Some performers simply try to provide some entertainment to their audience. Others, on the other hand, really love to share a deeper meaning through their art.
This is certainly the case of Ace A Caped Crusader – an artist with a really special and unique approach. His recent release, Tasnim’s Interlude, is more than just a rap song. In fact, it could be easily described as a spoken word track. The melodies, provided by a beautifully textural background track where electric guitars and percussion interact, is all about providing a lush and atmospheric backdrop for this artist’s compelling voice.
His lyrics are personal, insightful and inspiring, going for a soothing, smooth, yet powerful vocal tone. On Tasnim’s Interlude, Ace A Caped Crusader set out to show off his insightful lyricism and visionary word flow, going for a very mellow, yet vibrant rhythm expanding and evolving throughout the track.
On this song, the artist exposes himself with no fear of revealing his most intimate side or deeper feelings. This is a perfect example of what happens when hip-hop and poetry come together, making for a creative, personal and emotional musical journey.
Epic Rain is a project with a fresh, energetic and personal attitude. The sound blurs the lines between various musical styles,ranging from experimental alternative rock, to electronica, math and progressive. The act recently published a new single release, “Dream Sequence 1”, a great taste of their sound and an example their commitment to unapologetic musical experiments! The song is going to be featured on Epic Rain’s upcoming album, “Dream Sequences”, slated for release later this month.
This track is built on an intricate pattern of beats, chopped up melodies and interesting synth tones with a lush, deep atmospheric tone. In spite of the sophisticated sound, the energy of the arrangement has a very instinctual feel, allowing listeners to immediately connect with the track.
This release certainly marks an important step for this band, who certainly worked hard to affirm their sonic aesthetics and vision for this particular work.
The music has a very organic atmosphere that has a very psychedelic vibe to it, and although psychedelic music has a long history, which could be traced back to the 60s (or even earlier), Epic Rain’s approach is more modern and unpredictable, with oneiric textures and hypnotic grooves.
John Casper is a driven, passionate and charismatic artist with a unique approach to his music. His songs are melodic and catchy, yet energetic and uplifting, echoing the work of artists such as Drake, The Weeknd or Frank Ocean, just to mention but a few.
On his recent release, “Smoking Blues”, John mastered the fine art of writing songs that are deeply personal, yet easy to relate to. Smoking Blues is a particularly interesting release for its unique sonic signature, which remind me of the old school glory days of this genre, while looking at it from a more modern perspective.
I really love it when artists are able to re-contextualize music, exploring new ideas and combining their creativity with timeless structure, paying homage to their influences, while creating something completely original. To me, John Casper sounds like an artist who truly know where he is going, but who never lost track of where he actually comes from, in terms of sound and influences.
The artist managed to wrap up 5 exciting tunes that showcase a very open mind and an eclectic attitude, embracing influences from different genres, including pop, trap, neo-soul and R&B.
Music about music is a tradition of popular culture. In hip hop, music about the musician is a high-risk, high-reward endeavor. To allow a look past your persona and be vulnerable can ruin your image as a badass, a gangsta, a force of nature or whatever deity Kanye West is sitting by the pool with. For Blak Ace, we’re treated to a reminder that inspirational messages tied into vulnerability can bring a greater sense of character in a powerful way. My Passion is a track that’s about music and the musician. The relationship between art and artist doesn’t have to be abstract. It doesn’t have to focus solely on struggles and sorrows. Black Ace finds that music is worth whatever it takes and is willing to give himself to it for the sake of the life music gives back. Moreover, this song encourages others.
Anyone who can’t get past the notion that hip hop is about selfishness, aggressiveness and general thuggery needs to open their ears. Blak Ace is not the first, nor will he be the last, to understand that music has power and that power can change people. Spreading messages of following ones dreams and living their passions to the fullest doesn’t sound like the bad influence scapegoat that hip hop has become to so many parents. In fact, one of the best qualities of My Passion is that it teaches pride in oneself and belief in a time when people aren’t always ready to follow their dreams. Today, we need more artists like Blak Ace.
Dennis Brown Jr. is an artist and performer with a passion for great dub, reggae and electronic dance tones. His recent release, Be Mine, is a stunning example of what happens when great production aesthetics converge with skilled songwriting and personal lyrics. The song is a great peak into the artist’s vision, as well as a perfect gateway into a new, exciting sonic world.
In this particular production, Dennis set out to impress the audience with high-energy performances, as well as with memorable melodies and catchy arrangements that feel readily appealing, yet never trite or banal. Creating music that feels simple, yet sophisticated is probably the most deceptively complicated task. It is so easy to fall into the “trap” of self-indulgence, but Dennis managed to bridge the gaps between innovation and timelessness on this amazing release.
Be Mine as a very upbeat feel, and the balanced mix truly helps every single element in the music stand out: the beat is powerful, but never overpowering. The vocals are present, yet never too dominant: this allows the song to flow smoothly and evenly across the entire spectrum, offering an amazing listening experience to the audience!
When it comes to pop music there are hundreds of stylistic variations but there is just that one type that will immediately make you feel good just a few seconds after pressing play the first time. “Where To Go” happens to be one of those tracks and with its steady groove and catchy lyrics it is difficult to resist moving along to this song. From the very first few seconds the driving rhythm instantly creates a laid back cool vibe and as the other instruments join in, the track becomes more and more fun by the second, making for a great end-of-summer tune which will definitely put everyone in the mood for some more good nights out.
Apart from having a fresh instrumental arrangement, SnDs gives us a song with a tuneful vocal melody, sung with a warm and distinctive tone,and a well balanced set of instruments which suit the mood and give just the right amount of energy to the song, making it appealing for a varied audience. The structure simply carries you along with the groove and before you know it you will be pressing play again!
“The Hive” is an electronic dance track straight out of Kattacomb’s brand new album “10 Days On Titan” which has as a basis it’s very own fiction story providing context to the tracks. This track itself, heavily based on driving rhythms which emerge as sounds are juxtaposed in the building of a tight texture, is a lot more than one can expect from an electronic dance track. The sounds used are carefully chosen and interwoven in a crisp and intense combination which drives curiosity for what’s about to happen next, and in fact the music keeps evolving until the very end.
A few moments after the mid point of the song, Kattacomb carefully takes out all instrumentation and prepares us for the final development and climax. Apart from this instance the track is not short of builds and drops either, making for a well structured dance track that is sure to have everyone moving. As his music keeps climbing up the charts, this budding producer definitely surpasses expectations with his creative approach to electronic music production.
With her dynamic grooves and mesmerising dreamlike atmospheric effects, Nej!las is able to capture the imagination and take her listeners on a creative journey through sound and “Sunken” is the perfect example for this. Upon first pressing play on an electronic piece of music one would most likely expect heavy build ups and drops but on the contrary “Sunken” keeps a mellower yet steady vibe with a texture which is in constant motion and fluctuation. While creating her unique morphing sonic experience Nej!las also creatively mixes in components of techno and progressive house which give the music her unique tone.
Apart from its steady driving rhythm, deep sounds and gradual changes in instrumental arrangement and digital effects this song also features melodic vocal lines which also immediately grasped my attention as I was listening. The vocal aspect is definitely not the main element of the track but provides a better sense of dimension and context while the music indeed portrays the feeling and emotions attributed to its title. At this point this young producer shows no sign of slowing down and her creative ideas are truly interpreted through music in a convincing and competent nature.
With an intriguing blend of natural sounding instrumentation in combination with more electronic and heavy sections, a strong vocal tone and an outstandingly catchy melody, “Over This,” is precisely a song for the top of the charts. This song is not just your normal pop tune, it’s a song that will have you press play over and over. Through this fresh sounding song featuring a very colourful arrangement, Dan Kastelnik surprises us with his ability to fuse styles in a way which makes the song appealing for a wide audience. Mixing in a hint of raw and edgy rock vocals while delivering a melody that is catchy and pop-ish in combination with a wide spectrum of instrumental sounds, the way this song is crafted definitely makes it very commercially appealing.
When it comes to the harmonic changes and the way the instruments are arranged, these go hand in hand together to form a very rhythmically moving texture which, from the beginning of the song, pushes through while keeping a steady groove and rhythm, even at points when there are in fact no drum grooves. The natural sounds of guitar, bass and strings make up an expressive basis which surprisingly morphs into a heavy rhythmic and expanded chorus which features a more electronic side. Apart from having a strong element of surprise, “Over This” cleverly features a wide dynamic range and an artistic vision which is clearly performed, produced and delivered, making the song surprisingly impactful.
I’ve heard people describe auto tune as sounding chromatic, as if the sound of hard pitch corrections reveals some kind of audible colors hidden in the harmonic structure of the human voice. Corliss Plug knows just how to bring these colors out in more ways than one. With filtered synths and percussion blooming in and out, Ridin’ has to be one of the most colorful hip hop tracks in recent memory. This isn’t using effects as a crutch or replacement for substance. This is the proper use of an often underestimated tool set at the disposal of producers.
Ridin’ is resonant and fun. It blows by any chance of being called corny due to its timing and tight, modern beat sensibility. This track can have a major impact on a room from the first seconds through the outro. The transitions are atmospheric and the vocal samples thrown in vary from full duet verses to Michael Jackson-esque yelps. It’s always a pleasure to hear an artist who genuinely sounds like they love what they’re doing. It’s even better when they’ve made something for the listener to love as well. Corliss Plug delivers a strong hit with Ridin’.