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

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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

Magazine Gap: “Calling Card” – the epitome of less is more!

From beginning to end the new Ep, by Magazine Gap, entitled “Calling Card” distills what makes this groups’ music flow as well as it does. For sure they have a well-oiled sound that is distinctive and instantly recognizable. Yet it’s a style that can adapt itself to different variations very easily. The focus of this particular EP is very much on the rhythmic groove and clean orchestration.

magazine-gap-cc-coverThe highly melodic and well-constructed songwriting is of course very well suited to this. And everything from the rhythm section to the arrangements is extremely strong and well done. This is superb, mildly lyrically nostalgic, and reflective funky pop-soul at its finest.

Magazine Gap shames many of their peers, and almost all their colleagues, with this simple 4-track set-list, and totally unique vocals. Unlike the diluted and homogenized pap that parades as pop music today, Magazine Gap is the real deal. Once upon a time the barrier to entry into the music world was talent, not just being able to place your track on iTunes or CdBaby.

It is all about the vocals, the instruments and the songs. Qualitatively, Magazine Gap seems to hail from that time. Moreover they have a straightforward and uncomplicated formula provided by producer-drummer Brian McCook, augmented by the dexterity of dynamic pianist Alex Ho, and combined with the intelligent lyrics, electric guitar and distinctive soulful voice of James Keen – the epitome of less is more!

The focus throughout this EP is naturally on James Keen’s silky voice which is in fine fettle; his natural sweetness augmented with a wide range and a sense of timing that allows him to cruise through songs before adding intermittent bursts of urgency and dynamism.

Alex Ho textures, teases and aggrandizes the melodies with shimmering keys that thrust and pull, claws, throws and flicks its way through each bar. His playing is crisp and clean, giving the songs their melodic and rhythmic momentum.

Last, but certainly not least, Brian McCook’s drumming is what keeps these songs pointing in the right direction, beat after beat, and arriving to their natural conclusion perfectly on time.

magazine-gap-cc-350You can marvel at all of these musical delicacies right from the very first track, “Snakes & Ladders”, which is a rush of adrenaline-pumping urgency. But that was just the warm-up track, because when “Body Language” kicks in, the groove built into the core of this band, breaks totally free.

You’ll be hard-pressed to keep still while this tune is blaring through the speaker system. “What’s That About?” sees Magazine Gap capable of fully fleshing out a song with a luxurious arrangement that includes horns.

The result is impressive indeed, and shows that the band has ample room to expand and elaborate on their sound in future. The title track, “Calling Card”, again uses a low-end, piano-driven, barebones funky beat,embellished with a live string arrangement and the superlative lead vocals courtesy of James Keen.

In essence, Magazine Gap is three players – Alex, James and Brian, who attractively deal out three key elements – melody, groove and rhythm. And which can all be summed up with only one word – Magnificent! How long before they get a major record deal? With the release of “Calling Card”, I think all betting has now been definitely closed.

MORE ABOUT: Magazine Gap is a British rock band from London that has toured extensively around their home country, including headline performances in 13 major cities around the UK, as well as across to Ireland. They’ve also done shows across the United States and subsequently toured the Far East with shows in Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. To date the band have released  the album, “Light & Shade” – released online as two EPs (“Silver Lining” and “It’s All Good”) – with 12 songs recorded in major studios in London, New York, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans, Pasadena and Hollywood. They’ve also released their “World Tour EP”, with 6 live recordings from six different cities on three separate continents.

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