Berani – “Cut And Taste” strikes an incredible balance of disparate elements

Berani is an electronic beat maker with a diverse sound spectrum and a tendency to produce bouncing rhythms or spacious and relaxing aural experiences. In a short time span, this emerging artist out of Byron Bay in Australia, has discerning music fans and casual listeners paying attention. The sound design throughout his latest single “Cut And Taste” is what we’ve come to expect from this creative top tier producer: popping percussion, basslines that melt like butter and a healthy dose of twisted horns to make everything bump in a soul-like fashion. Sprinkled around the track are sonic effects that keep

EsZ – “Liquor & Emotions” – introspective and emotional

Hip-hop has been cranking out bangers and high energy anthems for decades, but the average genre historian is well aware that dark or emotional thoughts on a chill backdrop is not a foreign concept for the game. After all, profound moodiness feels rather natural for a culture that grew out of urban plight and the trauma of purposely disenfranchised people. It makes sense that at least some mellow tunes in the genre, reflect deep-thinking speculation, in what artist EsZ, describes as thoughts on “life, growth and fake friends” in his track “Liquor & Emotions”. The song is a drunk text

Quad – “Love” embellishes each track with his personal revelations

Based in the south of Chicago, Quad started making music when he was around 14 years old and started taking it artistically seriously two years later. He produces, records, mixes and masters, using only a Blue Yeti microphone and FL Studios. So far Quad has written over 300 songs and released 1 EP, 1 Album and 8 singles. Currently training as an audio engineer at SAE University in Chicago, Quad explained that his latest album “Love” describes his personal understanding of the sentiment. The album “Love” was written and recorded over the course of 2 months after Quad was electrocuted

Acemattz & Bipha shine on “Tshanana”

Watching Acemattz & Bipha perform in any of their videos is like watching friends realize they’re onto something big time. They are accomplished rappers individually, on their own terms, and as collaborators, as a unit, their styles gel perfectly. They’re not just comfortable performing together—they are feeding off of each other, refusing to be one-upped, beaming and grinning and head-bobbing as they take turns impressing one another. By the end of each of their performances, their formation into a real show-stopping combination seems inevitable. In the new wave rap scene, there is plenty of talent to go around, Acemattz &

FuzzKill – “The Get Better” reaches all the expected heights!

FuzzKill is a four-piece rock band that started in Boston, MA. Introduced to one another through musical theatre, the band’s sound is firmly rooted in early 2000’s pop-punk influences. They released their debut studio album, “Happen”, in early 2019, and their sophomore album, “The Get Better”, just dropped on September 19th 2020. We have all heard the biggest punk bands of the 90’s and early 00’s. Their music mainly consisted of driving drums, distorted pop-punk guitar work and a set of memorable lyrics to go with the angst-filled high energy vocals. Today punk bands are a rarity, and any good

Dan Friese – ‘Jane Songs’ is something to be treasured!

Dan Friese is an Oregon-based songwriter, performer and multi-instrumentalist. In April of 2020, he released his debut EP, ‘Happiness’, a collection of self-reflective psychedelic indie-folk tracks. His first full-length effort, ‘Jane Songs’, was released on September 18th, and is available on all major platforms, along with the singles “Streetlight” and “I Can’t Say”. There’s a lot to appreciate on the new album, and Dan’s voice is arguably the most attractive aspect. Moreover, his vocals are often enhanced by inspiring songwriting and raw emotion, not to mention a wealth of down to earth acoustic guitar strumming. Dan Friese has an organic,

INTERVIEW: C.E.N. – the voice of the people

Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and currently a resident of Dallas, Texas, C.E.N’s natural proficiency over poetry allowed him to produce meaningful and profound lyrics. Although he initially took the initiative to become a music artist for fame and fortune, he later realized that all he desires as a musician is to be respected and valued for the art he brings to the table. His music is deep lyrically and spiritually. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how you got started? C.E.N.: I was born in Oklahoma City, OK, and was raised in a

Hitrocker – “Project One” – breathtaking sound design!

Hitrocker is a German based producer who creates mainly within the EDM subgenres of House, Electro and Deep House. His first album, entitled “Project One” was released at the end of July, while “Project Two” is also out now. When I clicked on the playlist of “Project One”, I was met with song titles that were merely numbers – such as “Project 1.1” or “Project One.Four”. This falsely led me to expect generically themed instrumentals, simply meant to rock the dancefloor. Wrong. Well not totally. They do rock the dancefloor. But they also do a whole lot more. These are

Rashod Holmes Announces New Single ‘The One’

The soul singer relives how he met his wife and started his family on a tender new song. Rashod Holmes is known for bringing romance to life with his evocative voice, but he has never told as personal a story as the one he tells with his latest single. ‘The One’ is a true life love story that acknowledges the struggles and triumphs that go into building a long-lasting relationship. “I found the one for me” Rashod sings. “She is the girl of my dreams.” While Rashod is convinced that he has found the perfect partner, there is much more

Billy Ray Rock – “Get The Funk”- hitting up all the classic tenets of funk

Washington State Singer-Bassist, Billy Ray Rock, plays more than 10 instruments and produces and performs every instrument you hear in his music. From Rock to R&B and Dance, Billy delivers them all. His single “Get The Funk”, simply adds another delicious flavor to his sonic menu. His unearthly bass chops, resonant vocal wobble and inner funk DNA is scorching hot, while it straddles the genre’s trademark grooves. Blaring horns and slapping drums accompanies the party-styled adlibs, as the track treads its momentum. If you’re looking the glossy high-tech dance-club funk perpetuated by bands like Chromeo, then this is not the

Edgler Vess: “Violet” – essential to your hip-hop collection

Every album that Edgler Vess releases, breathes with a distinct personality, each a shape-shifting assemblage of personage and programming that sounds more like a kind of miraculous hyperlinked sound collage than rap. His lyrical feats go unmatched for sheer idiosyncrasy and insight; beyond rap enthusiasts, many of his strongest supporters are probably writers and music heads. A master of the microphone and the beats, Vess has constantly swapped out his tools and themes, avoiding revision and instead choosing innovation. When Edgler Vess does what he does, he’s impossible to ignore.

He’s profound, he’s impressive, and he’s damn entertaining. In short, he’s one of the best underground rappers going. Over and above that he is also a prolific artist, frequently dropping new recordings. Two months since his surprise EP “Nathan”, the Portland based rap artist returns with his next full length project, “Violet”.

Across the 8 tracks that make up the album, Vess’ voice is one of the best parts about his sound. His voice soothes the soul while it blasts rhymes at any speed he chooses. The opening track “Pm Dawn Fm” is a perfect example of this. A soft psychedelic keyboard sample is looped throughout the song over an understated, but thumping drum beat.

The title track “Violet” layers a whole lot more of the goodness found on the first cut, with Vess’ resonant voice taking center stage. Although secondary to the genius lyricism, and Edgler Vess’ flow, the album’s production is outstanding throughout as well.

“Seasonal Affective Disorder” showcases exactly how to put together an alternative rap track with a groovy beat, set against a backdrop of swirling keyboards and lush vocal arrangements. Vess picks up the pace and flips into a funky bass driven joint on “Purple Pico”, before sliding into the slow and slippery vibe of “James Brown”.

The overbearing and sometimes uncomfortably eclectic backing track sounds both twisted and glorious, especially when Vess adds in his lo-fi flow and bizarre stream of consciousness lyrics. And that is why this is essential to your hip-hop collection.

“Sophia” has a muted beat and sample in its underbelly, while it’s Vess’ voice that once again triumphantly carries the track on its shoulder. One of the truly unique storytellers currently in the game, Edgler Vess maintains the same structure on “Mama Thinks I’m Handsome (Interlude)”, as he weaves through a hypnotic sonic backdrop to emphasize the lyrics, while using the instrumentation as a tool to permeate the verses and choruses. However unconventional, this strategy works perfectly in promoting focus on the rhymes.

Always abstract but never completely outside of his atmosphere, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is a perfect example of complex lyrical passages coupled with the illest beat this side of experimental. It’s definitely an acquired taste, but once you become familiar with Edgler Vess, you’ll see why this is a landmark in independent hip-hop.

Get it in any way you possibly can, because no hip-hop head should have to do without this album. “Violet” clearly shows the quality and effort which was put into its making. From one of the busiest and talented emcees in the game right now you owe it to yourself to get this album, assuming you can get hold of it…

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