“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

Boonie Mayfield: “Boon Documented: The Soundtrack Vol.1” – the future still looks bright!

Composer, artist and producer, Boonie Mayfield has dropped the album, “Boon Documented: The Soundtrack Vol.1”. This is the first of 3 volumes to be released this year. The project comprises beats Boonie featured throughout his self-produced reality show/web-series, called ‘Boon Documented’ in 2012. All the tracks were produced between 2007 and 2012. This collection showcases 18 tracks worth of Boom Bap, Jazz, Soul and Funk styled beats. Full albums from hip-hop producers can pull one way or the other, working either as a too-narrow spotlight for the name on the album jacket or providing a platform from which only the guests shine.

Boonie-Mayfield

Boonie-Mayfield

Then there are the albums that manage to put both the producer and the rappers on equal footing. “Boon Documented: The Soundtrack Vol.1” doesn’t suffer from either. This is a pure beat album, no rapping. Well there is one or two tracks that feature rapping or singing, but really too few to mention. And the spotlight is not even on Boonie, it’s on the music.

Having made the successful transformation from rapper to producer, and back again, Boonie has reached the point where the artistic trip from inspiration to production feels more-or-less instantaneous. Boonie’s beats are dark and noirish, but not in a way that intends to convey malice.

The tones are almost soft to the touch, with a vibe of relaxation and playfulness that keeps things from feeling too serious. Thick rolling and thumping bass-lines, drums that are popping and snapping, rich resonating keyboards result in luscious soul-stirring grooves.

But what makes this record work is Boonie Mayfield balanced blend of creativity, craft, and atmosphere, a real underground beat collection that works best when it plays to its strengths. And its strengths are definitely live instrumentation, as Boonie is a multi-instrumentalist. So expect many rumbling basslines and gorgeous keyboard pieces to be played by the man himself.

Boonie has been a constant dweller in the underground for a few years now and everything he does is inspired and passionate, extremely melodic and keeps the repeat button going. He has assembled some very creative pieces that should actually be among those most acclaimed in all of modern Hip Hop. But we all know how this industry works.

Producers have been the embodiment of the Hip Hop sound from generation to generation. With so many up-and-coming new talents, one can only hope that they can step into the shoes that have been set for them by the likes of Eric Sermon, Timbaland, RZA, Large Pro, Kany West, Marley Marl, Mannie Fresh, Madlib, 9th Wonder, Dr Dre, J Dilla, Pete Rock, DJ Premier, The Alchemist, Dj Quik, Just Blaze, and all the others I left off this sample list.

But with talents like Boonie Mayfield around the future still looks bright. Boonie actually reminds me of a sort of Pharrell Williams in a way, as his talents are not limited to any one sphere of hip-hop – he raps, sings and producers – but overrides the genre itself. The impression is that he could easily write, produce and perform a song in just about any popular music style if he wanted to.

In the meantime grab a hold of “Boon Documented: The Soundtrack Vol.1”, mastered by Artisan Jones to get a taste of the greatness this kid, from originally from Colorado Springs, is able to put together.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITE – SOUNDCLOUD – TWITTER – INSTAGRAM

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