“HAZEY (The EP)” finds a way to highlight every element of its artistry

Hazey aka Yung Doowee is a 19 year old producer and artist from Dallas, Texas. He moved to Portland 2 years ago and has devoted himself to his music. His latest EP release is the 10 track self-titled “HAZEY (The EP)”. Hazey oscillates between extremes of exhilarating and surreal, through the album, both musically and lyrically. There’s plenty of wheedled and growled phraseology, as well as temperate and tuneful melodic singing, too. Hazey, makes the eccentricities of “HAZEY (The EP)” sound like embryonic visions of a future, calculating take on trap music. The results are something to behold. In its

Flexico Deeskie: ‘Leanin’’ falls within trap’s ever-expanding parameters

Flexico Deeskie comes out of Dallas, TX, to where he moved from Kansas City, MO, in 2005. Fresh on the grid, he became an active artist in July of this year, and has been steadily dropping singles to build his catalog and fan base. Flexico’s emphasis on a positive attitude and grinding, pops up regularly as does his commitment and dedication to his craft. These trademarks of his personality and style, are of course very much evident in the single project, ‘Leanin’’. Trap music’s roots date back quite a few years, and it’s been a presence in rap’s mainstream in

“Trump in the Trunk” attacks political, social and cultural issues

From Backwards is a master at creating high quality music with low quality satire. The only thing more surprising than how well those two aspects mesh, is how well he performs them on stage. His genius, however, lies within the fact that while he will laugh at (not with) almost everything he does, his audience will nod and move in sheer appreciation that someone is able to articulate the frustrations they otherwise are unable to deal with. From Backwards is the much needed fifth of whisky to last year’s presidential debates. Hip-hop and politics have been together for a long

Alien Skin: ‘1980 REDUX’ takes synth-pop to a different set of limits

There aren’t many synth-pop bands that I deem buyable today. I could probably count them all on my left hand. And if I only included the bands that actually played authentic 80’s analogue-driven synth-pop, I’d probably be left counting my stiff middle finger.  Sure digital and sampling can mimic just about any sound today…if you know what to mimic of course! Our current generation of electronic heroes can knock up the most devastating beats, create massive drops, and stirring buildups, so synth-pop might seem like the simplest form of electronica to them. Technically that is. Because musically we’re talking two

C-Los N.S: “Ye-Tape” features a wide range of thought-provoking lyrics

Songwriter and Rap Artist C-Los N.S (Carlos Ruelas) was born in Santa Rosa, California (East L.A.), and raised in Racine, Wisconsin. He recently released his mixtape, entitled “Ye-Tape”. After listening to it three times, I must say that this album is a mature product. C-Los N.S sounds like he has graduated from the rap game. He has an intelligent narrative that goes along with the music, while the experience is filled with more emotionally charged singles rather than club bangers. The production created is haunting with each song bringing about a different mood but it fits the messages masterfully. Beginning

Third Realm: “The Suffering Angel” – a bold and compelling addition to the group’s growing legacy

Recently signed to Distortion Productions, Third Realm is the eclectic dark electronic project founded in 2000 by Nathan Reiner of Buffalo, New York. The danceable darkwave band with powerful industrial tones, is known for their shadowy, sexed-up blend of synth rock and intense vocals. On their brand new album, “The Suffering Angel”, the collective spends half the time perfecting their gritty, driven sound and the other half eclipsing all expectations of their efforts. The result is an intense listen with tremendous highs, and outstanding performances by members, Nathan Reiner (Lead Vocals/Music Production/Songwriter), Arrow Fitzgibbon (Guitar/Keyboards/Backing Vocals/Sampler), Melanie Beitel (Keyboards/Backing Vocals)

Nika Starr: “Connection” – succinct, sassy, and sincere

Nika Starr, female Soul/RnB singer from Toronto, is currently working with her mentor DT the Artist for Artist Development from the ‘Ground Up Program’. Her latest single is “Connection” which was produced by ClevaMix Records with an instrumental from ShamGodBeats. Being a woman in a male-dominated music industry, means they always want to back you into a corner and force you to wear a label. Unfortunately, that means you either fall into one of two categories: sexy or cute, and maybe lust or love. Now more than ever people need to be reminded that women can be in more than

Liam Merrigan: “Broke Beyond Tomorrow” – a high sense of life and perception

Liam Merrigan is 29 year old singer-songwriter from Kintbury Berkshire UK. The 10 track album of original songs, “Broke Beyond Tomorrow” deals with Liam life experiences – either lived first hand or witnessed. I enjoyed the intimate nature of the recording, which sounds as if Merrigan was playing a beat old guitar on a stool 10 feet in front of you. Totally stripped down, this album demonstrates the great craft of the songs, as well as Liam’s expressive voice, and of course his acoustic guitar. Liam is the English equivalent of rejuvenated Neil Young in his observational skills. Liam Merrigan puzzles

Etop: “Masterworks” is ground-breaking and innovative

Etop is not your typical electronic artist. If someone says to you that Etop plays electronic music do not go thinking that he plays heavy beats and dance songs. Well he does, but not quite the way you’re thinking. Etop is everywhere. He can go to a bubblegum electronic pop tune, to a groovy dance song, all the way over to a depressing ballad. And then he can do something better than just about anyone else…go back in time. No, this is not another installment of Return To The Future. He really goes back to the past, and out of

Andre Gimaranz: ‘Supermoon’ – a rare jewel!

After 15 years as a session musician, Brazilian guitarist, singer and songwriter, Andre Gimaranz’s first solo album, ‘Handmade’, was released in 2015 gaining instant attention from the industry and fans alike, resulting in Gimaranz being considered one of the best new live acts in Brazil. In 2015 and 2016, Andre was a nominee in the categories ‘Song of the Year’ and ‘Artist of the Year’ at the IMEA Awards. He recently dropped the highly acclaimed single, ‘State of Rage and Fear’, and has now followed that up with his brand new full-length album, entitled ‘Supermoon’. Every once in a while, after making

Anomalous Leaf: “Ellipsis” – delivers soundscapes you’ll remember a decade later

Irfan Azam, alias Anomalous Leaf, is the kind of artist that you think about in terms of scale. There is the sheer size of his songs –  the “Sojourner” mini-suite has a fifteen minute playing time – but also the size of the music’s scope and ambition on his latest album “Ellipsis”. The album gives you a sense of a landscape, but instead of just marching towards a vast horizon of sprawling sounds, it feels like the instrumentals are burrowing through layers of soil to discover the core of the earth, and the meaning of life itself.

The crescendos and climaxes of ambient rock are present, but just as often you will find yourself contemplating somber wisps of sound that ebb and flow between melody and dissonance. What may start like a whisper will grow and resonate as you dig your ears into it. The experience is not unlike taking a pause on a mountain hike and realizing just how many sounds there are in what seems like silence. You get the sense that Anomalous Leaf is searching for new paths to achieve his original goals.

For the most part, the songs feel segmented and self-contained, standalone compositions instead of pieces of an overall fabric. They return time again to distorted guitars that sometimes feel like echoes in a cave, other times like a crumbling landslide, while the drums and percussion are generally crystalline and precise. There’s a similar sense of longing and a beautiful darkness at work here, too. It feels like exploring in the dark and coming upon cluster of diamonds that help light your way.

The music has plenty of momentum without being ‘driving’ in the usual sense of the word—it can be meditative and meandering, and sometimes, as on “Phaedrus”, transitions in aqueous slow motion with sounds that sparkle like fizzing water. There are also upbeat moments, like “Ring Road” which at first feels amorphous and ambient before suddenly catching fire. When it does finally open up, the effect is stunning.

In an album full of eclectic stylistic ambition, perhaps no track encompasses the entire experience better than ‘“Sojourner”. The song, which is divided into 7 parts, feels like a breath of new life, shimmering with gorgeous piano notes and jangling guitar passages while pirouetting in a light, spacey atmosphere that is immersive but not oppressive.

It’s difficult when listening to “Ellipsis” not to think of images that could go with these songs. Instead of making instrumental music for silly moments in sports events, Anomalous Leaf delivers soundscapes you’ll remember a decade later, because you have locked the music onto an image in your mind, stumbling first kisses while waking from a comforting dream, that sad moment when you first hear a friend has died, or maybe walks alone at night, watching the constellations and pondering the meaning of it all. These songs feel personal no matter how you interpret them. They tug at important moments and allude to others.

“Ellipsis” is a quietly masterful and emotionally rich work. It contains a potpourri of  sounds that ultimately will accompany you while watching from a distance, but paying more attention to the person next to you, than those dark clouds rising overhead.

This is the eighth album released by North Carolina-based musical studio artist Irfan Azam, alias Anomalous Leaf, and also features the now deceased Matt Oberst, who, in his heart-wrenching last studio performance (recorded in the late of March 2016), lent his beautifully dissonant guitar phrasings to Sojourner (parts V-VII) and a dash of finesse on an early version of Ring Road (catch the bonus track). Matt passed away soon after the time of these recordings.


Website:
http://music.anomalousleaf.com

Social Media:
https://www.facebook.com/anomalousleaf/
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https://www.instagram.com/anomalousleaf/

Stores:
iTunes: http://itun.es/i67p6WY
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2nThLSp
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Anomalous-Leaf/e/B009IZ3AKU/

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