. And normally, too much radio-friendliness and catchiness would turn me away – but not here. In addition to the powerful hooks, these songs have a deep groove that grabs me and keeps me listening.

So I can’t fault the music, at all. These guys are great musicians – soaring vocals, slamming guitars, and a very solid rhythm section, with some really interesting chord progressions. They are here to rock their hearts out, and certainly the songs on display here are pure evidence of that fact. But at the same time they are exquisitely intricate.

The EP kicks off with straight upbeat song, which is also the title track, “By Design” before things start kicking into a higher gear, reminding music fans of why they should fall in love with Red Shift. Progressive elements start rumbling in on, “Around The Sun”, and going forward, each subsequent  track melds into a well-rounded tune that sounds meticulously crafted and built from the ground up, note by note, bar by bar.

Dark, chugging and melodic, “Around the Sun” is an ambitious song where the band steps out of its comfort zone and right up onto the plate. They hold nothing back and smoke with passion and grit. And the rewards clearly outweigh the risks.

Red Shift

Red Shift

They repeat that same progressive hard-hitting formula on “Victorious”. The guitars explore and expand, building riff upon riff of sublime power, as Tim Ortiz asphyxiates the grinding rhythm with douses of moody melodics. The song is laden with fullness in its sound, putting forth a good deal of emotion, and a catchy groove delivered by the powerhouse engine room of Andrew Frasier on bass and Eric Hobus on drums.

The rocking good times continue with the EP closer “Heads Or Tails”, which is more of a straightforward ballbreaker in the vein of the opening title track. That said, Red Shift prove to be a totally kick ass band, from start to finish. From the drums to the guitars, bass and vocals this quintet lacks nothing.

So even though I started out knowing nothing about Red Shift, after only 4 tracks of energetic, emotional rock with a nice progressive twist, I now know all I have to about them. The EP “By Design” not only meets the standards I was expecting from a competent alternative rock band but surpasses them and delivers a solid recording truly proving the weight of a band that has grown musically and lyrically in the shortest possible time.

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