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Baroque Monody sludged up post-punk in their latest feat of gothic innovation, Pomegranate Wine

Pomegranate Wine by Baroque Monody

Two years may have passed, but there was no forgetting the Youngstown, Ohio duo Baroque Monody after we had the privilege of savouring their enticingly atmospheric alt-rock single, Plan 2021.

In 2023, their arcane elementalism is as sharp as ever in their latest single, Pomegranate Wine, which reinvented the nu-metal wheel through the scintillating rapped verses that follow an arrangement of pioneering symphonic sludged-up metal that contrasts Jennifer Rose’s beguiling vocal lines and the cold tones which implant post-punk nuances into the decadent sonic tapestry.

The absolute synergy which transgresses through the latest slice of sludged-up sanctuary established Rick Polo and Jennifer Rose as the ultimate dualistic powerhouse and superlative conduits of resonance for their audience who know the grip of desolation all too well.

Stream and purchase Pomegranate Wine via Bandcamp, and keep Baroque Monody on your radar for the release of their forthcoming EP.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Interview: DJ CoolRex loves that hard-to-get energy on the dance floor winner, I Want

Seducing us into a whole new vortex of discovery, DJ CoolRex rips off the band-aid of the past and drops us deeper into his speaker-shuddering new single, I Want. The Ohio-born tech-house producer reveals to us the inner workings of the music business, surviving 2022’s disastrous Hurricane Ian, future plans, selling cars and how it feels to be completely uplifted by a 24-hour rave in the mountains of Tennessee.

Llewelyn: Welcome to A&R Factory and we’re absolutely delighted to be speaking with you today. Firstly, how did you get in the music game and your DJ name..we love it..what is the story behind it if you don’t mind sharing?

DJ CoolRex: Hi, thanks for having me! It’s really nice to be doing a feature with you guys! I have been making music since I was a kid and actually made a song back in high school that I tried to get our principal to play when our team came out of the tunnel, so you can see that I always had a business-like mindset. I went on to make some songs in my early twenties and got to a point where I had about 50,000 monthly listeners under a different name that had started as a group and ended up becoming a solo act because the guy I made the songs with (who shall remain nameless) after ghosting me three years prior came out of the woodwork demanding all this stuff from me. Then shortly after that the songs were removed by my publisher and that was that, but I learned a valuable lesson. I knew that moving forward if I was gonna make music again in the future I would do it by my own hand. So I moved towards producing and fiddled around with trying to make beats for the next few years just here and there. It was funny though I remember right around when Covid was really taking off I was working at a dealership and would be watching youtube tutorials on beat making or watching some lecture on EQing while waiting for clients because I was really trying to learn. It was always nerve-racking because in car sales you’re kind of always supposed to be on the dealership phones calling clients or sending follow-up emails, and car sales managers are always super inquisitive which makes it extra embarrassing if you get caught.

You might be surprised to hear that I picked the name and had it all mapped out before I even got a DJ controller. The name at first was just going to be CoolRex but one of my best friends Steve told me it should be DJ CoolRex so I made that change. I picked the name because I’m a laid-back guy most of the time unless I’m inspired about something which truthfully doesn’t take all that much but the Rex part is actually a double entendre because it is like a dinosaur like a T-Rex but Rex is also a synonym for King and I think subconsciously that kind of gives a sense of empowerment to the name on top of it already being like a T-Rex, a Cool, T-Rex, DJ CoolRex. I figured also everyone loves dinosaurs so, in the worst-case scenario people are just vibing heavily to some dinosaur visuals with lasers, smoke, and crazy bass which to me sounds like something I would want to do!

Llewelyn: DJs are God-like figures to many who just want to dance and forget their worries. What has been the best experience in the music world, be it with a fan or meeting a youngster who is so inspired to be behind the decks and rock a crowd into absolute delirium?

DJ CoolRex: This is funny to me as well because I just got back from a 24hr rave in the mountains of Tennessee that my brother Jake who is also a DJ he goes by Specs had invited me to last minute. I wasn’t scheduled to play or anything so it was just listening to other DJs for 24 hrs. Lots of dancing and mingling, it was great to be a fan of other people and just be a part of the crowd. I’m sold on the rave scene, I love the people, I love the energy, it’s a blast!

Llewelyn: Covid destroyed many dreams in the music world. Do you feel like everything is ‘back’ in your local area or is there more work to be done to ensure the long-term success of the venues?

DJ CoolRex: Yeah post covid it definitely seems like gatherings have been smaller at those venues but I think things are getting better over time. I think people just got used to not going out for a while so we have to give them a reason.

Llewelyn: Hurricane Ian almost destroyed your family and life. Firstly, we’re so happy you and your loved ones are okay.
Career-wise: You used to sell cars, how has the transition to being a full-time music producer/musician been and do you miss anything about your previous career?

DJ CoolRex: It’s going to take years to rebuild down there. The smaller towns around that area, their structures were like wooden houses on wooden poles extended out of the water. I mean they crumbled; I saw them. I remember not too many days after the hurricane, I was at the dealership helping move the cars back and clean up debris. The cars were ok but the dealership had taken some damage like the shop doors were smashed in. Anyway, This lady showed up in a frenzy asking if she could buy a car and we didn’t have power so we couldn’t sell her one. She was saying that she was from one of the smaller areas like the one I just mentioned and that she needed to buy a car to get out of the state because they had found a dead person in her front yard after the storm. We didn’t have power for weeks, other people went longer than us without power or running water. I miss certain aspects of it. I miss hanging out with my friends but this is better for me. I have more control over what I want to do. I can market/sell how I want and nobody is above me. That’s one way in which it’s similar. It’s still a business. I still manage it like I did in my car sales career. The difference is that I didn’t love selling cars, I love making music.

Llewelyn: If you met an alien tonight who had never heard music before, how would you describe your sound and craft to them?

DJ CoolRex: If I met an alien tonight firstly, I’d be amped and want to know all about their story and what it’s like where they’re from! If I had to explain my sound to an alien I would first have to ask them what it is they’re hearing, if they can hear. Then I would ask them what they mean? Then as they’re explaining to me through their own words my reactions would tell them if what they’re saying is what I think too. The more fellow earthlings I meet the more I have learned that people hear very differently. So I’m always more interested in how others are interpreting my sound rather than actually giving them a foundation to base their beliefs off on.

Llewelyn: You’ve just been given the keys to crafting a massive festival lineup with an unlimited budget. Who is on the lineup, what is the vibe and where is it?

DJ CoolRex: It’s going to be somewhere that is not too hot or cold so people are comfortable. I’d have to research venues. I’m bringing Fisher, Martin Ikin, Chris Lake, David Guetta, Morten, Skrillex, James Hype, Diplo, Matroda, Noizu, Pauline Herr, DOBe’, John Summit, Chris Lorenzo, Oliver Heldens, Tom Budin, Merk & Kremont, Justus, Header, CamelPhat, armnhamr, Ray Volpe, Wax Motif, Dombresky, Flow Dan, Fredagain, Gorgon City, Zeds Dead, Blasterjaxx, Dom Dolla, Arminvan Buuren, Subtronics, Jay Eskar, Elif. I’m sure there’s more because there are so many dope artists all over the world oh and my brother Specs. The vibe is lots of lasers, bubbles, some fire, a gigantic screen for visuals, it’s a multiple-day festival. There are food trucks, lots of artists with tents to showcase their work, and all just love and fun.

Llewelyn: Lastly, what does the future hold and where do you see your sound headed? Also, where can our A&R Factory readers see you live next?

DJ CoolRex: In the future, I definitely plan to play festivals, and other big venues, and I have more songs in the pipeline so stay tuned! My social media is active and I’m always sharing other music artists’ content on my stories from all over the world so there’s fresh and exciting content daily! Also, please go to my website and subscribe to the mailing list so you can stay in the loop about new shows, merchandise, discounts, giveaways etc.

Turn this up on Spotify and forget all worries.

See the journey expand further on IG.

Interview by Llewelyn Screen

Let Me Make You Smile: Chuck Starr finds the missing love on Swipe Right

Taken directly via the debut album called Love Math, Chuck Starr has unearthed a new love for us to be encouraged by in such an ignore-me-now world with an absolute gem called Swipe Right.

Chuck Starr is a Columbus, Ohio-born New York-based indie RnB-influenced pop singer-songwriter who loves to invoke deep emotions to enthrall all listeners deep inside.

Leaving his audiences with lasting impressions of happiness, love, and joy after every show, Starr easily gained popularity through social media following and expanded his fan base internationally.” ~ Chuck Starr

As he lights up the stage and causes blushes to emerge from the crowd, Chuck Starr is so fantastic on Swipe Right and might cause romantic moods to reappear.

Swipe Right from Columbus, Ohio-born New York-based indie RnB-influenced pop singer-songwriter Chuck Starr is a hand-holding kinda track for those who have felt so lonely and out of love. There is pure calmness here in droves, leading us into a romantic embrace like no other.

Sung with a tremendous tone and bringing us hope, this is a slow dance single to glide with all night.

Turn this up loud on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Pop-Punk trailblazer, Brooklyn Belton, unveiled the ultimate adversity aftercare anthem, Just Fine

Starting with an instant hook that sounds like it came straight out of the Bowling for Soup arsenal, the debut single, Just Fine, from the Ohio pop-punk trailblazer, Brooklyn Belton, effortlessly became one of our favourite alt-rock earworms of 2023 so far.

With an instrumental arrangement so tight it is practically corseted, Brooklyn Belton polished the punk rock genre with her anthemic slice of stellar songwriting, which won’t fail to leave you galvanised for the way the exhilarant guitars wrap around her lyrics that compel you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and deal with the cards of adversity your autonomy has dealt you.

When the chorus comes around, you’ll lose yourselves in the euphoric energy while simultaneously finding yourself in the candid introspection that perceptibly oozes from the wounds of a personal battle.

Just Fine hit the airwaves on April 14. Check it out on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

B. Andre Interview: Keeping it real and never giving into the trends

Taking us through the real life journey and never backing down, B. Andre shows us into his new release EGO and reveals more about never giving up on love and what it takes to be a successful musician.

We appreciate your time today, B. Andre. Where in the world do we find you and what is your favourite kinda meal to keep your systems firing all day?

B. Andre: My favorite meal has to be anything seafood lol. I can be found on all social media sites @b_andremusic but this link will take you to all my music https://linktr.ee/B.Andre

When you are in that booth recording music, what does it feel like when you close your eyes?

B. Andre: I’m promoting more now so I haven’t been in the booth for a month or so, but closing my eyes while in there lets me envision my music and not just hear it.

Your new 11-track release called EGO has just dropped. What are your favourite songs from the project and what should new fans expect?

B. Andre: My favorite song is Broken Dreams, not to be mistaken with my lead single Broken Record, Broken Dreams speaks on my real life heartbreak. Fans should expect plenty of content to get you in the vibe of the album.

Broken Record is the lead track. What is the vision behind this smooth song?

B. Andre: Broken Record is a track that should teach you to keep fighting for love and not give up on it like this generation seems to do so frequently.

Do you have any live performance events to tell us about or any tours looming in 2023?

B. Andre: I have a music festival I am doing in February in my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio and another music festival set for June 2023 in Kentucky.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

B. Andre: I was told to always do what I feel is best in my artistry and never give into the trends.

Last, what advice would you give to a new musician starting out in this wild game?

B. Andre: I would say, always bring your hard drive to the studio with you and take your sessions because you have to truly treat your music as your baby and your hard drive you keep it on is your car seat lol.

Hear this fine single on Spotify. See more via IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

The Softest Sound explore cyclical torment in their slowcore anti-folk single over again

The Dayton, Ohio duo, The Softest Sound, unveiled their debut album, an idea can’t just go away, on August 26th and simultaneously introduced the airwaves to a brand-new manifestation of slowcore anti-folk experimentalism.

The standout single, over again, delivers vocals which find a timbre between AJJ and Jack Johnson, while the instrumental arrangement mashes up the melodiously soft guitars in the desert-y atmospherics with discordant electronic effect as an all too efficacious exposition on the turbulent ennui of cyclical torment and having an intangible relationship with identity.

It’s a spacey resonant-soaked release for anyone that has ever felt at odds with their own mind. Given that we’re in 2022, that demographic should make up the majority.

over again is now available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Crypt On Guard: Albert Bagman chokes on the bloody bits with Razor

Razor by ALBERT BAGMAN

Pointing us into his sinister creation that might astonish you awake if you were innocently napping, Albert Bagman draws some blood and takes us for an excursion like no other on the cutting edge soundtrack Razor.

Albert Bagman is a Columbus, Ohio-based indie singer-songwriter who is unlike any musician you have ever heard in your life and keeps things distinct throughout.

The neighborhood recluse, the failed comedian, the medium of madness; Albert Bagman is an all-year-round Halloween hooligan sharing their love for ghosts and the unknown.” ~ Albert Bagman describing his life so vividly

An entertaining street poet who is clearly before his time, Albert Bagman is that guy who we went to school with and admire his eccentric ways. Rasping with ideas on the daily and taking us for a wild ride, to a whole new galaxy that we didn’t even know existed.

Razor from Columbus, Ohio-based indie singer-songwriter Albert Bagman is a sharply made release that is laden with layers of witty lyrics and a deep tone that might shock many. He has the ability to strike your senses alive and is truly original, no matter what the season is.

In a greedy world where many copycats just want to drink other’s milk and pretend it’s theirs, this is an artist to cherish for just being himself.

Hear this axe-swinging single on Bandcamp and follow the movement on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Th3Meaning will take anything for those addictive kisses on Lie

As the obvious desire comes to the fore, even if it could just be drunken meaningless words, Th3Meaning shows us the path to getting that romantic fix among the hurtful thorns on Lie.

Th3Meaning is a 41-year-old alt-emo rapper/singer and mom from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA who makes heart stirring music that shall get the hairs on your back standing up to attention.

I perform original music and I incorporate stories into my set as well as well-known alternative songs with my own originals.” ~Th3Meaning

Displaying a true braveness to open up about a clearly personal moment of discovery, Th3Meaning guides us through modern day dating in a nutshell. With conviction and desire in abundance, we find ourselves nodding with intently and wondering why romance has to be so needlessly complicated.

Lie from Cincinnati, Ohio-based indie alternative rapper and singer Th3Meaning is an emotional track that so many will find so familiar. Lyrically astute and taking you into a place that shall help your heart feel warm, evening for a few minutes at least. Performed with an impressive array of passionate intensity, this is a speaker-burning track to heighten your anxiousness if you have been feeling lonely lately.

When you crave those sweet lips, you will do things that are rather out of character sometimes.

Listen up to this new Spotify and see more via on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Caught Up In Confusion: Amar Miller shows us the wild night in the playground on Fked up Last Night (feat. Greeshawn)

Thinking about life and wondering what could have happened if the odds were stacked up like bricks waiting to fall, Amar Miller shows us deep inside the fuzzy head that is permeated with tiny fragments of the evening’s adventures with Fked up Last Night (feat. Greeshawn).

Amar Miller aka Miller Starn Karns is a 20-year-old Toledo, Ohio-based indie hip hop artist who is currently studying at Oklahoma State University and majoring in Aerospace Studies.

Praised by producers such as daedaePIVOT (executive producer for Saba), Kilam (produced for YNW Melly, Xxxtentacion, Ski Mask The Slump God, & more), and by artists such as Casso and Patagonist.” ~ Amar Miller

Sliding off the couch where soggy chips and lost change are in probable abundance, Amar Miller might have just dropped the perfect song for the end of so many summers. The feeling of potential regret that is interwoven with delight at the night, which was sensational live. Beyond current comprehension, in fact.

Fked up Last Night (feat. Greeshawn) from Toledo, Ohio-based indie hip hop artist Amar Miller is a party central experience that shall make you recall when things when things are spiralling out of control. That fun night that flipped over quickly. From chill to excess, loud laughs and silly scuffles, that have a few scars to tell. The night was exciting but rather crazy and getting your head to cheekily shake as you examine the damage.

Sung with a rather quality tone and head-nodding in nature, this is a turn-up recommendation anthem.

Listen up to this fine song on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

REAL1ONE keeps on dunking on the former competition like ‘Ja Morant’ (Opp Huntin)

Following on from his 16-track album from 2021 called ‘Hollow Hearts & Ammo‘, REAL1ONE gets his mindset locked onto the target and loads up on those haters who have made the wrong decision with his latest single, ‘Ja Morant(Opp Huntin).

REAL1ONE is a Cincinnati, Ohio-based indie Hip hop artist who uses the trauma he dealt with as a youngster to help him keep that edge that keeps him hungry.

Growing up in a low-income neighbourhood, REAL1ONE learnt that you have to make your own luck. His music details his personal experiences of facing and overcoming adversity.” ~ REAL1ONE

Smashing through all the doubters who are plotting his downfall while he is only thinking about building that empire, REAL1ONE punches far beyond his weight class with a thunderous performance that might give your whole body a shake to wake you up to what reality actually is.

That uphill battle against all the odds made me the fighter I am today. I’m just trying to enjoy what I have, and music is an avenue that allows me to release some of the frustrations I deal with in everyday life.” ~ REAL1ONE

Ja Morant(Opp Huntin) from Cincinnati, Ohio-based indie Hip hop artist REAL1ONE an ear-slicing track that might compact your mind into thinking like the streets do. Staying alive is the quest and the treasures are rather abundant if you know where you look and have the right crew around, as we are pulsated by a self-assured artist.

Showing us that mighty power and a barrage of quick-to-fire raps, this is a gangsta experience that might have you sleeping rather restlessly tonight as you imagine what it’s like on the front lines.

Turn up this heat on SoundCloud.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen