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

Roger Cole and Paul Barrere: “In My Prison” – suggestive and compelling

“In My Prison” is a mesmerizing record, it seduces you to listen again and again. The guitar playing is vintage stuff taken from the book of six strings with an electric soul. It is distinctive in its style, depth and clarity. Through the years Paul Barrere has shown his versatility on a range of guitars, and other instruments. These are all brought to bear on this track. Roger Cole on the other hand delivers the amazing keyboards, bass and drums. The singing too, is hypnotic and articulate. The lyrics are suggestive and compelling without being obvious. They allow you to draw meaning from your own experiences. Ladies and gentleman, once again Roger Cole and Paul Barrere prove themselves to be musicians of the highest order.

I became a Pink Floyd devotee in the 70s, as they had a sound that defied characterization. They accumulated all my musical needs into one perfectly classy package – rock, classic, folk, pop, and blues strains flooded their sound and filled my soul. However they are all but gone now, bar a couple of solo albums by some still active members.

So now, in a world of mediocrity and vulgarity, a simple American duo displays all the enormous talent, subtlety and class that Pink Floyd once fed me. I have listened to their music many times over but I’m sure, that like Floyd, I have only scratched the surface of Cole and Barrere’s musical rewards.

A little less pretentious, and a little more visceral than Floyd, Roger Cole and Paul Barrere deliver yet another musical and lyrical masterpiece with “In My Prison”. This time around, they use all the elements at their disposable, so over and above the melody and harmonics, there is plenty of distorted noises and dissonance to bring the nature of the song home – “In My Prison / Of indecision / How can my thoughts form? / The tower card will always show / No fortune teller here / No gypsies with their tarot cards / To quiet all your fears.”

I have promised myself to not say that this is their best song yet, as I have repeated that same phrase on their last four releases! However I will be bold enough to say that for atmospheric tension, arranging creativity and instrumental execution, “In My Prison” does not deserve to be released into this hollowed-out era of mechanized music.

Luckily these two intelligent fellas know that for the most part they are playing for the deaf, so they make music on their own terms, according to their own standards, and for their own pleasure. Hence, loaded with a bunch of hefty acoustic and electric instruments, they are able to tread the deepest of musical waters that most of today’s ‘musicians’ will drown in, with only a laptop in one hand and a copy of Fruity Loops in another.

Roger Cole and Paul Barrere bring many years of rock experience to the fore and craft a sound that is without flaw on “In My Prison”. The song is perfectly constructed and hauntingly beautiful, devoid of flash and gimmicks and chock full of rock wisdom. Secretly, I think they know that there are still connoisseurs and fanatics like you and me listening…

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