Cyparissus: faun

 

Have you ever gone out to a movie with friends, and one of your asshole friends says, “Yeah it was good…but the book was so much better!” Usually they say that just to gain brownie points among his/her friends to show how “They’re the intellectual of the group.” It’s annoying yeah, but it does contain some valid points.

The reason the book is always better than the movie, is because the book allows for your own imagination to play out the story. You breathe life into each page you read, you create the world the characters inhabit, and the author merely provides the plot.

I say all of this in review of this album, because Cyparissus’ faun does the exact same thing but with music. Cyparissus creates a sonic playground for your mind to wonder and play in. It’s an album to sit down after a long day of work, and to work on that novel you’ve always dreamed on writing. You can’t just listen to one song, like how you can’t have Harry Potter just be about a kid with a thunderbolt scar on his forehead. This is an album that creates a world and atmosphere and that you must sit down and listen to all the way through.

deer’s face in front of portal, to the wind is the poison of the grass really sets the stage and the tone for the rest of the album. It’s a desolate and lonely sound. It’s a cloudy, windy, cold, rainy day, and you’re soaked to the skin. The pulsating pads and piercing ambient noises makes you feel like you’re the only person on earth.

The whole album really feels like the soundtrack to some Scandinavian film that has never been made. Ingmar Bergman’s films as far as I can recall, never really had a soundtrack (or if his did they usually were instruments that were played on scene, I can’t remember). But if his films did have a soundtrack it would be this album.

By the time the album reaches tick your mind begins to play tricks on you. There’s a condition called, musical ear syndrome. Where essentially you hear music in places where there isn’t any music, for example you hear the A/C and you start hearing an orchestra. I first thought I was imagining things, and then I jrealized that this track has such subtle sounds that on repeat listen, you can hear the subtle changes in pitches and tones. It takes a really delicate hand to be able to craft something so nuanced, and subtle. That and the overall semi lo-fi experience of the track creates a unique sound that I haven’t heard done that well in awhile.

bloodtype introduces such a change in tone, that instead of a wall of sound it feels more like a waterfall of sound. It stands out not for the fact it’s loud–quite the contrary–it’s actually not that loud at all, it’s that the rest of the album is just so quiet. A juxtaposition like that always highlights that which preceded it. In this case the quietness of the album before really highlights the introspection, and the introspection that as a result created that imaginary playground for you to play in.

Next up we have the longest, and shortest tracks. gelid which means icy cold, and colorplate. Both of these tracks take on a lot more sinister of a quality. Where before the album sounded isolated, introspective, and lonely; this part of the album feels like an invasion of that loneliness. As though you were alone for a very long time and finally allowed someone into your life, only for them to fuck you over and betray you. Which begs the question to a creative person: is it worth allowing other people into your the world you’ve created? Which is a question which kind of gets addressed in the last two songs.

The last two songs song dytikos and hold you like a sepulchre answers these questions. dytikos begins with a drum, the type of drum that’s in any movie signifying the call to action. It maintains the sinister quality of the prior tracks, and with it’s call to action doesn’t bode well, and we get hints of what kind of action that is required with this track in hold you like a selpulchre; selpulchre being, “a small room or monument, cut in rock or built of stone, in which a dead person is laid or buried.” And with it’s sad melancholy sound ends in a mysterious note. The album ends with that type of ending that in a movie, would make people pour over each frame trying to figure out the “true ending” and to not be left on a cliffhanger. And to the question of, whether it’s worth allowing other people into our own world we’ve created, it’s something that you’ll have to figure out for yourself. For we couldn’t ask ourselves these types of questions if Cyparissus didn’t invite us into their world, but at the same time, the album leaves us hanging wanting for more.

For an album, an imaginative playground, and overall world to inhabit. I give this album my recc

 

 

SLIMEYSKUMBAGGZ: SKUMBAGG CIGRAP pt. 1

 

 

This is probably the most fun I’ve ever had doing a music review. Mainly because I have no idea how these guys

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made one of the best rap EPs I’ve ever heard on soundcloud. I’m not joking either.

I had my suspicions of them they are from England, and as an American, we are very hesitant to English Hip Hop. Two their tags on their EP is as follows: trumpets, drumkits, and “ur mums tits.” Three it could be an elaborate ruse, that they’re just trolls looking for ways to fuck with nobody music bloggers. And finally they don’t even look like they’ve graduated high school (or whatever the English equivalent of high school is.)

I don’t mean to insult them in anyway, because I want to set the stage by how impressed I am by them. I’ve met grown ass men, guys who have families, who have been struggling their whole lives to make rap music, and NONE of them sound remotely as good as these two guys from England. It’s so bizarre and strange that it’s like how in Amadeus Mozart is just this immature manchild, who just wants to make fart jokes all day long, and comparing that to the Salieris of real life I’ve met is truly a bizarre experience. Don’t take this that I’m saying SLIMEYSKUMBAGGZ are unintelligent far from it, what I’m saying is that these guys who don’t even take themselves all too seriously are slaying grown ass men who’ve been at the game for a whole lot longer.

The whole album has the best that hip hop, in it’s golden age (the 90’s), on the best coast (East Coast) has to offer, and they’re literally spitting fire. The best way to compare their rapping prowess is a comparison to Robin Williams (which is bizarre but it’s what works). Robin Williams had such a speedy delivery in his stand up that you’d be laughing at one joke, and then he’d deliver five more jokes on top of that, so that you’d have no time to breathe. They’re so technical, and their rhymes are so brilliantly crafted, that by the time you are appreciating one bar they’ve dropped 5 more that are just as brilliant.

The production from how hard the kicks sound, the subtle little trumpets, the keyboards, everything is just so well produced and mixed. It’s really incredible, and with everybody going for the whole lofi hip hop feel, to listen to kick drum that actually KICKS is such a joy to hear.

I had to look up SKWID to see his earlier works, to see if it was them that was actually rapping, and he wasn’t just sampling other rappers (even though if that was the case the production is still top notch.) I found his earlier music and even his earliest song you can tell that there is the formation some serious talent.

 

In SKUMBAGG CIGRAP pt. 1 you really see the progression of an artist, and the album itself is so fun, I don’t know anybody who likes hip hop that wouldn’t like this album. It’s like watching a Tarantino movie. Tarantino is a big movie nerd, and he makes movies that just take all the good parts from every movie genre, and gives it his own unique flair. SLIMEYSKUMBAGGZ do the exact same thing, but with hip hop. It’s a celebration of Hip Hop and it’s a must listen. The fact that it hasn’t received that much attention is astonishing to me. This one of the best, if not the best soundcloud rap album I’ve heard yet. If you don’t believe me look up other hip hop artists on soundcloud and tell me whether they can hold a candle to this album.

I not only give this album a recc. I give this album an MVP award. I give it hall of fame. Stop reading. Listen and judge for yourself. I could be crazy. I don’t know. But this album is fucking fire.

 

Basic Genre Introductions (Part one): Vaporwave

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Most of the time any serious music fan discussing their favorite genre, usually ends up looking like a crazy person. So here at recclective we’re going to give you the smooth sailing, easy to understand, breakdown of each genre. To accomplish this we’re going to be bringing in documentaries, albums, articles, and interviews to highlight each genre.

First up is vaporwave. Even though it seems to be a dying genre that’s being quickly overtaken by lofi hip hop, it’s still worth looking up. If you’ve ever heard this song then you’ve heard vaporwave. If that particular song isn’t your cup of tea then I’d recommend Vaporwave: A Brief History by Wolfenstein OS X, and Vaporwave: Genre Redifined by Mr. Amazing.

Vaporwave: A Brief history is more of a documentary goes over it’s beginnings, main genre troupes, aesthetics, and notable artists in the vaporwave community. While Vaporwave: A Brief History is more of a love letter to a genre Mr. Amazing had previously dismissed.

 

 

Wolfenstein OS X, and Mr. Amazing briefly touches on the origin of the name, and the original article posted Dummy Mag provides good insight into the artistic statements that vaporwave began with. If the message of Vaporwave  touched on by Wolfenstein OS X and Mr. Amazing interests you, then I’d highly recommend you read it.

So now you’ve listened to some artists, watched the documentary, and read the article–and now you want to start making your own style of vaporwave, or even just incorporate some of it’s aesthetics into your own music. Then I’d suggest watching Adam Neely’s breakdown of the music theory of vaporwave. Adam Neely, generally speaking, is an excellent source of music knowledge and watching any of his videos, makes music theory a lot easier to digest and understand.

 

So there you have it an introductory course to vaporwave.

 

Noisemad Succeeds to Impress

This post was written by The Scratch King you can follow him on twitter, instagram, and soundcloud.

 

It’s hard to make a good impression in a short amount of time, especially in the dog-eat-elephant world of underground music in 2019. That is, unless you’re Noisemad, fresh off the release of his new Deadcity EP. Three tracks in length, the project wastes no time submerging listeners in an ocean of polished production, aptly coupled with harsh, unrelenting lyrics. This is clearest on the intro track, “Meat Wagon,” which features a John Carpenter-esque key melody alongside a screamed refrain. It’s a powerful sonic package that’s hard to ignore. Noisemad doesn’t let up as the runtime continues, delivering equally razor-sharp lyrics through the second and third tracks, Red Light District and Wanted.

Coming in at about seven minutes, Deadcity EP is a quick but intense listen worth hearing.

Recc/10

Electronic Warbear: Disassociation

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https://electronicwarbear.bandcamp.com/album/disassociation

Even though most of synthwave focuses on the 80’s and the nostalgic recreation of the music of our childhoods–I wanna focus in on the 90’s for this review. Specifically the movies made by Gen X’ers about the nihilistic soul crushing mediocrity that is modern life. Movies like The Matrix, Office Space, Dark City, Fight Club, The Truman Show etc. whose protagonists do everything they can to escape modern life. To escape the loneliness of a life spent in a cubicle. And has Electronic Warbear has put it, “I make synthwave and synthpop. Soundtracking the movies I see in my brain.” No review would be appropriate without the allusion to films.

Electronic Warbear’s Disassociation begins with Enter the City, which starts with an incredibly upbeat tone. The synths, and drum track suggest the promises of a rewarding future. The kind you get when you watch a corporate training video on some corporate jargon that always fails to live up to any form of already lowered expectations. But Electronic Warbear doesn’t buy into the bullshit, he doesn’t buy into the false promises given to you by the slick production, and as the synths come crashing down as more and more of the false facade has been exposed.

His next track Islophobia reminds me of the quiet existentialism of Philip Glass’ score in The Truman Show. Although I couldn’t find any actual definition of the term, a quick google search showed that it was “A fear of being alone.” The arpeggios and chord progression as mentioned before provides an excellent juxtaposition with the last track Dissociation. While Disassociation promises you happiness, Islophobia nags at you–it lingers in your thoughts–you know something isn’t right, but what that is, you don’t know.

The Descent continues this off kilter feeling with a synth that seems to be seething in rage but transforms into being strangely a happy song. The track sounds almost too happy and then you notice that something seems to be a bit off, there seems to be a note off here and there from the original key. You’re seeing holes and inconsistencies where you shouldn’t. The heavy synth growls as the lies, and deceit gnaws away at your conscious until all that’s left is to wear a fake smile; all the while a rage is building up inside of you. It’s a song that makes you realize that the happiness you were promised isn’t achievable, like the common expression used in AA meetings, “Once you’re a pickle, you can never turn back into a cucumber.”

In Grind the rage builds, as immediately an incredibly dark and heavy synth starts at the beginning of the track. The percussion so sharp it sounds like the grinding of metal against metal. Then you hear a faint voice, which reminds me of the Mortal Kombat voiceovers you’d hear in the games. I can’t really make out what it’s saying, whether it’s “End it,” “Awake,” or whatever. But the voice carries with it an air of authority, like the boss who micromanages all of your actions at work, while all you can do is smile like the good corporate drone that you are. This track is by far the most angry, and dark of all the tracks on the album. And since all of the tracks have built up to this rage, it’s only fit that it must be resolved.

Malfunction starts with the cheery keyboard that feels like the end of a long shift at work, where all the mischievous plans begin to percolate in your mind of what you’re going to do that weekend. Then as soon as the percussion starts the track opens itself up to such a euphoric release. It feels not like the desperate escape from an entirely hopeless situation, but one that happens once a week for two days at a time. The synths swell up with joy, and the voice that held so much authority in the Grind only becomes more and more distorted as though it has lost it’s power to contain your individuality. The voice though distant seems frustrated that instead of doing the corporate sponsored events (running a 5k to cure some disease, doing yoga, running with your dog on the beach, doing whatever they do in some anti-depressant drug commercial) you assert your own individuality and become as the title says, a “Malfunction” in the corporate structure.

The voice in the beginning of Partyy is so distorted and seems so far away, that it feels like a distant memory. The snares and bass of the track gives the music a sharpened focus. With bass pummeling on, and the snare cutting through all the noise, the Partyy doesn’t really seem like a party. For example you know those happy relaxing parties where you hangout with friends, play drinking games, and Mario Kart. This track is definitely not one of those types of parties. This is one of those parties where you head out to a club by yourself trying to get blacked out drunk, hookup with some strange chick, or both. The chord progressions in Partyy swell up in emotion reaching great heights of happiness, to then lower back down to reality. Like somebody going bar hopping looking to get laid–where each new venue offers up a new promising possibility– but it only ends in getting rejected by a bunch of girls, saying the wrong things, and just making an ass of themselves.

Partyy above most of the tracks on Disassociation is the most deceptive because in the beginning you would be inclined to think this is a typical EDM song played in club; but Warbear is bit more clever than that, and he adds more of an emotional depth than what would be assumed. And with a lot of Electronic Warbear’s music this track really rewards the listener.

Till We Die continues the party type of sound. But this sound is a lot more angry, a lot more vicious, and nihilistic. The track opens up with some of the dirtiest synth possible, that just feels bitter. While Partyy seemed to at least offer a hope, Till We Die just wants to self destruct. The thudding bass sounds like the type of basses you’d find at clubs where everyone has to scream to communicate with each other, while the lead synthesizer and chorus seem to offer a haunting perspective of this new party. Instead of the hope of gratification we instead get desire of self destruction, as the snare accelerates in tempo hoping for a resolution; all for it to fall back to the same focused destruction. The track ends with the distorted sound of people talking, but they’re not talking to you, they’re talking to each other, and their voices are so distorted it’s not even possible to understand what they are saying. And nothing is more isolating than hearing other people talk and have fun and not being able to join in.

Disassociation, the next track in the album, seems to be like the hangover from the night before. The lead synths seem to pulsate like a bad headache from a night of heavy drinking. The arpeggiated synths show the same signs of that existentialism that was shown before in previous tracks. That whatever happiness that was achieved in the previous songs has all but disappeared as the realization dawns that–whatever you do–you can’t can’t escape your current predicament.

Finally with Crossing the album ends, with a melancholy note. As the rain sample plays in the intro. The lead synths drip with sadness, and it’s a sadness that seems more introspective as they quiet down, as only the rain samples and bass pluck on. When the synths return, they return with a question. Is it my predicament that’s fucked up, or is it me that’s fucked up? Which begs the question, where are we the listener crossing towards?

With this musical journey that Electronic Warbear’s Disassociation, I give Electronic Warbear a hearty recc.

 

The Less Dead: Off Chance

 

 

The Less Dead’s album Off chance has made me re-evaluate a lot of things. The one thing I can firmly say with near certainty is that angels aren’t going to be playing harps in heaven, they’ll be using synths.

This album is literally so comfy. It’s the type of album you play on a rainy day, cuddled up in bed, reading your favorite book. The whole time I was listening to it, I was thinking how great this album would be for a youtube studying channel. Now it could be that I’m biased seeing that it’s nearly time for me to go to bed. So I’ll ignore the comfiness and really dive into this album.

Most synthwave albums seem to have this preoccupation with sci-fi dystopias and their sound typically reflects that. The Less Dead’s album just brims with optimism. Take the first track it’s so fun, it contains so much enthusiasm. The synths are incredibly complex, and in each song, the synths maintain their complexity. What I mean by complexity isn’t a bunch of synths doing their own separate thing and putting them all together to create this cacophony of sound. Each synth harmonizes with the next while maintaining it’s own complexity.

The next song Entropy follows suit and maintains the same level of optimism, but also shows The Less Dead’s their next strength, which is that the percussion is a joy to listen to. It’s so refreshing to hear something other than a simple stock drumbeat and an occasional tom fill. Even in the 80’s, with corporate music dominating the scene, there wasn’t as nearly as monotonous uncreative drum beats that most synthwave artists use nowadays. With every clap, hi hat, mallet, cowbell, etc. (I probably got a few of the instruments wrong) The Less Dead breathes much needed life into synthwave.

Another about The Less Dead is that their darker sound really fascinates me. It’s not over the top, dripping with despair, or filled with this evil viciousness. It’s the kind of darkness that you see when you’re watching your favorite childhood movie and you see the scary scene that you used to be frightened at. As an adult you’re no longer scared of the scary scene because you know it’s going to turn out alright. Take for example one of my favorite tracks of the album, It Can’t Be Shut Off. It’s a track that hints at a greater threat–the synths growl, there’s an electronic beep throughout the song as though you are listening to a robotic heartbeat–but it’s never frightening. The same applies to It’s Out There. The track itself is creepy, but it’s the kind of creepy that you see during Halloween. Where you dress up as the thing that scares you, and as a result conquer your fears.

The album quickly returns to it’s optimistic, warm, and friendly tone. It even features an incredible guitar part on City Life. Love is probably the best example on the whole album of how warm The Less Dead’s songs can be. It takes you back to a more innocent kind of love. The kind of love where all other needs are met, and the only thing you want is that other person’s company.

Unlike most synthwave artists The Less Dead’s Off Chance is album that doesn’t fear the future. In fact the phobias, fears, and neuroses of the future are conquered in this album. Very much how like as a child you so incredibly terrified of the monsters lurking in the closet, and how that fear would overwhelm you–but now as an adult you look back fondly on childhood, and cherish the innocence you once had–and even the monsters that still could be in your closet.

This album is a definite recc for anybody who wants the sound equivalent of a warm cup of hot chocolate.

As_Is: Opening Act

 

As_Is’ Opening act starts off heavy with this quote, “Eventually this audio file will be forever lost in the digital universe.” Which is a pretty heavy statement on the nature of the internet and the music it brings.

I remember back in my college dorm being exposed to Dubstep, I thought it was the greatest thing ever. It sounded so novel and new; I couldn’t believe my ears. Then within a few months it just turned into a fad. The same thing happened with witch house, seapunk, vaporwave, and eventually lofi hip hop etc.

The music brings joy to those seeking novelties, but then is discarded as an old hat as long as it loses it’s novelty. Yet to those who sincerely enjoyed the music, who sincerely related to it, they’re left in the dust, subjected to mockery and called cringey for being non-ironically interested in a music genre.

All these thoughts rushed past me as soon as I heard As_Is’ musings on Just Feel Something. The opening statements shining a harsh light on the nature of music and the music listener. Then unapologetically opens with one of the best synth intros I’ve ever heard. The bass drops bringing in a rush of those memories on the first time I really sat down to listen to an EDM song. Yet, it’s not EDM, As_Is finds a way to use the usual tropes of electronic music to make their own unique distinct sound. All throughout the track the songs oscillate wildly from one electronic music genre to another. From sounding like dubstep to ending in an 8-bit sounding middle eastern song. Every turn, misdirection, and buildup becomes a joy to listen to; which I couldn’t help but smile at.

The Sucara is an incredibly fun song to listen. With the beginning intro starting with a sample of what sounds like a 50’s monster B movie. With it’s harsh dubstep sounds, synthetic screams, ominous synths, and frantic drumming, it truly commits to being a fun dubstep version of a B movie.

Initiation is the most experimental of the tracks. It’s pounding drum beats echo has the synths growl, only to disappear into a swirl of mystery. The world that’s created from this track becomes incredibly hostile and mysterious as what sounds like a synth chanting in the background, while a bell plays the faintest of melodies. It’s the most thematic, and creative of the songs on the track.

Finally the album ends Thinking in Space, and it’s here that As_Is’ experimentation shines through. The 8-bit synth charms it way back to this track, as the keyboards play a spacious all encompassing sound. This song is incredibly expansive and exceeds in creating a spacious atmosphere. An atmosphere that not only feels vast and endless, but one that seems so fun as well. As though the world of possibilities of electronic music is laid before our feet and all we have to do is have fun and go explore it–which is exactly what As_Is has accomplished.

This album, though only 4 songs long, is definitely worth a listen to. As a perfection summation and expansion on the concepts of electronic music. Any music fan who is into any sort of electronic music, should definitely check out.

Plus they’re from Florida so they’re already pretty good guys in my book

I give this album my recc.

Shamanka Phoenix: Destination

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https://shamankaphoenix.bandcamp.com/album/d-e-s-t-i-n-a-t-i-o-n

This could be a case of the grass looking greener on the other side, but there’s something about European artists that always seems so cool. For example, how does a John Ford western transform into a Sergio Leone western? How did they know to replace the classical Hollywood orchestral arrangements with Ennio Morricone’s bizarre western music? How did they decide to use extreme close ups between each character’s eyes right before the shoot out?

It’s an ability to transform art into something so much more stylized, with so much more substance that separates American and European art. Listening to Shamanka Phoenix’s album feels so cool in the same way. It’s the coolness that comes from a long line of European artists who redefine genres, offer new styles, and revolutionize sounds.

It’s no surprise that the tracks on Shamanka Phoenix’s album Destination are named for European cities. Each track sounds remarkably well crafted, to the point where any slight rearrangement would drastically alter the sound. Shamanka Phoenix is an artist who knows what she’s doing. From the beautiful melodies of each track, to her phenomenal vocals and lyrics, make no mistake, this is no amateur making these songs; this is master craftsmanship.

Take B E R L I N (Dappled Sunlight) for example. There are so many little nuances in the beat of the song. An echoed snare, the faint sound of a tambourine; it’s these little touches that show Shamanka’s attention to detail, an absolute asset to her tracks.

Often when an artist devotes that level of attention to detail, the gestalt of the track can be obscured, like the artist is no longer able to separate the forest from the trees, yet Shamanka Phoenix can get that granular and still make incredibly beautiful and melodic music like on I B I Z A (Sexbot). The track is absolutely beautiful right from the get go. With a melodic harp in the beginning and lush, indulgent piano chords sprinkled throughout, it’s an extremely melodic and beautiful song with an amazing sound that balances both the organic and synthesized. It conveys both a highly intimate feeling, and yet sounds detached, which is fitting for a song about sexbots. It takes impressive ability to convey such complex emotions.

S H E F F I E L D (remember me) is a real showstopper. It’s in this track you realize how gifted Shamanka Phoenix is as a musician, singer, songwriter, and producer. In the age of DAW producers, autotune, and ghostwriters, it’s a rare artist who actually owns their own talent. Yet this talent has a purpose, it serves the song; it makes something so beautiful and stylized possible.

Listening to the last track, S T O C K H O L M, you can’t help but bring a smile to your face. It’s like watching a star athlete play a perfect game. Throughout the whole spectacle your jaw drops down to the ground, but then when it’s all finished you can’t help but smile at such a phenomenon. This song is her victory lap at the end of an already impressive album

D E S T I N A T I O N’s not an album to just listen to, but to learn from as well. Listening to these tracks, the musical world feels more expansive and exploratory than ever before. If you haven’t listened to to this album, please give it a chance. Definitely would give this album a recc.

atlxb: TheLostSouls

 

 

Nothing hurts like your first heartbreak. Yeah sure, we can look back and say, “Oh man I really dodged a bullet there. That bitch was psycho hahaha.” But really can anything be worse than the first time a girl looked into your eyes and said, “I love you” only for her to end the relationship?

atlxb spills his guts and reveals truths about breakups that we’d rather forget. Every single song oozes with a melancholy that can only come from a hurt that only a breakup can give. Every single track deals with a specific feeling that’s pinpointed with surgical precision. Whether it’s the obsession of the girl you lost, to suicidal ideation, and then the false machismo that comes from hooking up with girls. atlxb has got you covered, and the fact he has committed this experience to his music speaks volumes on his willingness to express himself through art.

atlxb is an excellent rapper who has really honed his craft. His flow is phenomenal and his lyrics are excellent. Though at times he can be difficult to understand, it’s not so much due to a lack of technical but due to a lack post-production polish. Which my reply to that is, would you rather listen to something that “Says nothing to me about my life,” as Morrissey would put it? Or would like to hear something that’s sincere and honest?

The production as well is top notch. KAMIKAZE is an amazing musical number that perfectly encapsulates the themes of this album. The guitar strums along this dramatic chord progression that feels an apex in a movie where a shoot out takes place. Another song that just oozes with sadness is Forever. The reverbed out piano and rain samples, paints such a clear picture of the isolation that a break up brings, and that’s just through the music alone, taken with atlxb’s lyrics, he adds such an emotional depth that only somebody who has experienced heartbreak can understand.

atlxb spills his guts for us and his bravery for doing so provides a much needed perspective on the matter of relationships. Everybody after a breakup does things they regret, and because they regret what they’ve done we try our hardest to hide our pain. We all try to cover it up, we lie to others that it really didn’t hurt us as much as it did. We try to intellectualize the relationship–minimize the pain as much as humanely possible. We do everything we can to runaway from the emotional truths of what we gone through, because it’s difficult to believe that anybody else has ever gone through what you have gone through. You feel alone, because you believe are alone and atlxb shows us with his incredible lyricism shows us–that no we aren’t. We all go through this and there is nothing to be ashamed of.

For his emotional depth, and relatability I give this album my recc.

Johnnascus Questions Everything

This post was written by The Scratch King you can follow him on twitter, instagram, and soundcloud.

In the microcosm of independently-released music, it’s all too common for relatively average projects to be erroneously labeled as experimental. Texas-based rapper/producer Johnnascus’ most recent release, Identity Crisis, is not one of these projects. Identity Crisis is an EP bursting with otherworldly bridges and authentic eccentricity, with genres within ranging from noise, to metal, to rap and even gaps of ambient. Johnnascus himself shows tremendous vocal range, bringing servings of screams, singing at a variety of pitches, and everything in between.

The first track, “Question Everything,” features a monologue setting the stage for the rest of the project, detailing meditation interrupted by an existential crisis. Playing out against a backdrop of haunting key melodies from producer Sleepy Randy, the track explodes into a stunning bevy of layered percussion and vocals. Similarly aggressive tracks can be found throughout the 36-minute runtime, including “My (A)sexuality” (prod. by Bruhmanegod), “Sad Satan LSD” (prod. By Bruhmanegod), and the self-produced “Gen Z.” The track listing here has no shortage of softer, more melodically-minded cuts either, including “2am,” with a stream-of-consciousness vocal flow that soars alongside a gorgeously mixed synth instrumental.

Identity Crisis is what so many projects dream to be: cathartic, polished, even unsettling. For any fan of music that doesn’t color inside the lines, it’s worth a listen.

Bigrecc/10