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

Shadow Puppet Theatre: “Nightvision” – maturity and willingness to experiment musically

Shadow Puppet Theatre (SPT) is a rock band from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, established since April 2016. The Band members consist of a group of friends with different musical backgrounds but a common love for rock music. Any hype on behalf of this band is warranted as their EP “Nightvision”, is a thoroughly recommended debut which contains excellent songwriting, strangely charming vocals and very good musicianship which will have you rocking, tapping your toes and singing along.

As if to hammer the point home, the opening track, ‘Insomnified’, is an absolutely cracking opener. Immediately hooky, the first minute showcases impressive instrumentation as well as effective vocals. Structurally, the song is better for its soaring chorus and brief soloing bridge.

Yet things get even better when another EP highlight ‘Wise Man’ rollicks along next. An mid-tempo cut that includes great bass-playing, passionate drumming and effective guitar-work, this track sees the band at their grungy best as dirty hooks frequent the song.

Musically, the rhythm section of the band is astonishingly good. Drummer Chris has had formal training and bassist Chip was the last man to jump onboard. The bass drives many of the tracks efficiently and is mixed perfectly, while it is clear to see Chris puts in his all behind the kit. Elsewhere, Dzul and Yazzer’s guitar-work combine well as a team, to lift the whole unit to a totally outstanding level. Out front, Dzul is one of those vocalists that simply creates magic with his all-embracing range. The track ‘Pink Panther’ at the mid-point of the EP is the perfect example of this.

Despite the seeming adherence to a tried and tested method, what really stands out here is the maturity and willingness to experiment musically. “Mystery Girl” is a laid-back psychedelic wig-out, while “Bonita” is an angular and ominous reggae-styled ballad that ends proceedings nicely.

This is perhaps proof that there are no egos allowed on board Shadow Puppet Theatre and shows a positive attitude; if there is something that can be reworked or made better, then don’t hold back. Commendations should be paid towards the group as musicians too. There is a sweet strand of diversity, subtle or otherwise, permeating the record and points towards the coming together of comfort and talent.

Something’s been missing lately from rock n’ roll music lately – namely smart, quality music made with guitars, drums, bass and vocals. Everything is pop and robot voices these days, which is fine but bands that play rock music are increasingly rare. I’m glad to report, that “Nightvision” is a solid rock n’ roll recording, front to back. It’s both raw and refined at the same time somehow without being overproduced.

The catchy radio songs that first get your attention slowly unfold to showcase more complex progressions and lyrical depth. The recording engineer and producer also need to be hugged endlessly for providing these sounds. So just pop it in and let it play. While listening to Shadow Puppet Theatre, you’ll likely realize that this is a band that is fine-tuning its skill set and using all of the tricks they’ve learned so far to create some wonderful music.

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