Browsing Tag


Interview: Chicago’s Taihei lets us deep inside his visionary mindset on Fallen Angel

Well-known Chicago music supremo Taihei kindly invited us into his world recently and we found out so much to learn from. Born John Paul Reyes, we are treated to an experienced soul who opens the door for us to nod our heads with a Cyberoom EDM vibe to blast loud on the speakers.

Llewelyn: We appreciate you having a quick chat with us today. Where in the world are you based as we speak and what did you start your day with?

Taihei: I’m currently in Chicago right now, starting the day off with some coffee and watching some documentaries. It’s always good to take things easy in the beginning, learn different things about the world. It brings me some inspiration for the day, allowing me to reflect upon different concepts and ideas.

Llewelyn: Please tell us all about your new release and the vision behind it.

Taihei: I released ‘Fallen Angel’ as my first track for 2023, paying homage to all the styles and influences that have inspired me. I grew up listening to various genres of EDM probably since 2007-2008, with Big Room and Trance music being the primary genres that got me into music production. For me, those styles and genres bring nostalgia, along with video games and anime. This track in a way is an homage to that era and is kind of a reflection of the many years I’ve been producing music and the journey as well.

Llewelyn: Do you remember the precise moment you knew you wanted to be a music producer?

Taihei: I remember when a good friend of mine had me listen to Hardwell’s Spaceman while we were going from one class to another. He pulled his iPod out and he gave me an earbud to listen to the track, and it was around then that I became interested in producing music. Skrillex was another artist that came up as well, with Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites. Movies and films were another inspiration that led me into the world of sound design; composers using synths and manipulating sound to create other-worldly sounds.

Llewelyn: Chicago. Where would you suggest we go out to watch excellent live music when in the city?

Taihei: There are a lot of different clubs within Chicago that cater to different genres. You’ve got places like Radius, Concord Music Hall, Prysm, Electric Hotel, Primary, and Sound Bar that bring a variety of styles and genres. Whether you want to vibe out or rage, there’s always a place for it in the city.

Llewelyn: How has the scene evolved since you started over 10 years ago?

Taihei: The scene has evolved exponentially in my opinion. In my neck of the woods, there was a small group of people who were producing mainstage EDM genres, along with a couple of people diving into festival genres like Trap, Dubstep, and all the like. There were small communities, splintered out into different sectors.

Nowadays, there are many different groups that are dedicated to different styles, and even microgenres. On top of that, there are various groups who are cross-pollinating in styles, not really adhering to any boundaries or any strict genre. In my view, I think that is going to open a lot of things to come for music in terms of new styles and ways we do music.

Llewelyn: How do video games and anime inspire you each day?

Taihei: For me, it is solving problems or obstacles that really inspires me to become more persistent, to never quit and to always strive to go forward. Like in video games, there are always going to be obstacles and difficulties, but it is through those experiences that there are learning opportunities and overcoming these obstacles, to never give up and never give in.

Llewelyn: Last, what does it really take to be successful in this game?

Taihei: There are many moving parts and things to consider to be successful in this game. I think one thing to focus on, and this is mainly targeting towards people who are starting off, is to establish your own sound and brand. Make what you want to make, what brings you drive, and what inspires you.

If you work in a style that inspires you and you enjoy the overall process, you will be able to come up with different ideas and ways of creating your own sonic signature. Also, don’t be afraid to dive into different genres. The more you explore different styles, the more ideas you will come up with. A lot of my techniques, styles, and different ideas for tracks usually come from being exposed to different styles of music and media.

Another thing to focus on, surround yourself with people who share common goals or aspirations. Surrounding yourself with people who have common interests will push you to do more and inspire you both in music and personally. It’s hard to find those people who have the same goals and drive as you do – those people are hard to find and are always not going to be obvious. When you surround yourself with people who have the same goals and aspirations as you, it will allow yourself to grow, challenge yourself, and open yourself up to different possibilities and opportunities.

Listen up to this epic track on Spotify.

Find out more news on IG.

Interview by Llewelyn Screen

All Has Turned To Gray: Enoch Root dives through the living madness on Delusion

Delusion (Single) by Enoch Root

With the much-awaited debut album on the way on 19th February, Enoch Root looks only forward and never back to the wildly raw world which is seething right before our eyes on Delusion.

Enoch Root is a top-quality New York, USA-based indie alternative progressive metal band that was formed by Reese Ortenberg.

Enoch Root is influenced by bands such as The Dear Hunter, Leprous, Rush, Haken, and Porcupine Tree just to name a few, but many other genres and influences sneak their way into the band.” ~ Enoch Root

Vocally edgy and featuring intense lyrics to make you think deeper into the moment, Enoch Root shall formulate a real electricity deep into the lungs of those who don’t have a voice.

Delusion from New York, USA-based indie alt-metal band Enoch Root is a rather influential endeavour made for anyone who needs a lift right now. Vigorous to the core and never letting up while showing us all out of the harsh rubble, this is a courageous single to help us all see the daybreak again.

Listen up to this superb single on Bandcamp. See more on the IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Hooker and a Handgun torch up the skeleton’s remains on their high-powered release, ‘Inferno’

Produced by the sublime skills on offer at Washburn Records, Hooker and a Handgun rage in with a seriously intense single that has just dropped off their piping hot new 6-track release with the fiery track that is, ‘Inferno‘.

Hooker and a Handgun is an Ontario, Canada/UK-based indie progressive rock band that makes a hefty blend of staunchly delivered music to vent out any frustration you might be currently feeling.

Making their debut with their new EP Inferno with high energy, heavy riffs and in your face vocals these guys are ready to rock your world.” ~ Hooker and a Handgun

Upping the voltage to deafening levels of unfathomable euphoria for all hardcore rock fans, Hooker and a Handgun show us that they mean business and entertain our shaken speakers while slamming down hard on the accelerator where others have forgotten where the clutch actually is.

Inferno‘ from Ontario, Canada/UK progressive rock act Hooker and a Handgun is a heavy experience that will probably slice your earlobes and ignite a passion inside you that has been taking a sleepy snooze lately. The vocals are raw and fierce, and the soul-smashing soundscape will possibly burn a hole in your fragile soul, as we are taken for a rampaging ride by a band that certainly knows how to scintillate our imaginations.

Sometimes you need a loud song to completely demolish all those pesky self-doubts which ultimately, shall do nothing to help you if you let them linger.

Listen up to this new single on Spotify and see more on the IG page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Texas rockers Indego drop riveting one-take video, ‘Cobalt’

Sending us into a festival-filled field in the middle of nowhere where like-minded souls can connect through loud harmonies, Indego shows us that instrumental-only music with soul will always be awesome on their first single from the new album, ‘Cobalt‘.

Indego is a Lubbock, Texas-based progressive rock/post-rock band who are one of the more prolific groups in the area and continues to evolve throughout time.

We’ve been a band for about 5 years, in that time we’ve self-produced two albums, and in early march of 2020, we did a tour of Texas.” ~ Indego

Transporting us into a heavy world that is loaded with that exciting music ammo that makes you want to swing your whole body around like you are ambidextrous, Indego delivers a meaty song that will satisfy the stomach of those fans who want something of substance.

During covid, we wrote and recorded our third album at Cross Roads Studio at Texas Tech University.” ~ Indego

Cobalt‘ from Lubbock, Texas-based progressive rock/post-rock act Indego is a seriously thunderous experience that triggers your imagination to what is actually possible and this is a foot-stompin’ track to truly get behind in 2022. Their connection together is quite obvious as everything seems so natural, as we are taken in an exhilarating world packed with fiery basslines, that is exactly what the soul needs. Music with a  punch like this is always welcome.

See this new music video on YouTube and see more via the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

California metal band Slanderus urge us to grab our own destiny on, ‘Absorbing Infinity’

Smashing our previous mindset into tiny pieces to make sure that no unfavourable energy comes close to our precious souls, Slanderus helps us to see the light that is away from the darkness-packed narrative that is holding so many back from fulfilling their potential on, ‘Absorbing Infinity‘.

Slanderus is an Ontario, California-based progressive metal 4-piece band that makes a heavy but intricate blend of hardcore music to vent out any frustration to the universe.

Showing us that they are the type of band that will scare many and thrill others, Slanderus dominate the speakers with a heavy performance that might leave your eardrums rattling in utter delight with an assertive display of true might.

Absorbing Infinity‘ from Ontario, California-based progressive metal 4-piece band Slanderus is a story about wondering if you will flounder as a mouse stuck into a trap, or find a way to adapt and survive to move on to better times. There is roaring vehemence that lights up the stage here and simmers deeply into your veins, from an outfit that likes to call the shots and dictate what roads they go down. Wondering what could have happened, is definitely not an option.

Slamming the door shut on any potential roadblocks and middlemen with no genuine love for the music game, this is a track that will certainly excite metal fans who have been looking for new heroes to get behind after so much darkness.

Turn up the volume on YouTube and see their stories unfold on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Ionia take our breaths away with their latest single ‘Eclipsed’ (feat. Brian Bath)

Taken off their recently-dropped 9-track album ‘In Layman’s Terms‘, Ionia returns with the time-shall-disappear new single that will have you totally hypnotised by such a beautiful creation on ‘Eclipsed(feat. Brian Bath).

Ionia is a Los Angeles, California-founded prog-rock trio who started their dream sharing back in college when the idea to make music slowly formulated into reality.

What started as strictly a Progressive Rock project has gone on to acquire a broader set of influences, with nods to artists such as Nick Drake, The Red House Painters, R.E.M. and Slowdive.” ~ Ionia

Sending us a stunning release that has you totally transfixed from start to finish, Ionia is on absolute fire with an excellent new single that captures the mood of the current world just right.

Proudly an international band, Ionia continues to develop under one working motto, and that is to write the best songs they possibly can, whenever they can.” ~ Ionia

Eclipsed(feat. Brian Bath) from Los Angeles, California-founder prog-rock trio Ionia is a stunning single that has been created with a caring aura that has you totally mesmerized by the quality buzzing in your ears. With a cinematic ambience that only soars higher and higher as the single opens before you, this is a single that will have rock fans frothing from their mouths at what has been created. Sometimes music takes you places you almost forget existed, with a powerful tone that has you the capability to help you move easily in between worlds as you wish.

Hear this new single on Spotify and check out the IG for more.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Berlin’s Close to Monday impresses yet again with the incredible new single, ‘Together’

After a huge breakthrough year where they entered multiple charts and gained the traction they were looking for, Close to Monday show us their fresh direction and start off 2022 with a hypo-progressive synthpop style with their new single, ‘Together‘.

Close to Monday is a highly entertaining Berlin, Germany-based electro-synthpop duo who formulate a riveting blend of stunning music that warms the heart.

2021 was a very productive and bright year for “Close to Monday”. Their album “Interference” almost immediately entered the TOP10 of the German Alternative Charts and was there for 8 weeks in a row.” ~ Close to Monday

With a super effort that might be one of their finest releases to date, Close to Monday gravitate towards the top and show us into a world that has you in an honest state as you reflect on what you really need from your partner during this wild journey called life.

Together‘ from Berlin, Germany-based electro-synthpop duo Close to Monday, is the superbly-projected single of waiting for that special person to join you – and hoping that you can keep things simple – while holding hands and looking into the sky as one. With an always-evolving beat that makes you appreciate their progression, this is a scintillating single which bound to be put on loud when you let it simmer sweetly into your hungry soul.

Being together with someone who is ready to elevate you, will certainly have you feeling that this life is all worth it.

Listen to this new single on Spotify and see more via the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Breaking out from the norm: Mörmaid and Bård Berg join forces to be ‘Set Free’ through music

The exceptionally talented Mörmaid is back with her latest sparkling single and this time she brings in Bård Berg to add an extra excellent element to ‘Set Free‘ our hearts.

Mörmaid is a Norwegian-born, usually London-based electro-pop artist currently hiding out in Norfolk, East Anglia, who illuminates the sky with a rhythmic energy that transfixes your whole body; as she gracefully sings with a style that stops you in your tracks.

Bård Berg is also a Norwegian native from Oslo, who is best known for being a drummer and producer. He is a wonderful talent who brings forth a uniquely brilliant style to music, that is breath-taking and innovative at the same time.

The acid-house type start breaks you out of your comfort zone and it feels like there is a breakout on the go. You can hear the hunger in her voice and she puts in a terrific performance. With his added influence, they make a great song that is hauntingly beautiful and full of surprises, the twists of the beat bends the story to its will and you feel enlightened the longer and louder you listen.

This is about breaking out from a pattern that you wish to free yourself from and start fresh again, with your mind tuned in like a functioning radio, rather than doing the same unhealthy thing and feeling bad for doing it all the time, when brighter days are over the next hill.

Set Free‘ from Mörmaid and Bård Berg is a dazzling assortment of wave-crashing soundscapes that barrels into your mind and doesn’t let go until you reach the shore. Their close-knit fusion is sweetly textured and you feel free inside and safe somehow as her intoxicating voice leaves your soul feeling warm and fuzzy.

Sometimes you can feel trapped with seemingly nowhere to go but if you actually look around and dig deep enough, you will find that tunnel to escape, finding the light and seeing where you need to be in life.

Stream this excellent new track on Spotify and see more on Mörmaid’s IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

8udDha bl0od – Ophiuchus: Serafin: Transfixingly Avant-Garde Progressive Alt Rock

Ophiuchus: Serafin is the latest single to be released from the immeasurably ingenious aural alchemist 8udDha bl0od. If any artist could be described as the modern-day equivalent to The Residents, it’s 8udDha bl0od

The Brighton-based artist may constantly switch up their sound with their new releases, but you can usually rely on a transfixing level of avant-garde accessible chaos. The accordantly rhythmic disarray in Ophiuchus: Serafin certainly didn’t disappoint.

Within Ophiuchus: Serafin, you’ll find nuances of Psych Rock, Surf Rock, No Wave and plenty more. The ten-minute extended track may make some dramatic tonal shifts and throw some discord your way, but each progression is as indulgent as the last.

If there’s an artist we’re grateful to have discovered this year, it’s 8udDha bl0od with their infinitely wild imagination when it comes to orchestrating soundscapes.

You can check out Ophiuchus: Serafin which was released on July 20th for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

8udDha bl0od – W3Y3D: Progressively Dynamic Alt Rock

8udDha bl0od

W3Y3D is one of the most mesmerizingly intricate manifestations of 8udDha bl0od’s aural ingenuity we’ve heard so far. Their ability to accordantly merge such a dynamic array of nuances into one soundscape will never fail to astound us.

W3Y3D starts off with quiescent Neo-Classic-infused Alt Rock prelude before the mellifluous keys fall back in the soundscape and are overtaken by stronger elements of Grunge, Alt Folk, and Blues. As W3Y3D progresses, it shifts into a smoky feat of Rock n Roll with colourful tinges of psychedelia before closing as a stunning offering of Art Rock.

You’ll need to wait a little longer before you can listen to W3Y3D. In the meantime, head over to SoundCloud where you can catch their earlier releases.

Review by Amelia Vandergast