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

Alien Skin: “The Wicker Man” – there’s space and dynamics to the instrumentation

In August of last year we reviewed George Pappas aka Alien Skin, a long-time keyboardist and co-songwriter with chart topping Australian band Real Life, who had a multi-million selling ’80s smash with the track, “Send Me An Angel”. Having made the transition to electronic music in the early 80’s, influenced by the Gore/Wilder version of Depeche Mode, Pappas is an authentically schooled musician when it comes to things analog. Alien Skin’s critically acclaimed album ‘1980 REDUX’, recaptured the glorious sounds of real vintage analog synths and rhythm boxes, as well as the authentic auras, atmospheres and moods, of a period that spawned innovation. During February of this year, Alien Skin dropped a new track, which does not feature on the ‘1980 REDUX’ album, entitled “The Wicker Man”. Pappas explained that the track comes off one of his many hard drives containing his back catalog of unreleased music.

So what does “The Wicker Man” tells us about George Pappas aka Alien Skin? Practically nothing new, and that’s the great news! What it does, is confirm, from my personal point of view, that Alien Skin, alongside Depeche Mode, Gary Numan and Orchestral Maneuvers in The Dark – though stylistically different between them – are the only pioneers still able to make relevant, authentically sounding synth-music.

It is what I used to, and still call, electronic music with soul. It has absolutely nothing to do with the sample-based, groove box electronics currently all the rage. Not that there is anything wrong with the new stuff, it’s just a different beast that delivers different levels of enjoyment. It’ the same difference of enjoyment I perceive between a vinyl recording and digital download from iTunes.

If anything “The Wicker Man” proves that Alien Skin has musically aged better than most if not all of the musicians of his generation proving that he was a modern prophet, and remains as such when it comes to synth based music. Pappas’ voice is almost used like an instrument, as his vocal style shifts to suit what is needed by the song. What’s surprising to me is how warm the sound is – the timbre is comforting while the lyrics issue a series of warnings to the listener.

The gentle but insistent, atmospheric backing-track, floats by, confirming images of a dark expanse of space, with plenty of room for the vocals to wave their melodic way through the song. Even though there’s space and dynamics to the instrumentation, there’s haunting tension and a great sense of scope.

In a perfect world this track would sit amongst many year-end polls. The grand theme and sound deserve to be soaked up by as many people as possible. “The Wicker Man” offers up a great song and motif that will pay you back with repeated lessons.

It’s a track that certainly lends itself to persuading you to immerse yourself and explore other songs by Alien Skin. “The Wicker Man” takes what George Pappas aka Alien Skin has been steadily doing for much more than a while now, and reinvents it, boosts it, increasing its vibrancy and electronic power, and then bringing it into the expanse of the modern music landscape.

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