Richy: “#RichySeason” – seething tone seals the beats together!

Upstate rap artist MBK Richy from Auburn, NY has released his album “#RichySeason”. The album starts with a bang with the lead single, which is also a video, “Talk That Shit feat. Leedreamer” it’s totally unrelenting and is a good foreshadowing of what this high energy album is going to be. Richy has a great choice in beats that separates him from the herd, and forms part of that specific trait that runs across this entire album – he will do anything to keep you interested – from the beats to the rapping. Richy has a very good vocal range for an

Mr. Flames: “Local Kingpin – EP” – mastering the role he’s developed for himself

Scartobe Galantae Flames aka Mr. Flames is of African American, Cuban, and Italian descent. Originally from the east side of Cleveland, Mr. Flames currently live in Dayton, Ohio. Growing up was rough for Mr. Flames due to being a part of the typical struggle for an African American family, so he went to the streets in search for money. As time progressed through his hustling days, Mr. Flames moved up in reputation as the local kingpin. He then decided to pick up the microphone and give rapping a shot. After losing both parents, he came up with the name ‘Scartobe

Kiki Sire: “Rutina” – exciting rhythms and smooth vocals

Kiki Sire is a Singer/Songwriter, Musician, Composer and graduate of the Matanzas School of Musica in Cuba where he studied alongside many great Cuban musicians by day and performing salsa music in the festivals and clubs of Havana, Varadero and Mantanzas by night. Kiki who has performed with many great musicians, has made regular appearances on TV and Radio and won many awards and talent contests for his singing. “Rutina” is a salsa album composed, performed and produced by Kiki Sire containing 8 original compositions. Kiki Sire is undoubtedly well versed in the art of musical conversation, as he is

Owl Company: “Horizon” carves out blistering rhythms

Owl Company is a band from São Paulo, Brazil that combines hard rock influences from the 70s to the 90s with modern rage and brutality, creating a sound that is fresh, aggressive, and engaging. Launched in 2015 the band has built a strong presence in São Paulo, playing all the premier venues in town. Their first single “Condescend,” quickly grabbed attention locally and now the band is setting its sights on crashing international borders. Owl Company’s chosen vehicle to get them where they need to be going is their full-length debut album “Horizon”, set to drop July 14th 2017. The

Harmony Drive: “Be There” – fresh, upbeat and vibrant music!

Most times you can gauge the potential quality of a creative project just by gazing through its credits. In this case, the single by Norwegian band Harmony Drive – “Be There”, was recorded in Denver, Colorado. With help of production duo Glenn Sawyer & Rich Veltrop (Tom Petty, Ozzy Osbourne, Macy Gray), and Dave Elitch (Mars Volta, Killer be killed) on drums. The music video, filmed in Norway and the Philippines, features the multi-talented Supermodel, TV-host, and Surfer Mona Lisa Neuboeck. Of course for the potential quality to transform into effective quality you need a stunning song and band. Lars

Delta Station: “An Unexpected Turn of Events” – the experience is more epic and cinematic

The little 14 year old Australian genius who goes by the moniker of Delta Station, has a new album out. And, somewhat predictably, it’s another utter and perfect treat. Before you listen to Delta Station’s latest album you really should leave all preconceptions at the door. Despite the connotations of the album’s title, “An Unexpected Turn of Events” is a joyous affair. It is an album that is warm, exhilarating, and incredibly uplifting and it is his greatest piece of work to date. Delta Station has only been in the production craft since June 2016, but has already released two EPs, previous to this album.

The Valium: “Amazing Breakdowns” – walking the high-wire intersections of visceral punk-rock expression and high art perfection

The Valium hooked me as soon as I heard the first track “Too Many Dreams Of Rock N Roll” from freshly released album, entitled “Amazing Breakdowns”. This was an album that hit me in the gut and instantly dragged me along for the ride. After listening to it, I must say that this is one of the most unique, interesting and high-energy bands I have ever heard in the alternative rock scene of late. Though taken from a myriad of influences, their sound is completely their own and every song sounds unique to their band. I can’t really imagine some

Newborn: “Honey Trap” – something of a perfect alchemy

The Coney Island, Brooklyn-based band Newborn was formed by  high school friends Allen James (vocals/guitar) and Eric Weglicki (guitar/bass/vocals) and a love of rock spanning from Metallica, Nirvana, to Muse. After many years of jamming together they decided to form a band. Newborn played their first show December 2014 which was followed by the release their debut EP “Broken Virgo”. The band has since evolved musically, adding drummer Dave Goldenberg, and going from strength to strength, culminating in the release of their latest single, entitled “Honey Trap”. The song features Newborn’s most diverse lyrical palette to date. The result is a cohesive,

Gloom Influx: “First LP” – looping the listener into a nostalgic yet futuristic world

Montréal-based musician Luc Leclerc, aka Gloom Influx, delivers a unique and powerful blend of metal and synthwave, influenced by 80’s movies and video game soundtracks, heavy metal, and contemporary artists like Justice, and Carpenter Brut. Sometimes you need to listen to music that makes you feel like you are in the future in outer space and somehow the 80s never ended. And sometimes you want to add elements of robots, monsters and fear. When you want those things, there are few better than Gloom Influx . Whether you come at this album from the perspective of someone into synthwave, darkwave

Jigsaw Man: ‘No Home’ – a self-produced EP with strong stoner overtones

The 4 track ‘No Home’ EP is the debut release from Jigsaw Man, the moniker under which singer-songwriter Steven Faulkner is releasing original material. “It’s nice doing things under a pseudonym because you can be more personal about the lyrics, and because you have that separation,” said Faulkner, continuing: “In my head the lyrics belong to Jigsaw Man, so I can be more honest and personal. I can write far more honestly and I’ve certainly done that on this EP. In the past I’ve always looked for metaphor or simile but this EP is very honest.” Playing since he was a

Black Malachite: “Nightfall” – a captivating series of musical sketches

The decision by any musical project to go without a vocalist will lead to either disaster or a determination to avoid redundancy. Add to that the fact that most bands live and die by the growth and maturity of their music. While niche music is a bit safer from this sort of unspoken principle, stagnation is still just one recycled hook away. With an instrumental band, that challenge becomes even more dubious. The onus for success in these situations lies solely in their music’s ability to provide an engaging, emotional narrative without the safety net of a vocalist’s easily delivered charisma.

Standouts group like Russian Circles, Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and others have made their mark by challenging themselves to continually progress, discovering every possible space in which their music can thrive. But of the many underground instrumental acts that have managed this task, Black Malachite are perhaps the most impressive.

A current of vitality and renewal lights up the project’s latest up, “Nightfall”. Here, finally, is the next phase for Black Malachite. The album is thrillingly unpredictable yet familiar in its finest moments. The foregone-conclusion crescendos of sound have been replaced with luscious peaks and serene valleys. Their fundamental sense of grandeur hasn’t totally disappeared, but it has given way for increased elemental texture and serene warmth.

“Nightfall”, is more cohesive and focused than, for example, their self-titled release dropped at the beginning of the year, which stylistically darted in more diverse directions. Though this album also delves in the ‘opposites-attract-theory’ of acoustic and electronic elements playing against each other, the distinction of the differences is less marked and more fluid.

“Nightfall” proves that Black Malachite has a slightly different outlook when it comes to instrumental music. Instead of having the usual sprawling arrangements, and elongated moments lasting an eternity that most instrumental bands are addicted to, Black Malachite takes a different route.

For this Southern Californian solo artist, who has released three EPs, and four albums, it’s a matter of collapsing those expansive sonic narratives that are inside his head, into an equally captivating series of musical sketches – 12 to be exact, each lasting between 3 to 5 minutes – and each with its own story that is still fully capable of conjuring wonder and amazement.

Resonating guitars, rich pianos and dark ambience all reside together in songs that stretch from fully fleshed-out cuts like “NightFall” and “Daybreak” to the stripped down piano arrangements of “No Longer A Weapon” and “Eon”. In between, the songs mark a promising path for Black Malachite, most notably the guitar driven standouts “Just One More…” and “In Parting, We Trust”, which are my favorites.

All in all Black Malachite retains his vitality in strong melody and careful melodramatic disposition, added to meticulous layering and guitar lines that go straight for the heart on a couple of songs. This record captures a passionate artist finding bountiful new land to explore.

There’s plenty of dynamic songwriting, which is more than enough for a rewarding listening experience. Folks who are already fans of this project are likely to be very happy with yet another solid effort, while newcomers will have a twinkle in their eyes, for finding something truly interesting to listen to.

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