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

Vincent Krennerich – “Verlassene Stadt” – plenty of delicate aural color

Vincent Krennerich is a composer, songwriter and pianist from Germany. The artist, who has featured on our pages before, has released his double-side single, entitled, “Verlassene Stadt”, which translated, would mean ‘abandoned city’. The second track, contained in this set, is called “Morgengrauen”, which in English, would mean ‘dawn’. However if you heard these compositions, there would be no need to translate them, as Krennerich’s music describes itself rather poignantly. Though stripped back and basic solo piano, the key to the success of both these recordings, is the propensity Vincent Krennerich has in composing subtly fine melodies. Both tracks have

ULYSSES: “Entendre” – Their embrace of technology is warm and sultry

ULYSSES’ “Entendre” is a piece of work that’s sumptuous in its minimalism. The collective elements cut a dark musical figure which produces melodies that are surprisingly bright and intense, wrapped up in lullaby, but energetic rap tones. Between the eras of ‘industrial-rock’, ‘alternative-rock’, ‘trip-hop’ and ‘post-rock’, there is a genre drawer where bands that don’t fit easy definition, are dumped into, to be sorted out later. That’s where ULYSSES goes for now. After all, it’s hard to pinpoint a project in cross genres so widely defined that it could encompass everything from orchestral rock drones, to alternative hip hop and space-age electronica.

ULYSSES is a singer/producer duo hailing from Boston MA.  “With our first project, Entendre,” say the duo, “we are creating a sound that is very unique in its own right. We wanted to make it very trippy, weird, psychedelic, and ultimately a sound that sounds quite foreign yet oddly familiar. Think along the lines of Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon, but not quite. At first we were just messing around, but then we realized we are cultivating our own vibe with this music.”

“Entendre” owes an obvious debt to its atmospheric soundscapes packed in simple layers of somberly shimmering instrumentation and blissed-out but clearly discernible rap vocals. But the remarkable thing about it all—and the thing that actually makes ULYSSES unique, even in an era that is increasingly impossible to categorize – is that its epic sound is achieved without creating multi stacks of synths, guitars and who knows what other noise.

In the production of “Entendre”, ULYSSES incorporate minimum instrumentation to achieve maximum sound, using various tones into rolling swells, and then layering it all over crisp trip-hop beats and deep-space bass.

Their embrace of technology is warm and sultry and nothing like the commonplace overstuffed electronic arrangements most of their contemporaries or peers use.  It could even be said that ULYSSES’ virtually dark wave, nearly ambient rock sounds, use slowed-down hip-hop rhythms as their basis.

In fact it’s what makes the music so distinctive. “Entendre” on the surface, without paying close attention, can sound spacey and ambient, but the hip-hop textures subvert the ambient genre in a most intriguing manner, adding much-needed spice to a style that can be unflinchingly bland in lesser hands.

From the opening track, “Sputnik”, there’s a definite movement and a fluid progression that can be discerned within these tracks, as the mood and emotion is accretive and incremental. The overwhelming viscerality alone makes “Entendre” a compelling listen, even without the shifts in dynamic.

This is designed as a concept album, and the duo themselves, advise listeners to listen to the recording from beginning to end, to fully appreciate the intended aesthetics. I won’t get into the theme of the EP, as that is for you to discover and savor for yourself, though I would add, if you wanted to skip around tracks for instant enjoyment, hit on standouts “Fake It”, “Doubts” and “Horizon”. The EP is universally ‘slow’ in pace, but blisteringly intense and will hit you like a ton of bricks.

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