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

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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