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

Jiven – a deep headphone experience

Jivendro Adriaans, who was born in Suriname, moved to the Netherlands with his loving parents. He started playing keyboards at the age six when the instrument was given to him as a gift by a father of a friend. Four years later he started making beats and now loves working with FL Studio which was a gift from his mother. Jivendro, who works as a graphic designer also produces music for both rappers and singers, as well as doing remixes of songs by Zendaya and Beyonce. The Netherlands-based, graphics artist and producer, who records as Jiven, expands into a far-reaching space on his recordings. He’s made gorgeously constructed electro under this name, ultimately gaining traction with tracks such as “Go Chillout”, “Good Weekend” and “My Super Chill”.

Jiven’s MTV Profile

Some of his previous songs now sound like mere dreams of the luminous world he was trying so hard to connect to. On these new tracks Jiven gains a skip in his step and strides right into that place, largely due to a shedding of the muddied beats and wistful synth tones that may have positioned him a little too close to retro-futuristic notions.

There’s more air here, lending a greater expanse of room to move around in than before, like travelling from a rundown seaside resort to vast scoops of desert plane. There is a familiar sense of melancholy and the embers of sundown burning through it, but with the ambition clearly heightened right from the first few notes.

The sense of build Jiven possesses—knowing when to add and subtract, when to fade and zoom right back into focus—is a central tenet of the his sound, and it’s a sensibility he retains through all of his tracks. Like a particularly crisp logo or font, his songs have a good sense of scale and proportion, and it’s clear that a lot of work goes into them.

Nostalgic-inspired imagery, a heavy sense of tranquility and faraway longing, all tied together with a pretty sleek modernity. Several of these elements have been sort of beaten into the ground in indie music over the past few years, but with songs like “Qb1” and “Qb2”, Jiven manages to pull them together in a way that feels compelling.

Jiven’s tracks are built primarily with synths and sampled instruments, but what separates him, at least from a lot of the bedroom-oriented artists currently exploring similar sounds, is simple craft. These tracks are OCD-level meticulous.

Hear it in the percussion: In place of the tinny, synthetic beats favored by lots of indie-ambient startups, Jiven takes extra care to capture sounds with a crack and thump that makes you feel like you’re in the room with them. His attention to detail goes beyond highlighting individual instruments. It’s there in the way Jiven simply builds a song, merging all the keyboard wooshes and percussive ripples to find a natural arc.

“Relax”, for example, starts out fairly simple with twinkly keys and a sturdy, knocking beat, but the song’s pulse quickens as it progresses, and by the end you’ve got something heady enough to live up to its title.

Because Jiven clearly wants his music to be a deep headphone experience, those subtle shifts go a long way in holding your interest. And in terms of the imagery he builds – it’s all there, and it’s pretty easy to set your brain on “relax” and conjure up those natural landscapes.

An out-of-nowhere tonal change or an occasional tinge of darkness or light gives these recordings plenty of balance. Ultimately Jiven who has his profile up on the MTV website, succeeds at what he sets out to do. His lush, layered soundscapes will bring the indulgent bliss of a restful bask on the sun-drenched beaches of the world.

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