Sophia Maeda – “ASHITA” bursts with sound and energy!

Sophia Maeda was born in Takamatsu, Japan. The alternative pop-punk starlet has been doing music seriously since 2016. She has released the album “You Know Me Well” in 2017 and has followed up with a series of successful singles. She has won singing as well as song contests, and has performed on the Red Square in Moscow, at the festival in Gorky Park, as well as concerts in Depo, Live Stars, San Diego, Glastonbury and many more. This year Sophia has dropped 3 singles so far, including “ASHITA”. If you like Sophia Maeda then you should already have “ASHITA” on

Jona Da King – “Roots Of Love” EP – balancing rhymes, and soulful crooning|

Jona Da King is a hip-hop artist from Toronto, Ontario, based in Edmonton, Alberta. Jona is set to release his EP “Roots Of Love” which is scheduled to drop September 30th 2020. The artist has an eclectic musical palette which is colored by Hip-hop, R&B, Pop, as well as Jazz and Rock tones. We checked out his prime tracks in anticipation of the EP, and if the goal of this release is to make a breakout statement that Jona Da King is getting seriously started, he’s succeeded, delivering some of the smoothest, most mellifluous urban sounds we’ve heard in music

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

Tony Marino: “A Tango Silhouette” delivers the rhythms and more!

The origins of Tango are obscure. There are many theories, but ultimately it is impossible to discover the facts because the records don’t exist. Tango sprang from the poor and the disadvantaged, in tenement blocks and on street corners, amongst people whose lives usually leave little trace in the history books. The earliest evidence of Tango comes from the mid Nineteenth Century in Buenos Aires. Since then, the Tango movement has gone through many evolutions and seen many great interpreters. During the 50’s a young bandoneonista called Astor Piazzolla – who had stayed in the United States as a child, and later on studied classical composition in France –  realized that it would be hard to have the success that he wanted by staying within the Tango tradition.

Taking elements of Tango, Jazz, and classical ideas, Piazzolla created what he called Tango Nuevo. He was determined that his music should be listened to rather than danced to. This cross fertilization with North American and European forms created something accessible and appealing to people all over, and garnered Piazzolla huge success in the rest of the world.

Tony Marino

Many recent recordings are still heavily influenced or in some way inspired by Piazzolla, one of them being “A Tango Silhouette” by Tony Marino – whose maternal grandmother was actually born in Argentina. Marino came to Tango via his studies with musician and educator Bill DelGovenatore at Sam D’Amico’s Music store in South Philadelphia.

Bill exposed him to many forms of music including BeBop, Afro Cuban Jazz, Brazilian Jazz and many artists. Marino would later expand on those studies with Tom Lawton, another musician and educator. In 1997 he met Breno & Neusa Sauer, and took lessons from Breno, who taught him how to play the tango. He says that both Breno & Neusa were a huge influence in his music path to this album.

Marino also narrates an interesting piece of trivia, about his pursuit of Latin music: “In February of 1987 I heard an interview on the Philadelphia jazz radio station WRTI. The person being interviewed was Paquito D’Rivera.  I remember him being funny and during the interview he said “there is a lot more to Latin music than people dancing with pineapples and bananas on their heads”. I remember laughing so hard and thinking this guy is really funny.  I only heard the interview and I didn’t hear Paquito’s music until a few days later while driving home listing to WRTI. I remember hearing Paquito and thinking I must get that music.”

Tony Marino would later see Paquito D’Rivera perform live, and fall in love with a song, written by Diego Urcola, called “Blues For Astor”. So all of these events, together with Marino’s unbridled passion for performing music since the seventies, brings us to the 12 inspired tracks on “A Tango Silhouette”.

Marino delivers the rhythms, the syncopations with emphasis on the offbeat, and the frequent use of melancholic minor keys, in a combination which is particularly distinctive of Tango’s qualities. In musical sensibility, Marino’s tango has a lot in common with jazz and classical music. Like Astor Piazzolla, Tony’s music is about innovation, the unexpected; the more you listen to it the more surprises and nuances it reveals.

The Album Artwork

The album is made up of the songs – “Day Break”, “Sylvana Gene and Stella Tango Medley” (a medley dedicated to Marino’s mother and to his friend and mentor Gene Hebert and his wife Stella), “Lucia” (a composition dedicated to his grandmother), “In the Shadows” (dedicated to people who are friends and family members of people who contribute to a person’s success), “The Chancery Place Tango” (inspired by Marino’s family when they lived in their home on Chancery Place), “Astor and Dizzy Tango Medley” (dedicated to Astor Piazzolla and Dizzy Gillespie).

The album continues with “Circles” (inspired by Hermeto Pascoal), “A Different Time” (starts and alternates between a waltz and a tango), “The Layback Tango” (a song his wife Kristina urged Tony to record), “The Death of a Romance” (a song title created by Marino’s daughter), “The Philly Tango Astornomical Medley” (dedicated to Marino’s hometown Philadelphia, and to Astor Piazzolla), the album close with “That’s It”. Lush harmonies, exquisite orchestrations and an exactness of detail make these performances flawless in every way. It is hypnotizingly seductive.

If Tony Marino’s work, is not yet a part of your musical language, it very well should be. The writing and arrangements transport the listener along an aural journey filled with emotional twists and turns. The musicianship is flawless in all parts, and Marino’s keyboards become both lyrical and almost visual at times. If you only acquire one album of original tango music for your collection this year, you could hardly do better than “A Tango Silhouette”.

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