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Album Review: “Change” by Mystic Roots

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Being a born and raised California boy, I am always happy to find bands that represent our state so well. Mystic Roots falls into this description so well, as the Chico, CA natives carry the reggae tradition with respect while putting their own spin on it. The band considers dancehall, Hip-Hop, EDM, pop, and rock as musical influences, and every track has some flavor of these styles sprinkled on the main reggae sound. The smooth grooves and melodies along with positive vibes makes Change a perfect summer album. It’s no secret then why they reached #1 on the Billboard reggae charts with the album.

This band is kind of like No Doubt meets Matisyahu meets 311, hard to explain but they are really worth your time with this release.

Change can be found at major music distributors like iTunes

Album Review: “Samatta” by The Corrupting Sea

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The Corrupting Sea creates a sound that is rooted in the free space that ambient music provides. Not bound by rigid time signatures, the music on Samatta allows for melodic and harmonic expressions that slowly draw you into a dream-like state. The contrast of the melodious textures with static droning and other sound effects allows for a multi-dimensional experience. Jason Lamoreaux, the brain behind The Corrupting Sea, set out to create “personal emotive moments in his work, creating themed albums made of delicate, often times, stripped down pieces.”

I think he accomplished his goal thoroughly.

Samatta can be found at https://somewherecoldrecords.bandcamp.com

Introducing the solo punk project Amherst Drive

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Hey everyone,

You may notice that I don’t post reviews as frequently as I used to (I have a ton coming though as I receive many submissions). There are various factors at play for why this is, but one of massive significance is that I have started a new punk project called Amherst Drive. I don’t call it a band because it isn’t, everything you hear is sung or played by me much like early Nine Inch Nails records. I have been at this music thing a long time, and while punk was my first love musically (from bands like Social Distortion and Pennywise), I never released punk until now.

I’d appreciate you checking it out and seeing what you think.

http://www.amherstdrive.bandcamp.com

Five Years of MixolydianBlog

WOW, I can’t believe this little Webzine/blog/whatever you want to call it has been around for five years. I started this site out of frustration with my life and the need to find something to be passionate about when I wasn’t passionate about much. Since then I have interviewed legendary musicians, connected with every part of the globe, gained amazing friends, and ultimately connected on a deeper level with music (and I say that as a composer and musician).

Thank you.

Album Review: “Sports Car Illusions” by The Paul Swest

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Free jazz is still, decades after its inception, a massive point of contention for some jazz fans. The freedom to create on the fly in any key with total melodic and harmonic freedom with often frantic rhythms can be hard to digest for the uninitiated. But for a musician and composer like me who is well acquainted with the avant-garde and the atonal; I live for the freedom that an anarchistic approach to melody and harmony creates.

It is in this that we find the music of The Paul Swest, who I have reviewed once before. Everything that this group does well is present once again, and I can without hesitation recommend this record to fans of the previous or free jazz fans looking for a new obsession.

Get Sports Car Illusions at https://thepaulswest.bandcamp.com/album/sports-car-illusions

Album Review: “Valenti” by Valenti Funk

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Dallas-based Valenti Funk creates music that is cross-genre, expressive, and ultimately a reflection of not only him but all of the musicians that he creates with. The tracks on Valenti are a blast of funk (with special nods to George Clinton), reggae, and jazz. Every track is filled with powerful energy that invites you to dance or to chill the hell out. In either case, you can tell that Valenti Funk has honed his craft as a musician and songwriter to the point that it seems effortless (even though some of the lines, both rhythmic and melodic, are quite complex). It is a true pleasure to give this record a listen, I suggest you do the same.

Valenti is available on iTunes

Album Review: “Runnin’ For The Ghost” by Big Mean Sound Machine

Big Mean Sound Machine works as a unit to create music that is a nod to its influences (including Afrobeat, Dance, Experimental, and Funk). They respect and clearly have a deep understanding of the traditions they hold up while also creating a sound that is all its own. Their talent got the attention at one point of Tony Allen (Nigerian pioneer and co-creator of afrobeat with Fela Kuti and the Africa 70), whom they had the honor of playing with. The grooves, the harmonies, the ambient effects, the experimental melodies, and ultimately the spirit behind the music on Runnin’ for the Ghost results in music that you feel in your core. The songs call for you to get up and move.

So move!

Runnin’ for the Ghost can be found on iTunes