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

Earpiphany: “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs” – multi-faceted emotions

Dan G.Hagerman aka Earpiphany is a songwriter, arranger, composer who writes many genres, including his latest pop-rock offering, “Ultraviolet Dreams”, done with Aubrey Whitfield, a talented female music producer from the U.K. who also does the vocals. The track is taken from the “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs” EP. Dan lives near Los Angeles with his lovely Japanese wife of thirty-five years, Reiko, and his daughter, Holly. “We love Japan, sushi and Huskies!” affirms Hagerman. In any potential mythology built up around the music of Earpiphany on “Ultraviolet Dreams”, Whitfield may represent an irrepressibly sanguine voice and Hagerman the barbed

Emmanuel Dalmas – a natural ear for a good melody!

Emmanuel Dalmas is a multi-genre music composer from the South West of France. A company founder and high level executive in the scientific industry he started composing in late November 2016 as a weekend hobby, and continued feeling an intense growing pleasure in learning more and progressing in music composition. Dalmas has since been consolidating both his craft and catalog, with a series of single releases that move between Pop, Easy Listening, EDM, as well songs in his native French tongue. From his home studio Emmanuel produces instrumental and vocal tracks, engaging talented male and female voices to complete his

Mortinus: “Morten” is a study in sonic manipulation

It’s of course unfair to expect Mortinus to pull another revolutionary album out of the hat with his latest release “Morten”, especially now that many electronic fans would already have heard and enjoyed his EP “Orbit” or the self-titled “Mortinus”. But as always in the electronic field the expectations reach a ridiculous level when an artist drops a new recording, and it’s probably a good idea to tone them down a bit before hitting play. However, “Morten” is a really a good half an hour of music, with some of the artist’s best productions to date. So, if like me, you had high expectations, then you will be thoroughly satisfied with the results here.

Stylistically, “Morten” is as much of a big change from the Danish artist’s previous recordings as it is similar to them. It certainly covers a broader range of styles, being at times weird and experimental, and at others a lot more radio friendly. Morten’s attempt to cover a lot of stylistic ground does mean that you need to pay attention to what he is doing, like when we’re taken from track 1, the somewhat funky eastern-styled pop song “Mooi Nights”, to track 2, the mind-bending, almost Celtic sounding audio design of “Star Light”.

Mortinus’ production throughout “Morten” is flawless. The album is really tied together by consistent sound and sample choices. Every drum hit, synth patch and bass sample fit perfectly into the overall sound of the album, and Mortinus’ passion for experimental sample choices and sound design is what makes the tracks on the album worthwhile. The producer can even become edgy and futuristic on the occasion. Something he does with the thumping “Orange Nights”.

On the other hand, “Waves In June” definitely falls into the experimental category. Drawing us in with a strange, enigmatic hand-clapping rhythm, followed up by a powerful keyboard sample, all part of a wonderfully odd-paced build up, which develops into an intense anticipation. The strange harmonies and sound design of the song builds expectations, making you wait for the hard-hitting drop to come. The question is, “Will it come?”

“Evening At The Marketplace” is the album’s centerpiece, and previously released as a single. An Asian influenced soundscape, this track is one of Mortinus’ more accessible and melodic compositions, which is quite ready for radio play. It also shows us just how many sharp stylistic turns Mortinus takes us on through this album. “Mooi Dance” boasts wonderful shiny chord progressions and a spaced out production that will have you nodding your head along to the beat.

“Mooi Nights Part 2” switches between a lush chord progression and repeating synth sample and a dark drum groove. It’s a study in sonic manipulation, with every weird synth sound blending together to create an incredibly strange overall image. Maintaining a wonky heaviness throughout, it’s a very ambitious track.

“Morning Train” has a jungle rhythm, relying heavily on percussion for its essence, while “Eclipse” moves its paces through a more experimental atmosphere. “Blue Crystal Gemstones” sees a fleshed out arrangement featuring a violin as the lead instrument. By the time we get to “O”, it’s clear that the Danish electronic musician stands out among the many electronic artists creating music today because of his loose, experimental style—readily present throughout all of “Morten”, creating a slick, confident new album for Mortinus.

With sounds evoking a very earthy feel, “Morten” seems to be a reaction to the popular fascination with tropical sounds that have been front and center in pop music. Mortinus takes up the trend and twists it on its head, bringing in more Eastern and Asian style sounds creating a very interesting take on the typical energetic electronic music we have come to expect every summer.

“Morten” manages to be engaging, relaxing, booming, and dense all at once throughout most of its length, as it again switches styles on tracks such as “November”, November Part 2” and “Chant” – this last track featuring an adlibbing (chanting) vocal accompaniment. The end result, is an album willing to engage you on multiple levels, as long as you’re willing to listen.

“Morten” feels very much like a record sitting comfortably between two masters. On the one hand Mortinus is obviously aiming for more accessibility, but on the other without having to sacrifice too much of what makes him distinctive. He also occasionally explores more experimental and abrasive textures, and shows off plenty of his untapped potential on this record.

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