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

King Solomon: “Illuminate the Dark” is an excellent, cohesive, relevant, and thought-provoking album

King Solomon has just released his first album, entitled “Illuminate the Dark” on the 16th of January. It is primarily a concept rap album that focuses on inspiration and an insight into the artist’s faith, however King Solomon does not consider himself a gospel rapper. The rapper lives in the UK but is an American born and raised, descended from Nigeria. Based on technicality and production values alone, “Illuminate the Dark” stands as an expertly crafted hip hop album, and arguably one the best I’ve heard in the genre for the last 3 years. Of course, due to its Christian message, most people would want to pass it by, due to personal gripes with music about faith. And that’s a pity, because not since Kendrick Lamar’s epic “To Pimp A Butterfly”, have I been so enchanted by a hip-hop album. From the moment the soulful and melodic titular track, “Illuminate the Dark” (feat. Jay Singh) opens the proceedings, you’re sucked into a vortex of emotions that’s hard to control.

“Illuminate the Dark” is an excellent, cohesive, relevant, and thought-provoking album. From start to finish, this recording is packed with messages, meaning and melodies that understand and speak to the soul. King Solomon is vulnerable and honest with the issues that plague him, and hence our culture in general.

His creative genius, catchy beats, and dedication to understanding his faith make him a true hip hop anomaly. And by the time you’ve finished playing through the heart-wrenching introspective verses of “Altar Call”, King Solomon would have convicted and inspired you beyond your expectations!

With all songs performed in the first person, each narrative tackles a specific moment, event or mind-set King Solomon has experienced in his ongoing plight to come to terms with the joys and sorrows encountered in his daily journey.

One of the most accessible and catchiest songs on the album has to be “Yahweh” (feat. Truthz & Moyege), with its stunning Rihanna-type vocal hook, and King Solomon’s spontaneously sounding, free flowing lyrical scheme. Get this clear, King Solomon isn’t just the average rapper spitting out Jesus’ name in every bar, this guy can actually rap and he isn’t trying to be being preachy about anything at all.

King Solomon isn’t one of those Christian rappers expected to be annoying and overly holy. For a person like me who has always liked intelligent hip-hop, and not the self-hyping junk that is popular, this is an extremely worthy album indeed. In essentially every song I heard the exact same level of quality, lyricism, and intentionality as any other A-league hip hop artist today.

The same rules apply to the production. Very few artist’s blend outstanding production with meaningful lyrical content. And King Solomon pulls this off with grace. This is a powerful project that the whole family will enjoy. There are so many great songs here that it becomes wholly impossible to choose any single standouts.

Depending on your personal tastes, you may succumb to the melodies and harmonies of tracks such as “Everybody Cries” (feat. Ёrin Hebrews) and “Hallowed Be Thy Name” (feat. Bethia Morris & Joshua Kilonda). Or if you’re attracted by aggressively passionate raps, you’ll be mesmerized by the songs Tired” (Small Voice) [feat. Moyege] and “Rise” (feat. Anjee).

The synopsis of each song is clearly laid out by King Solomon, but I doubt you will ever need them, just press play, and each song will speak to your soul directly. King Solomon passes the emcee test with relative ease here, and the thoroughly cinematic production of this project flies with Technicolor.

“Illuminate the Dark” successfully emulates the crystalline, modern production aesthetics without a hint of carbon-copy construction. And it bangs too. Taken together, King Solomon has the ingredients for a winner.

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