music is life, music is breath, music is us

Latest

Album Review: “Circumgyration” by COC aka City of Colors

COC aka City of Colors is a Polish experimental music project based out of Warsaw. Their newest release, Circumgyration, showed up in my email as a submission and I’m really glad that it did. The record explores various spheres of sonic expression. There are synths, samples reminiscent of early Steve Reich, glitch style beats, noise samples that give it a John Cage feel and melodies that interlock to create really beautiful parts. It is a very experimental record, but I think that even the more mainstream listener can enjoy aspects of Circumgyration.

If you like glich or ambient music, click on the Soundcloud link above to experience Circumgyration for yourself.

Album Review: “Inner” by Nunun

front

As a musician I have always felt that the best music just happens. You train your mind to be one with your instrument and its capabilities, then throw it into improvisational situations. Music that is improvisation based takes many forms, and the record Inner by Nunun is one of them.

Nunun is a project consisting of Italian musicians Cesare Discepol (guitar, effects) and Massimo Discepoli (drums). It is deemed to be an album of introspection, experimentation, and as alluded to before, improvisation. The musicianship of Cesare and Massimo cannot be overstated. They understand their craft down to its most minute details.

What really shines here, however, is the compositional acheivements of the group. You are brought to realms of profound groove, ambience, and beauty that flow seamlessly from start to finish on this record. I feel like this album is an intersection of the free jazz philosophy of Ornette Coleman and the grandiose (yet inward-looking) nature of the David Gilmour-led Pink Floyd era.

When Inner releases on March 15th, I suggest you head over to https://acustronica.bandcamp.com/ and pick up a copy for yourself.

Album Review: “Time is Addictive” by Mehdi Mahmoudabadi

41jpwx9igcl-_ss500

Ambient music comes in many flavors, but it is often most associated with a pleasurable dream-like state. I love this type of ambient as much as anyone, but I also love when people explore the darker potential that this music has.

Enter Iranian composer Mehdi Mahmoudabadi and his EP Time is Addictive. In this record, we see the looping minimalism that ambient music is well-known for, but there is a massive twist. The tones, samples, instruments, vocals, melodies, rhythms, and harmonies all give off an experimental and dark vibe.

Try to imagine Trent Reznor in his Downward Spiral period making a record with Brian Eno and you get an idea what this record sounds like. The fact that Mehdi is so young (20 years old) and able to make music that has this much unique character is a real testament to his talent.

Time is Addictive can be found at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/time-is-addictive-ep/id1174937966

Album Review: “Home” by James Kennedy

image001

“Keep an eye out for Kennedy, he’s a man going places” – BBC Radio 1

Radio 1 in this case knows what they are talking about. As I listened to Welshman James Kennedy’s upcoming record Home, it became clear that he was a man with a strong artistic vision. Central to this record is the powerful nature of the song structure. The choruses soar and the verses are tinged with a driving force that calls you to listen intently.

Incidentally the core inspiration behind this record is, as Kennedy’s PR agency told me, his exploration of depression and utilizing the music as therapy. As a fellow sufferer of severe depression, I totally get this. And this understanding is helpful in looking at the record as more than just a collection of great songs.

The songs are powerful and can only come from a place that understands what darkness truly looks like. James Kennedy’s vocals are modern, refreshing, and ultimately an amalgamation of numerous stylistic influences (rock, soul, blues and pop). For me, James may very well be the Welsh Jeff Buckley, as his songwriting reminds me so much of the late, great performer.

Home is an uplifting journey for the listener and it reminds you to dust yourself off and keep pushing on in a hostile world.

Home can be pre-ordered at https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/home/id1182038899

James Kennedy can be found at:

http://jameskennedystuff.com/

Album Review: “Making Noise” by Mitch Malloy

mm-final

I don’t know how often I’ve said this on my site, but I consider Van Halen to be one of my all-time greatest musical influences. Those of you who know Van Halen likely know the reputation of the band to be rather notorious for having numerous lead singers.

Officially these singers are David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar, and Gary Cherone. There is another singer that I only discovered recently, however, thanks to the beauty of YouTube. After listening to a demo from the Van Halen III sessions, I was recommended a video for a song called “It’s The Right Time” that was recorded by a brilliant singer named Mitch Malloy.

I was blown away that I had never, in all my years of being obsessed with this band, known of this guy! After Sammy was booted out of the band, Mitch was actually the guy on point to do a new record with the band. For various reasons, which are detailed in the video below, Mitch chose to leave the project.

After some correspondence with Mitch, who is a super chill dude, I decided to review his most recent record Making Noise. I gotta tell you folks, the first thing that comes to mind when listening to this album is KICK ASS. The songs are pure, high-adrenaline hard rock that have soaring melodies and brilliant musicianship.

The central point of the record is Mitch’s powerful voice. It’s no wonder why Eddie Van Halen told Mitch that he was the “best fucking singer” he’d ever heard. Malloy’s tone is pristine and also aggressive, and his range is simply mind-blowing.

The songs themselves leave you in a state of euphoria that good rock n’ roll should always create. You can hear the meticulous work that Mitch put into writing Making Noise and his attention to detail shows. The production is top notch and the instruments sound fantastic.

This record is so much more than simply Making Noise. It is a proclamation that rock is still alive and well, no matter what the radio DJs (or Gene Simmons) might be saying. You are left at the end of the album feeling so damn good and it is a high that only the best rock can give you.

Get this record if you value true rock n’ roll, you won’t be disappointed.

Get Making Noise at http://www.mitchmalloy.com

EP Review: “Dream in Color” by Erin Pellnat

erin

Brooklyn-based musician Erin Pellnat has a diverse musical pallet. In describing her EP Dream in Color to me, she described the record as ranging from “flavorful acoustic, to accordion waltz, to Bossa Nova.”

Artists that refuse to be placed in a singular box always catch my attention and Erin is no exception. This four track EP is a radio-friendly collection of songs that manage to display the utmost artistic expression.

The hooks are infectious, the lyrics are imaginative, and the arrangements are a perfect blend in each track. Erin’s voice is fantastic and a main draw to these songs. It is a perfect vehicle to deliver memorable melodies over intricate harmonies.

With top-notch songwriting and musicality, it’s hard to find any fault in this EP. I highly recommend it.

Dream in Color can be found at https://erinpellnat.bandcamp.com/releases

Album Review: “Pale Blue Dot” by Robert Scott Thompson

a3972268501_16

One of the greatest sources for inspiration among ambient composers is space. The vast, ever-expanding nature of our Universe is a brilliant jumping-off point for countless pieces that explore our own “galaxy” of imagination.

This is evident in Robert Scott Thompson’s record Pale Blue Dot. With each track evoking space travel in name (like “Perigee,” “Apogee,” and the more obvious “Slow Rotation of Stars”) and sound, it is only natural to imagine oneself in orbit while listening.

The music is haunting, beautiful, and meticulously put together in such a way that you feel a complex set of emotions continuously. Some ambient music is meant to lull you into a trance, but Pale Blue Dot is constantly changing the tonal script, never allowing you to put the music into the background.

As a trained music academic and celebrated modern composer of the experimental; this record only further adds to Robert Scott Thompson’s innovative reputation. The self-described “musical alchemist” does not disappoint.

Pale Blue Dot can be found at https://robert-scott-thompson.bandcamp.com/album/pale-blue-dot