Thursday, December 4, 2014

Album Review: DUV 9 Rocket Science by Dynamics Plus

Man, this winter has not been kind to me thus far. I spent a lot of time on an uncomfortable bed, got to know her, got to understand her feelings and know that sleep is not all about comfortable mattresses and sleepy vibes. It's also about springs that pop through beds, or how the bed can be uneven causing you to tilt...or somehow that for any reason at all the bottom mattress's wooden frame could snap apart because you hit the wrong area of the comfort zone. It's a hardship that not all of us have to face but...nonetheless: Beds should be sleepable.

Now, for music.



Dynamics Plus, a native of Long Island, New York provides an original blend of R&B elements and fast-paced words of wisdom to those who are keen enough to listen. Depending on how you look at it, this is either going to satisfy your taste with cool, funky fresh synths or aggressive, charismatic lyrics that display a compendium of genres, bound to take you by surprise.

The production of this album is great, the highs are crisp where they need to be and mid-EQ sits on a finely tuned plain of audible astroturf. It varies quite a bit as the tracks can consist of R&B, House, Trip-Hop, Rock, and Funk elements. It always switches things up; there's never a dull moment. I took a moment to ask Dynamics Plus a few questions on his new album:
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DjjD Studios: What was your inspiration for this album?

Dynamics Plus: I guess Rocket Science feeds off the last albums. It was after C.H.A.O.S. Legion and Battlestrux Year One: Captain of a Starship that people kept asking if I was done with freestyle rhyming and aggressive raps. I just felt that the narrative was a fine showcase for my creative slant so I incorporated a lot of the storytelling style on Rocket Science.

 iTunes Link


DjjD: So it's your fans who help you create more new material?

Dynamics Plus: Yes. It's about slices of my life translated through rap music. Things happen and have happened and I share. I planned for a huge number of albums and I jump around that list of projects- depending on what's going on and what feels right to make. Some projects had to wait until my skills and tools matched my vision.

DjjD: What equipment did you use?

Dynamics Plus: Tough one to answer since some of the music on Rocket Science is very old and my gear list has changed a lot over the years. I usually have a sampler, a ROMpler or workstation keyboard and then several synthesizers working together. I like to have a wide palette of sounds available.

Recently, most songs start with NI Maschine, the Spectralis synthesizer and a KORG M3. That's enough to get me deep into the track. I have a lot of other gear that I turn to, but I get more done when I focus on a few pieces doing a lot.

DjjD: Who was all involved in the process of this album?

Dynamics Plus: This album is special to me because I reached out to so many of my friends for help. SheaDoll, the same singer from Fortress of Solitude's "Maschine Slave" appears on "Hug the Pole". Nae B, another singer, helps me on "Plenty to Say" and Anthony Michael Angelo plays guitars on "Dash the Cloud".

I think it's important to collaborate. There's an energy that builds from people working together. Players and other artists add their unique spin and input and I think that value is becoming lost as everyone wants to be a one-man-band. I like discovering new paths and perspectives...and that's why I joke it's hard to think about something you haven't thought of.

DjjD: How long was this album in the works?

Dynamics Plus: Years, honestly. I remember trying to create this album years ago and failing miserably. "Gear Lust" in particular had about a dozen different versions recorded and I hated them all. The album intro was recorded several times and I completely rewrote it for this album. "Summer Anthem" never had a second verse and was going to be a quick interlude. I basically gave up and realized it wasn't the right time to make Rocket Science. Even "The Ultimate Year" was remixed at the last minute. Now? It just felt right- like this was the ultimate year to release an album called Rocket Science. I guess I finally figured the formula out. Thanks for the time, my friend.
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I gotta say, I really like "Gear Lust", the drums almost sound vintage as if a touch of tape saturation was added to the percussion to fill the soundscape. His rhymes punch through the track like Chuck Norris busting through wood planks, it's powerful yet fluid. I feel like I'm hearing some 303 basslines in the back there, which...is always a good thing in my book.


The album takes on some dark topics and overall, can feel a little gloomy at times yet the short but humorous skits inbetween tracks really help showcase the artist's diversity. I've taken a good amount on this review adding and subtracting; separating the facts from the personal opinions. Reaching a final verdict, the answer is this: the production on all the tracks are great.

I believe Dynamics Plus has done an awesome job here. It's not hard to tell a lot of serious work went into this. It takes a special kind of person to make everything sound just right, it takes a skilled one to make it cohesive adhering to a certain degree of multeity.

"This is just a vision of incision with precision" - 'The Ultimate Year'

I give this album a 9.6 out of 10. Thanks for reading!

Links

Homepage: http://www.thedynamicuniverse.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dynamics-Plus/112125078834120
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DynamicaMusic
MySpace: https://myspace.com/dynamicsplus
Blog Page: http://dynamicsplus.wordpress.com/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/DynamicaMusic
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/dynamics-plus
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/dynamics-plus/id58742748

P.S. Personally, I quite liked Chaos Legion as well, so here's a bandcamp playlist!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Album Review: Story of Staying Home by Sanghera


A resident of San Francisco, Sanghera hits the industry with a 7-track LP full of mindbending lyrical twists, expressive flows, and impressive diversity with "Story of Staying Home". Chalk full of rhythmic snaps and pops, Sanghera proves knowledgable in composition as well as production. Listening to the lyrics closely "Story of Staying Home" explains exactly that. It describes through rapid rhymes, the experiences of an individual who's had the hard times, the hard life and engages those who pay attention with a emotional double edged sword disguised as an audible message. It's hard to tell Sanghera's influences because...there's too many I can count from the assortment of genres exerted.


I quite enjoyed '1991', the intro hit me in all the right places utilizing fast hi hats and saturated yet soft basslines. From The Departed clip to the staccato strings and meticulously placed synth plucks layered between, this track is for those who thrive on the hard hitting beats. My only complaint would be the length, it ends well...but just over 2 mins and 30 seconds I felt the track could've gone farther.

This collection of tunes is layered, detailed, comprehensive, and above all, smooth. Sanghera has quite the following on Facebook, so it's nice to know I'm but just one of the many people to hear his music. It deserves to be heard. It is music that is marketable and satisfying. So congrats to Sanghera on his release, and wish him the best in his musical endeavors.

Thanks for reading!

I give this album an 8.7 out of 10.

Links:

Homepage: http://www.iamsanghera.com/wordpress/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iamsanghera
Twitter: https://twitter.com/i_am_sanghera
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/iamsanghera
Bandcamp: https://sanghera.bandcamp.com

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Album Review: Scenes Through the Magic Eye by Rasplyn

Now, I'll just be blunt with the audience today. Hauntingly beautiful is an expression that's often thrown around a lot. Whether it's just a ghost that looks pretty, or a song that is so well crafted that it's disturbing...it's apparent that Rasplyn throws something unique at the celestial world of audible tones and strikes an unusual presence in the world of "hauntingly beautiful" music.


To be released through Mythical Records, "Scenes Through the Magic Eye" is a blend of ambient, neoclassical, and folk elements. I do say, with a name like Mythical Records, the majority of their material is exactly that. With all the tracks being longer than 4 mins, it's easy to see why each one will require ample to listen to appreciate just what exactly went into this. 'Priestess of the Goddess' clocks in at the longest track on the album and appropriately, it showcases of the immense detail put into the slight velocity levels of nearly all the string instruments and how that compliments the brass and bell instruments that follow suite.



The album follows a medieval path, and whereas most of the tracks are deep with dark, ominous vibes...'Open Door' shows a softer side of Carolyn O' Neill's solo project. About 2 mins in the track takes a much more mellow, gentle tone. It's a reflection of what has happened and what will come...

"You're waiting for a train. A train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you don't know for sure."

This is the general vibe I get of this album. Your path seems uncertain, but whichever way you take, it won't matter. The audible ingredients in this avant garde, industrial, fusion based cocktail concoct a trippy experience that is bound to leave you in a petrified trance; while you might not remember every single detail, the whole picture is anything but a blur.

I give this album an 8 out of 10.

Carolyn writes:

"Rasplyn's "Scenes Through the Magic Eye" is Carolyn O'Neill's debut release on the experimental music label, Mythical Records. Rasplyn is the solo project of Carolyn O’Neill who uses her experience with classical composition and film to create mystical and visual landscapes with her music. Carolyn is a Chicago native who grew up playing the clarinet and organ. After playing in her high school orchestra for four years she went on to receive her degree in Music Composition from Columbia College Chicago. Her music is dark, but beautiful and filled with textured layers influenced by world culture and fantasy. Her style is transforming as she experiments with adding vocal elements into the environments she creates. Her debut album "Scenes Through the Magic Eye" is due to be released on Mythical Records on November 30th, 2014."

Thanks for reading!

Links:

Homepage: http://www.rasplyn.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RasplynCarolynONeill
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rasplyn
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rasplyn
G+: https://plus.google.com/110526813640647977151/posts

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Album Review: Hand Over the Heart by Rainstick Cowbell

It's hard to stay why 'Hand Over the Heart' has such an impact on my own view of music, but few can reach a similar level of raw emotional audacity. Whether you're listening to this album as another artist trying to gain influence or a listener who stumbled upon a musician who blurred musical lines: This album is something else. The various environmental noises, the quick guitar string pops, the vocalized percussion...it all adds up to something that feels like metal but acts like classic rock. As stated in the description of the band, Rainstick Cowbell prefers to go by anti-folk, and while I can't say I've ever heard of that genre before...the idea of it, sticks out very vividly.



But it's all more than that...

The amount of influences in this music, is astounding. I haven't talked to the artist too much, but the wispy vocals in some of the songs are very reminiscent of something I'd hear out of a Led Zeppelin album. Rainstick Cowbell tells a tale of a person whose voice punctures the limits of reality and warps the very fabric of space; throws it into your headphones for a very surreal experience.

There's a familiar yet, concerning random pattern to his songs. They start out soft usually with an aimless, sundry ambiance leading into a guitar riff that can also go into a number of different phrases. All of them have a different atmosphere, take a listen to this one:




Versus:



I can't say I've heard anything quite like this, but I can't - in good conscience - review this with insanely picky production standards that I've had in recent reviews. This album sticks out on its own solely for its musicality, emotional depth, and rough vocals that add a classic, almost analog depth to his tracks. It's different, yet recognizable...and Rainstick Cowbell does a great job of keeping my attention (mostly) throughout the entire album. The one issue I take, is one that probably isn't relevant, but the end track...

...makes no sense.

I'll let you in on a little secret. Most albums I review on this page, I'll do a test. It involves a pair of headphones, a music player, and a bed. If I can lay down and get through it without having to move at all, it's a great album. With pleasant tracks throughout the whole compilation of songs, it's very unsettling to hear an end track, that is static-y noise. It threw me out of the world I was in, the places I was going, the things I was seeing, and the vibes I was feeling.

Aside from that bit, this was a great album, one that surely deserves your attention.

I give this album an 8.7 out of 10.

Thanks for reading and now...

Links for everyone!

Home/Bandcamp: http://rainstickcowbell.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rainstick-Cowbell/463891770047
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rainstickcowbel
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rainstickcowbell

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Album Review: 'Lounge For Intellectuals' by Paul Kremleff

I've always been a fan of chillout. Something about the vibes it gives off through most of the tracks I've heard in the genre...I can't quite put it into words. The ambient pads, mixed with a soothing bassline and a couple gliding arpeggios. Think of your favorite track you listen to, ask yourself how many times you would play it over without switching to something else. The term that fits closest though, would probably be equilibrium.


'Lounge for Intellectuals' is a 10-track CD by Paul Kremleff, a singer-songwriter from Moscow, Russia, emulates easy listening vibes while crossing the border into pop. A few of the tracks give off a very dance-y yet ballad feel. At "I'm Falling Down," I'm picturing over the top film soundtracks from the 80s, like...Top Gun.

The production is pretty good along most fronts and it's easy to tell where Paul excels. "4 Minutes of Contemplation" is an example. Call me a sucker for intro pads, but when the pads mesh with the already looping guitar, it's blissful. However, the negative of this album, which is hard to say for some tracks...is the vocals. Sometimes they're spot on. With " - & + ", you really get a Gary Numan vibe. The vocals fit in a way that it keeps the song going with a driving force.

This is a great debut from Paul. I really feel like with a little more effort put into the vocals things would've been a little different, a little clearer. The production values stand out as being a highlight of the album, and this definitely fits into the Easy Listening genre. With influences like Barry White, U2, and Jamiroquai...Paul showcases a multitude of multigenre tracks that are well worth your time!

I give this album a 7.8 out of 10.

Thanks for reading!

Paul Kremleff
Homepage: http://www.paulkremleff.com/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/paulkremleff
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paulkremleffmusic
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PaulKremleff
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/PaulKremleff
Google+: https://plus.google.com/101329363715775170034/about

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Album Review: Synesthesia by Torelli & The Fuse

Welcome back everyone. Been a whole month since the last review and here we are again, with Torelli & The Fuse. Coming from Columbia, South Carolina this group has released two albums through Bandcamp. With some liberties taken from personal opinion, this band is reminiscent of the likes of Bastille, Sublime, and Death Cab for Cutie. It's relaxing, it's uplifting...it's a lot of things. Just listening to the first 4 tracks will make clear, this band strives for diversity. Some tracks you'll wanna dance and others, well, it's best to just relax and watch an intense thunderstorm. Chill.



14 tracks. Well, first off, that must of been a hell of a time-consuming production process. There's a interesting uniqueness to each of the tracks. A story to be told, each one with a intriguing drop, verse or chorus. It's catchy. I quite like the "call and answer" vocals that happen in "Confrontation (feat. Nadia)". It's compelling, heartfelt, and well produced. The feelings behind it project two lovers who can't meet yet place voice messages to one another. But on another note, the next song after will have you grooving; featuring an intricate rap vocal artist. It's such a diverse collection. I can't place it but it's different. The group has such an engaging way of introducing new transitions and utilizing so many elements from so many genres...it brings some new and delightful to the table.

Some of the more chill tracks really showcases the best of what this album has to offer, and more importantly best represent the title, 'Synesthesia'. Check out "People". While it starts out with a reggae-ish feel, it suddenly moves into a more upbeat chorus. The snare is a little awkward in the beginning, it's like it featured some EDM artist in the middle of a concert to give a new feel and interesting change up; keeping people interested. While I do have a few qualms with that segment near the first minute of the track, this is a fun tune.

A couple of the production values irk me a little bit. As "Blame Game" would appeal to all big house aficionados alike, the chorus segments feel a bit crowded. The buildup is great but when the drop explodes, the breakdown following feels thin. I feel like a bit more stereo separation and more distinction between some of the channels of audio could've easily been fixed with a little more mixing work. At the 3:44 mark, it feels like the delay between where the song cuts out and comes back in was just a little too long. But that's ridiculously absurd nitpicking. However, where the song ends, feels like the most balanced mixing wise.

It's easy to see where the Torelli's strengths lie. Smooth guitar, acoustic drums, a little bit of electronic incorporation and a strong bass line. Like I said, it's extremely well done in those regards. Everything sounds as it should, and all the instruments play their part in the arrangement superbly. My favorite song on this album has to be "Wild". It has soft parts, loud parts, and it explains everything of what I just stated. Plus at 2:44 it has a sort of orchestral feel, which instantly has my thumbs up. It just goes to show, you should always listen to every song completely, you'll never know what the artist thought of next. The idea for an amazing part of the song could've happened at any point. You just have to hear it out.

This is an album made for the people who are open-minded about music, if you're a passionate lover of just one particular genre it could go one of two ways. You'll either be glad you tuned into this and heard something uncommon for the first time, or look away because it doesn't fit into your agenda of musical input. Personally, I like this album and I do believe it's strong enough to warrant a couple of listens, to tell your friends, and to like on some random social networking of your choice.

I'm glad Torelli & The Fuse caught my attention with this, Bandcamp is an amazing thing. 'Synesthesia' lives up to it's definition, taking a variety of influences and attaching them together in a way that proves to be as much as it is progressive wholly as it is conservative individually. It's fresh to my ears, I see great potential for this group in the future. Give it a year or two, you'll see them on the charts up there with the best of them. A few, weak production traits doesn't distract from the genuine musicality that's presented here.

I give this album a 9.0 out of 10.

Thanks for reading!

Torelli & The Fuse:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TorelliMusic
Twitter: http://twitter.com/itstorelli
Bandcamp: http://torelliandthefuse.bandcamp.com/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/torelliandthefuse

Sunday, June 8, 2014

"Nah I'm Talking 'Bout" G-Unit | Performed By Mack Benton

G-Unit, for better or worse, has been a staple of recent hip hop. Since their falling out in 2008, the artists had since gone their separate ways, creating their own images and releasing tracks through different labels. Now, here we are in 2014, and a new G-Unit track has been released. Despite the lack of The Game, this is one of the coolest tracks I've heard in a while. Having said that, there have been numerous takes on this tune, "Nah I'm Talking Bout"

This is where Mack Benton comes in.



Starting a bit smoother than the original, this track clocks in about two mins shorter than the original and while the beat remains the same, the addition of the new vocals is appreciated. The production is crisp and the singing sits at a nice pocket in the mix. Nothing feels out of place, it's a fluid ride from start to finish. The track is a lot more chill than the original, setting aside the hard gangsta rap style you hear for something more soothing and mellow. I can definitely say this is one of the more pleasant tracks I've come across. It's rap meets RnB, a classic combination that works really well for this remix. Considering this is just one track, I feel I should link another one of his tracks from his Soundcloud that really stands out to me.
 

Definitely give this artist a listen, you can find the rest of his social media links at the bottom.

Thanks for reading!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mackbenton
Twitter: https://twitter.com/yaboiimack
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/mack-benton
Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/mackbenton
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/mack-benton/id467860433