J.Dot & KD: “To Whom It May Concern” – Low on frills and rich with introspection!

I noticed that J.Dot makes his best music when he’s rapping about being a responsible man, or when he’s creating something with substance and meaning, as opposed to trying to make contemporary radio hits or battle rhymes (although he is an excellent wordsmith).  This is mostly what happens on his 4 track EP, “To Whom It May Concern”, that narrates the evolution of relationships in its various forms. To put it all in perspective, this sounds like a powerful and mature work. Something tells me J.Dot experienced things that impacted him over the past years and this album is bred

Jack Soundfield: “Shine” – You can dig deep or soar to the shore

By profession Jack Soundfield is an engineer who has travelled around the world. He has lived in Canada, Germany and Switzerland. Besides uncovering the secrets of the globe Jack has a passion for music and experimenting with instruments and sounds.  “Before publishing a song, it is mine alone,” says Soundfield. “After publishing it, anyone can listen to it and decide whether to identify with it, or love it, or both.” Jack, who has been composing music since 2009, recently released his debut album, entitled “Shine”. “I have to admit,” explained Soundfield, “that my girlfriend – a solfège teacher of the

G.H. Hat: “Piano Jam 2 (Ode To Kygo)” – an authentic human expression

Modern acceptance, or lack there of, in electronic music hardly comes as a surprise. Just look back through the history of music and how the 17th century technology spread. Musicians no longer had to master a particular bow technique on the violin or cello in order to play the perfect note – They just had to press a key. Can you imagine the horror of the purists at the time? They probably all thought that the piano was destroying the soul of the music. What it did though was simplify things. It reduced what was really essential and human. People

JaVez: “When I Was Uptown” has the power to captivate audiences

JaVez is a 23 year old Maryland recording artist who sings, raps, produces, and mixes his own music. The self-taught Baltimore area artist has a penchant for Kanye West, Usher, Jay Z, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Chris Brown. He also grew up listening to singers like Brian McKnight and R. Kelly. JaVez plans to one day be a successful CEO of a record label and iconic recording artist. JaVez is the true definition of an artist, he isn’t afraid to be himself and put himself out there. The lyrics alone prove that. Add in some fantastic production and the

HR Live At CBGB’s 1984 – an essential part of alternative music and punk culture

HR is most well known as the lead singer of revolutionary reggae punk rock band Bad Brains. In their day Bad Brains could have been easily mentioned in the same breath as The Ramones, The Sex Pistols or The Clash, such was their greatness. Yet the band has evolved many times in its long history, playing across many genres of music including jazz, hardcore punk, alternative rock and reggae. HR has been making music since 1976 with Bad Brains, and along the way until today, he has been acclaimed for his reckless punk screaming just as much as he has

Callum Crighton: “The Rose” – a strong ear-catching melody

Even while everything I know about my musical taste should violently reject the cheese-camp synth pop and adorable mainstream swoon songs of the 80’s, I’ve enjoyed that music ever since I was first tricked into listening to the smooth, velvety crooning of the Brit pop chart invasion during that period. I can’t really explain why I loved that music so much, I guess for the same reason people eat cheesecake: It’s loaded with sugar, almost unbearably sweet, and probably isn’t the healthiest for you, but goddamn if it doesn’t make you feel so good inside when you eat it up.

Virgil Blue: “Pain Of Loss” – gorgeous washes of sound

Virgil Blue has released his debut EP entitled “Pain Of Loss”. Inspired and influenced by Prince and Sade, Virgil, a multi-instrumentalist who started out making music at the age of six, when he picked up the saxophone, produced much of the music that can be heard on this EP. Virgil who recently moved from the suburbs of Detroit to LA has put together 6 smooth trance-like tracks that that flaunts ambient, RnB and trip-hop flavors. If you’re looking for something atmospheric and hypnotizing, then this recording may be of serious interest to you. Fragile, tender and soulful, Virgil Blue’s voice will

Big Chris: ‘Bad Timing’ – high quality production and seamless transitions

After a successful release of his last single ‘F The World’ in Summer of 2016, UK based RnB artist and producer Big Chris releases his newest album ‘Bad Timing’ available via all major media providers. Recorded by Big Chris and John Robinson at Clique Studios, London and Miami Live, Miami. The album mix was finalized by Mixbytrip at Circle House Miami. Inspirations of The Dream, Mike Posner and R Kelly can be heard throughout. This album has some really original, unique, futuristic cuts on it, as would be expected. Big Chris is a more audacious artist than most in the R&B game right now, because he says what

Shellee Coley: “Story Like This” – a maturity that is mesmerizing!

Shellee Coley is a Texas-based singer-songwriter that has released three full length albums. Her current focus is a 5 song book of musical meditations called The Becoming Project that is being released one song or “chapter” at a time by the independent label Red Tree Music Group. Essentially, Shellee has created a unique style that blurs the boundaries between genres and categories. There are recognizable influences from classic songwriters like Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Lennon & McCartney and Bob Dylan, as well as from some more current acts. Coley is able to absorb them all, and filter them through her own sensibilities

All Atomic: “? ? ? (Track With No Name)” builds multiple climaxes and movements

All Atomic is an electronic music producer and artist from Bristol, UK. He has just released his debut for indie label Pink Dolphin Music, entitled – “? ? ? (Track With No Name)”. The majority of listeners will agree that this track is perhaps one of the best examples of wickedly detailed and technically rich techno and house out there. If that is a mouth-full, it should be. All Atomic has defined the amazingly intricate form of electronic dance music that weaves clever beats into unusual and unexpected sounds to create a masterpiece of rhythmic movement and audio ecstasy. It’s

Stefan Certic: “FusionWorks” – devoid of cliched licks!

Stefan Certic describes himself as a “System Analyst and Entrepreneur by day, ethical hacker by night, and a Fusion Guitar player in between.” Certic  has recently released his album “FusionWorks”, which contains two originals  and three covers, including a version of Michael Jackson’s “Liberian Girl”. If you love the electric guitar and desire more than just mindless shredding, look no further than this recording. Certic sets himself apart from the other guys with some real rocking tunes as well as downright beautiful melodies such as “Winter” and the cover song “Color Of The Night”, where Certic’s technical and emotional quotient reminds me very much of Gary Moore’s playing.

Even though you can hear the joy in Stefan Certic’s playing on every track, he doesn’t hesitate to unleash a barrage of pick-tapping fury on the occasion. His tone is in full force and even though the gain is plentiful on some tracks, the clarity is rather amazing. Outside of maybe Tom Morello and Joe Satriani, Certic’s is another one of the few guitarists who can play a solo devoid of clichéd licks and still pull it off with aplomb.

The medium-tempo stomp shuffle of “Liberian Girl” also brings to mind his melodicism without becoming too derivative—a tough feat these days, especially on a cover track. The drums and bass are mostly to blame for the burning rhythmic backing that allows Stefan Certic to explore every inch (both harmonically and dynamically) of each tune.

And honestly, is there anything Certic can’t do on the guitar? To my ears, the true sign of a well-crafted instrumental is that you could easily imagine lyrics going along with the melody. It’s what happens with “Winter”.

And just to break the tone and atmosphere of this otherwise instrumental album, you’ll actually find a vocal track here, entitled “Dusk To Dawn”. A song Certic originally wrote for his band a few years ago and which has never previously been released. This is a pretty uplifting, female-sung rock anthem which features a fiery guitar solo from the man himself, in which his technique, tone, composition quality, and expressive style are easily noticeable.

On the cover versions, somehow Certic is able to let his heart and soul genuinely sing and communicate the song through his guitar. This happens on the take of the Serbian Folk song “Midnight”. From the first bar there’s a driving groove that grabs and holds your attention.

Simply put, it’s a very tight, complex production. The nice thing about this album though, is that the songs don’t feel labored or contrived. Instead the tracks feel natural and flowing, as if he had written them all.

One thing that often gets tiresome with guitar instrumentals is the whole verse-chorus-verse thing where it’s like a bad pop song in structure and the main riffs are repeated too much, too contrived and drawn out.

This sensation never gets the upper hand here, notwithstanding the fact that some of these songs really were pop songs originally.  Listening to these tracks you feel a story is being told to you by Stefan Certic, and not that someone is just trying to demonstrate how to play the guitar brilliantly!

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