AKASH: “Rooftop Vibes” conjures up an imposing sonic architecture

AKASH is an 18-year-old Indian Hip-Hop/Pop artist from New Jersey who a couple of months back rolled out his 10 track album “Rooftop Vibes”. AKASH penned all the tracks and called in a crew of talented producers including Davincii, DopeBoyzMuzic, and ANS who also contributed his vocals on several of the songs. The entire album was mixed, mastered and engineered by ANS of ANSstudios in New Jersey. “I’m excited for this album because it’s a reflection of not just my life now, but the life I’m striving for,” explained AKASH. “It’s a diary of the various aspects of life that

Busola Martins: “Pleasant Surprises” ft. Bukola Bekes – You can hear the passion and her intention

“He turns my life around”, with these words, Busola Martins whets our appetite as we are led with bated breath into her new release “Pleasant Surprises” ft. Bukola Bekes.  With her ingenious use of simple questions and quotable phrases, she challenges us on a mid-tempo cliff hanger to re-access our relationship with Jesus. Precisely because Gospel thrives on its spontaneity, it has often traded lyrical sophistication for its immediacy.  This is not so with this track. Saved without being sanctimonious, and heaven-aspiring while remaining down-to-earth, when it comes to conveying ministry within her music, Busola Martins handles the load with passion

Weston Simonis set to release “Yoga Pants” video on Thanksgiving

For those who’re still unfamiliar with Weston Simonis and his wide range of musical styles, this is a very special talent. A native of the Grande Ronde Valley, Weston is difficult to pin down to one or two genres. Some might say he’s all over the place. I say he has the special ability to play Blues, Rock, Funk, Metal, Punk and any progressive thinking crossover music at will. Listening to his award winning album “Moments Of Intoxication” has reminded me that there was a time when you could hear all types of artists on the same radio station. Now

Jay Felicite: “758 Stories 2” features killer hooks and irresistible melodies

When thinking of England as a musical landscape, Dancehall may not be the first genre that pops to mind for people not in the know, but it’s there, under the surface of the streets, the thump of the drum and pop of the bass reverberating into walls, and spilling out under the doorways from dub clubs and roots bars. One of the current underground stars of the UK’s indie circuit is probably Jay Felicite (pronounced; Fay-Lee-See-Tay) is a Saint Lucian born and raised singer, songwriter, sound engineer. The resilient firebrand is making a big noise with the release of his new

Cris Marshall’s music will ensure he hooks as wide an audience as possible

Cris Marshall is an American Country Music Artist raised in a musical home, the small town of Haslet, Texas. He received his first drum set from his father at the age of two and by 8 he was playing his first guitar. In his teens, and alongside his dad, Cris began performing at some of Dallas/Fort Worth’s most well-known music venues. A singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Cris also launched his very own home studio when he was 18, recording artists and bands all over Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. However his passion for writing and performing never subsided during this time,

Midnight Watchman: “Liquid Universe” – an extremely focused record

A guitarist and keyboard player who began as a street musician in UK before touring the US and then returning home, Andy Jones AKA Midnight Watchman, is a composer and producer of ambient music. Influenced by an extremely wide spectrum of music and musicians, that go from Vangelis to Chopin, ad Ryan Adams to Tycho, Midnight Watchman has released his 12 track instrumental album, entitled “Liquid Universe”. In the hands of a lesser artist, the varying song structures of this album would likely become tiresome, but every one of the album’s twelve tracks is a testament to the Midnight Watchman’s

Joey Britton: “Edmonton Sessions” – fluorescent, acoustic-centric ambient atmospheres

Joey Britton started his journey in music at an early age. He joined the band ISO and played lead guitar helping to launch the Torn and Tethered Album. After ISO, Joey decided to move to California to expand his skills in the music industry while writing, recording, and producing his own records.  “I try to write songs that tell stories, relate to people, so that when you listen to them – you realize you’re not alone,” says Joey Britton. Exploring is an experience not easily replicated. Associated with it is equal parts thrill, anxiety, and apprehension. Exploring a new artist

Daryl Yahudy: “Soulful Life Within” – a perfect calling card

Indeed, you could say that Darrell McClover aka Daryl Yahudy, a former professional athlete, is a soul singer with a warm timbre and a penchant for sublime, emotional arrangements, defining what the neo-soul genre should sound like in 2017. He is a singer with a fine voice weaving a spell on songs which are full of distinctive takes on universal topics. The album “Soulful Life Within” is almost looking at how he was, how he is and how he will be in life. The warm, evocative, impeccable playing around Daryl here ensures a timeless listen. The album is overflowing with lush, lilting

John J: “Pain To Power 5 Love Letters” – strap yourself in and enjoy this vibrantly orchestrated roller coaster

I have always been eager to pick up every piece of music John J issues because of the lyrical expertise he demonstrates in every song, and the attention to the music production and features he provides. John J has just dropped a 5 track bonus EP, entitled “Pain To Power 5 Love Letters”, which comes hot on the heels of his latest release, “Pain To Power”. Like his previous recordings, each song on this EP carries a different succinct feel and hook while the flow stays swift and acrobatic. The beats, features and subject matter again excel well above average.

Chaz Hearne: “Rise of the Voluminous” – sneakily inventive and massively engaging

The very first thing I learned while listening to the album “Rise of the Voluminous” by eclectic folk artist, Chaz Hearne, is that the defining question regarding any Hearne song is which Chaz Hearne he’ll be. Will it be the introspective, contemplative Hearne of slow-burning masterpieces like “Falling For Reason” and “Hount The Jab”? Or will the party-starter behind “Fun In ‘82” poke his head out, armed with flash phrases and funky beats? Or maybe he will just activate his progressive art-rock mode, as on “Voluminous Man” and “Spicy In The Dim Halls” – catchy, complex, yet ultimately armed with a sort

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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