Kali Ma & Cypher the Avatar – ‘Peaches n’ Sage’ – A hypnotic and fitting foundation

If you ask the duo of Kali Ma & Cypher the Avatar, better known as CxA what the goal of their music was, their reply would probably be, it’s to make a place where all listeners can come to feel safe and relieved from their pain, anxieties, and all other stresses in life. Because that’s exactly what their Cloud Rap single, ‘Peaches n’ Sage’ sounds like. Cypher the Avatar is one of the best alternative rappers mainly because of his presence. He’s confident but not cocky; honest but not vulgar. Cypher comes across as someone who is genuine and sure

VerseBorn: “Cheat Code” ft. Menhir demands a huge amount of respect

“Cheat Code” by VerseBorn ft. Menhir is a mostly uninterrupted stream of consciousness. Breaks in the story only occur when one the language switches from English to Italian and back, and when the plot ends and another begins. To call this track unique would be inadequate. The storyline is extremely complex, with recurring motifs. It’s hard to follow, but that’s the point. VerseBorn and Menhir want your undivided attention for the track’s entirety. Straight off the cuff, the listener is thrust right into the action. In true artistic fashion, interconnecting storylines are articulated through interconnecting verses. But even when they

New Songs to Confront Rising Tide of Hatred by Rev Peter Unger

Rev Peter Unger embraces a pastoral sense of beauty on the spacious skies of I Believe in Second Chances. Throughout the piece Rev Peter Unger explores the oft-ignored benefits of faith. One of the greatest elements of faith rests within the idea of forgiveness for past transgressions. No one is perfect and attaining perfection is a life-long goal. Lyrics focus upon this concept the improvement of the self. Without forgiveness however, this goal becomes impossible for if all were judged by their worst actions self-improvement would remain illusionary at best. Low key arrangements help to place Rev Peter Unger’s voice

Brian Hutson’s Debut Album “Habit” is Released

This week saw the release of Brian Hutson’s Debut Album. Habit is the name of the album that coincides with the song title track featured on his debut album. The album which has already sparked early interest follows the critical acclaim of his EP Midnight Sessions and enormous success of his single released in the fall of 2018. Like many artists, Brian draws influence from his personal life and experiences. This driving force allows him to express his feelings through music. Reflecting on love, lust, heartbreak, and triumph Habit is the result of memories from the past two years, all

YHN Hammertime: “Cash Out” – relatable lines over a sleekly banging beat

YHN Hammertime is a rap/hip-hop artist based in Washington DC. He often collaborates with fellow artists from the DC area. After a string of single releases, he has dropped his first official mixtape “Gang Meets Gang”. From the album comes the highly infectious single “Cash Out” along with its classy visual, now viewable on YouTube. With this album, YHN never seems to be trying to make one track for the thugs, one for the hip hop heads, one for the club, one for the backpackers, and one for the playas, etc. Although you could still attribute those labels to the

Hro Palyan: “White China” scores many transcendent moments!

Hro Palyan is an up and coming Armenian-American Hip Hop artist based in Granada Hills, CA. His journey into a musical career started during childhood when he learned how to play the electric guitar. Hro’s older brother was influential in introducing him to the world of rap and hip-hop and to fellow artists who encouraged him to learn music production tools like Fruity Loops, Reason, and Pro Tools. Influenced by the likes of Dre, Eminem, Xzibit, Nate Dogg, Snoop Dog, Tupac, Naz, Jayz, Dmx, Hro used the production tools as a coping mechanism that allowed him to express himself, and

Enzo: ‘Light Me Up’ – an absolutely sublime listening experience

DJs speak with their hands. Producers who can’t use words, express themselves through sound. On the other hand, it’s almost true that in the electronic music realm, the weight of the music can render words secondary. That’s not to say that producers aren’t using their voices…it’s rare but quite possible. Some producers over a number of electronic genres have stepped up to the mic to express themselves vocally, others engage the perfect voices to execute the needed emotion. Once such creative is Enzo, a self-taught musical artist from Boston, Massachusetts. His work as a producer and DJ has led to

Exit To Eden: Describes the extreme situation of hate-love, on their new Goth ‘n Roll single “Love At First Hate”!

Passionate, yet hateful is the story of Exit To Eden’s latest video clip. The Austrians around frontman Bernie Pfeiffer, celebrate the March 22nd, 2019, release of their associated Goth ‘n Roll single, entitled ‘Love At First Hate’ and give an audiovisual preview of their upcoming mini-album “Love And Other Nightmares”, especially Fans of traditional gothic rock alá The Sisters Of Mercy, The Cure, or Bauhaus are guaranteed to find it appealing.  In a nightmare of hate-love, the protagonist described in ‘Love At First Hate’, whose story is presented in first-person perspective, seems to be. Two extremes, passionate love and

Javyn Knight: “Exodus” – Relatability, positivity, and general geniality

Javyn Knight releases his debut EP, “The Gospel Of Javyn” on March the 24th. The artist’s arrival to this event has not been an easy one. He left home at sixteen to join the army, completing his basic training and part of his AIT training, when he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He went on to be officially discharged and found his way back to civilian life. It was then that Javyn decided to flip his future and pursue a different, but just as passionate, career route. Javyn Knight aka The Blacc SINatra grabbed hold of a mic and started reppin’ South

Silvertung: “(BUT, AT WHAT COST??!)” – assailing swagger, an abrasive bring-it-on vibe!

Award-winning rock band Silvertung, has landed on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Radio Chart three times. The Mid-Atlantic quartet, made up of vocalist Speed, lead guitarist Codey, bassist Sam Sour, and drummer Danno, have also opened for groups like Godsmack, Disturbed, Shinedown, Slipknot, Staind, Papa Roach, Buckcherry, Filter, Drowning Pool, Anthrax, P.O.D., and others. With three albums and one EP under their belt, Silvertung, in collaboration with Thermal Entertainment, have dropped their latest album “(BUT, AT WHAT COST??!)”, produced by Steven Wright, whose credits include Slipknot, Mars Volta, and Rihanna. This is the type of release that occurs when a band

Pastobal: “Nature” is absolutely gorgeous!

The French project Pastobal, started out as a duo and has grown into a small crew committed to serving their ideals. Dedicated to rock, folk and love, the group has two EP recordings under their belt – “My Head” released in 2014, and “EP# 2” released in 2016. The following year saw the band drop their full length trilingual album, entitled “Logon Calling”. Now in December 2018. Pastobal release their brand new, English-language EP, “Nature”. This new recording does an admirable job mixing the sounds of Pastobal to create a wide-ranging kaleidoscope of folk-rock references. The best songs have an infectious, building energy, as well as distinct, though familiar, points of view.

Pastobal is a band for those who like their folk served with a dose of sometimes cryptic and poetic lyrics, quirky riffs and thoughtful harmonies, rather than the loads of banjo and pop hooks that come from their peers and contemporaries. “Nature” showcases the musicianship and creativity that has seen them labelled the next big indie thing to come out of France.

The use of vocals, acoustic guitars, and strings all woven together is impressive, and there are just enough upbeat drums to keep the record rolling along.  The upbeat opening track, “Did You Know?” speaks about how different species of animals work together to increase the quality of life.

The song has a full instrumentation arrangement that makes it sonically satisfying. A jangly acoustic guitar revs it up initially before being joined by driving percussion, bass and strings. The members of Pastobal fully throw themselves behind the music, and it is easily noticeable that there is something particularly unique about their sound.

The way the organic instruments expertly complement each other shows the band’s musicianship both collectively and individually. Pastobal has branched out to incorporate diverse elements into their music that distinguishes the band safely. This versatility could have lent itself to a disorganized EP, but instead the band has constructed a well-ordered album.

In its simplicity, “Do You Want?” is even more sprawling and adventurous than the opening track, reminding me a bit of early R.E.M. infused with a very slight Talking Heads flavor. Diversely “No Time” incorporates overdriven psychedelic guitars in its more aggressive and intense soundscape that is confrontational and angry, in essence.

“Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone. Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone. Silence the pianos and with muffled drum. Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come,” are the epic opening lines of the poem by Wystan Hugh Auden, and the basis on which Pastobal construct the  poignant song, “Funeral Blues”, which simultaneously desolating and uplifting.

“Funeral Blues” is absolutely gorgeous, and probably the best, most accessible track on the EP. It features a finger-picked guitar line, underscored by subtle bass counterpoints, excellent drumming and captivating vocals.

“Let’s Dance” exceeds in excess with more than 20 minutes of acid-styled funk driven by angular guitar riffs, thumping bass lines and busy percussion. It is undoubtedly the biggest musical departure the band take on the EP, and obviously a warning from Pastobal that they are not to be simply boxed into the folk-rock category.

With songs that are crafted meticulously, “Nature” succeeds in presenting its themes and sonic choices with remarkable clarity. It has both its rousing moments, as well as moments of quieter beauty. Moreover there seems to be more power in their music which benefits by the increased production values.

As an entry point for new listeners or something for existing fans to enjoy, there’s something on the “Nature” EP that any listener is sure to enjoy. The Pastobal crew currently consists of Pastobal (Music & Lyrics), Angus Schieber (Drum & Mix), Jehan Saison (Cello), Clo’B (Photo) and Stef Bimery (Englishman).

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