-πΉπ’Άπ’Ύπ“‡π“Ž π‘…π’Ύπ“ƒπ‘”π“ˆ- Under A Different Moon

If there is one weakness, or bias, I have towards music is that I love a good piano piece. Especially one that is as soft and gentle as the one provided by -πΉπ’Άπ’Ύπ“‡π“Ž π‘…π’Ύπ“ƒπ‘”π“ˆ- an artist who has made one of the most beautiful tracks I’ve heard on soundcloud.

Which shouldn’t be a surprise, judging by the cover art alone. It was that cover art that immediately grabbed my attention. I mean, it’s a bunch of fairy children fighting a bat. Who in their right mind wouldn’t enjoy that. Yet the saying, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” still applies. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve seen great cover art, only to be greeted by the ear rape of construction sounds. I’m so glad that this is not the case with this song.

The beginning has that Beatles Day in the Life beginning, as the atonal electronic landscape swells up into this beautiful piano piece. The piano is so rich, and so beautiful that it’s so refreshing to hear. With the advent of DAWs being available, either legally or illegally to millions of people, there’s something special about hearing a musician playing a competently well thought out piano piece.

Then there’s the vocals which lull you into this tranquil state of mind. The lyrics paint this melancholy vibe, which just adds more to the ambience of the whole track. Every musician loves that unique period in music, where the stars aligned, and pop music had substance. Whether it was The Beatles Sgt. Pepper, The Beach Boy’s Pet Sounds, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Prince’s Purple Rain, Nirvana’s In Utero or even Kanye West’s Life of Pablo (I don’t care, it’s my favorite album of his.)

It’s that moment where the sincerity and rawness of the avant garde meets the pop sensibilities of the masses. Where an emotion that seemed so individualistic, so private, to the artist is expressed, and the rest of the world nods their heads in an agreement that say, “This is what I feel.”

-πΉπ’Άπ’Ύπ“‡π“Ž π‘…π’Ύπ“ƒπ‘”π“ˆ- is that artist. Who is able to express in such a beautiful and elegant way the emotions that at first may seem individualistic, yet are shared by all of us. He is an artist that, I cannot wait to see his growth, because I can see the potential. All that has to happen is for the rest of the world to hear him.

Pool View: Victory Formation

A song comprised of guitar loops, harmonized screaming, Post Punk basslines, a beat switch up, and a fucking saxophone solo. If you just read that and are thinking to yourself, “How the fuck is this a song?” Well my friend, rest assured you’re normal. Pool View on the other hand is definitely not normal.

Now you may think that I don’t like this track, far from it, I LOVE THIS TRACK. I have no idea how Pool View was able to combine any of these ideas, I have no idea how the formation of this song even came to existence, I have no idea what his influences are, I have no idea how he came up with this song.

This is kind of existentially terrifying for me, as a creative person I can kind of see the gears turning in someone’s head when they release a track. I can kind of pinpoint their influences, see who they borrowed from, what genre they’re paying homage to. Yet with this artist, I can’t.

It’s that full unbridled creativity that draws us into art. When we see something like Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, or even The Matrix. We’re blown away by the vision of its creators. Yet with each of those films, if we are culturally astute we can see the influences of other media. Star Wars is just Flash Gordan mixed with some Akira Kurosawa, Joseph Campbell, and WWII serials. The Lord of the Rings is an amalgamation of European myths. The Matrix is a homage to every sci-fi ever. Etc.

With this little microcosm of a song, maybe you hear a bit of musical influences. For me personally I heard a bit of Red Hot Chili Peppers in the intro. I heard a bit of Hip Hop, Jazz, punk, etc. Yet it’s the fusion of all these elements into something entirely new that astonishes me. It astonishes me because even though it seems familiar, it’s not. It’s like landing on an alien planet. It seems like Earth since it has life, and solid ground. But everything around you is so unfathomably different.

Everybody has heard the announcement that A.I. will eventually be creating music. And nearly every artist, musician, has had to roll their eyes at this statement. Yet for the people who believe in that, could an A.I. come up with a song as original as this? Fuck even 99.99999999% of the population isn’t creative enough to come up with something remotely as original as this.

So if you think that music as an art form is dying. I implore you to checkout this song. It is honestly amazing. It’s the type of song that you listen to, that makes you checkout some of your previous tracks, tracks that you thought were “Too weird,” and forces you to take that creative leap of faith. Because if you don’t, other artists like Pool View will.

Pretty O.P. : Satisfaction Guaranteed

So I’m going to be honest. I am 100% biased when it comes to this review. This guy has been making back to back masterpieces, and to say that I’ve been unaware of him would be a lie.

Usually whenever you hear underground music, it sounds like it came from the underground. With trained ears you can hear the mic pops, the muddied bass lines, the out of tune vocals, etc. Yet it’s because of its sincerity that we keep coming back to it, again and again. But what if I were to tell you that there was a soundcloud musician out there, whose songs brim with sincerity that sounds so polished, so pristine, and so perfect that it makes every person on soundcloud look like the amateurs that they (and I’m including myself) are?

Now I introduce you to Pretty O.P. a musician who lives up to his name. Where to begin with this song? The first time I ever listened to Pretty O.P. I was blown away by his vocals. He’s got so much range, and it has that quality that everybody loves in a singer which is his ability to emote. They say that the mark of a good singer is his ability to stay in tune, and the mark of a great singer is to stay in tune and emote. This song is no different, yet he introduces so many new elements to his vocals that you cannot help but be amazed by his singing.

Then there’s the musicality of Pretty O.P. the chord progressions, the electronic flourishes, the pitch perfect guitar solo, the ebbs and flow of the track. There is literally hook after hook in this song. In one moment you’re blown away by the acoustic chord progressions, then there’s this psychedelic dubstep sounding synths (a phrase I never thought I would ever write), and then it goes lo-fi with the ambience of children playing over what sounds like a tape recorder.

So you’d think after that one long ass run on sentence that that would be all there is to the track. You’d be wrong. It’s better to listen then to read a review so I implore you to checkout an artist who has been slaying it, track after track.

Blue Ceremony: Slow Dance

I really didn’t get into music until I was 13. Sure I bought 50 Cent, Eminem, Xzibit, Godsmack, Linkin Park, and Papa Roach albums. The 00’s was really a terrible time for music, and finding any good album was like finding an oasis in a desert. It wasn’t until I got into skateboarding that I accidentally found bands like Joy Division, The Smiths, The Cure, Bauhaus, etc.

It’s a magical moment when you discover a whole music genre that you never knew existed. For me Goth music, Post Punk, Alternative, Indie, whatever you call it, was a genre I dismissed. Being raised in Southwestern Ohio, if you were in any way, shape, or form associated with Goth you’d automatically be called a Satanist, or whatever. To find out that this genre of music had some of the best, most sincere pieces of art was such a great surprise.

So discovering this song, is like a nostalgic recall of that time. It has all of the trademarks of great Goth bands. The guitar reverb heavy sound, that sounds like it’s being played in a bat cave. That creepy choir that borders on atonal creepiness, to full on camp. The beat that provides this sense of momentum before fluttering off into the night. And then finally those excellent vocals. The kind of post punk vocals that sounds like a vampire seducing some kind of young girl. This track has everything going for it.

Soundcloud usually gets a bad rap. It’s entirely deserved since the majority of the time it’s awash in the mediocrity that is cloudrap. So to find not only a unique artist, but one that fully embraces a genre that doesn’t get that much attention on soundcloud–is completely worth it. Not to mention the fact that this is a solo artist (as far as I can tell) which still blows my mind.

Anybody, and everybody who is an artist goes through a goth phase. Whether it’s through fashion, style, or art–we’ve all gone through it. And even though I am dudebro model 3.5, I still really enjoy the artistry that goes into this genre. Because of that I don’t have to go out on a limb to suggest you listen to it. But if you’re still unconvinced, then if you appreciate great art, great music, or just want some spooky tunes to groove to, then check out this song.

 

Lunar Femmes: Mar de SueΓ±os

There’s a reason why “Enjoys long walks on the beach” is such a common phrase in the dating market. There’s something about peering out to that vast deep blue sea that stirs the heart of every romantic. Whether it’s the tranquility of the waves, the endless possibilities out on the horizon, or the fun of just being able to jump in and swim in the ocean. There’s something about the beach that resonates with us on such a deep and profound level.

So when a song is able to capture all of these individualized emotional moments it’s an incredible feat. Especially when the song is less than 4 minutes long. So let’s dive right in, and see why this song deserves your listen.

Immediately we’re greeted with these shimmering synths, and this almost tape loop kind of effect in the background. Which does a great job setting up the rest of the track. Right off the bat, you hear the main motif that will be played throughout the track, but more importantly you become enveloped in the atmosphere of this track. Which is further compounded on by the sample of waves on the beach.

It’s important to note how impactful a sample can be to a song. A lot of artists will spend hours upon hours tinkering with different synth setups, effects, chord progressions, etc. to achieve a certain kind of feel. Yet they don’t look outside of music for inspiration.

Now this isn’t to downplay the rest of the track, the instrumentation is incredibly nuanced, complex, and beautiful. Yet it’s the atmosphere that reels you in. You can have the greatest melody, yet if you don’t have a great atmosphere for that melody to grow and flourish, then it’s all a waste. It’s like having a gigantic luxurious bed, with purple silk sheets, purple drapes, and with a golden head and foot board in an empty room. Yeah it’s a nice bed; but imagine how much nicer it would be next to a roaring fire, with a bear rug, Renaissance portrait, or whatever (I’m not the best at interior design). The atmosphere is what sells the luxury of the bed. Just as the atmosphere sells the melody of the music.

So now that we have the atmosphere of the track out of the way, let’s dive into the rest of the track. Every synth in this track just screams relaxation. Yet it’s not the kind of relaxation where you just cuddle up in bed, and watch netflix. Due to the upbeat tempo, and the 80’s lo-fi sounding drums it provides an energy to the track. That coupled with the luscious calming synths provides inertia to your relaxation. Like when it’s a Friday, and you want to let loose so you go for a swim at the beach. It’s an active sort of relaxation.

So for anybody who enjoys some nice relaxation, and a sound that truly transports you to a nice day at the beach. This is the track for you. I give it my full recc and would encourage anybody to check out the rest of Lunar Femmes catalog.

 

James 3K: You Make Me Want To Talk About It

Who doesn’t like a song with a nice groove? Nobody. That’s the answer to that rhetorical question.

Immediately the track starts off with this amazing guitar. The kind of guitar that if you were to listen to it on the street, you’d immediately start walking with a swagger. That’s how cool it is. Yet I said this track had a groove, and I’ll be getting to that, but you gotta recognize style when you see it. After all if you wear the flashiest suit on earth, but don’t have the confidence to back it up, then you turn cool to cringe. And nobody likes to cringe.

Nobody can deny the coolness of a track that’s got some groove. Yet it’s how you present it that matters. From the funky bass lines, the heavy synths, the amazing vocals, the gunshot samples–everything just works. Even the guitar at the end with that pitch perfect funky tone. And if you follow this blog you know how much I love a good guitar tone. All of these elements combine with a drum beat in this kaleidoscopic manner–where everything shifts and morphs–while retaining the core funkiness that’s needed for a track to have a nice groove.

Now everybody needs to be cool every once in awhile. Listening to this track is the equivalent of being the bigshot in town, walking down the street, feeling like a million bucks, looking like a million bucks, and who doesn’t like that?

Yet it’s not just about being cool. After all we’re in the underground here, and perhaps it’s hipsterdom, perhaps we’re a bit too clever. But being cool doesn’t really cut it anymore. As I mentioned before the track has this kaleidoscopic type of sound, the sound you won’t often find in the mainstream. While most songs bludgeon you to death with the same notes over and over and over again. This track, has so much variety, in such a short amount of time. It doesn’t become experimental, yet at the same time, you can see James 3K being fairly adept at experimentation.

So it’s not just cool. After all your older brother going to college and coming back home, seems like the coolest thing ever. Then when you find out that everything he says and does is cliched, he’s not as cool as you thought he was. This track has enough individualism, and artistry that it’s impossible for it to be cliched. So as a result the coolness never feels forced, it just permeates throughout the track. Which really is the basis for being cool–just being yourself.

AToMiC ALiEN x AJ RU$T: LAST OF OUR KIND Prod. AJ RU$T

So when I first started out with this blog, I was an idiot.

Why? Because I was dedicated to writing reviews only on albums, and not singles. Which in hindsight was a terrible idea. The reason I bring this up, is because this track is just begging for more attention.

AToMiC ALiEN doesn’t just drop bars, he drops bombs. Comparing him to most cloud rappers, is like comparing Michael Jordan to a high school basketball team. AToMiC ALiEN is playing a grown man’s game while everybody else is playing “make believe.” Now why do I say this?

Each verse he drops is so expertly crafted. The verses shift in rhythm like a great drummer knows the perfect drum fill. Actually let me shift the comparison AToMiC ALiEN drops bars, like machine gun fire. Which is a lot more filling, listening to this coupled with the heavy distorted soundscape, makes this track sound so vicious. It’s rap with testosterone, and what’s not to like about that?

Now that I got the actual rapping out of the way, the production deserves some praise as well. Everything from the distorted guitar samples, the alarm going off, the heavy distorted 808’s, and the electronic glitches just adds to it’s savagery.

Most rap on the radio talk about going hard, but nothing sounds like it’s going hard. Almost everything on the radio has this weird drugged up feel to it, while the guy is rapping about fucking girls, doing drugs, settling grudges, and shooting guys. So since we’re talking about the music industry, it’s of course not going to sound at all vicious–that would make too much sense.

Another reason I gotta give this track some respect is mainly because I’m a sucker for AMVs. What can I say I’m a weeb at heart.

 

 

Alpha Chrome Yayo: Malediction Boulevard

https://alphachromeyayo.bandcamp.com/album/malediction-boulevard-ep

Let’s be honest here, who doesn’t wish that 80’s music sounded like modern synthwave? As mentioned before, most of synthwave is kind of a wish fulfillment. Like how in 40’s-50’s serials promised a world of adventure, but audiences received a cardboard set and a B-list actor. Then Spielberg and Lucas come along and say, “Hey what if we gave those serials that we loved as kids a bigger budget?”

Great synthwave is the equivalent of seeing a niche B-movie get the A-list treatment. Obviously I say all of this because the cover art reminds me of The Fly. Because after listening to this, I want this to be that movie’s soundtrack. It has that perfect synthy buildup–that unresolved tension–that makes it oh so spooky. Then when you hear the guitar shred–pure heaven.

But it’s not just the leads that make this song great. Hearing that perfect bass groove–with laser like focus–is exactly what makes this track, an A-list track. Then when the tom fills kick in, you know you’re in for a treat. I mean I am biased, but when I hear some good tom fills–I’m already sold.

From the lead synth and guitar, to the drums and bass; nearly everything in this track delivers. It’s the A-list treatment to a B-list music genre. Also let’s be real if 80’s synth music was as good as it was hyped up to be. Then there wouldn’t be an 80’s sound. There would only be an electronic sound. So if you want to hear some good electronic synthwave goodness then check this track out!

Eric C. Powell: Need A Place

There’s nothing more I love when an artist knows how to use the tools given to them. Now there’s a lot of synth/electronic bands out there. Yet what separates the novice from the professional is the execution. What’s there not to like about this track? From the textures of the synths, the clear and precise production, and the amazing vocals. The sound is universally appealing, while at the same time Eric C. Powell creates an electronic soundscape that sounds like no other.

How does he do this? Well my money would be on how well he meshes and fuses different musical influences. Which produces a sound that is both novel, and at the same time familiar. After all isn’t creativity the synthesis between two diametrically opposed opposites? The opposites in this case being experimental electronic music, with the more dance-able EDM influences that pulsate in the background. Kind of like if Gary Numan and DeadMau5 had a child, and that child was a prodigy.

Then let’s get to the vocals, because if I were to skimp out on mentioning the vocals I’d be doing this track a tremendous disservice. Everybody knows that female vocals are generally better than male vocals. You know it, I know it, we all know it to be true. With the vocals lulling you to this meditative state, and the electronic music pulsating in the background–it’s an overall joy to listen to. Even though the electronic music is highly complex, it doesn’t detract from the vocals–far from it. They both work in tandem to create this amazing soundscape that’s worth repeat listens.

This is just a tidbit, of music to come, and album that will so be released. So keep your eyes peeled for when Eric C. Powell releases his album, because I’m sure it will be a joy to listen to!