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Alternative

Music

Rick van Meijel – The Spark: A Tentatively Euphoric Orchestration of Perceptible Passion

Rick van Meijel’s latest single The Spark isn’t something you listen to, it’s not just vibrations that your eardrums collide with, it’s an experience that takes you to an almost transcendental level. The instrumental orchestration sits somewhere between Industrial Rock, Neo Classical and electronica. If film soundtracks took acid, the end result would sound a little like the Spark. Swathes of synth progressively thrash through the track accompanied by a bassline which sounds like it has a heartbeat of its own. The amount of energy and emotion written into this composition isn’t easily ignored, even though there are no lyrics, it’s still palpable through the torrent of sound depicting a perceptibly passionate orchestration filled with tentative euphoria. Rick van Meijel’s electronica music is just another example that everything is a little better in the Netherlands.

You can check out Rick van Meijel’s latest single The Spark on YouTube, make sure to subscribe for the drop of the debut EP ‘Reliving’ which will be out June 8th.

For more music & info on Meijel’s upcoming release head on over to his official website and yes, each track is just as compelling as the last.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

InterParadox – Revelation: Kill Your Deities

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have an existential crisis as you ponder which genre to delve into every time you open Spotify. Thankfully duo’s such as InterParadox have creates an overwhelmingly dynamic sound with their latest single in which they incorporate everything from EDM to Hip Hop Rap to Rock. As their recent track Revelation unfolds, it becomes increasingly evident why they chose that name to encapsulate their sound.

InterParadox compliment ingeniously clever Rap verses with hauntingly evocative soft rock vocals which aren’t too dissimilar from the aural alchemy you’d find in an Incubus track. While the rhythmic rap bars set the momentum, the vocals set the emotion in an evocatively charged ensemble created by instrumentalists & vocalists Anthony Bissinger and Dennis Homm. Their talents don’t end with their pensive approach to lyricism combined with their ethereally compelling vocal ability. The composition of the beat is a labyrinth of hooks and guitar-driven breakdowns that add to the layers and sublime textures to the track. The word pioneering gets thrown around a lot these days, with InterParadox it would be an understatement to say that they’re the epitome of pioneering sound in 2018.

You can check out the official music video to Revelation on YouTube

Connect with the Hip Hop Rock duo on Facebook

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Why follow fashion when you can start your own?

Think Me a Fool (Official Video) from foster & the pranksters on Vimeo.

Foster and The Pranksters make exactly the sort of vintage music for the modern age which is really ticking a lot of boxes for me at the moment.Whilst there is something in its eclectic flights of fancy and sonic choices that suggests it is the product of the modern world, it beats with a more experienced mind, a more lived in heart and a much older soul. Raw blues, early rock and roll, funky grooves, soul moves and even an unexpected rap break to help the song cross the finish line all come together to build music which revels in its own ragged glory, its own substance over style heart, its own celebration of the way music used to be made whilst never taking its eye of the path ahead of it.

Think Me A Fool and the wonderfully band responsible for it remind us, in attitude at least, of the ethic of artists like The Band, ones who in the face of the current zeitgeist deliberately subverted expectation and delivered something far older and less fashionable, wonderfully out of step with the current trend and just waited for others to catch up. The Band did it in the face of encroaching hippiedom and hard rock, Foster and The Pranksters do it against a backdrop of landfill Indie, disposable pop and bedroom rap mumblers. Why follow fashion when you can start your own, wholly new, indie-roots movement?

Music

Wasabi Fire Alarm – break down generic barriers

Wasabi Fire Alarm raise two fingers

When you think of alternative music it is easy to think of music which exists on the peripheries, music which is alt-this or post-that, something far away from the mainstream. Well, the great thing with the brilliantly named Wasabi Fire Alarm is that whilst they are most definitely wandering some alternative pathways, there core sound is made up from some very recognisable, palatable and non-extreme sounds. It’s a fine line they walk but one that is done elegantly and eloquently.

Two Fingers in a V, even the title smacks of punky belligerence, is actually a slick mix of jazzy licks, soulful riffs and blues grooves, placing them somewhere between the up-town cocktail club and the down town basement party. Clever isn’t the word, its better even than that. Easy on the ears, built from delicate  and graceful lines, it boogies and sways, jumps and jives in the gentlest of ways but there is still something subversive lying at its lyrical heart. Wolves in sheeps clothing? Very much so. Being different, standing apart from the pack, pursuing a singular route isn’t always about in-your-face confrontation or taking circular musical route. Sometimes it is just about the most subtle and supple approaches, and if it wasn’t for the lyrical message and indeed the screamo harmony vocals hanging around just out of earshot, it would be the sort of song that you could take home and meet your parents.

Music

Billy Wild – Way It Is: Nine Inch Nails on Acid

It takes a bold artist to release a track named Way It Is, I’m sure we’ll never forget 2Pac’s track. Yet Billy Wild’s latest release which dropped April 2018 is an unfathomably brilliant single is nothing but bold.

The beat is like nothing I’ve ever heard before, it may even be on steroids, with his approach to his sound he puts to shame every Alternative artist that has ever tried their hand at creating a massive beat. Way It Is mixes in elements of Industrial synth driven EDM with hookish soaring guitars to throw in a Metal influence on the sound, but to be quite honest, it’s impossible to put a pin in Billy Wild’s style. It’s raucously unfathomable, yet Wild’s vocals are for the most part sensually harmonious with a slight reminiscence to vocalists such as Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age).

You can check out the frankly sublime official music video to Way It Is on YouTube where Wild clearly demonstrated his abilities as video director and editor, or give the up & coming artist a follow on Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Cael – Lost: Lo Fi Hip Hop Art Rock

With Cael’s latest track Lost, which was released April 2018, he gelled together the perfect infusion of all my favourite sounds. Cael made Hip Hop and Grunge sit hand in hand through his 808 beats alongside his poignant, yet beautifully harrowing vocals. The overall effect is overwhelming, as the beat progresses, you get sucked further into the melancholy of the sound which is entrenched in grungey reverb. Cael’s vocals have the same haunting iridescence of vocalists such as Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell and J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr). His guitar-driven approach to Hip Hop is without doubt one of the sweetest sounds I’ve heard this year, the fact that Cleveland based artist Cael is only 18 years old with the ability to write, produce and record such resonant Lo Fi beats is nothing other than awe inspiring. His vocals contain such ethereal maturity, it’s almost impossible to believe they were recorded by a teenager.

You can check out Cael’s latest Alt Rock track on SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Blending the past and the present for a Happy Life

There is something of the old-school jazz-lounge crooner about Roland Faunte, just a touch, that same balladic poise, the same clean-limbed musical lines, the same deft approach. But as the song builds it seems to come more and more into the present era, an indie-pop number building in intensity and drive as it heads towards the finish line before cooling off and returning to that timeless musical grace.

It is a song confident enough in its own skin to take its time, which revels in restraint and underplay,. It is a song built around space, carefully crafted sounds creating a sonic wake as it builds ambient landscapes of  indie-pop between its more frantic moments. It is also a song you could describe as unique, and beautiful, haunting, restrained and occasionally otherworldly, built through seamless and graceful musical lines and leaving the listener to join dots. This is music as suggestion rather than direction, neither leading nor following but happier to pursue its own changable instincts.

Music

ea Collective – We have Liftoff!

We all know that music is cyclical so the fact that Lift Off is infused with as much old-school kraut-rock past as it is post-rock modernity, should not come as a great surprise. But there is more going on than an endless loop of torch bearing progginess, this trippy instrumental also brings slight psyched tones, ambient and atmospheric space, jazz trippiness and electronic cinematics.

Thats a lot to fit in to one track, a track which takes its time, which revels in space, atmosphere and gentle anticipation, slowly adding layers and sonic textures as it meanders towards its final musical destination. It is a song that balances restlessness and restraint, carefully crafted sounds creating a sonic wake as it builds ambient landscapes of meditative post-rock but drives on the most confident of beats. It is also a piece of music that you could describe as unique, and beautiful, haunting, ambient and otherworldly, built through seamless and graceful musical lines and leaves the listener to join dots.

Music

Zack Kirkorian – Exercise in Stupidity: Stupid Has Never Sounded So Sexy

Sometimes, you’ve just got to embrace the silliness, and yes, that also applies to music. With so many self-aggrandized artists on the scene, it can get a little monotonous. Thankfully there are experimental Alternative artists such as Zack Kirkorian brave enough to create music that is guaranteed to get you out of a funk. Just been through a break up? Lost your job? Going bald? Turn off Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits and soak up the screeching hair metal anthemic riffs and dirty vocals that are injected around the comedy elements of this track. If you’re a fan of Beastie Boys, or even Kunt and the Gang or Mr Bungle you’ll be in your element with Zack Kirkorian’s album Exercise in Stupidity. There are so many variations to Zack Kirkorian’s sound in the album, each of the 21 tracks ring with a new influence, I swear I heard a bit of Frank Zappa in there around the earth shattering instrumentals.

Head on over to Zack Kirkorian’s website to check out his debut album Exercise in Stupidity. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Review by Amelia Vadergast

Music

Emma Houston – the Ghost of the East Wing: The Insanity is Catching

I’m no stranger to pensively keyed Alternative music, growing up on the sounds of Emilie Autumn and the Dresden Dolls, yet Emma Houston’s latest track ‘the Ghost of the East Wing’ simply blew me away. Her haunting acoustic style, which the delightfully macabre recording artist describes as ‘AsylumWave’, is made all the more pensive by the drastic poetry contained in her lyrics such as “he died cause no one bothered to tell him he was alive”. Is there anything than that? Probably not. Well, maybe the other 9 tracks that make up her debut album ‘Patient #104’ which is now available to stream across all major platforms. The insanity behind Emma’s sound is most definitely catching, I absolutely adore the way she’s embraced the strange and not tried to squeeze into the suffocating constraints of society and it’s straight jacket to appear normal for the best chance of selling the most plastic records.

Check out the Ghost of the East Wing on SoundCloud using the link below:

https://soundcloud.com/emmahouston/the-ghost-of-the-east-wing

Keep up to date with all Emma’s new releases by following her criminally intriguing self on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/__emmahouston

Review by Amelia Vandergast

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