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

Natalie Jean: “Haiti Mwen Renmenw” – the wonderful use of the economy of sound

On “Haiti Mwen Renmenw”, the new album by songstress Natalie Jean, the composition is brilliant, with wonderful use of the economy of sound (i.e. high quality vocal deliveries with calculated use of instrumentation), emotionally raw and thematically consistent. I have listened to every nuance of every note on this album. It is a brilliant album, by a brilliant artist…and I don’t even understand a single word that is sung! Why? Natalie, who is a multilingual singer – performing in English, Spanish, and French – has sung the entire album in Haitian Creole, apart from the closing track L’Amour a L’Infini”, which is in French, clearly bringing to the fore the roots of famous Haitian artist Guy R. Jean, who just incidentally happens to be Natalie’s father.

“Haiti Mwen Renmenw” contains ten tracks bathed, in both fast paced Latin rhythms, and slow burning ballads, executed with the excellence we’ve come to expect of Natalie performances over the last few years, as she has evolved into an all-embracing singer of enormous potential. This recording sounds like the greatest hits album of an artist in her 20th year of recording. Every song is perfect and meticulously crafted. It’s analogous to a box of chocolates, where you can’t decide which is your favorite, and after you listen to each song, you say “omg” out loud.

All the songs are different, and even sung differently. I adore Natalie’s vocal phrasing ad boundless energy in the opening “Se Kanaval”, which you can imagine by the title, invokes imagery from a euphoric street carnival, and will have you dancing in rings around the room. Though accompanied by an upbeat tempo, “Smoking Ke Fan” deals with a slightly melancholic theme of a local fishmonger who never finds real happiness beneath his everyday working facade. The song was penned by Guy R. Jean.

The exuberant and rhythmic “An Selebre Papa Dambalah” deals with one of the most celebrated spirits of Haitian Vodou. Damballah is known as the Sky Father and the primordial creator of all life. He rules the mind, intellect, and cosmic equilibrium. “La Pe” is a plea for peace for Haiti and relies exclusively on Natalie’s melodic voice and the accompanying percussion. “Lan Nuit Nou Tounin Lougarou” translates roughly into ‘The Night We Become The Werewolf’, and represents the warding off of evil spirits. Again, the power of the percussion plays an important part in the song structure, and in support of Natalie’s fiery vocals.

“Endepandans” signals one of the album’s higher points. The song which embodies how Haiti got its independence and how they should try to reclaim it again, shows off all the facets of Natalie’s forceful vocal performances when she puts her mind and heart to it. “Saut-D’eau” is an ode to the famous waterfalls where thousands of Haitians travel to ask the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and her voodoo counterpart Erzulie for healing in a yearly pilgrimage. Another extremely high point on the album is represented by the track “Marabou”, a ballad about the beauty of dark skinned women. Here Natalie is able to elaborate on the sensual and romantic nuances of her vocal delivery. Something she does with delicacy and luxuriating taste.

“Haiti” as the name suggests is about the country and its best known characteristics. But if you’re expecting a happy-go-lucky carnival-esque rhythm, be prepared for an intense and edgy acoustic guitar driven soundscape and an almost rock-like vocal delivery from Natalie. “L’Amour a L’Infini”, or ‘everlasting love’, closes the album in style, with Natalie again forging all the emotion and raw vocal power she can muster in a song which describes the sentiments of ‘a greater love’. A rabid fan of Natalie Jean’s music, I’d been waiting for a new album, but I was not expecting one in Haitian Creole. Despite my breathless anticipation and confidence in Natalie’s ability, I couldn’t shake a slight fear that somehow, “Haiti Mwen Renmenw” wouldn’t be able to live up to my monstrously high expectations.

Well, multi-award winning Natalie has not lost one ounce of her touch since her previous release. The stunningly mature vocals of a still so youthful and yet such a refined woman, the striking musical arrangements, and the unique style without the overproduction continue to reveal an artist who wants to remain true to both her own style and her family legacy. She has the looks and the potential star power, and I think that the latter case might yet come without having to redefine herself in terms of some marketing craze that has less substance and is otherwise bland. In her performances, Natalie is energetic and passionate. Her music is unique and special, for it can be listened to from various perspectives and angles. Regardless of whether you are happy or sad, Natalie Jean always seems to have a song apt for the moment. And even when you cannot understand the language, it does not matter one little bit, as the music will take you exactly where you need to be!

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