Grand Rezerva: “Nowhere Bound” pumps adrenaline into the unsuspecting listener

The talented Swedish band Grand Rezerva – comprised of Michael C. Svensson – Vocals, Andreas Lundberg – Guitar, Mattias “Tiz” Nilsson – Guitar, Thomas Helgesson – Drums and Zoak – Bass – succinctly deliver bare-knuckled, catchy hard rock that’s captured with crystal clear production. The band wastes little time in making its intentions clear on the latest single, “Nowhere Bound”. Grand Rezerva’s simmering movement around the verses facilitates a sense of building momentum through the bridge that reaches a point of release at the chorus. The band has creatively shoehorned itself into 2019’s contemporary active rock radio ballgame, with a classic

J Tizzle: “The Chill Zone Vol 3” – The taste is smooth and distinguishable!

As living things, we need a steady supply of certain ingredients to survive. In music, the formula is undeniably similar. A song requires both rhythm and pitch. For the musically hungrier amongst us, these ingredients are not enough. We need to add extras, such as mood, atmosphere, emotion and groove. Unfortunately, even with the proper ingredients and extras the results are not always as expected. Stagnancy spreads within the craftsman, as well as a lack of skill or emotion. Luckily one, by the name of J Tizzle (Jeffery Townsend Sr.), avoids these annoying traits. Within his songbook exists all of

Heavy AmericA: “Motor Honey (Peace)” – It’s rock. Pure and simple.

A couple of years ago, the bands to emulate in modern rock were those that flooded the radios with wickedly catchy upbeat power pop tunes. Then came the neo-metal-driven climate, where even the tame end of the spectrum became heavier. On their new single, “Motor Honey (Peace)”, Boston based three piece rock group Heavy AmericA, proves themselves among the best in the alternative rock genre with a track loaded with hooks for mainstream appeal, but with an energy and drive that keeps them from sounding like mere imitators. The new release which has all the potential to climb the rock

Scotty Seed: One of the more original and thoroughly enjoyable alternative listens of the year!

Proud of his Italian heritage and his role in the LGTBQ community as a queer artist, Scotty Seed is a musician based in the East Village of New York City. Obsessed with art, including fashion and music, Scotty, originally a Jersey boy, started taking songwriting and production seriously in his twenties. Influenced by elements of industrial, pop, grunge, PC music, electronic, and screamo music, he counts artists like Crystal Castles, Marilyn Manson, Hole, David Bowie, Madonna, and Depeche Mode among his inspirations. Fighting an ongoing battle with bipolar disorder, making music provides him with an escape from his mental health

Suburbs: “Sound of the Sea” – a rewarding new project

Suburbs is an indie rock band from Scheveningen, Netherland launched in 1995. The band that has its roots in the eighties and nineties achieved national exposure when they won the national contest “De Grote Prijs van Nederland” (The Grand Prize of the Netherlands), the largest and longest-running music competition in the country.  As of the summer of 2013 Suburbs has started a new chapter. Lead singer Arie Spaans and 2 early band members set to work to bring their old sound back. The following year they started dropping singles and video clips leasing to their mini EP “Masters” in 2016.

Martone: “Erogenous Zone” keeps the adrenaline and emotions flowing!

It was 5 years ago that pop superstar, Sam Smith, stepped up to the plate and showed the world that love songs don’t have to be heteronormative to be beloved. Smith came out publicly, stating that he wanted to be clear on what his album was about. “It’s about a guy and that’s what I wanted people to know.” He was also completely aware of how important his success is to the public narrative. Hearing your humanity represented and validated by pop culture is important, and many LGBT supporting musicians have since been stepping up to share their experiences. The

Red Tan: “Don’t You Dare!” – Vocally anchored and soulful!

Red Tan is a young widow and single mom. Living in an unfamiliar environment while suffering depression and anxiety has been a challenge that she was able to put into music on her single “Don’t You Dare!” It’s an inspirational anthem meant to help others overcome their struggles and difficulties, and achieve their goals. In the meantime it has been a healing medicine for the singer-songwriter herself, helping her to become a stronger and better person. Red Tan’s ability to create deep thoughtful music, her timeless voice, and her capacity to be so introspective, makes her extremely relatable to any

Albert J: “Grow” embraces both aural diversity and true inspiration

Albert J (formerly known as f.o.c.u.s.) is an American hip-hop recording artist residing in Tampa Florida. Moving through Maryland, DC, Virginia, NC, California and now Florida, Albert J got to experience a lot of diverse music and inspirations. From bands ranging from Sigur Ros and Coldplay to Linkin Park and Incubus, as well as many Hip-Hop influences from DMX, Kid Cudi, Mos Def and Busta Rhymes, Albert J grew up with a wide palette of sound. His 3 mixtapes “Youth Religion” (Dec 2013) “Remember” (March 2014) and “YR2” (April 2015), garnered serious attention in the Hip-hop scene, finally leading up

Knarly Jones: “Redemption” takes us on an epic journey

“Redemption”, is Detroit-based EDM producer, Knarly Jones’ second drop in a series of four releases this summer, preceded by “Atonement” which was released in June. After spending time away from music to study mathematics and physics, Knarly returns to the electronic music scene with a refined cinematic style and a slew of new releases. “Redemption” combines cinematic scoring elements with classic electro-house feel and heavy drops to create a unique sound for 2019. Knarly goes into his bag of tricks and creates an enlightening, varied soundscape that unleashes bass all over your face. With all of this to dive into, it’s

Maxime: “The Honest Me Pt.1” – a unique piece of work!

Maxime Boublil was born in Paris, France, into a musical theater family. His father Alain, wrote the musical adaptation of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, his mother was the first Cosette in Les Miserables in France. As a child Maxime played the cello and then went on to study photography Academy of Arts University in San Francisco, but he discovered what he really wanted to do, when he picked a guitar in a friend’s dorm room. After studying Music in Visual Media, Maxime went on to pursue a career as an engineer at Furstock Studios with three-time aria award-winning engineer

Illuid Haller: “Magic Theatre” shows a unique flexibility and verve

Illuid Haller aka GwangHyeon shows a unique flexibility and verve, a glowing life that drips, melts, and molds around the original sounds to be found on the album, “Magic Theatre”. He never competes with his contemporaries for attention, but it is always clear that he absolutely could, no matter their standing or legacy. And yet, it seems, as if he had popped up out of nowhere. It’s particularly difficult to imagine Illuid Haller sitting in his basement or bedroom when listening to this recording. Whether working in strands of hip-hop, psychedelic ambient, acid jazz, or whatever might come to his mind, there’s something inherently glowing about his beats. All those genres are jammed together into a single album; he finds joy and fun in them all, so why bother trying to deny any of it?

Throughout these different styles, Illuid Haller’s beaming musical smile acts as a unified presence of his visual approach to music. One moment he’ll work out some jazz fusion as on the title track, “Magic Theatre” with its schizophrenic sax, and then he’ll produce a hip-hop groove for “Under The Water, or an acid jazz soundscape on “Play Bill” and neither suffers in comparison.

Listening to the album, there’s no one genre in which you’ll come away feeling that it’s the one he should be working in, forsaking all others. It helps that he makes all of his tracks sound good, regardless of style, because of his reliance on imagery in sound. Each instrumental tells a story.

Illuid Haller has never sounded as powerful as on the stark and busy piano arrangements of “The Moon”, and “I Love You”, while the over-driven “I Love You Too”, hits one of his better, more eclectic creative flows. The stunning track finds Illuid bouncing through a dirty, crunchy guitar sound, and a jittery bass jam. “Fraud/The Beat” swipes into an experimental-infused bounce without a moment’s notice, while “Adjective” adds a breathy female vocal to the proceedings.

The bigger theme, of course, is that Illuid Haller is much more than just some run-of-the-mill electronic producer. He’s got soul and tons of creativity, and he knows how to use it in a way that doesn’t seem overbearing, yet it is completely left-field, filled with disparate voice samples and diverse rhythms and sounds.

No matter how hard producers may try, there’s something that will always feel completely inhuman about electronically induced music. It’s in the details, which is to say that they’re all perfect. The computer-aided genre is practically a glass-half-full demonstration of science versus human art. What happens when you create art using the meticulously fine-tuned exactness of science? Electronic music, apparently.

Effectively, the concept of creating something real has been usurped by the concept of creating something perfect in the electronic field. However this theory does not hold true for Illuid Haller who tries to buck the trend by striving towards realness as opposed to perfection.

This, in a nutshell, is what makes the South Korean-born producer such an interesting case study: He manipulates electronic music to a place where it seems handmade. It helps that he has been playing jazz piano for about seven years. And nowhere is it clearer than on fleshed-out, organic sounding tracks like “Queen Majesty” and “Night and Day”.

I could go on about the effortless likability of “Magic Theatre”, but the most critical takeaway is how nuanced every single track is, on behalf of Illuid Haller’s unparalleled attention to the manipulation of detail. He capitalizes on what other artists consider superfluous, and he does it with a finesse that seems completely natural. As the pomp of big-blasting EDM subsides, there’s never been a better time to be an innovative talent with an ear for exciting music. Illuid Haller aka GwangHyeon is that talent.

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