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Marlon Bianco used psychedelic subversion in his cosmic jazz surf single, Telecosmo

Telecosmo by Marlon Bianco is a frenetic odyssey that propels listeners into a cosmic realm of sound while showcasing the artist’s unique ability to blend diverse genres into a cohesive and captivating sound. Bianco, a self-taught musician and former frontman of Dead Coast, demonstrates his eclectic influences and experimental spirit in this single.

Bianco’s mastery in synthesising multiple genres, including jazz, blues, psychedelic surf, and cosmic pop, results in a composition that is richly layered and full of sonic wit. The jazz elements stand out with their complex time signatures, adding a dynamic and somewhat unpredictable rhythm to the mix. This jazz foundation, combined with the other genre influences, creates a sensation akin to a futuristic gameshow theme, transmitted from a distant galaxy.

The production of Telecosmo is a testament to Bianco’s artistic evolution. Recorded and produced by Monte at The Adriatica Studio in the UK and mastered by Francesco Gaudio at StudioGaudio Taranto in Italy, the single benefits from a high-quality production that enhances its intricate layers and textures.

The track is a clear indicator of Bianco’s continuous evolution as a musician and composer. As he prepares for more shows in the UK and a new album release followed by a European tour in 2024, fans can anticipate swathes more innovative and captivating music from this talented artist.

Telecosmo was officially released on December 1st; hear it on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Shrapnel unleashed the meta(l)morphosis of the year with their latest single, In Gravity ft Scott Kennedy

In collaboration with Scott Kennedy (Bleed from Within), the eclectically inspired metal monoliths Shrapnel unleashed the meta(l)morphosis of the year with their latest single, In Gravity.

All the precision, power and prowess that catapulted Shrapnel to acclaim is ensnaringly evident in the fervently cathartic juggernaut, which sonically and thematically moved with the times to acknowledge the pain, tragedy, and isolation collectively endured in recent years and to place the powerhouse at the pinnacle of modern metal.

After breaking through the chains of expectation and obligation to confine themselves to assimilating thrash antiquities, In Gravity is an adrenalized statement of intent. There’s no understating the riled euphoric energy which insurgently courses through the veins of the anthem for optimism where demons are exercised, and the past is forsaken for the present.

Between the exhilarating earworm propensities in the melodically cataclysmic choruses, the brutality of the breakdowns, the relentless dynamism of the guitars, and the flawless production by Jens Bogren (Sepultura, Kreator, Devin Townsend), the new maturity of Shrapnel is priming them to become the orchestrators of the album of the year in 2024.

In Gravity was released on December 7. Add it to your metal playlists on Spotify or stream the official music video on YouTube.

Follow Shrapnel on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

McCartney and Mezzowave showcased the power of transformative music with ‘Lifeblood’

Lifeblood by McCartney and Mezzowave is a musical embodiment of positive energy and spiritual resonance, reflecting the diverse talents and profound journeys of its creators.

McCartney, a consciousness coach and musician, infuses the track with her signature tranquil, soul-stirring style. Her vocals in Lifeblood serve as an auditory sanctuary, offering a mantra-like quality that inspires a yearning for enlightenment and mindfulness. The deep bass lines in the song complement its uplifting spirit, making it more than just an earworm; it’s a journey into inner peace.

Mezzowave, known for his versatility in electronic music and his role as a TV/film composer, brings a unique depth to the collaboration. His expertise in creating compositions that touch the soul is evident in the way Lifeblood resonates with listeners.

What’s particularly captivating about Lifeblood is its diversity in form. The ambient rendition offers a laid-back, soothing experience, ideal for moments of reflection. The meditation mix is a testament to the track’s spiritual roots, providing a soundscape for inner peace and mindfulness.

The music video’s inclusion of Max’s Ford Consul Classic adds a touch of nostalgia and a subtle nod to the Beatles, enriching the song’s background story. McCartney’s musical heritage, combined with her recent solo debut Calling to the World, demonstrates her natural ability to create music that deeply connects with her audience.

Stream the official music video for Lifeblood on YouTube.

Learn more about McCartney via her official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

West London’s freshest trailblazer Zush held no prisoners with the killer cadence in ‘Playing for Keeps’

West London rap icon in the making Zush showcased a luminary on the cusp of great acclaim by unleashing his high-octane hit, Playing for Keeps, which flavours UK drill with a Caribbean kick while exhibiting his ability to hold his own against the charisma of Stormzy and Dave.

By bringing cultural flavour into the dark and ensnaring atmospheric Drill tones, the depth of the track is enhanced to the nth degree; from the first beat you are immersed in an adrenalizing aural visualisation of his infectiously visceral sonic signature.

After the success of his seminal single, We Got the Sauce, which saw his talent recognised by Pulse 88, Itch FM, GRM Daily, UGM, The Beat London, Westside FM, Bound 2 Blow and many more, Playing for Keeps is an impossible-to-ignore statement of intent from an artist who exhibits his determination in every facet of his captivating expression.

By honing his talents from a young age as a high school beat-maker, DJ in a rap group and percussionist in a steel band, Zush was primed to make an unforgettable entry into the domain of UK rap. The influence of hip-hop legends like Nas, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliot, and Pharrell, coupled with the Caribbean beats from his upbringing, is evident in Playing for Keeps, which fuses his reverence for sharp flows with his affinity towards his Caribbean roots, which pull through when he asserts his Caribbean accent in the chorus as a juxtaposition of the drill bars which exhibit his command of flow and cadence.

Playing for Keeps dropped on the 30th of November; stream it on Spotify and never miss another seminal release from Zush by following him on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

River Knight extended empathy for politically derived malady in their orchestral folk-rock score, Green and Gold

River Knight’s latest single, Green and Gold, is a socialist orchestral folk-rock masterpiece; with a reprise of “the system is broken and there’s no way back” as a lyrical opening, there’s no deliberation before immersing you into the infectiously empowering assault on late-stage capitalism.

The modern iteration of everyman’s blues keeps an upbeat tempo as the everyday atrocities unravel over the zeal in the instrumental arrangement to create an emotionally well-rounded score that unifies the disenfranchised while vindicating the anger that is breeding within the social tapestry.

With an ear for a compelling melody, an empathy for politically derived malady, and the technical prowess to construct a soul-sating earworm you’ll be humming for days, the UK duo who banded together in 2017 after Darren Knight’s wife passed away have become as essential as the Manic Street Preachers were in the 90s.

Green and Gold was officially released on November 24; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Fleisch – FIREFLY: Meet the New Icons of Industrial

Fleisch have dropped their latest viscerally augmented industrial earworm, FIREFLY, allowing the darkwave electronica genre to evolve around the pulsating euphoria that spills from the fierce interplay of influence from Rammstein and Depeche Mode.

With synth carved hooks that will latch onto your consciousness for days between the harsh ensnaring industrial metal rancour that riles your rhythmic pulses, FIREFLY pays ode to the three-piece’s inspiration while refusing to let it define their anthemic sound, which keeps the techno tempo upbeat and the tones dark to deliver the ultimate industrial floor-filler.

If Zeromancer, Combichrist, and Powerman 5000 feature heavily on your playlists, you’ll easily find space for Fleisch and their authentic take on the genre.

FIREFLY buzzed onto the airwaves on December 1st; stream it on Spotify.

Follow Fleisch on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Free yourself from end of days anxiety with Movment’s alt post-punk single, The Light Goes Out

The Light Goes Out is the fourth single to creep out of the darkness of the third album, REINVENTION, from the alt post-punk outfit, Movment. If you have been waiting for humanity’s final curtain to fall in a state of perpetual fear, slip into the enticing ethos of the release which compels you not to sit idly by waiting to surrender to our collective fate.

The engorging atmospherics, pulsating darkwave synths, sirening guitar lines and the commanding assertion in the gravelly post-punk-to-the-bone vocal lines make a compelling argument on why you should live your life undogged by end of days anxiety. Movment reached the pinnacle of cheerful nihilism with The Light Goes Out, which ties into the overarching theme of the LP, which came to life at End of Light Studios in Ireland, as a courtesy of Alex Borwick (mixing), and Jerome Schmitt (mastering).

The Light Goes Out was officially released on November 24; stream the official music video on YouTube.

The REINVENTION LP is now available to stream and purchase via Bandcamp. 

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sean T MacLeod – Sweetness: Indie Licks Like Sugar

Sean T MacLeod’s latest single, Sweetness, emerges as a scintillating gem in the indie music scene, showcasing MacLeod’s innate talent for crafting memorable melodies. This jangly new wave indie track echoes college radio rock and stands out for its ability to transcend the ever-growing pile of indie landfill by offering a captivating testament to MacLeod’s skilful composition, each crescendo serving as a gateway to a realm of affectionate euphoria. Someone might want to tell Morrissey that this is what a Charming Man sounds like; charm oozes from every sonic pore to create a colourfully nostalgic aura which reflects MacLeod’s seasoned experience in the industry.

Sweet in name, and sweet in nature, the upliftingly affecting soul will linger with you for days after you hear the harmonised to the nines vocal lines and piano glissandos sweep across the melody with a graceful fluidity, while the angular, exuberant guitars inject a vibrant energy into the track.

Sean T MacLeod’s background as a former member of the Dublin-based band Cisco, and his collaboration with U2’s Paul Barrett, has evidently contributed to his profound understanding of music composition and production. After hearing Sweetness, we join an army of his fans eagerly anticipating his 5th solo album, That’s When the Earth Becomes a Star.

Stream Sweetness on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Bitvert oscillated doom through his harbingering experimental deep bass track, Distress Signal

Bitvert’s experimental deep bass single ‘Distress Signal’ is an scintillating foray into the realm of underground electronica, seamlessly merging dark textures and tonalities with an omnipresent sense of impending doom. More than just a composition; it’s an experience, an auditory journey through the depths of electronic music’s more shadowy corridors.

Distress Signal starts the transmission with a harbingering sense of doom that is immediately palpable, it pulsates through the oscillating basslines that forge the spine of this musical beast. To evoke a primal response, enthralling and unsettling in equal measure, Bitvert bolstered the resonance in the bass which exhibits his reverence for the DIY ethos of punk.

The sharp cuts of the snares in Distress Signal add a layer of urgency to the track; they are meticulously crafted to cut through the deep bass, serving as a stark contrast that enhances the overall texture of the piece. This percussive element lends the track a glitchy trip-hop nuance, further diversifying the auditory palette.

When you hit play on the filmic, almost Lynchian ingenuity, you are more than a passive recipient of sound, you’re transported to a dark, brooding and intensely atmospheric realm. It’s an auditory odyssey that pushes the boundaries of electronic music and leaves a lasting impression.

Distress Signal will be transmitted on December 4th; stream it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Mr Asap made lyrical bombs out of his mic drops in ‘Heathrow’

Taking influence from Dave, Lotto Boyzz, MoStack, and Wu-Tang Clan and turning that inspiration into a brand-new urban fusion, the London-based up-and-coming artist, Mr Asap, is ensnaringly fresh on his new track and music video, Heathrow.

By bringing cinematic elements into his instrumentals, including evocatively weighted minor key piano progressions and classical strings, Mr Asap went beyond the drill beats to deliver a track that will consume your consciousness whole while he flexes his skills with wordplay in a way that makes lyrical bombs out of mic drops.

It may be early days in the industry for Mr Asap, but his determination to step out of the ordinary with every bar has established him as a luminary the spotlight deserves to shine on. Expect even bigger things from Mr Asap in 2024; with his swathes of charisma and his gritty true-to-form intellectualism, he won’t disappoint.

The official music video for Heathrow premiered on November 24th; stream it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast