Pool Moon Elephant: “Island’s Eye” – the elder statesmen of modern dance music

In the last 6 or 7 years electronic dance music has turned into an even bigger monster. Avicii dominated Spotify, David Guetta headlined festivals, and Calvin Harris is one of the world’s highest-paid performers. It means that festival line-ups, the charts, and some would even argue Ibiza, are oversaturated with the stuff. But the Swiss electronic duo who go by the name of Pool Moon Elephant prove they can also hold their own relevance in a very busy genre. Riccardo Studer and Ivan Nurchis, this time around, use intriguing collaborations to remix their single “Island’s Eye” which has been released in 3

M.C. ZackAttack: “Rap Or Die!” – on his daily grind!

Zachery Duncan, or rather M.C. ZackAttack , has been influenced by new age lyrical poets who speak their mind through music since 2010. Soon he’ll be releasing his newest mixtape “Mind Over Madness”. M.C. ZackAttack  has recently dropped his single, “Rap Or Die!” Let me start off by saying this track isn’t for everyone, you either love it or hate it, I would say it’s a hit and miss for certain people.  We all know that the quality of hip-hop has gone downhill, with a lot of artists either going for shock value with vulgar lyrics or relying heavily on glossy production

MoEoStAr: “Algorythmic Intelligence” – You’ll find a sense of comfort in the quaintness

Norwegian Independent producer Mattias Gillis Winge Rudh better known as MoEoStAr, played the clarinet and saxophone in various bands while growing up. He started producing in the 1990s, but gave it up while pursuing an engineering degree. For a period in his life, he was simply an active music listener, until he discovered the new production software via a smartphone app. In 2016 he started the “less than a $1000 Album” project, where he aims to produce and release a full album on a $1000 budget. In the meantime MoEoStAr has dropped the single, “Algorythmic Intelligence”. Notwithstanding its modern technological

J.Dot & KD: “To Whom It May Concern” – Low on frills and rich with introspection!

I noticed that J.Dot makes his best music when he’s rapping about being a responsible man, or when he’s creating something with substance and meaning, as opposed to trying to make contemporary radio hits or battle rhymes (although he is an excellent wordsmith).  This is mostly what happens on his 4 track EP, “To Whom It May Concern”, that narrates the evolution of relationships in its various forms. To put it all in perspective, this sounds like a powerful and mature work. Something tells me J.Dot experienced things that impacted him over the past years and this album is bred

Jack Soundfield: “Shine” – You can dig deep or soar to the shore

By profession Jack Soundfield is an engineer who has travelled around the world. He has lived in Canada, Germany and Switzerland. Besides uncovering the secrets of the globe Jack has a passion for music and experimenting with instruments and sounds.  “Before publishing a song, it is mine alone,” says Soundfield. “After publishing it, anyone can listen to it and decide whether to identify with it, or love it, or both.” Jack, who has been composing music since 2009, recently released his debut album, entitled “Shine”. “I have to admit,” explained Soundfield, “that my girlfriend – a solfège teacher of the

G.H. Hat: “Piano Jam 2 (Ode To Kygo)” – an authentic human expression

Modern acceptance, or lack there of, in electronic music hardly comes as a surprise. Just look back through the history of music and how the 17th century technology spread. Musicians no longer had to master a particular bow technique on the violin or cello in order to play the perfect note – They just had to press a key. Can you imagine the horror of the purists at the time? They probably all thought that the piano was destroying the soul of the music. What it did though was simplify things. It reduced what was really essential and human. People

JaVez: “When I Was Uptown” has the power to captivate audiences

JaVez is a 23 year old Maryland recording artist who sings, raps, produces, and mixes his own music. The self-taught Baltimore area artist has a penchant for Kanye West, Usher, Jay Z, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Chris Brown. He also grew up listening to singers like Brian McKnight and R. Kelly. JaVez plans to one day be a successful CEO of a record label and iconic recording artist. JaVez is the true definition of an artist, he isn’t afraid to be himself and put himself out there. The lyrics alone prove that. Add in some fantastic production and the

HR Live At CBGB’s 1984 – an essential part of alternative music and punk culture

HR is most well known as the lead singer of revolutionary reggae punk rock band Bad Brains. In their day Bad Brains could have been easily mentioned in the same breath as The Ramones, The Sex Pistols or The Clash, such was their greatness. Yet the band has evolved many times in its long history, playing across many genres of music including jazz, hardcore punk, alternative rock and reggae. HR has been making music since 1976 with Bad Brains, and along the way until today, he has been acclaimed for his reckless punk screaming just as much as he has

Callum Crighton: “The Rose” – a strong ear-catching melody

Even while everything I know about my musical taste should violently reject the cheese-camp synth pop and adorable mainstream swoon songs of the 80’s, I’ve enjoyed that music ever since I was first tricked into listening to the smooth, velvety crooning of the Brit pop chart invasion during that period. I can’t really explain why I loved that music so much, I guess for the same reason people eat cheesecake: It’s loaded with sugar, almost unbearably sweet, and probably isn’t the healthiest for you, but goddamn if it doesn’t make you feel so good inside when you eat it up.

Virgil Blue: “Pain Of Loss” – gorgeous washes of sound

Virgil Blue has released his debut EP entitled “Pain Of Loss”. Inspired and influenced by Prince and Sade, Virgil, a multi-instrumentalist who started out making music at the age of six, when he picked up the saxophone, produced much of the music that can be heard on this EP. Virgil who recently moved from the suburbs of Detroit to LA has put together 6 smooth trance-like tracks that that flaunts ambient, RnB and trip-hop flavors. If you’re looking for something atmospheric and hypnotizing, then this recording may be of serious interest to you. Fragile, tender and soulful, Virgil Blue’s voice will

Vacant Image: “Before 12” – surprises at every turn

Vacant Image’s debut album “Before 12” is an engaging record, filled with carefully crafted hooks disguised as bridges and transition. It sounds like the brutal, beautiful result of the band being passionate enough to rip each of our heads off.The eleven track album captures the inimitable essence of the band the thing that makes any heavy rock album that sounds prettier than its peers, a truly new metal sound that’s grungy sensual without resorting to shoegaze tropes, aggressive and unconventionally alternative in a way that never suggests predation or regressive machismo. Synaesthetically speaking, it’s a smear of pink, purple and black, a kiss that bites down on your lip to draw blood.

By no means did Vacant Image invent the idea of combining brutality and beauty in metal, although they are ahead of the curve. Nothing short of a name change will likely convince skeptics at this point, but “Before 12” proves that Vacant Image can be vital as they are relevant.

When so much rock music in 2016/17 feels dead, vapid, and recycled, here comes an album so vividly alive and inspired that it could turn even the most curmudgeon digital doer into a worshipper of the guitar once again. “Before 12” arrives at a time of a pervasive aesthetics-over-substance trend in rock, where everything sounds so perfect, so calculated, so pleasant (the inevitable product of our digital recording age).

On the surface, a shitty song can be masked in beautiful production and still be a beautiful song as long as it hits the desired mood, sonically. Vacant Image is the antidote to this, just listen to the calculated wild abandon on songs like “Mister Bell” and “Petals”. It comes down to basic artistic direction: Write killer songs that work on their own terms, then let the recording process accentuate those songs and color them aesthetically — not the other way around.

And killer songs abound here, from “Mister Bell” and “Saving Sold Souls”, to “Ladies and Gentleman” and “Broken Blues”. But this album surprises at every turn, seamlessly transitioning from contemplative quietude, into manic chaos on a whim.

All the while meshing their tried-and-true, alternative metal aesthetic, with as many elements of different genres as they can. In the hands of a lesser artist, it’d be mere pastiche. Vacant Image makes the sound their own. For those looking for a metal album to passively enjoy, though, “Before 12” has you covered—this album goes hard when it wants to.

Piecing together Josh Vanek’s (Vocals/Guitar) lyrical motifs is an abstract exercise, much like his words themselves. He’s a master of impressionistic symbolism — words that project a mood more than just any literal meaning.

The tracks here are almost all textural masterpieces, with guitars layered into a swell of audio orgasm, provided by Chris Sheppard (Drums) and Andrew Gilbert (Bass). Where they go from here is anybody’s guess, but in this moment, Vacant Image is perhaps the most important rock band in the dark indie underworld and a calm reassurance for guitar bands everywhere as we continue into an uncertain digital music future.

The Vacant Image debut album ‘Before 12,’ is available on the bands web-store (VacantImage.bigcartel.com ), iTunes, Google Play, Amazon,
Spotify and more. Follow the band on Facebook.

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