Natalie Jean and Levi Moore: “The Letting Go” speaks the language of the ordinary person

A good duet, in our modern age, is a rare thing. There are plenty of features, guest verses and co-writes, and the cameo drop-in is a dime a dozen. The number of genuine duets, where vocalists share verses and tell a story together in the space of a song, is very small. If your optimism fails you, as you wonder whether there are enough great acts to keep hit radio stocked with worthy pop music duets, it’s reassuring to find that Natalie Jean and Levi Moore have a first-rate single to carry us through the next few months, all by itself. The

MAKI: ‘Waking Up With The World On Fire’ – truly majestic — grandiose, slowly unfolding, and extremely cinematic

The world is a fragmented place, with fear and hate giving rise to isolationist movements around the globe and huge portions of the population turning inward rather than outward towards each other. As such waves of bigotry spread like wildfire, the music scene becomes extremely important, not just because it means more great music, but because it connects us all together on a wavelength that hits the human heart, soul and mind even harder, faster and deeper than anger can. A creative constant in the field of communicative contemporary Instrumental music, is MAKI who focuses his ample talents on a

3 Phase – ready for genre domination!

The names Chirag Shah, Prasham Deliwala and Melvin Saldana may in themselves not ring a familiar bell in your ear right now. Probably, neither will the moniker ‘3 Phase’, nor their 6 track self-titled EP. It’s logical, it’s the law of the industry’s hype machine – cast a light on the big label clones, and leave the independent creatives in the shadows. Luckily the internet has a different set of rules.  On hearing the 3 Phase EP, the lofty ambition, the focus and dedication of this creative collective of producers, songwriters and vocal talent, makes sense – its six tracks

Sy: “Get Out Of My Dreams” – grab this R&B and Soul extravaganza

The singer, songwriter and author, Sy, releases a brand new single produced by Rueben Wood. The track “Get Out Of My Dreams” is the first single release written by the artist in 2018, since writing two self-help books, “A Swan Among Ducks” and “Saying Yes to (No): Learning the Power of (No) before the end of 2017. This track soulfully captures the spirit and feel of the emotional journey of grown womanhood. It is juicy, dynamic, soulful, gorgeous, and it is nourishment for the soul…and mind, as it examines the intricacies of a relationship built on want and lust. As

IJK: “Johnny & June” – sounds invigorated!

Alternative rock artist Imad Jack Karam, known by his initials and stage name IJK, is a Dubai-based, Lebanese singer-songwriter, who has released critically acclaimed songs and recorded with internationally known music producers in prestigious London studios. Both his singles “Space Odyssey” and “Dancing Shadows” garnered a positive reception from fans and critics alike. IJK has a style that can move between edgy modern-day alt-rock and sixties rock n’ roll crooning.  He recently published his latest single and supporting, fully animated video, for the song “Johnny & June”. So, how does this new offering cope? Very well, in truth. “Johnny &

TRVP HIPPI3Z: “On Lock” – no lack of muscular skill-flexing!

TRVP HIPPI3Z is a Canadian rap duo who just dropped their latest single entitled, “On Lock”.  Listeners beware. This product has been known to blow up and cause fires in a variety of stereo systems, due to the super-hot fire provided by this crew. TRVP HIPPI3Z is a team-up that has risen as great exemplars of righteous chaos. Their supersonic sound and hard-nosed imagery gives them a mysterious sheen, but the duo have grounded themselves via booming production, and a sonorous verbal presence, coupled with their willingness to fuck you up. Their chest-beating bravado is explosive on “IDGAF (Prod. THZ)”,

Eddy Mann: “Simple Things” will leave you breathless and in a state of euphoria

At first as a musician, I created music, then as an A&R executive I challenged it, now as a music reviewer, I explore it.  Of the three, the latter is the most difficult. Criticizing or appraising somebody else’s creation is no easy task. Enjoying it is one thing, understanding it another, and translating it is even more arduous. The funny thing is, I’ve always hated describing music. It’s such a volatile and subjective art, that nobody should really have the authority or the presumptuous audacity to judge the level of enjoyment or emotion any one piece of music is capable

Kitson Lau: “Be By Your Side” – an expressive paean to love’s transformative powers

Kitson Lau wears many hats – a musician, songwriter, singer and graphic designer, he is also a medical graduate. Initially without any musical background, Kitson became inspired by Norwegian record producer and DJ, Alan Walker. This passion drove him to learn music and song production. And soon, with dedication and focus Kitson Lau hit the top of the China Kanjian ING 10 Charts with his Mandopop albums. Since signing to Sony Music Entertainment Malaysia, Kitson has been encouraged to record English songs, so now he is making his official debut via Sony, with the song “Be By Your Side”, which

Earpiphany: “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs” – multi-faceted emotions

Dan G.Hagerman aka Earpiphany is a songwriter, arranger, composer who writes many genres, including his latest pop-rock offering, “Ultraviolet Dreams”, done with Aubrey Whitfield, a talented female music producer from the U.K. who also does the vocals. The track is taken from the “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs” EP. Dan lives near Los Angeles with his lovely Japanese wife of thirty-five years, Reiko, and his daughter, Holly. “We love Japan, sushi and Huskies!” affirms Hagerman. In any potential mythology built up around the music of Earpiphany on “Ultraviolet Dreams”, Whitfield may represent an irrepressibly sanguine voice and Hagerman the barbed

Emmanuel Dalmas – a natural ear for a good melody!

Emmanuel Dalmas is a multi-genre music composer from the South West of France. A company founder and high level executive in the scientific industry he started composing in late November 2016 as a weekend hobby, and continued feeling an intense growing pleasure in learning more and progressing in music composition. Dalmas has since been consolidating both his craft and catalog, with a series of single releases that move between Pop, Easy Listening, EDM, as well songs in his native French tongue. From his home studio Emmanuel produces instrumental and vocal tracks, engaging talented male and female voices to complete his

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.

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