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

Tony Marino: “A Sound Investment” – purveyor of fine, groovy and rhythmic jazz

Composer, pianist, and musical leader Tony Marino released his brand new full-length album entitled, “A Sound Investment”, on February 15, 2017. The CD contains 10 original Jazz compositions written in the following styles: Samba, Frevo, Baiao, Calypso, Tango, Swing, Funk, Rock, and World music. To date, Marino has released 8 original albums. “Music is my life, my world, and I am thrilled to be releasing my ninth studio album for my loyal listeners and newcomers to the international Jazz scene,” said Marino. “There’s no better way for humans across the world to connect than through shared passions and understanding of musical expression and interpretation.”

“A Sound Investment’s” track list includes: Everything is Rosie, We’re Moving Back, Baiao Rythms, Gene & Stella, Casa Nova Samba, Don’t Look At Me That Way, Pradeep & Neera, Frevo For You, Goleta, and The Hippest Doc In Town. Tony Marino as usual does it again. He is one artist I anticipate his next project to be launched. A very solid keyboardist who I admire greatly for his broad knowledge of chords and progressions that is contemporary yet very tasteful and timely.

A strong rhythmic vibe enriched by beautiful choice of chords and his signature runs or licks that seals the deal. Tony Marino is becoming the quintessential Latin jazz keyboardist for his era. Marino’s synth programming and keyboard playing are very groovy and likely to have your head nodding to the tunes. I played it on repeat a few times when I heard it the first time, and then stopped because I do not want this stuff to get old!

An established and reputable brand is a very valuable thing: people quickly associate Apple, Ferrari and Dom Pérignon with quality, and feel confident that they are very likely to get among the best whenever they purchase something from these marques just from the name because those names have consistently delivered time and time again.

This often applies to music, as well. And within the realm of Latin-inspired jazz, enthusiasts of that idiom can easily look to a purveyor of fine, groovy and rhythmic jazz led by keyboard wizard Tony Marino, whose brand delivers time after time.

Notwithstanding the fact that Marino dropped his first album in 1977, he sounds fresh and has never in my humble opinion sounded more contemporary than what he sounds like on “A Sound Investment”. I’m sure you’ve read all the other reviews which go on about the artist, the album, the context, the track breakdowns, blah, blah.

But here you are reading this one. Stop now and buy the album. Immediately kick out your friends, kids, pets, whatever. Plunk yourself down and listen to this wonderful record. I’m sure you’ve come to think you have a pretty nice music collection. Whatever criteria you measure it by, Tony Marino will make it better.

His compositions are terrific, but his arrangements are even better. These tracks flow from top to bottom with a gentle but insistent energy, as Marino and his ensemble take on a host of Latin rhythms improvising daring and robust solos over the top.

But don’t be alarmed these tunes are designed to soothe rather than challenge the listener. Tony Marino’s unwavering commitment to Latin Jazz, results in some of his strongest songs in years, as “A Sound Investment” exhibits his expertise on the electric piano and various synths.

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