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

Newborn: “Honey Trap” – something of a perfect alchemy

The Coney Island, Brooklyn-based band Newborn was formed by  high school friends Allen James (vocals/guitar) and Eric Weglicki (guitar/bass/vocals) and a love of rock spanning from Metallica, Nirvana, to Muse. After many years of jamming together they decided to form a band. Newborn played their first show December 2014 which was followed by the release their debut EP “Broken Virgo”. The band has since evolved musically, adding drummer Dave Goldenberg, and going from strength to strength, culminating in the release of their latest single, entitled “Honey Trap”. The song features Newborn’s most diverse lyrical palette to date. The result is a cohesive,

Gloom Influx: “First LP” – looping the listener into a nostalgic yet futuristic world

Montréal-based musician Luc Leclerc, aka Gloom Influx, delivers a unique and powerful blend of metal and synthwave, influenced by 80’s movies and video game soundtracks, heavy metal, and contemporary artists like Justice, and Carpenter Brut. Sometimes you need to listen to music that makes you feel like you are in the future in outer space and somehow the 80s never ended. And sometimes you want to add elements of robots, monsters and fear. When you want those things, there are few better than Gloom Influx . Whether you come at this album from the perspective of someone into synthwave, darkwave

Jigsaw Man: ‘No Home’ – a self-produced EP with strong stoner overtones

The 4 track ‘No Home’ EP is the debut release from Jigsaw Man, the moniker under which singer-songwriter Steven Faulkner is releasing original material. “It’s nice doing things under a pseudonym because you can be more personal about the lyrics, and because you have that separation,” said Faulkner, continuing: “In my head the lyrics belong to Jigsaw Man, so I can be more honest and personal. I can write far more honestly and I’ve certainly done that on this EP. In the past I’ve always looked for metaphor or simile but this EP is very honest.” Playing since he was a

Corlioni: “Destiny” has a genuinely refreshing effect!

In case you’re not down with the nomenclature being thrown around the EDM community currently, on his latest track, “Destiny”, electronic producer Corlioni, comfortably slides into the trend-setting genre called ‘Tropical house’. Though, it would be correct to say that the masked British producer is not really confined to that specific genre at all. Tropical house is a more relaxing yet uplifting form inside the EDM craze, a response to the grimy, dark sounds of the dubstep craze which has been losing steam for the last several years. Rather than deep bass growls that sound like a broken inkjet printer,

DJ DezZ: “SometimeZ” – a tour-de-force!

Fast forward a quarter of a century and the phrase ‘Deep House’ has become to mean something completely different from its first incarnation during the halcyon days of house. It’s hard to move in the overpopulated market of all things ‘deep’ these days, but in amongst the monotony of the same old EDM samples and generic preset bass lines are a number of artists that really are able to tickle your fancy. One such EDM producer that we believe has kept it deep, down and dirty so far in 2017, with the release of his single “SometimeZ”, is Charlie Desi aka DJ

Toni Castells: 2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal? – The emotion is very compelling

Toni Castells is a Hispano-British composer currently based in London. A lecturer at Imperial College London and the London College of Music, his sonic worlds transpire an inherited precocious classical training with an inventive use of modern technologies to create unique and distinctive soundscapes. Castells latest musical endeavor is entitled ‘2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal?’ which explores the prediction by computer engineer and futurologist Ray Kurzweil that the year 2045 will see the start of a new era in which human and artificial intelligence will merge, man will cease to age and so acquire the potential to live indefinitely. In the original interview with Kurzweil

QuinoBLN: “Ein Jahr danach” falls into the ‘good’ music category!

Songwriter and composer QuinoBLN was born and grew up in Spain. After many years of making music there, he had the feeling that the country had become too small for his dreams and desire for adventure. After living in several European cities like Amsterdam and Cologne as well as travelling around a lot, he settled down in the very lively Berlin, which not only grew into his heart and his music, but its acronym became a part of his moniker. On the 14th of February this year QuinoBLN released his electro, dance-pop single, “Ein Jahr danach” through La Santa Compaña Records. From what I can deduce, the track’s title should translate to “One Year Later”. With the lyrics being entirely in German I could only pick up the gist of its meaning. The narrator seems to have been afflicted by a person, event or circumstance from which he has freed himself after one year.

While critics, fans, and websites engage in regular, never-as-important-as-they-seem skirmishes over whether this or that artist belongs to one or the other genre or is overrated or eve underrated, the music keeps piling up, waiting for a calmer moment when it can be properly assessed. Believe me, I know.

I’ve been reviewing records professionally since…well I can’t even remember and when I look back at the albums and bands I was sure were vital back in my youth—and the albums I either ignored entirely or publicly trashed, largely because they were popular—I cringe a little. But just a little. Being spectacularly wrong about music is an important part of growing up.

Hence when a polarizing act like QuinoBLN arrives on my desk and conjures the kind of synth washes and pop piano runs that could have easily pulsed across records during the mid-’80s, I know we’re in for another ‘never-as-important-as-they-seem skirmishes’.

What genre is this? How good is QuinoBLN? Is this retro synth-pop style of music still relevant? Heck, QuinoBLN even complicates things further by singing in German. So expect some more questions! Thank heavens I don’t give a shits about genres anymore, I form part of the old, and by now heavily cliched crew who believe music has only two genres – good or bad!

I may on the occasion use genre-labels for some people’s need to box things to better fit the limitations of their own minds. So having said that QuinoBLN falls into the ‘good’ music category, and for the genre-minded, he sits comfortably in the electro-pop classification.

A genre the Germans are masters of by the way, and which they’ve dominated since 1969 with the advent of the super-group Kraftwerk. So the Spaniard, QuinoBLN, has truly taken on all of the Teutonic characteristics, since his move to Berlin!

On “Ein Jahr danach”, QuinoBLN continues to develop and refine the template of the 80s esthetic, that splits the difference between new wave, synth-pop and club-ready dance music,  with surprisingly positive results. The record’s carefully considered aesthetic and meticulous production featuring some unusual instruments bear all the hallmarks of an iconic work.

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