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

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

Marcus Alexander: “Suited Up Vol.1” – a rapper who understands the importance of lyrics

Marcus Alexander is a Puerto Rican Hip hop artist, actor, voiceover talent and event host from Chicago, IL. He has had many of his songs played on Jamie Foxx’s Sirius XM Radio Station “The Foxxhole”, and his last mixtape “#ShareThePositivity” was hosted by Jamie Foxx’s Dj, DJ MicahPhoneChecka. The entertainer, who is signed to the Desanti Talent Agency in Chicago, has acted in 13 Independent Films since 2014. He has overcome many obstacles along the way and shares that growth throughout his creative endeavors, describing his music as “lyrical therapy”. Marcus who has also been noted for his mature dress code on stage, has aptly titled his new album “Suited Up Vol.1”.

For the last few years, hip-hop has been overrun by the mumble, with nearly all of its biggest stars basically unintelligible to the casual ear. Fetty Wap, Young Thug, Gucci Mane, Future, and Rich Homie Quan are all proponents of a style of rap which is about 80 percent vowel sounds.

In some cases it’s known that lean—the codeine-based cocktail favored by many of these artists—makes you slur your words. On the other hand it’s easy to assume that this poor diction is just a way of fudging half-baked lyrics with no meaning. Whatever the debate, you can keep Marcus Alexander out of the discussion.

This dude has a clear, concise and masterful control of the spoken word – translated, that means you can understand every word that he says on this brand new album. In a recent scientific study on who has the largest vocabulary in the game. New York data analyst and coder Matt Daniels found the answer – Aesop Rock comes out with the biggest lexicon in hip-hop, with 7,392 unique words, Aesop’s closest competition is GZA with 6,426 words.

It’s early days yet, and I haven’t even counted the unique words on this album, but just listening to Alexander, you have the sensation of a rapper who understands the importance of lyrics. Which brings us to the ongoing debate of old school lyrical hip hop vs new school beat-dominated rap.

In this optic Marcus Alexander is decidedly old school, which is always a breath of fresh air in the current scene, where producers are becoming more important that rappers. Marcus puts the record straight, as he matches, and surpasses each beat, bar for bar on “Suited Up Vol.1”.

The energy and elegance of his style is evident from the very first track “Control”. A delivery that’s insistent and loud, but never shouted or in your face. And it gets even better on “All For Show”, where Marcus’ flow is metered and paced to perfection, switching up and down to match the message.

“Basic Rappers” leans on a thumping beat and a shimmering keyboard line delivered with an anthemic urgency, and is closely followed by the compelling beat on “The Gambler”, yet in both instances its Marcus Alexander’s vocal inflections and tones that dominate these tracks.

By track number 4, I’m impressed by another factor – Marcus never overstays his welcome, with all tracks staying well within the 3 minute mark, some just making it to 2 minutes. That reflects a powerful ability to withhold superfluous information – not a trait many rappers can claim to have.

From “Here We Go Again”, to “Hover High” and “Sperm Donor”, Marcus stays within his usual pair of poles: the detail-oriented old school rapper and the veritable modern-day entertainer. Some artists pull off crossover appeal without compromising artistic integrity.

Marcus Alexander evidently, is capable of being one of those artists too, and he proves it on “Battle Cry” as he measures his talents with a current hook-filled styled beat, enriched by a stunning male vocal – a really tough call for any rapper to match in terms of auditory impact. Needless to say Marcus comes up trumps again!

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