Dan Oz: “Cave Drops” – twinkling synth sounds and thumping groovy basslines

Let me set a scene: The sun is shining, the reasonably warm air is crisp and refreshing, the cruel winds are nowhere to be found. You put your headphones in and start walking towards the beachfront with a spring in your step and a smile on your face, rejuvenated by the rare taste of enjoyable weather and a feeling of freedom. Now, what song should be the soundtrack to your unexpectedly pleasant walk? Maybe something jaunty to fit your upbeat mood. Well shake up the soundtrack to your sunny walk with “Cave Drops” by Dan Oz. Dan Oz, who started

IJK: “Dancing Shadows” – a rocking pop sensible track!

“Dancing Shadows” is the latest single by Dubai based rock artist, IJK (Imad Jack Karam). The track released on June 12th 2017 was produced in London and is supported by a video clip available for viewing on YouTube. IJK is a one-man army in the musical field. His style is very retro ’70s, mixed with ’80s guitar riffs, and edgy modern electronic, his songs are highly polished, perfectly produced tracks that defy age or genre. There is something to be said for IJK’s mix of styles, smooth vocals, and refusal to make bland, generic, contemporary music. His tracks are like a bag of pick

Nicki Kris: “Captain America” – lyrics as essential as the air we breathe

Based in Raleigh, North Carolina Nicki Kris is a singer-songwriter based who has had her songs have been featured in award-winning movies, TV shows, and on radio stations worldwide, and she has also been on the official ballot for the Grammy Awards for the past four years, since her debut album release, “I Come Alive”, in 2013. The active voting member of The Recording Academy is currently working on multiple projects, and has released her brand new 2017 single, “Captain America”, which she describes as a patriotic song asking each of us to find our inner superhero, capable of kindness,

Richy: “#RichySeason” – seething tone seals the beats together!

Upstate rap artist MBK Richy from Auburn, NY has released his album “#RichySeason”. The album starts with a bang with the lead single, which is also a video, “Talk That Shit feat. Leedreamer” it’s totally unrelenting and is a good foreshadowing of what this high energy album is going to be. Richy has a great choice in beats that separates him from the herd, and forms part of that specific trait that runs across this entire album – he will do anything to keep you interested – from the beats to the rapping. Richy has a very good vocal range for an

Mr. Flames: “Local Kingpin – EP” – mastering the role he’s developed for himself

Scartobe Galantae Flames aka Mr. Flames is of African American, Cuban, and Italian descent. Originally from the east side of Cleveland, Mr. Flames currently live in Dayton, Ohio. Growing up was rough for Mr. Flames due to being a part of the typical struggle for an African American family, so he went to the streets in search for money. As time progressed through his hustling days, Mr. Flames moved up in reputation as the local kingpin. He then decided to pick up the microphone and give rapping a shot. After losing both parents, he came up with the name ‘Scartobe

Kiki Sire: “Rutina” – exciting rhythms and smooth vocals

Kiki Sire is a Singer/Songwriter, Musician, Composer and graduate of the Matanzas School of Musica in Cuba where he studied alongside many great Cuban musicians by day and performing salsa music in the festivals and clubs of Havana, Varadero and Mantanzas by night. Kiki who has performed with many great musicians, has made regular appearances on TV and Radio and won many awards and talent contests for his singing. “Rutina” is a salsa album composed, performed and produced by Kiki Sire containing 8 original compositions. Kiki Sire is undoubtedly well versed in the art of musical conversation, as he is

Owl Company: “Horizon” carves out blistering rhythms

Owl Company is a band from São Paulo, Brazil that combines hard rock influences from the 70s to the 90s with modern rage and brutality, creating a sound that is fresh, aggressive, and engaging. Launched in 2015 the band has built a strong presence in São Paulo, playing all the premier venues in town. Their first single “Condescend,” quickly grabbed attention locally and now the band is setting its sights on crashing international borders. Owl Company’s chosen vehicle to get them where they need to be going is their full-length debut album “Horizon”, set to drop July 14th 2017. The

Harmony Drive: “Be There” – fresh, upbeat and vibrant music!

Most times you can gauge the potential quality of a creative project just by gazing through its credits. In this case, the single by Norwegian band Harmony Drive – “Be There”, was recorded in Denver, Colorado. With help of production duo Glenn Sawyer & Rich Veltrop (Tom Petty, Ozzy Osbourne, Macy Gray), and Dave Elitch (Mars Volta, Killer be killed) on drums. The music video, filmed in Norway and the Philippines, features the multi-talented Supermodel, TV-host, and Surfer Mona Lisa Neuboeck. Of course for the potential quality to transform into effective quality you need a stunning song and band. Lars

Delta Station: “An Unexpected Turn of Events” – the experience is more epic and cinematic

The little 14 year old Australian genius who goes by the moniker of Delta Station, has a new album out. And, somewhat predictably, it’s another utter and perfect treat. Before you listen to Delta Station’s latest album you really should leave all preconceptions at the door. Despite the connotations of the album’s title, “An Unexpected Turn of Events” is a joyous affair. It is an album that is warm, exhilarating, and incredibly uplifting and it is his greatest piece of work to date. Delta Station has only been in the production craft since June 2016, but has already released two EPs, previous to this album.

The Valium: “Amazing Breakdowns” – walking the high-wire intersections of visceral punk-rock expression and high art perfection

The Valium hooked me as soon as I heard the first track “Too Many Dreams Of Rock N Roll” from freshly released album, entitled “Amazing Breakdowns”. This was an album that hit me in the gut and instantly dragged me along for the ride. After listening to it, I must say that this is one of the most unique, interesting and high-energy bands I have ever heard in the alternative rock scene of late. Though taken from a myriad of influences, their sound is completely their own and every song sounds unique to their band. I can’t really imagine some

Nigma: “Moonlit Halos” – draws inspiration from a wide range of influences

Nigma is a 20 year old rapper who has a penchant for spitting over intricately styled beats and has found recent strides in cinematic sounds, creating an essence of alternative Hip-Hop. He was born and raised in Rockland County, NY and currently lives in NYC. Fresh off the rack comes Nigma’s 7-track EP in all its leftfield glory, entitled “Moonlit Halos”. When you look at the rap landscape, there’s no-one quite like Nigma – past or present – whether it’s his personality, his lyrics or even his music productions.

He’s revels in contradiction; who defies all traditional hip-hop expectations. Hyper-active, yet somber, he draws inspiration from a wide range of influences. Most importantly, he seems to want to make music that lasts, concerned that audiences nowadays simply want party anthems.

Unafraid to sit down and really focus, creativity over ambition seems to be Nigma’s motto. Sure, he’s capable of making those party anthems, but they’re party anthems loaded with so much more than just tales of drinking, smoking, blowjobs and pills.

Compared to the many trap records these days that try to be weird but end up sounding pretty uniform and boring, “Moonlit Halos” brisk insularity — 7 tracks, with only one going over the four-minute mark and another over the five-minute mark — feels not only genuinely diverse, but pretty eclectic too, and eclectic-ness isn’t something we get much of, even in experimental hip-hop.

The raps are at a peak here, but it’s the beats on the album that you also consistently sink your ears into, and maybe with the exception of “Light (HTML)”, which I didn’t particularly like, there aren’t any weak cuts here.

Right from the start, on “Shadow Intro”, you’ll know that Nigma’s going to be taking you into some really cavernous and disturbed sonic territory: The effect of all those contrasts ends up creepy because though the mood is uniformly anxious, it seems like it’s just going to keep flowing over you like molasses.

He doesn’t have to follow any of the rules that major label artists are forced to treat as law. He is lawless, erratic, and full of surprises. That’s what makes this release so exciting, I don’t think anyone truly knows what to expect, and even the wildest imagination will likely appear humdrum in comparison.

The most disappointing decision that Nigma could ever make with his music would be to normalize himself. As long as he’s embracing the strange, embodying himself, he will always be more interesting than most.

“Moonlit Halos” remains coherent and cohesive because Nigma maintains the same atmosphere and tone throughout. And although doing so makes this EP much more fulfilling as a whole, it also doesn’t place tighter restrictions on each individual track, allowing songs like “The Darkness” and “EYE AM” to work brilliantly within the confines of this record.

The Rockland County native not only elevates his lyricism, but also compliments said lyricism with atmospheric production and distinct flows that accentuate everything he’s saying. In fact, Nigma has the cheat code for infinite flows, either riding with or fighting against his beats.

ESSENTIAL TRACKS: “Fences / The Gate”, “All This Love” and “Lazarus Outro”

OFFICIAL LINKS: SOUNDCLOUDFACEBOOKINSTAGRAMTWITTER

About The Author

Reply