Fitzsimon & Brogan: “Big Blue World” – a full, punchy pop sound!

Fitzsimon & Brogan is a musical project based in London, whose creators therefore logically are songwriter Neil Fitzsimon, and vocalist Bee Brogan. The two setup their songwriting and production to produce, what they describe as “pure pop for now people.” Both were previously in a band called Pretty Blue Gun who featured guests musicians such as members of The Art of Noise, Dave Bronze (Eric Clapton’s bass player), Tobias Boshell (Moody Blues) and Pip Williams, who played guitar on the Walker Brothers’ track, ‘No Regrets’.  The two critically acclaimed albums were produced by Pat Collier, who produced Katrina and the

Lord Conrad: “Only You” – a journey through sound, emotion and introspection

Italian DJ, producer and model Lord Conrad, continues his prolific run with a series of acclaimed crossover hits like “Touch the Sky”, “Day After Day”, “1 Minute” and “Fight Till The End”. Lord Conrad has made it so far since his introduction to the music scene with his first release. With his innovative sound that only he can perfect, his reception is steadily growing, to beyond the strongest communication devices on the planet. Now with the release of his brand new track, “Only You”, the producer once again takes the music world by storm. His sound has drastically improved through the years, and it

Arush Dayal is a triple threat!

With a career spanning acting, singing, and writing, Arush Dayal is a triple threat. Originally hailing from India, Arush has seen a wide swath of the globe on his quest to hone his craft. He has studied at prestigious acting programs across the world including the Acting Program at the International Academy of Film and Television in Hong Kong and the One Year Conservatory at T Schreiber Studio in New York. Meisner Technique, Acting for the Camera and Commercial Acting are all facets of the industry Arush has studied in depth. He continues to perform both onstage and in front

The Frost: “Keep It Real” – There’s a classiness to this!

The Frost is a multi-genre group comprised of Leah Evans (Vocals) and Christian Gratz (Guitar, Piano). Located in Pennsylvania, their brand new single “Keep It Real” was released on December 7.  The duo emerge at a time when the ranks of sophisticated pop contenders seemed to have disappeared on a daily basis. Simultaneously chic and very creative, they thrive on the considerable charm of lead singer Evans, with her smooth chocolate voice, the instrumental talents of Gratz, as well as the pair’s impressive abilities as a songwriting unit. An absolute stand-out aspect of the new song is the way it’s

Forest Robots: “Timberline and Mountain Crest” – Inspired by natural landscapes

Let’s start of by saying that Fran Dominguez aka Forest Robots is a master at producing chilled out electronic music with heavy beats, and lots of orchestral instrumentation thrown in the mix. To call it electronic music almost seems unfair, as it implies this is music made by machines. Yes, I realize he is called Forest Robots, but this could not be further from the truth, as Dominguez’s music is pumping with life and human emotion. His latest album “Timberline and Mountain Crest” showcases 10 tracks of stunning depth, the kind of album you just throw the headphones on, turn

Edward St. Martin: “Lullaby” – blur the lines between savvy pop stylings and hard hitting kinetic soundscaping

Hailing from San Diego, Edward St. Martin has a background in film composition and classical music. His most recent single is “Lullaby”. Expectations met, superseded and immediately I hit replay. This track is going round again and I’m not the only one within ear shot of my stereo who is pleased about it. The easy laid back crossover Pop/EDM groove take is not unexpected, as I had already read that St. Martin was one for mellow tones combined with pop and soul vibes. But this track has another key element which makes a record of this nature standout. Intelligence. This

Katiah One: “Tail Spin” – an evolving, audacious artist

Soon releasing debut first EP “A Whole Lotta Water Works”, Katiah One is an artist raised on the Upper West Side of New York City. His mission is changing the common perception of the average rapper. Katiah draws inspiration from many genres including R&B and Rock, while his favorite artists include Freddy Mercury, Sam Cooke and Issac Brock.  On his latest single “Tail Spin”, taken off the aforementioned EP, Katiah deals with the deep issues of existentialism, or simply put, the meaning of a human being’s existence. Sure his talking ‘black’ talk, but you can’t go there without understanding the

Alisa Chirco: “Give Me More” – bench marked with confidence!

Alisa Chirco sure isn’t shy about revealing what’s on her mind, on her brand new single “Give Me More”, the follow up to her almost gothic-like pop ballad “Box”. Alisa sounds passionate, wanting and determined, in a driven rock song that is an anthem for empowered women. Her music here is very strong, has meaning, and is legit. The track shows that she is learning to emote in a more visceral and arguably more demonstrative way. Alisa has now escalated to being a rock chic with an attitude and bold open-confessional lyrics. A sensible direction for any reinvention is maturity, and

Roger Cole & Paul Barrere: “Old Folks Boogie Redeux” – true to their sound!

“Ya know that you’re over the hill, when your mind makes a promise that your body can’t fill!”, this is the line that inspired Paul Barrere to write the original version of the “Old Folks Boogie”, which would subsequently feature on the 1977 Little Feat record “Time Loves a Hero”. The citation came from a line Paul’s dad – an actor at the time – picked up at a vaudeville theater. He would often sing it around the house, so eventually Paul got hooked turned it into a song. For some time, Paul’s partner over at Better Daze Records, Roger

Glorious: “Move” – throbs with club energy

Pop singer, Livetronica drummer, producer and songwriter, Glorious, is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, who has been making music since she started playing drums at the age of three. Named after her grandmother Glorious Cooper, Glorious recently unveiled her single “Move”. In an increasingly crowded field of urban pop artists, you may be wondering what makes Glorious worth your time. To be sure, she boasts a lot of the qualities that her peers also bring to the table. Her song is outlined with an exquisite beat, her vocals are mesmerizing, and her persona appears spectacularly captivating. Without close

Odd-Arne Jacobsen & Tore-Morten Andreassen – nothing short of phenomenal!

Virtuoso musicians Odd-Arne Jacobsen & Tore-Morten Andreassen have released two EP’s in contemporary – the more classically inclined “Alt eller ingenting” and the Jazz-fusion flavored “Lullaby of Byrdland”. Music that fetishizes technical skill is almost always boring for all but fellow musicians. But chances are, if you’re reading this review, you also play guitar or are at least interested in the instrument. If I’m right, and perhaps even if I’m not, you’re in for a real treat. Why? Because these are not the usual guitar recordings. On the EP “Alt eller ingenting”, Odd-Arne Jacobsen & Tore-Morten Andreassen are playing 11 string alto guitars made by luthier Georg Bolin of Stockholm. It’s a very rare instrument and has never been used in this way before. While on “Lullaby of Byrdland” they utilize the legendary Byrdland and Les Paul versions of Gibson. The result is two distinct recordings with very diverse tones, textures and playing styles.

Suffice of course to say, few can play guitar quite like Odd-Arne Jacobsen & Tore-Morten Andreassen do on these recordings. This is the sound of two of the greatest independent guitar virtuosos of Norway, and perhaps all of Europe, holding nothing back. And trust me, if you can play like this, you have more than enough right to show off to your audience.

None of this is to say that the two EP’s in question aren’t full of musically sensitive performances. In fact, these recordings are almost as improbable in their musicality as they are in their virtuosity; even with the ludicrous volume of notes being played, they find room for dynamic shaping and smart pacing.

It’s just that, even if Odd-Arne Jacobsen & Tore-Morten Andreassen threw all of that to the wind, this would still be one of the most important acoustic guitar recordings of the year. The technique on display is just that stellar. You’ve really got to hear it to believe it.

To make things even easier and more recognizable for the untrained listener, the pair have chosen some classic songs to cover in their own personal styles. “Alt eller ingenting”, in fact, contains the tracks “Emigrant Song” (Emigrantvisa Trad.), “Scarborough Fair” (Simon & Garfunkel) and “Where Are We Know” (David Bowie).

Even if you have never held, played, picked, or strummed a guitar, you will be thoroughly surprised with how Odd-Arne Jacobsen & Tore-Morten Andreassen interpret these songs. This is a magnificent package. I cannot imagine a more talented couple of guitar players than this duo.

From the first song to the last, these men exhibit true guitar brilliance and technical mastery. There is not a bad moment on this recording. “Lullaby of Byrdland” takes a jazzier route, but is no less impressive, covering the famed title track, and including “Apache” (The Shadows), “Cherokee” (Ray Noble), “Wichita Lineman” (Jimmy Webb), and “Amorada” (Valdir Azevedo).

Listening to this EP album is like listening in on a conversation in a beautiful language different from your own, where you can pick out phrases you recognize and appreciate the rhythms and intonations. Because we are all familiar with guitar music, it is much better than that may sound.

If you want to hear masters communicating in real-time in a medium that is truly their own, grab this recording. Actually grab both EP’s to completely savor the talents of these guys. The musicianship exhibited on both “Alt eller ingenting” and “Lullaby of Byrdland”, is nothing short of phenomenal. A joy to those whom delve into the technical beauty and emotions of musical art.

OFFICIAL LINKS: Alt eller ingentingLullaby of ByrdlandOdd-Arne Jacobsen

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