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

llluminatè Steele: “A Darker Shade of Heaven” – An added dose of ambition turns her art into spectacle

llluminatè Steele, is a multi-talented musician, published poet, producer, video editor and director. She started her career as a DJ and promoter in both Portland and Washington DC, and has since developed her own signature avant-garde synth wave sound which mixes 80’s vibes with modern cutting edge grooves. Her latest music video release “A Darker Shade of Heaven” features MN burlesque royalty, Elektra Cute. The track was mixed at Terrarium Studios in Minneapolis, MN and mastered at Rare Form by Greg Reierson (Prince/The Cure).

llluminatè Steele is a walking superlative. She can do dance routines, infect with her angelic lilt, and preach seduction through her gaze. An added dose of ambition turns her art into spectacle. The twist is how all of that isn’t what’s at the core of her creativity. It’s her self-awareness, and the search of it.

The track’s movements flow like natural metamorphosis rather than wild swings thanks to llluminatè’s voice. “A Darker Shade of Heaven” finds her continuously rediscovering new crevices in her vocal range, she switches from a serenade, to a gasp, and then a deep-throated whisper.

It leads to an emotive performance: how she softly pants with yearning, how her airiness adds an extra velvet layer to the breakdown, how it’s sensuality gives a sense of empathy. For a track that’s meant to be dark and mysterious, “A Darker Shade of Heaven” shines because of how it slowly lets us in. This demonstrates that llluminatè Steele is a compelling force.

It’s the equivalent of an oozing, slow-paced romp in the tradition of Barry White and Marvin Gaye, performed by Grace Jones on top of an eighties Madonna beat. A seemingly contrasting artistic equation, but an extremely explosive one, if you sit down and contemplate of it. Well you don’t even have to contemplate it, you can actually listen to track and watch the video of “A Darker Shade of Heaven” to get the gist of what I mean.

This gem deserves your attention. llluminatè’ is on a creative high, and artistically she has something important to say. The song is mature but fleet-footed, somehow as poignant as it is entertaining to listen to or watch, as llluminatè’ balances sexuality and seduction.

“A Darker Shade of Heaven” is a record that sounds aware of what’s happening on the radio right now but not particularly interested in conforming to its trends. It is a master class in how to make a grown-ass pop record — these days a disappointingly rare commodity.

This track has shaped up to be an intriguing listen, while the video also deserves a special mention due to its superlative production and provocative imagery. Both llluminatè Steele and Elektra Cute fill the frames with enterprising awareness that will captivate you.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEFACEBOOK

Illuminatè Steele: A Darker Shade of Heaven (featuring Elektra Cute) from Illuminate Steele on Vimeo.

About The Author

Reply