Exit 22 Music: “Last Goodbye” – one of the finest musical acts in the pop-rock underground

It seems almost impossible that an artist that has been around this long – 20 years in Chris Calamera’s case, can keep making records that stand up among the best that he has ever done. Let’s be clear: “Last Goodbye” is a great song. It’s poppy, with a big melody and an insistent rock rhythm, and it’s catchy as hell. Sounds like authentic Exit 22 Music to me. This is pure Calamera from his pop-rock songwriting style standpoint, and pure Exit 22 Music, considering the breathtaking vocals and high production-value quotient. The perfect, power-pop formula. Exit 22 Music has been keeping

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

22Hertz: “Detonate” – Industrial’s mechanized intensity with heavy metal’s eruptive edge

22Hertz is a solo Heavy Alternative Rock project by singer and producer Ralf Muller. The Toronto artist combines abrasive underground sonics with pop elements and hooks into a sound reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails. At their signature performances, 22Hertz is backed by a live band. To have one of the darkest and heaviest albums of the year so far, arrive on your desk by surprise is amazing. That’s what happened with the latest 22Hertz album “Detonate”. The music goes from brutal to quiet, all the while maintaining some type of psychotic aura about it. The bottom line is there are enough good songs here to bash somebody’s head with. This is definitely more aggressive than Nine Inch Nails stuff.

22Hertz obviously don’t want to sound like any other industrial band. They want to convey something different. Too many other reviewers have given polished formative assessments of each track’s meticulous craftsmanship for me to break “Detonate’s” individual cuts down into a thorough summary of what makes them as appealing to listen to on their fiftieth listen as on their first.

Ralf Muller

Ralf Muller

The key here seems to be the integration of industrial music’s level of mechanized intensity with just a touch of heavy metal’s aggressive, frequently eruptive edge and the ability to over graft both with the counterpoint of densely-layered melody.

The other key point is that the album sounds phenomenal. The bass is deep, the highs are clear, and the vocals have been brought out to an even level. In true cutting edge fashion, by listening to the album through headphones (or even just at a high volume on your stereo) you will notice so many little nuances, making “Detonate” a fantastic listening experience.

Remember those legendary industrial albums we all grew up on and loved? Well this is that same type of album in essence, except 22Hertz strained off all the stuff we knew were keeping us from fully enjoying them. This is the next step, the higher level, less mechanical and more organic sounding. Remember albums like the ‘Downward Spiral’ and ‘White Teeth’ by NiN? We’ll we’re on that plane of atmospheric genius, except “Detonate” goes in much harder!

The musical arrangements on “Detonate” give a great insight into the meticulous creation of these songs and how 22Hertz albeit Ralf Muller, uses the studio as an instrument instead of a place to go and simply record music. It makes one listen to the album like with a totally different perspective and the music contained within becomes no different than a great painting of many different colors used in various manners and strokes to portray what the artist wants to convey from his mind to yours.

The colors light up right from track one with the percussively insane “Give Me A Sign”. By the time you hit track three, “Into This”, you’ll notice that the color palette is seriously influenced by shades of dark and light. A scheme that 22Hertz uses amply, in the same way that Trent Reznor does.

If you turn up the volume on “In this Real” the overdriven riffs will risk crushing every bone in your body. The drums alone will beat the hell out of your sound system. Luckily for you (and your stereo) “The Signal In The Noise” is up next.

This is a somber cinematic piece that slows everything down to a melancholic pace. But the respite doesn’t last long, as it is back to business on “Getting Through” and the “Darker Shades Of Black”, where you realize that 22Hertz not only excels with all the sounds and effects, but he has a magic ear for rhythmic patterns. The drums and percussion on “Detonate” is simply outstanding. This is one of the best Industrial albums I have heard in a very long time indeed.

For a schedule of live performances and updates on new releases from 22Hertz visit their links below.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITETWITTERFACEBOOKYOUTUBEREVERBNATION

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