Kali Ma & Cypher the Avatar – ‘Peaches n’ Sage’ – A hypnotic and fitting foundation

If you ask the duo of Kali Ma & Cypher the Avatar, better known as CxA what the goal of their music was, their reply would probably be, it’s to make a place where all listeners can come to feel safe and relieved from their pain, anxieties, and all other stresses in life. Because that’s exactly what their Cloud Rap single, ‘Peaches n’ Sage’ sounds like. Cypher the Avatar is one of the best alternative rappers mainly because of his presence. He’s confident but not cocky; honest but not vulgar. Cypher comes across as someone who is genuine and sure

VerseBorn: “Cheat Code” ft. Menhir demands a huge amount of respect

“Cheat Code” by VerseBorn ft. Menhir is a mostly uninterrupted stream of consciousness. Breaks in the story only occur when one the language switches from English to Italian and back, and when the plot ends and another begins. To call this track unique would be inadequate. The storyline is extremely complex, with recurring motifs. It’s hard to follow, but that’s the point. VerseBorn and Menhir want your undivided attention for the track’s entirety. Straight off the cuff, the listener is thrust right into the action. In true artistic fashion, interconnecting storylines are articulated through interconnecting verses. But even when they

New Songs to Confront Rising Tide of Hatred by Rev Peter Unger

Rev Peter Unger embraces a pastoral sense of beauty on the spacious skies of I Believe in Second Chances. Throughout the piece Rev Peter Unger explores the oft-ignored benefits of faith. One of the greatest elements of faith rests within the idea of forgiveness for past transgressions. No one is perfect and attaining perfection is a life-long goal. Lyrics focus upon this concept the improvement of the self. Without forgiveness however, this goal becomes impossible for if all were judged by their worst actions self-improvement would remain illusionary at best. Low key arrangements help to place Rev Peter Unger’s voice

Brian Hutson’s Debut Album “Habit” is Released

This week saw the release of Brian Hutson’s Debut Album. Habit is the name of the album that coincides with the song title track featured on his debut album. The album which has already sparked early interest follows the critical acclaim of his EP Midnight Sessions and enormous success of his single released in the fall of 2018. Like many artists, Brian draws influence from his personal life and experiences. This driving force allows him to express his feelings through music. Reflecting on love, lust, heartbreak, and triumph Habit is the result of memories from the past two years, all

YHN Hammertime: “Cash Out” – relatable lines over a sleekly banging beat

YHN Hammertime is a rap/hip-hop artist based in Washington DC. He often collaborates with fellow artists from the DC area. After a string of single releases, he has dropped his first official mixtape “Gang Meets Gang”. From the album comes the highly infectious single “Cash Out” along with its classy visual, now viewable on YouTube. With this album, YHN never seems to be trying to make one track for the thugs, one for the hip hop heads, one for the club, one for the backpackers, and one for the playas, etc. Although you could still attribute those labels to the

Hro Palyan: “White China” scores many transcendent moments!

Hro Palyan is an up and coming Armenian-American Hip Hop artist based in Granada Hills, CA. His journey into a musical career started during childhood when he learned how to play the electric guitar. Hro’s older brother was influential in introducing him to the world of rap and hip-hop and to fellow artists who encouraged him to learn music production tools like Fruity Loops, Reason, and Pro Tools. Influenced by the likes of Dre, Eminem, Xzibit, Nate Dogg, Snoop Dog, Tupac, Naz, Jayz, Dmx, Hro used the production tools as a coping mechanism that allowed him to express himself, and

Enzo: ‘Light Me Up’ – an absolutely sublime listening experience

DJs speak with their hands. Producers who can’t use words, express themselves through sound. On the other hand, it’s almost true that in the electronic music realm, the weight of the music can render words secondary. That’s not to say that producers aren’t using their voices…it’s rare but quite possible. Some producers over a number of electronic genres have stepped up to the mic to express themselves vocally, others engage the perfect voices to execute the needed emotion. Once such creative is Enzo, a self-taught musical artist from Boston, Massachusetts. His work as a producer and DJ has led to

Exit To Eden: Describes the extreme situation of hate-love, on their new Goth ‘n Roll single “Love At First Hate”!

Passionate, yet hateful is the story of Exit To Eden’s latest video clip. The Austrians around frontman Bernie Pfeiffer, celebrate the March 22nd, 2019, release of their associated Goth ‘n Roll single, entitled ‘Love At First Hate’ and give an audiovisual preview of their upcoming mini-album “Love And Other Nightmares”, especially Fans of traditional gothic rock alá The Sisters Of Mercy, The Cure, or Bauhaus are guaranteed to find it appealing.  In a nightmare of hate-love, the protagonist described in ‘Love At First Hate’, whose story is presented in first-person perspective, seems to be. Two extremes, passionate love and

Javyn Knight: “Exodus” – Relatability, positivity, and general geniality

Javyn Knight releases his debut EP, “The Gospel Of Javyn” on March the 24th. The artist’s arrival to this event has not been an easy one. He left home at sixteen to join the army, completing his basic training and part of his AIT training, when he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He went on to be officially discharged and found his way back to civilian life. It was then that Javyn decided to flip his future and pursue a different, but just as passionate, career route. Javyn Knight aka The Blacc SINatra grabbed hold of a mic and started reppin’ South

Silvertung: “(BUT, AT WHAT COST??!)” – assailing swagger, an abrasive bring-it-on vibe!

Award-winning rock band Silvertung, has landed on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Radio Chart three times. The Mid-Atlantic quartet, made up of vocalist Speed, lead guitarist Codey, bassist Sam Sour, and drummer Danno, have also opened for groups like Godsmack, Disturbed, Shinedown, Slipknot, Staind, Papa Roach, Buckcherry, Filter, Drowning Pool, Anthrax, P.O.D., and others. With three albums and one EP under their belt, Silvertung, in collaboration with Thermal Entertainment, have dropped their latest album “(BUT, AT WHAT COST??!)”, produced by Steven Wright, whose credits include Slipknot, Mars Volta, and Rihanna. This is the type of release that occurs when a band

Don Hughes: “It’s Christmas” – re-defines contemporary Christmas music

Don Hughes started playing piano at 8 years old. Starting as a junior in high school, he competed in high school talent shows, and the Crazy Fest Annual Talent Show, the longest running talent competition in Pennsylvania. He would place 1st and 2nd in a number of competitions before he became a judge in 2002. Between then and now Don has been active on the Central Pennsylvania music scene. In 2008 he released his debut album and in 2012 he married his long time sweetheart Elizabeth. During January 2016 started work on a new album, which has resulted in his latest release, “It’s Christmas”.

The album features keyboard/synth orientated instrumentals of our favorite Christmas classics, from “Silent Night” to “Away In A Manger” and “Hark! The Herald Angles Sing” to “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” and “Joy To The World”, plus many more. The music styles are extremely varied and you will find stripped down picked acoustic guitar pieces, to fully layered orchestral arrangements, and even some rock influences.

don-hughes-350Without exaggerating, this may be the most musically satisfying Christmas instrumental album, you lay your hands on this year. By blending reverent, neo-classical interpretations with modern synthesizers and percussion, Don Hughes virtually re-defines contemporary Christmas music. The more contemporary/electronic arrangements never sound cheesy, nor are the contrasts with the more traditional interpretations in any way jarring.

In general, the arrangements on this disc are masterful. “Away in a Manger” and “Silent Night” in particular, are hauntingly beautiful. And, while the electronics may not be for everyone, they are tastefully done, they do evoke a festive mood, and they keep the album from sounding like every other orchestral Christmas album you’ve ever heard.

Rock infused interpretations like “We Three Kings” will provide you with a surge of uplifting energy.  This is one of the better Christmas albums for new-age traditional songs set to electronic drums and melodies. In general the album has a renaissance feel to it, the instruments are captivating, and you’ll be entranced by Don Hughes’ arrangements and accurate execution.

Though Don Hughes reworks these festive season classics into something more digestible for the modern ear he never strays from the songs’ classic core aesthetics. So each song is instantly recognizable and absolutely hummable. Even If you are a traditionalist when it comes to Christmas music, once you discover Don Hughes and savor the tremendous vitality and energy in his music, you will be hooked.

Make a hot beverage; grab a cozy blanket; place this album in the player; settle into your favorite chair, and let the music surround you. From the clear brass sounds to the lingering strings and the fiery percussion to the sizzling synths, Don Hughes lifts the spirit and transports the listener, musically, to another place. If you are one of the people who hasn’t heard “It’s Christmas”, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. It is, quite simply, essential Christmas music.

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