Valerie Warntz: “I Don’t Love You Anymore” – structured and inspired song-craft

Valerie Warntz is a 19-year-old singer-songwriter who has been musically inclined since childhood. She decided to be a musician at 9-years-old enrolling into The Sviridov’s School of Arts where studied guitar and piano. During her educational years, she won various awards and at the age of sixteen she wrote her first song “I Don’t Love You Anymore”, which she has now released as a single and music video. The song is also on her debut album “Revelation”. The track is intentionally as heartfelt as it is pensive. Lyrically, Valerie doesn’t leave anything hanging; the song sort of has its completion,

Michael A. Galianos: “My Heart Is Breaking” (Featuring Dan Exactly)

Michael A. Galianos has just released the single “My Heart Is Breaking” (Featuring Dan Exactly) with words and music by Michael A. Galianos and Dan Exactly. Michael A. Galianos is a singer/songwriter from Bergenfield, NJ. He has recorded one EP and two albums since 1997, beginning with the EP “Feel”, under the moniker of M.A.G. (Mad Ass Greecians). In 2006, he released his first full length, “Cerebral Snapshots”. In 2011, he released his second album, “Beautiful Discovery”. His sound is melodious pop/rock, along the vein of The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Big Star, with the occasional delve into the experimental.

Dustin Steen: “Mixed Genres” has a strong spiritual element

With an onslaught of pressure from modern record labels to produce high-selling records frequently and consistently, and the need to secure a loyal consumer base, an artist’s ability to experiment and evolve with his or her sound seems somewhat futile in the modern era. It seems that musicians throughout every genre are bound by the limitations of what sound will sell, often creating a disassociation between artistic freedom and production demands. With such high stakes, it takes immense talent and perhaps sheer disregard for self-preservation for an artist to experiment successfully with the many facets of the musical lexicon. Perhaps

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

Norunoua: “Chrysalis” – intricate beat-work with expansive synth melodies

Mannie Cutean started the experimental project ‘Norunoua’ from the suburbs of Detroit. As a live set started to evolve with an APC and a Maschine, Steve Cotton a longtime friend from grade school, joined in on synth guitar to make the live show more versatile. This synergy has eventually led to the twelve-track “Chrysalis”, the duo’s debut album. I have been blown away by this album since it was introduced to me by and really served as a transition from moving into IDM from being a trance fan.

I have listened to the whole album numerous times and I find it relaxing, upbeat and melodic. Electronic is subjective to the individual listening to it, if you are looking for a more structured rhythmic electronic album, with beautiful and intricate soundscapes this is absolutely a must own or at least listen to it and check it out.

When it comes to IDM, Norunoua sits near the top of the heap. They obviously don’t get the credit they deserve just yet as they are only starting out with this recording, but make no mistake they will do in a very short time. You can tell that Mannie Cutean has done his homework here.

This album is so detailed, yet never overwhelming sonically. It sounds completely unlike anything to have come out in recent times. Every sound effect and sample is used to absolute perfection here to create one of those rare albums that have the ability to transport you to a different place and time. The album has a running narrative taken from its title – “Chrysalis represents metamorphosis, a process in which a gathering of elements reconstruct themselves into a different form.”

And the musical narrative is so vividly real that it paints a picture with every track. As I sat back and listened (and you’ll want to sit back and listen, completely focused, for full effect), I couldn’t help but unconsciously create a story around the images so convincingly forming in my mind.

The album is a concept album, and it can have a story, but that story completely depends on the mood, imagination and experiences of the person hearing it. This is about your own personal metamorphosis, and “Chrysalis” is your soundtrack. This sort of listener participation is a rarity that should never be overlooked when selecting music.

I’m almost certain that many would have the urge to describe Norunoua as a fusion between the surgical explorations of The Aphex Twin and the elastic soundscapes by Boards of Canada. But Norunoua, of course, are in a genre of their own.

Combining intricate beat-work with expansive synth melodies that keep on swirling into inter-winding sonic tangles, Norunoua creates a unique mesh of sound which is as abstract and experimental as it is cerebral and astute. Norunoua bring the ‘I’ to the ‘Intelligent Dance Music’ acronym.

What I really appreciated in their sound is the particular attention to the developing melody, its musicality and very fragile tone.  Here’s another set of electronic artists to definitely keep track of in the years to come.

Essential tracks: “Bloom Positive”, “After We Talked”, “Squeak Toy”, “Frosty Feelings” and “Skyliner”.

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