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

THE O SOUND ALL STARS – “NU WOP DOO WOP, VOL. 1” – a stunning showcase of talent

Cleveland’s own THE O SOUND ALL STARS, consisting of members Baba Adetobi, Mike Harris, Romeo Maxwell, Blacknile, Humble G, and Regi Beverly, have released their 9 track album, entitled “NU WOP DOO WOP, VOL. 1”. All songs were written by Baba Adetobi except “She Don’t Even Know”, written by Blacknile. These guys would get together and sing doo wop songs, all of them musicians in various bands and choirs. Baba was resident percussionist at the studio for many years and was writing lyrics. Doug, the studio owner got everyone together and in one summer they arranged and recorded all of the lyrics into Nu Wop Doo Wop.

This is the sound of an era, of a generation. This album has so many wonderful songs on it; it’s an excellent look at one of the finest harmony groups around. Their voices blended so beautifully – the sound they created was unique, powerful and moving. I don’t think there is another band, then or now, who created such a smooth blending, of such perfect harmony.

If you remember your parents playing the old  78’s or maybe some 45’s in the late 50’s or early 60’s, you might have heard something along the lines of this. If not and you’re from the 60’s or even later then you missed out on a time when music was special and the latest hits were played on juke boxes and cost a nickel to listen to.

You would go after school to the drug store and play all your favorites for a quarter get a cherry cola and dance till the store keeper said he was closing. If you miss that you’ll find some of that magic on these cuts.

Assessing the lyrical elements of “NU WOP DOO WOP, VOL. 1” — and other soul records like it – wouldn’t be of much use and misses the point. The beauty of soul music has more to do with delivery and passion than the quality of lyrics, even though the lyrics here are par for the course.

This album is a stunning showcase of talent and raw emotion. Records like this make giving the music of the 70s a closer look more worthwhile. But the stunning thing is this album only came out last year, and to my mind would have been a monumental success had it been released during the 70’s.

It’s easy to hear how the songs on this album enhance the soul-music format and consequently is ready to revive the genre altogether, providing a welcomed contrast to the often wretchedly bad modern R&B and Soul music currently doing the rounds.

“NU WOP DOO WOP, VOL. 1” is a musical mash-up of jazz, funk, blues and soul influences featuring phenomenally complex vocal arrangements and brilliant, sleek music productions, with THE O SOUND ALL STARS members Baba Adetobi, Mike Harris, Romeo Maxwell, Blacknile, Humble G, and Regi Beverly, packing just as much punch, perhaps more, than many soul records that had come before it.

It’s hard to pick out standouts, as all tracks here bring something special to the table. Though my own personal tastes would opt for: “Academy”, “I Love You”, “I’ll Make You Happy”, “Where Are You” and “She Don’t Even Know”. “NU WOP DOO WOP, VOL. 1” delivers – in a perfectly popular music format – prominent and reoccurring themes of love, peace, and harmony. All sung in luscious doses of rich harmony, such as hasn’t been heard in 50 years!

OFFICIAL LINKS: AMAZONITUNESIBORI RECORDS

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