Album Reviews

Featured Artist: Wep One & Timmo

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Now available on Hello.L.A., a France based art label created by Bertrand Blanchard, Turn From the Grave by Wep One & Timmo, is an complex and interesting album which combines electronic, Hip Hop, and Metal into an explosive buffet of sound. The seven song collection is a co-production between U.S. based electronic musician and rapper, Wep One, and Timmo, a Japan based electronic musician and producer.  The two collaborated over the internet and have not met in person, although you wouldn’t guess that by listening to Turn From the Grave.

The album  begins with “Compound 47” a gritty mix of Wep’s vocals, static synths, and phased guitars, with minimal to sparse drums underlying the melee. Wep one’s lyrical mastery harkens to the most hardened of hip hop artists laced with a growl of wolf like mastery. The electronic samples and synths add an ethereal and alien soundscape with a futuristic quality. This could be hip hop circa 2062, sent back through a time portal. The second track “Turn From the Grave” starts with a robotic pulse sweeping the listener along into an interstellar starship dance party with robot DJ’s and Captain Wep leading the rabble rousers with his command of vocal form. “Imprint” the third song continues the galactic dance party and was co-produced along with Timmo and Wep by KaeoFLUX . The rest of the album continues along these lines and never ceases to be an interesting integration of sonic fortitude.

This is for hip-hop fans and electronic music fans alike, and even those who are tired of the same old thing. This album is certainly breaking new ground in electronic music and hip hop. Ready for something new? You’ve found it. You’re welcome.

 

Hard Copies SOLD OUT

Digital Available for DOWNLOAD:

http://store.hellola-hellola.com/product/wep-one-timmo-turn-from-the-grave/

Facebook

Wep One

https://www.facebook.com/WepOneMusic/

Timmo

https://www.facebook.com/TIMMO80

KaeoFLUX

https://www.facebook.com/kaeoflux/

Hello.L.A.

 

Whiskey N’ Rye: Sick Soul Summertime

Set to release this summer, Sick Soul Summertime, is the new album by Whiskey N’ Rye a gritty Rock band birthed out of the rainy city of Seattle. Whiskey N’ Rye’s meteoric rise began in 2013 with their first album and hard rocking live shows around some of the countries best venues and festivals. The five piece with members, Philip Lindholm, Guitar, singer/songwriter and producer, Carson Dent on drums, Marco Longo on Keyboards, Greg Pascale on lead guitar, and Alex Atwood on Bass. The album Sick Soul Summertime is Americana, Blues, and Rock based full of down home grit and guitars with an urban twist of trumpets and soul back up vocals. Southern Slanted fiddles and harmonicas make an appearance as well. Lindholm’s vocals are throaty and of a light-hearted crooner feel with power and depth. The whole album feels like a bunch of musicians met at a truck stop and had a giant jam fest together. There is a bit of everything for people to enjoy without sounding overtly complicated or too thought out. The album is perfect for summer fun and rocking out too while having grand sun filled adventures. Check it out on their website for pre-order. Whiskey N’ Rye, the future of Americana and Rock.

 

Website: http://www.whiskeynrye.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/whiskeynrye

Twitter: https://twitter.com/whiskeynrye

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/c/WhiskeyNRye

 

Manett

 

Manett is a refreshing new musical project by a Brooklyn based artist. She grew up on an island in Micronesia and arrived in NYC at the age of 19 where she attended film school. Her music is an ethereal modern take on psychedelic 60’s rock with a nudge to indie folk and a punk heart. Her dreamy vocals are reminiscent of Portishead, Nico, and Beach House, and their simplicity and style transport the listener to a woodland meadow where fantasy creatures play the instruments and little birds sing along. Her guitar is simple with just the right effects that swarm like bees to flowers. In her new EP, “Stigma-Style” released today, she includes complex beats underlying the simplicity of her instrumentation allowing for her vocals to shine. Just when you think you understand the folk hearted-ness of her writing she changes the vision through a seamless transition into more of an electro-pop vibe full with synthesizers in her song “The Birds (for Paulo)”.  You can listen here and download her new Ep for FREE download and you can also get it on cassette tape (for $5) complete with a bonus track from Kerchow Records.

 

Arjun a Lamenting Rock Trio

Arjun is a trio of musicians living in New York City. Their music is a spiritual transgression of melody, rhythm, and feeling. Together this trio hones in on their love of jazz and rock to create a seamless work. Their improvisational skills are at ease as each instrument speaks to the other in a liquid conversation of sound. Eddie Arjun Peters (guitar), Lamar Myers (drums), and Andre Lyles (bass) are each solidly versed in their instruments which is apparent immediately on the first listen. With many alternative jazz acts the flow of song is interrupted with repetition as a musician focuses on one interesting melody and drives it over and over into the ground, however, in their album CORE this never happens. The melodies are dynamic. The three instruments are intrinsic to one other and are a part of one body. Their sounds slide over, under, and through each other. They communicate back and forth and develop a dialogue as robust as the most earnest sonnet. Their music bombards you with feeling, fervent and wild with anticipation for the listener to keep on listening. It is fruitless to resist the invitation and listen on you must.

Free download of single “Crystalline”: http://www.arjuncore.com
Buy “CORE” album: http://www.arjuncore.com/core
Website: http://arjunmusic.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ARJUNmusiclive
Twitter: https://twitter.com/arjunmusic

Dream Cloud Machine

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-Angel Russell

The self titled album by Dream Cloud Machine released on November eleventh of 2014 is a collection of songs created by people who met on the internet. Jack Allen of Pasedena, Los Angeles produced the album. The album has the same upbeat melodies and instrumentation as 70’s pop hit maker Emitt Rhodes (The One Man Beatles). The best song on the album, “Close Me Down”, has delightful instrumentation of piano, guitar, solid drums, and direct melodies that add pep to your step. Also on the eight song album are songs such as “The Sequel” with vocal harmonies evocative of Wilco and Weezer, “The Vestal Ones” (another favorite) has more of a dark indie pop rock feel, vibrant guitar solos and lucid vocal harmonies. “Stray” brings the album around to a more melancholy tone. Overall the album is a strong set of well written, well-played songs  you’ll want to hear more than once. The songs stream together into a cohesive work well worth a listen. If you’re a fan of up beat pop rock, and lighthearted indie rock, you’re sure to like Dream Cloud Machine.

Thomas Brunkard Interview

-Angel Russell

Musician and composer Thomas Brunkard’s  project called A Never Ending Album has some new songs available. Sergeant Sparrow Recently interviewed Thomas about the project. The album does not have a set number of songs but will be added to perpetually. The internet reinvented the way music fans look at albums. It is a lot easier to skip songs of little interest to the listener when accessing an album online. Musicians who devoted time and effort to creating a cohesive set of songs or a concept album were inherently effected by how easy it is to listen to songs in snippets or in their entirety on sites such as bandcamp, iTunes, LastFM, Spotify, Pandora, the list continues. As was written in the previous Brunkard review by Sergeant Sparrow, “this led him [Brunkard] to create an album that is continuously evolving like the many updates our apps and phones now require.” He looks at his music as more of a stream of continuous creativity rather than a specific amount of songs connected together through an album. His work is an amalgamation of the listeners ability to listen and the musician’s ability to release through the internet.

His music is often dreamy and when the project began it had lush arrangements full of depth and intrigue. Brunkard is a guitar player first and not too much of a singer (according to him). He turns to his attention to arranging to help the music to vocalize for him. His melodies are melancholic but ethereal and can depict a lot of imagery if listened to in the correct mood and atmosphere. His love for guitar recently became over shadowed by his desire to add more bowed instruments to his music. As a guitar player it can be difficult to transition to cello, held between the legs and resting on the floor. It is an awkward position when one is used to the guitar. It is even more challenging to play violin, where your fingers must play smashed together on a tiny neck. He did some research and discovered the Guitarviol, a bowable guitar. You can read more about it here. A new song from his never ending album called Elégie Pour M. Toland can be heard here:

It is an interesting listen to be able to keep up with how a musician evolves. In a project such as this you can rewind in time to where Brunkard was months ago to where he is now. You can hear how his musicality evolves and can anticipate where it might head next. The inspirations are evident in the instrument choices, the trials and uplifting times in life can be heard because he continues to right throughout. This project will evolve into the album of Brunkard’s life more than a collection or snippet of  his career. It will surely be interesting to see where he will be in the years to come and compare it to different parts of his musical timeline. Each song becomes a montage of a slice of his life. What a journey.

Interview:

 Can you give us a brief description of your musical past and present?

I’m a musical nobody in terms of scale but I’ve had a lot of adventures from mundane commercial composition to composing for plays, movies and art projects. I’ve always been involved in working with others to bring their project to fruition, a catalyst or jobbing musician.

In terms of my background. I’m a self denying Irishman that grew up in a city that became very international very quickly. Anything and everything can happen in Dublin and the city has been enriched by a lot of different cultures arriving very quickly. This and our national obsession with music and song has been a big help to getting me to expand my own horizons musically.

Last March I released A Never Ending Album and in recent months the more classical instrumental stuff has been particularly well received. Lots of people are listening now on Soundcloud etc. I’ve not put a deposit on a yacht but it is exciting to see so many people from so many places enjoying very esoteric music!

Where did you get the idea for“A Never Ending Album?”

I’ve grown up with albums as the ultimate in musical curating. Nowadays music is consumed differently. If people actually bother to buy music it’s more commonly as single songs or streamed so albums are pretty much defunct for an upcoming generation of listener.

A side effect with streaming services such as Spotify is that friends are creating playlists and sharing them like we used to do with mixtapes. That idea of potentially infinite curated list interested me. (Can you elaborate how you think they have died? Maybe include a sentence here about how that came about and then how playlists were created)

Similarly the same phenomena can be found in Soundcloud with non-musician users curating the billions of tracks up there and working like earthworms through the compost to bring rich musical earth to the ears of casual listeners.

Maybe that’s what an album is now. My idea for this “album” is basically a Soundcloud playlist that is artist curated but presented as an album would in every other way (art and promo etc.). It’s more of statement of the artist controlling an album over time for better or worse.

How do you write and record your tracks?

I get most of my ideas strolling through Dublin listening to music actually. Eventually I start mentally improvising off something like a Marin Marais piece or an old Blind Willie Johnson bit and then I’ve gotta rush home and start putting it together!

Sometimes I’m watching a movie and I spot how I would have liked the music to go down and then it forms up in my head.

Since I work alone in front of a laptop the piece usually takes on a life of its own as the layers are added. My song, GBH is a prime example of this. I started scoring an imaginary cop show in my head and when I sat down I got pulled between different instruments like a maniac weaver on a nuclear powered loom!

Your music draws on a lot of musical genres and inspiration. How do you change from one genre to the next so seamlessly?

I don’t quite see the distinctions between genres as they’re presented. If you go to learn music it’s taught like each epoch has a definite book-end which I feel is an overly simplistic view of music history.

Our political and cultural upbringing moulds us into identities that cage us. That’s the human condition and we don’t get to fix that but in music we have chance to free our minds and go places that we don’t let ourselves go in real life.

If music is for this escapism then it should never be caged in the same socio-political cages we contain our lives with.

I suppose that’s a pretentious way of saying that it’s same 12 notes so they’ll all fit with a bit of elbow grease!

You say your still learning to compose, and yet your music seems so well orchestrated. What do you want to improve upon in your work?

I think given my background as a sideman that the biggest challenge for me is to try and make instrumental music that stands up in it’s own right. I’ve been heartened by the reaction I’ve been getting at this early stage but there’s a challenge for me to keep things interesting without becoming so stylistically diverse as to become inaccessible.

There’s always room to learn as a musician. The challenge is to get the right knowledge but not to become consumed by it to the point that you’re just making the music for yourself.

Where do you see yourself going musically in the future?

Eventually I hope to score a feature film. The reality is that I’ll continue to develop my craft and keep sharing it in the hope that my work gives somebody somewhere something for the two minutes they listen to it before they click on to pictures of kittens in compromising binds and forget about it!

The internet is an facilitator of things so I also hope for a surprise adventure to come back at me as a I keep broadcasting my wares online.

Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/thomasbrunkard

 

Metropolis by Dr. Sounds

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Swedish ambient artist Dr. Sounds has a new take the music to the 1927 movie by Fritz Lang, “Metropolis”. His album by the same name was released today. The album is eight songs long and each track is over five minutes in length. Separate from the film it makes a great listen for relaxation, meditation, or yoga. It would be a great accompaniment to a long walk as well. The songs consist of long sweeping synth chords that build over minimal textures and bell/chime type sounds. The tracks move from very calm etherial sounds to more complex drifting ambiance that takes you from one calm mood to another. You can listen to “Metropolis” here. 

Like Dr. Sounds on Facebook.

Words in Wartime

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Are you craving some sparse etherial music to zone out to after the craze of the holidays? Words in Wartime could be just the thing. Droning guitars spread out over time along with a quiet but steady rock beat. Modest Mouse meets Explosions in the sky with an effected and delayed vocal. This fits my mood perfectly right now.

Words in Wartime was written, recorded, performed, produced, mixed, and mastered by Matt Gregory with an old Dell laptop microphone. This works perfectly for the feel of the music. If it had been over produced in a studio it may not have the same impalpable sound.

http://wordsinwartime.bandcamp.com/album/whats-your-matter-ep

credits

Angel Russell

Ian Marquis : Faces From The Static

Producer, arranger, guitarist, and singer Ian Marquis has come out with a new album entitled, Faces From The Static. New Wave, Electro Rock, Alternative Rock, with a bit of Acoustic and Hard Rock bring themselves to the forefront of this album. It begins with a very 80’s new wave rock electronic feel and his voice has a bit of Morrissey inspiration. The guitars are distorted and blend well with the drums in Hide in Seek, the first track on the album. The arrangements are complex but have enough space for the listener to process the many parts in each song. There is not an over abundance of sound or repetitiveness that you find in a lot of electro rock music. Some tracks on the album have a very dark Depeche Mode feel in the beginning and then change into an almost Billy Idol straight ahead rock feel such as in Help Me Make it to the Night. You never know what your going to get when you begin listening to a song. That Keeps you wanting to listen more. His lyrics are interesting and engaging. “I used to be able to see faces in everything around me. I couldn’t hide from them; my mind would create replacements in any direction I looked…when I closed my eyes I didn’t see blackness-I saw dancing static, fine as sand.” For more information check out his video, music and links below.

Like him on Facebook

Soundcloud

Website