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Archive for December, 2016

Album review: Losing Landscapes by Chelsey and the Noise

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One of the most interesting trends in music right now is the resurgence of electronic music like that of the trip-hop golden years (i.e. the 90s). One problem I notice, however, is that the radio is becoming absolutely saturated with these electronic groups and only a few stand out from the crowd. What should an electronic group do so that they aren’t typecast as “just another indie electronic act?”

Enter Chelsey and the Noise with their EP Losing Landscapes. Described in their bio as utilizing “deep analog synths, glitch inspired beats, and aggressive vocals to create a darker breed of electronic music,” this duo of Chelsey Hice and Brent “the Noise” Watters creates a much needed fresh take on the electronic genre. 

The album is dark and infectious melodically. The instrumentals are well-composed, the vocals are extremely unique, and ultimately the songs have an immense amount of artistry behind them. Losing Landscapes is kind of like early Nine Inch Nails meets Phantogram and the Cure. It is the 80s, 90s, and modern era of alternative, industrial, and electronic music rolled into one EP.

Chelsey and the Noise is such a breath of fresh air amongst all of the copy-cat acts that are arising in the indie-electronic scene. This duo from the Bay Area is absolutely worth your time.

Losing Landscapes can be found at:

https://chelseyandthenoise.bandcamp.com/releases

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Compilation Review: Sunrise Square 01-09

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“07”

Ambition is sometimes what drives composers insane. Sometimes we get such grandiose ideas that, when we put it together, it turns out to be too great to materialize. Other times, however, these “big” ideas become a large, continuous conceptual work of art. It is the latter that Sunrise Square falls into.

01-09 are, as indicated, nine separate collections of songs (in various numeric groupings) that form one ultimate compilation. It is an extremely vast work but absolutely worth going through as a music reviewer. Sunrise Square’s music is described by the Connecticut-based composer as:

“‘impressionist dance music’ influenced by Wolfgang Voigt, Detroit techno and Hiroki
Azuma’s interpretation of ‘otaku culture’.”

What occurs, to my own ears, is a mixture of ambient, house, and other electronic styles that manages to give off a calm, dance-able musical experience. You can either engage or tune out, and the music accepts either direction.

The three years that Sunrise Square took to make this music was time well spent. I think that there is something for every electronic music fan in this compilation.

Sunrise Square 01-09 can be found at:

http://www.sunrisesquare.bandcamp.com

 


Album review: “In Another Life” by Simon Kent

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If you have followed my website for a long time, the name Simon Kent may sound familiar to you. Ever since I was introduced to his music a couple years back, Simon’s music has held my attention. You can imagine my excitement when I was given early access to his forthcoming record In Another Life for a review.

As I already expected, the album is full of well-structured songs that give gentle nods to the electro-pop of the 1980’s. Simon’s voice is as amazing as ever, quite frankly he is in possession of one of the most attractive and unique sounding voices I’ve heard in a while.

Fans of Simon Kent will not be let down, as he only builds upon the strong sound he has developed over the years. The melodies have strong hooks and the instruments are heavily electronic with ambient tones washing over the tracks.

Though In Another Life is not due for release for some time, one of the tracks(which has had airplay on BBC Radio 2) is available on Youtube for a listen (link below)

If you have not had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with Simon Kent’s music, now is the time to start. This record is perfect for anyone longing for the sounds of Duran Duran, Tears for Fears and David Bowie being reimagined for the modern era. When the record releases on the 6th of March 2017, I highly recommend you experience In Another Life for yourself.

Simon Kent can be found at:

https://twitter.com/SimonKentMusic

https://www.facebook.com/SimonKentMusicUK/


The Only Way I Know by Savvy aka Asaviour

“The Only Way I know is a relentless ode to never giving in.
Pushing until you feel you have nothing left, and then picking yourself
up again and pushing until your heart bursts.”

These are the words of Savvy aka Asaviour when describing his new track “The Only Way I Know.” The description fits, as the song is a pulsating, loud, driving, grooving monster of a track that shows off Savvy’s multi-dimensional songwriting and performing abilities. I always love to see what the UK rap scene is up to, and Savvy does not disappoint.


Album review: 1(EP) by aoi

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When an artist has a clear vision for their work, it is imperative that they follow through with it. aoi, a composer/musician/producer from Montreal, is an example of this actually happening. With his debut EP, entitled 1(EP), aoi (real name Keven Brien) has established that he wants the listener to experience:

“A voyage through lands where the organic and synthetic evolved in symbiosis, when the past and future coexist simultaneously.”

I can testify after listening to this record that this symbiosis occurs beautifully, as numerous genres and eras coalesce to form the final product. You hear echoes of Brian Eno, Pat Metheny, Jan Hammer, Jean-Michel Jarre, and Allan Holdsworth in this record.

1(EP) is ambient, driven, and emotionally complex. Above all else it is experimental in a way that comes across as genuine, rather than pretentious (a problem that sometimes plagues the genre). Don’t let the “experimental” label scare you away if that isn’t your thing, as I truly believe there is enough for the mainstream listener here as well.

In accomplishing his vision for 1(EP), aoi has made an ambitious and beautiful debut record. It is truly something I recommend you give a try.

1(EP) by aoi can be found at https://ao-i.bandcamp.com/