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

Dezzyano: “Hello World: The Renaissance” – a cohesive feel and tone throughout the album

Now I’ll be honest, before this album was released, I didn’t know much about Dezzyano, the rapper raised 5 mins from Atlanta on Six Flags Dr. I decided to give it a go. And I became a very unlikely Dezzyano fan. The 16 track album, “Hello World: The Renaissance” starts off strong with ‘Anita Baker’. It has an extremely catchy refrain built on a bass and horn driven soul soundscape. This sets the tone for the album, which sees Dezzyano finding different ways of telling his story with catchy hooks and intense verses. From a critical standpoint, this album has

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”

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