“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

Joshua Lane: “Woke & Rambling” – a strong underground feel

Joshua Lane is a 22 year old artist out of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Lane is a man on a mission, as he explains: “I’m focusing on making my own kind of music in hip hop that has consistent, in depth knowledge about what’s going in my life as well as everyone else’s reality as well. I moved to D.C. to promote and network for the past 8 months. I want to use my platform to give back to ones in need and help our communities out so there’s less hostility and more love in the world.” To put on a Joshua Lane record is to commit to a certain amount of intense collective energy. Anything much more than that—left-field lyricism, hooks that sink their claws into you, a collection of beats that cohere into some loose future-is-now synthesis of hip-hop—is a bonus, if an expected one.

“Woke & Rambling” takes everything that is great about hip-hop and makes a shining example of it. The beats are tight and fresh; the lyrics, as expected, are deep and creative, and just off kilter enough to give it that alternative signature. It also takes everything that is less than desirable about hip hop and manages to make these topics and conventions exciting, too.

Different genres affect me in various ways. A solid Metal album can make me feel like I should be a Viking, a great Indie Rock album can make me want to bob my head to the self-produced goodness, and a gorgeous Post-Rock album can conjure up images of incredible landscapes. Hip-Hop is simply refreshing. A

great Hip-Hop album is like drinking a perfectly-cooled glass of water after a day of being thirsty. “Woke & Rambling” is that glass of water.

Apart from blowing everybody for being innovative, mind-blowing, and just goddamn refreshing, the jazz and soul influences in the production come out at the right times. The lyrics are introspective and intelligent, but not too much to digest such that it’s only an album for specific moods.

It’s got a strong underground feel without seeming like some crappy mixtape slapped together with equipment from the 70’s. This album goes great as something to listen to in those moments of introspection. The songs can be listened to as standalone tracks, but the overall feel of the album from beginning to end is just as good.

On “Woke & Rambling”, Joshua Lane has created undoubtedly an immediately catchy work, with some memorable choruses and insightful wordplay that is easily a career high for this artist. Joshua Lane redefines himself as a very certain type of artist. For the most part, his lyrics, ideas, and themes feel very insider and close to his heart, which is what makes him standout.

What does Joshua Lane hope to accomplish with “Woke & Rambling”? This isn’t a rhetorical question or an attempt to chide: I’d like, sincerely, to know what it is he was seeking when he began cobbling this album together and how that goal might have changed in the recording process.

To the average Joe, the closest one comes to being as cool as a Hip-Hop artist is by turning up the beats, cranking the windows way down in a pumped up car, while rolling down Main St. The new album, by Joshua Lane is not only deserving of cruising glory – but should be high on the list of any Hip-Hop connoisseur.

From track one, “Dear Hiphop” and other outstanding tracks such as “Relapse”, “Journal”, “Rambling”, “One World” and “Are We Alive”  effectively create a complex, layered symphony of sounds, melodies and dynamics which leaves the listener in a pure state of Hip-Hop satisfaction.

Joshua Lane exhibits an astounding sense of timing, never allowing the listener to grow tired or disinterested, but rather continually chasing the next high until the song reaches its conclusion.

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