Ukrainian composer, producer and pianist Olexandr Ignatov has countless accolades to their name. After the release of their Neo-Classic album “Messages”, they can also be proud to have their name behind one of the most stunning albums of 2020.
Each composition invites you to explore a different emotion, Patience, Empathy, Temperance, Loyalty, Trust, the track which hit the evocative spot the hardest for us was undoubtedly “Struggle”.
The precision in timing between the notes is almost otherworldly in the way it sets trepidation, torment and a spiralling sense of despair. Yet, it can’t be said that the piece was without any sense of beauty and resilience. It’s the perfect reminder that if you’re struggling, you’re still fighting and not all hope is lost. And with that revelation, I might have a little cry.
Struggle is available to stream via Spotify with the rest of their ground-breaking album.
When you feature such luminaries as Jazz chanteuse Alexis Cole (possibly the greatest singer ever to hold a top-secret military security clearance), the Grammy-nominated pianist Mike Eckroth (John Scofield’s New Quartet), and saxophonist Marc Phaneuf (Quincy Jones, LA Philharmonic, Aretha Franklin, Iggy Pop…) to showcase your songwriting talents, you’d better hope that your craft is up to the same standard as your performers.
Thankfully, for songwriter and poet Connie Marotta AKA Imagesong, it is. In spades. ‘Lost In You’, from the ‘Imagesong Presents’ portfolio, is everything you could hope for; late-night laid-back New York Jazz Club cool, Eckroth’s beautifully sparse keys perfectly complimenting Cole’s sultry, smoky vocal timbre and Phaneuf’s subtly understated baritone sax fills. ‘Lost In You’ is stunning, seductive, the aural equivalent of twenty-year-old scotch on the rocks and a slowly burning Chesterfield. Gorgeous.
Imagesong’s single Lost in You is available to stream via Spotify.
Ryuho Okawa’s ‘The Thunder” is an epic, rolling, soundscape – 8’15” of soaring composition in three parts, a gorgeous, haunting female vocal cutting in over the orchestral melodrama. It sounds, and I mean this in the most complimentary way possible, like the end credit music to a Michael Bay movie or, even more, a Hideo Kojima game, Metal Gear Solid or Death Stranding cut scenes rolling as the strings swell and the tympani crash. It’s that expansive and evocative.
It is a beautiful, well-crafted piece; a slow build of melancholy orchestration, deep long-drawn out ‘cello notes underlying pizzicato violin, and then three minutes in there’s a drop, the calm before the musical storm. That stunning vocal cuts in before a huge peal of orchestral thunder, a lift, and the drums rise to a militaristic tattoo, all snare rolls and marching beat, then the resolve at 5’30”, crescendo to key shift and then peace, the slow play out, the fierceness of the storm abating, tranquillity returning as the volume fades.
‘The Thunder’ is stunning; an absolute tempest of a track. You can hear it here, but be warned – you may need to take a moment after to catch your breath.
With an intro which wouldn’t be out of place in a Nils Frahm composition, Ian Chamberlain kicks off his latest single “Disruption” with a teasing Neo-Classic start before throwing an unexpected aural curveball your way and throwing you headfirst into an experimentally electrifying soundscape.
The Adelaide, Australia-based artist and producer poured his passion for both Classical music and mechanical sounds into Disruption. Which may give you an indication of just how distinct and alchemic their sound is. Yet, to truly appreciate their talent, you’ll have to immerse yourself in the cinematically avant-garde single yourself.
Listening to Disruption is practically a full-body experience for the way the visceral notes seem to make every cell in your body stand to attention. For your sake instead of theirs, hit play. It’s not every day you’ll get to encounter such a mind-blowing feat of ingenuity.
You can check out Ian Chamberlain’s single Disruption for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.
From the first few baroque notes in the award-winning composer and songwriter Alise Ashby’s latest semi-orchestral single “Gotta Learn to Love” featuring the vocals of Gabriela Martina, I was transfixed. The cinematic release is resounding in every possible way.
The pandemic and lockdown gave the world an opportunity to better themselves on a global scale. I was filled with naïve optimism that humans would start to act through empathy, love and compassion instead of hate and fear. Yet, we seem to be moving in the exact opposite direction. Alise Ashby’s latest single is a powerful (in more ways than one) reminder that we can only progress as a society if we learn to love, not just romantically, but to extend that love to the rest of the world. If they won’t listen to Gabriela Martina’s vocals, we may be doomed.
You can check out Gotta Learn to Love for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.
EDM artist and producer Isaac Schein has made their debut with their intensely progressive single “I’ll Make It Through” featuring Gabrielle Zwi.
You’ll have trouble deciding what hits harder, the resounding vocals or the striking piano chord progressions which introduce the entrancing mix. There was no anticipating the colossal bass-heavy build-up which I’ll Make It Through contains. From a Neo-Classic score to a high-octane EDM hit which will leave you galvanised. You’ll find all of that and more in the expertly-crafted soundscape which oozes maturity, ingenuity and sheer transfixion.
It is only after I’ll Make It Through has faded to a close do you get an idea of how truly rhythmically arrestive the soundscape was. Debut singles are rarely as exciting as this. Evidently, Isaac Schein is one to watch. Get them on your radar.
Isaac Schein’s single I’ll Make It Through is available to play via all major streaming platforms via this link.
Many contemporary music fans view classical music as anachronistic or inaccessible. Reid Wegrecki is on a mission to smash those misconceptions and accordantly welcome more people to the world of orchestrally-crafted ambience.
By finding the perfect balance between live orchestral instruments and lo-fi ambient electronic effect, Reid Wegrecki offers the striking nature of neo-classic strings, brass and keys while allowing her soundscapes to be commercially immersive.
For every composition, Reid Wegrecki collaborates with a rotating line up of exceptionally skilled artists. The end result is more than mesmeric. Quite honestly, it’s like nothing I’ve ever heard before. While I’m no stranger to Classical or Neo-Classic scores, their sound resonates as captivating and cathartic simultaneously. The ambience will soothe you while the nuancedly crafted melodies will leave you in awe of the talent behind the soundscape.
The perfect introduction to the artist and composer’s style is the instrumental single “Curiosity” which can be found on their tenderly absolving 4-track EP “Daydreams”.
You can listen to Reid Wegrecki’s transfixing single curiosity for yourselves by heading over to Spotify or YouTube now.
Keep up to date with their latest releases via Facebook.
London-based composer and pianist JxPrezzo has crafted four delicately unique Neo-Classic soundscapes for their latest instrumental EP “Seven Years”.
After an intro track which is all too efficacious at pulling you into the release, you get to the title track which is the best example of how JxPrezzo’s tender melodies can tell a story. From tentative, explorative notes which ring with optimism to stabbing atmospheric dread, Seven Years is a deftly-orchestrated evocative rollercoaster.
As you listen to the light yet fluid textures in the soundscape, you can almost feel the tension in your body being replaced with the quiescently comforting tones. But if you’re as aurally sensitive as me, when the minor notes are hit, you won’t just hear them, you’ll feel them. My eyes may now sting a little, but that’s a small price to pay for experiencing such a gentle yet resounding release.
If you’re anything like me, the title to Martin Krampl Music’s debut 13-track album “Things That Are Coming” will leave you with the desperate itch to find out the nature of the things which are coming. Is it a ubiquitous threat, or is it a promise of good things to come?
There is no immediate answer which lies in the multi-layered tonality. The first single only serves to build the tension in this Classical Crossover album as dark harsh tones conflict with the light and optimistic effervescent notes. By the time the first single had drawn to a close, I was left with the affirmation that Martin Krampl may have one of the most Machiavellian composing styles we’ve ever heard.
Throwing an unexpected sample of a crying baby following a prancingly pensive piano melody in the second single was a positively Lars Von Trier-Esque move. Their ability to create urgency through perfect timing and seamless cinematic instrumental evolutions is unparalleled. Each soundscape has its own alchemy, from haunted ethereal mesmerism to dystopic Alt Rock tribalistic tones. I feel as though I’ve been put through an epic aural journey.
If anyone has any tips on how to remove your heart from your throat, it would be greatly appreciated.
You can check out Martin Krampl Music’s debut album which was released on January 17th for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud now.
There was no forgetting Ross Avant’s ability to create a striking single after hearing “House of Blues”, but there was also no preparing for the emotional sting of their latest single “It’s Only for You”. If anyone is taking notes on how to create the perfect ballad, hit play and grab a pen.
There will be very few questions on how Ross Avant came to be a critically acclaimed composer once you ingest the effervescently pensive progressions which are intricately layered into their latest single. The piano-led semi-orchestral instrumental arrangement treats you to an ethereal soundscape which Ross Avant’s voice naturally and magnetically dominates. I suppose it’s only right that I disclose that I definitely didn’t remain dry-eyed as It’s Only for You unfolded. Don’t judge me. I’m only human.
It’s Only for You will undoubtedly remain one of the most visceral singles I will hear this year. If you think that the National, and Bon Ivor hit an emotive chord with their music, the NYC-based artist may just throw some surprises your way.
You can check out Ross Avant’s latest single It’s Only for You for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud now.