Exit 22 Music: “Last Goodbye” – one of the finest musical acts in the pop-rock underground

It seems almost impossible that an artist that has been around this long – 20 years in Chris Calamera’s case, can keep making records that stand up among the best that he has ever done. Let’s be clear: “Last Goodbye” is a great song. It’s poppy, with a big melody and an insistent rock rhythm, and it’s catchy as hell. Sounds like authentic Exit 22 Music to me. This is pure Calamera from his pop-rock songwriting style standpoint, and pure Exit 22 Music, considering the breathtaking vocals and high production-value quotient. The perfect, power-pop formula. Exit 22 Music has been keeping

Lake of the Lion embodies embody emotive sounds and textures

Lake of the Lion is the brand name and moniker for Luxembourg music composer and producer, Daniel Kohnen, who is steadily building up his catalog and increasing his fan-base with regular new releases. In recent years, ambient instrumental and soundtrack scores have been following a certain trend. Composers seem to have this motif of creating overblown pieces with harsh lead instruments blasting out from the blue and background strings creating suspense with their melodies. Sure it was fun for a while, but within that little span of time listeners were just begging for it to stop because composers had this

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

DAV!D&CLARA: “The Art of Audio” has an intoxicating energy in its beats

A new DAV!D&CLARA release is always a highly anticipated, and unpredictable, musical event. The duo (yes, duo. One may be a human, and the other a computer, but they operate like a duo) generally stay within the lines of melodic electro-industrial blends with DAV!D’s coolly detached, low register sexy vocals front and center, while CLARA sends thumping synth and acoustic guitar soundscapes in support of the vocals, but they are certainly not afraid to change it up or down from track to track. “The Art of Audio” has a harder electronic edge and a softer acoustic core blended into it, in a way that DAV!D&CLARA haven’t done before.

The rich, evocative, and sometimes moody melodies are still there, and the vocals are as fresh and expressive as ever, but there is an intensity and seriousness to the album that’s deeply compelling in places. “The Art of Audio” amps up the energy significantly on certain tracks, while others delve into slow-burning and darkly cinematic grandeur – a voyage through the labyrinthine depths of an inquisitive mind locked away somewhere in a room in a forgotten corner of the universe.

To put it mildly, “The Art of Audio” is not exactly your electronic party album. There are tracks that provide the necessary wattage to keep a dance floor pulsing—very few band’s sound as devastatingly visceral and loud as DAV!D&CLARA does blasting through massive club speakers. And this album offers two or three tracks straight from a DJ’s wet dream ready to be remixed and mashed into club specials. And I’m thinking specifically of “Stoppin’ Traffic”, “Heart Go Faster”, “Ecstasy” and “Love Affair”.

Overall, though, “The Art of Audio” is a fairly complex and utterly beguiling collection that mostly sways in the turbulent shadows, ominous and untamed. There’s nothing on the album that deliberately attempts to be immediately Top40 or commercial, that’s not what DAV!D&CLARA are about, but the duo hasn’t lost its gift for delivering strong melodic hooks and thumping twisted rhythms.

More than anything else it’s the hypnotic feel of these tracks which are extremely appealing. The effect of these songs could be mesmerizing especially late at night when everyone is already lost in the intoxicating energy of its beats, and whatever liquids or chemicals happen to be percolating through their bloodstreams.

“Best Of The Best” is one of the standout cuts, it’s a malefic electro head-trip with a single layer of plucked acoustic- guitar and vocals over a spooky futuristic growling synth. It’s a daring track, not exactly single material, but the kind of song that will inspire repeat plays to really let it dig in because it’s so fabulously strange. “Live For You” is even stranger in its dark and funky arrangement. It’s a superb and surprising piece of work and continues the emotional trajectory that DAV!D&CLARA follows.

Lyrically DAV!D always seems to venture into impassioned territory somewhere way behind what normal human telescopes can see. Particularly evocative of his sound is the foreboding mood he creates in tracks like “The Abyss” and “Love Affair” with the least amount of instruments. “Trapezoid”, on the other hand is music that threatens to overwhelm the senses with its dramatic power. Don’t try turning up the volume dial on this one.

All throughout these songs DAV!D delivers particularly riveting vocals over CLARA’s sometimes wall-of-sound built on heavy electronic beats and pulse-pounding synths, with textures weaving in and out, likes flashes of light flitting in and around the stars as you’re laying back and looking up at the midnight sky.

“The Art of Audio” comes close to being an absolute triumph, thanks in large part to the extraordinary sonic boom that the production packs and the gorgeous off-kilter vocals. It’s well worth picking up and absorbing, hopefully on a good pair of headphones while cocooned in darkness.

In the right frame of mind, DAV!D&CLARA will take you on a journey through distant corners of his, and your, heart and mind – Where love and all of its related emotions intertwine. Sure, it’s often a scary place to be, but sometimes exploring the inner depths of the force that drives your very existence pays dividends.

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