Free From Gravity: “Step Into The Sunlight” – a unique and definitive identity

I’m not sure about how much a mature, well-oiled and well-travelled band can improve or grow artistically and technically, but this is exactly what UK band, Free From Gravity, have achieved on the brand new album “Step Into The Sunlight”. With this album, the band still uses catchy music and ear worm melodies, only this time to deliver more complex and profound ideas. Led by founder and front man Vince Barnes, and completed by Philip Estell (Drummer), Urszula Filipowicz (Keyboards/Backing Vocals), Roger Cooper (Lead Guitar) and Andy Stratford (Bass Guitar), the band has a knack for combining dark lyrics and light melodies, while the soundscapes move between dreamy pop

Close up with Rocker Rick Shaffer

Prolific recording rock artist, Rick Shaffer, is a founding member of the Philadelphia band, The Reds©, whose first self-titled album on A&M records, was produced by David Kershenbaum. It highlighted a blend of Rick Shaffer’s guitar and Bruce Cohen’s keyboards. The album was supported with live appearances with The Police, Joe Jackson, Blondie, The Ramones, The Psychedelic Furs, and Public Image. Shaffer has also done plenty of studio work and features on the Marianne Faithfull album (Island); Hilly Kristal’s, “Mad Mordechai” (Stereo Society); Peter Murphy’s, “Holy Smoke” (Beggars Banquet/BMG); and Marc Almond’s, “Fantastic Star” (Some Bizarre/Mercury); as well as writing, producing and

All Atomic: “Destinate To Radiate” harnesses its wild dynamics gloriously

Bristol, England’s All Atomic brings a variety of styles to his new EP – his second release for Pink Dolphin Music. “Destinate To Radiate” covers all varieties of electro music and shows a progression from his label debut earlier in 2017 “???? (Track With No Name)”. Everything is extremely well produced and fits together like pieces in a puzzle. It’s also incredibly diverse, but not all over the place. Songs jump from standard electronic tunes to blaring club bangers and glassy-eyed soundtrack-styled compositions at the drop of a hat. It sounds exactly like a collaboration effort by diverse producers…except it’s

Henry Metal: “Metal O’Clock” – an absolutely brilliant hard rock recording

Henry Metal debuted in late March of 2017 with the release of 2 singles which was then followed by the albums; “So It Hath Begun”,   “Wizard Vs Demon” and  “The Maestro Abides”. “Metal O’Clock” is Henry’s fourth collective offering is again an extremely engaging, epic and anthemic recording which never loses its caustic tongue-in- cheek, confrontational edge as it  investigates government ineptitude, consumerism, drug abuse and cosmetic surgery, as well as and pays homage to the Swedish Viking gods Odin and Freyja. Henry Metal is, to put it simply, stunning. His singing is melodic, yet has just enough grit and low

The Bach and Beethoven Ensemble’s CHICAGO STORIES Project – October 14/15

The Bach and Beethoven Ensemble’s CHICAGO STORIES Project brings the city to life on a personal level through new music written by Chicagoans, with and about Chicagoans and Chicago communities. Through Chicago Stories, the audience learns about the Alvarez Brothers and their renaissance efforts to revive the Pilsen Latin jazz scene. They are then taken on a journey through the harrowing escape of members of the Assyrian immigrant community, who finally found refuge in the neighborhoods of Rogers Park and Lincolnwood. Finally, they scale the wall along with a group of minority women in executive leadership roles who crushed their

Vizualye: “Hunger Games” ft J Schick – delivering wordplay lined with context

Vizualye, born Rajaee Grey presides over his tunes with an old world grace and steely strength that feels oddly calming in these uniquely turbulent times. Given how unorthodox 2017 has been and how much more unorthodox things are going to get, we need someone who has been fighting for a while to tell us the importance of continuing to fight. The rapper knows his duty to educate and inspire the public, and “Hunger Games” feat J Schick is one of his best records since his debut release. The record is produced by Taye Legend, and is steeped in a muscular, economical

Boostman Family: “I’ll Be There For You” – tricks pulled from the very catchy electro-pop toolbox

The electro/pop band Boostman Family, founded in 2012, is composed of different artists from the same family, of which Amy and David are the visible part. David Boostman sings, plays keyboards and drums, as well as being the band’s producer. David has been an arranger for big names in France and has composed movie soundtracks played in European theaters and on TV shows. He speaks fluently English, French and German. Daughter, Amy Boostman, sings, plays the guitar, and also shares in writing some of the band’s music and lyrics. Uncle Jo Flash comes from the European underground electro scene and

Sunerian: “I’m Not Worried” – genuine emotion, and positive energy abounds here

Singapore- based EDM Producer Sunerian, who has a preference for Tropical House and Chill Music, has released his 3 track EP entitled “I’m Not Worried”. Sunerian’s EP doesn’t fit the old overnight success adage, which is all for the better—he prefers his bright, electronic melodies drenched in sunlight. Brimming with sun-kissed flavors, the recording hinges on spring-break nostalgia for glistening bronze skin, sand snug between the toes, and young love and lust. It is the perfect September soundtrack for those clinging to the final scraps of summertime. When done right, an artist can invoke nostalgia without losing their purpose or

Emilio Crixell & Border Soul: “Music People” – exploring all of the possibilities within musical hypnotism

There is an essence of allure that exudes from the content of “Music People”, the new 11 track album by Emilio Crixell & Border Soul. The music is jubilant, with a mesmerizing melody that entices the listener into a sensation of musical ecstasy. We open with “A Face in the Crowd” featuring soulful songstress Leeann Atherton, immediately it induces a entrancing atmosphere to set the mood, a seductive horn blowing ambience decorated in a sensual percussive mysticism. And just as the music has us succumbing to its will, when we give up all restrain and let our senses sink deeper

Nina Kotova: “TCHAIKOVSKY” – outstanding technical detail

Born in Russia, Nina Kotova belongs to the third generation of a family of musicians—most notably her father, the renowned virtuoso double-bass player Ivan Ivanovich Kotov. At the age of seven, she was accepted into an adult cello class at the Moscow Conservatory. At fifteen, she won First Prize at the Prague International Competition. And at nineteen, having graduated from the Moscow Conservatory, she left her homeland to continue her studies in Germany and the United States, where she now resides. Kotova has been the subject of numerous features in Time, Newsweek, Vogue, Elle, the Wall Street Journal, and The

Danny Baxley: ‘Love Sex Alcohol’ dodges the corporate rock system

Danny Baxley’s art balances punk primitivism and smart alternative rock craft, and avant-gardists will frequently be drawn to his unique fervor. You really need to listen to his soon to be released ‘Love Sex Alcohol’ as a whole to get the full, wringing, emotional impact of the album. Danny has cleverly dodged the corporate rock system, hauling himself up by his indie bootstraps to a position of freedom and power. Whatever you want from him, you either get it, or you keep listening until you do. Braxley makes uncompromising music packed to the hilt with charisma, wit, attitude and energy, possessing a carefully calibrated ratio of clever and stupid that – when applied appropriately – results in truly mind-blowing rock music.

‘Love Sex Alcohol’ plays out like you would expect an alternative rock album to do; with hard guitar riffs, angular strumming, off-kilter beats, moody keyboards and frightening intensity. Yes, the album is raw and powerful, but it is also many other things besides; the musical texture is both consistent enough to be cohesive and varied enough to be interesting. The guitars go from smoky and slow to fast and furious, but Danny Baxley is a charismatic enough performer to stay in front of it all; he’s a growling feral dog one minute and a wailing banshee the next, and throughout it all, there’s enough emotion to hook you in and keep you there.

Danny Baxley

Danny Baxley

‘Love Sex Alcohol’ forges not just sharp musicianship; but sharp writing, too. Baxley’s not just out to skewer easy targets, but to express complex truths, and to take a critical look at himself as well. It’s an essential work by an eclectic artist, who blends as much melody as he does dissonance – and essential works are not frozen in perfection but are instead the result of a long creative process involving multiple and even contrasting ideas; sometimes what emerges is a singular definitive vision, as is the case with ‘Love Sex Alcohol’.

The music on “Lose Control” is complex and thickly layered as the vocals switch from intense reverberation to near-field voicings, while the tempo is in constant evolution. “Ithaca” on the other hand introduces catchy guitar and keyboard phrases, which is at once more accessible to listeners, though he does not abstain from adding exciting curves to the arrangement. Baxley’s moody voice takes center stage on “Hey a” prompted by a cleanly strummed guitar and an ever building backing arrangement of strings and drums.

The mixes of the songs are often loud and dirty – and it is not intended for the weak kneed, lily-livered, or hardcore pretenders. What we are listening to on “Love Sex Alcohol” is an artist who is visceral and challenging in his approach. The bass, drums, and alternately the guitar and keyboards are pronounced, depending on the intended mood, and exactly where they should be. It’s a rock album – hence the mixes bring those elements front and center….often louder than you’d expect.

But that’s another one of Baxley’s curiosities. He hardly ever does what you expect. This is not, and never will be, a normal record. This is an extreme record, a personal snapshot of an artist on a mission to find his own lane. This is what many alternative recordings would sound like if only the artists had the balls to be themselves.  The album “Love Sex Alcohol” drops on the 14th of JULY and is already available for pre-order on iTunes.

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