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

Thursday, April 10, 2014

EP Preview: 'I Am What I Am' by Mark Morrison

I must say, when I started this experiment of a blog years and years ago, I never anticipated I would reach the amount of musicians I have. Never in my wildest dreams did I picture I'd be writing something that someone could easily be persuaded to read. It's because of that, that - before I begin this review - I want to thank each and everyone of you that's come to this spot and taken a few moments to hear my rambling testimony, time and time again.

Now then, it's been 3 months...let's get started.



We receive a lot of requests from a fair deal of diverse artists around here; it seems only fitting a new artist is added to the list. Mark Morrison, a native of West Germany, is no stranger to the music industry. He obtained worldwide fame for his 1996 hit single, "Return of the Mack" and has since released two major albums: 'Innocent Man' and 'Return of the Mack'.

It's truly incredible for things to come full circle like this. I remember hearing "Return of the Mack" so clearly back in the single digit years of my life. It was one of the defining themes of my childhood; playing it once more only enhances the flashbacks of a time long since forgotten.

'I Am What I Am', definitely takes me back in time to the glory days of the 90's. Sitting in front of the TV, flipping through the channels and ending up on MTV to watch latest music videos from TRL (Total Request Live). Soothing yet dance-able; smooth yet intricate, this collection of tracks is high quality work. In the few minutes I had to listen to each track, nostalgia hit me like a home run at the hands of Babe Ruth. It was intense. The smooth production caught my ears immediately and I was sent into a melodic daze filled with sweet vocals, sophisticated sound design and satisfying percussion that I only wish I could've heard more of.



I can't say what the full album of 'I Am What I Am' is going to be like, but from each 1 min sample I listened to; having listened to previous works by Mark, I can tell this is going to be something fantastic. Rarely do I get the opportunity to express my appreciation for R&B as it's not one of my strong areas. Most times it doesn't click, but thankfully Mark Morrison has restored my faith in the genre, yet again.

This album isn't out yet, but it is available for pre-order on iTunes.
Releases on May 19th!

Thanks for reading!

Homepage: http://www.markmorrison.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/_markmorrison
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/markmorrisonofficial
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/markmorrisononline
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/i-am-what-i-am/id855318692

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Album Review: 'Youtubedemic' by SIC ILL


From the square waves represented in the first song, "iRepresent" to the phat beats of "Downtown Streets", there's no doubt, 'Youtubedemic' features a diverse range of audible content. This laid back, groovy, and fun compendium of slick and varied tunes has touches of Afroman and Gorillaz while maintaining a healthy dose of originality. As you listen more and more through the tunes, you begin to notice how many different sets of drums this artist goes over. Favorite tune so far is: City of Glass.



For those of you listening to this who are audiophiles, you might be turned off by the sounds used. The problem I sense with some of these tunes is that they feel a little cluttered; overwhelmed by bass. However, the creativity and arrangement of each tune, is enough to pull me through to the next track. It's a nice change, compared to most of the other rap I've been listening to; it gives it an authentic underground feel.

The way I look at it, production values and modern mixing is the icing on top of a cake. But sometimes, that icing can be laid on a little too thick and in turn would ruin the cake. Occasionally, you like that extra sugar but every so often, it's nice to take a step back and appreciate the baking process that took place.

I really enjoyed some of these tunes, and I'm glad I took the time to listen to it a few times over. It's creative, original, and it varies from tune to tune. For a free download, I'd say this is a nice find. :)

Thanks for reading!

Want some links?

Official Website/Press: http://itsmyurls.com/sicill
Twitter: http://twitter.com/SIC_ILL
Facebook: http://facebook.com/sic.ill.music
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/sic-ill/id418301629
YouTube: http://youtube.com/mrsicill
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/sic-ill
Bandcamp: http://sicill.bandcamp.com/

Music Video!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Album Review: Blu Collins by KDC

Hey all! New music!

All too often nowadays, rap is sort of a "toss-up". While you generally have a good idea of what you're going to hear when you know one particular artist, chances are it won't be the same experience when it's someone you don't know. When you picture rap, either you'll have the positive, enlightening rap that talks of personal experiences, downfalls, and general advice or you'll have the rap that talks of hoes, money, drugs, and the supposed good party life. To put it in short - with the help of my girlfriend - this is exactly what I mean.

Thankfully, KDC sheds his perspective on the world.


'Blu Collins' is the first LP produced and written by KDC and it marks the beginning of the artist's album streak. KDC has been a producer for the past 10 years and labels his music as alternative rap. The album has a very clean feeling; that is a nice surprise. That said, sometimes there's a time and place for the wrong words, but I digress. As I had a few moments to talk with the artist, he simply stated:

"With the latest project Blu Collins it includes more of a rhythmic melodic feel. I'd like to be seen as a positive artist with real life content that pertains to what I've been through and what I'm going through. I've been doing music for over ten years and I kind of just dove in."

There's some really interesting songs on here, such as "The Verdict". Some interesting hooks, smooth lines, and a clear message; I'm getting some pleasant vibes from these. It almost feels like Wiz Khalifa but more inspiring. It's like gangsta rap, but...promotes happy thoughts instead.  What a trip!



All of that said, there are some things I can hear that I would...like to hear better. The intro, "My Melody" features a radio-esque intro as if you're changing the stations, which is nice, except right after you're greeted by a THX sound clip that slowly moves into a beat with vocals that feature far too much delay. It's a spoken word intro that tells the purpose of this album however, this is probably the weakest point of the soundtrack.

This is an awesome first album that would appeal to plenty of rap/hip-hop enthusiasts. It's short, coming in at just over 30 mins long; it may even feel a little disjointed between songs but rest assured it's something to try out if you're sitting at your computer searching for music hours on end.

Thanks for reading!

Check out KDC at all of the links below:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/immekdc
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/immekdc
iTunes: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=762821308
ReverbNation: http://www.reverbnation.com/immekdc
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/yaboykdcash

Also, mixtape: http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/karl-immekdc-collins-i-m-me-kdc-mixtape.61564.html

Friday, November 29, 2013

Album Review: 'Afrodisiac' by Teni

After just hearing the excellent vibes A-B-E provided, I figured we'd go into something even more diverse. Such a spectrum of music to cover, and I've only just scratched the surface of an otherwise endless range of melodic possibilities. It is truly astounding how much music can be produced on the internet, no one person could ever hear everything. Enter Teni, a London born singer and producer with a knack for creating smooth vibes across a range of genres. Included but not limited to: afrobeat, blues, and reggae.


Featuring 10 tracks and displaying a sexy cover that's styled very modern; showing bare skin...you get the idea that this album is close to the heart. Raw emotion being transferred here. Her voice is powerful and profound and it covers a wide range of frequencies. You can tell the emphasis was put on the vocals to display an uplifting, verbal experience. The artist's bio reads:

"Afrodisiac" is the debut album by London born soul singer and producer Teni who is influenced by Sade, Marvin Gaye and Fela Kuti and creates an eclectic fusion of afrobeat, jazz, funk and soul. Afrodisiac is a timeless, soulful, sensual inspired piece with sultry vocals, dirty bass lines and hypnotic afro guitars by this innovative singer-songwriter who explores new genres in her compositions. Her message of unity and upliftment and powerfully sensual live performance are sure to help her take the music world by storm..."

Starting out with the title track of the album, 'Afrodisiac', you really get a sense of what this artist is about: smooth basslines, sensual vocals, and raw talent. There's a few things I could say in criticism though: The vocals seem to overpower some of the tracks. The overwhelming presence can be a little distracting however, most of the tracks seem very well balanced. It's a style that fits well for the most part; the melodies are catchy yet, sometimes, I'm left feeling the dynamics on some of the samples are a little plastic-y. A good example would be "When Would It Be". Seems as though the track is made with an ethnic flair in mind however, the intro could have used better samples.

"When Will It Be"


However, with most of the songs - as I said - it's very, very smooth. Everything just seems to flow from one track to the next. I imagine myself sipping on some alcoholic beverage in a club sitting in a booth with some friends, talking about old memories. It's peaceful and it feels raw, in a good way. It's a special thing when an artist can create their own style, and bring something out into the world that no one else can.

"Wilderness"


This is probably my favorite song off the album. Being a big fan of reggae already, I dig the funky licks on the bassline and the Marley-esque peace vibes that emanate. Parts of this make me wish I could just plan a trip to Jamaica right now. The instruments used in this all feel very pleasant in my ears; it's mixed very well.

"Your Love is the Key"


The 3rd single from 'Afrodisiac', and this is probably the most popular track of the bunch. It features a four on the floor beat, and is very reminiscent of 80's house. I start imagining a more mellow D-Train, Jomanda, or Class Action. Very cool stuff. I picture bright clothes, large dancefloors, and neon colors sprayed everywhere. This is sure to be a beat that really gets the crowd moving.

Teni brings a unique variety of flavor to the world of afrobeat/jazz. Her style is diverse while at the same time reminiscent of artists she is influenced by. The few critiques I could make on her debut album are minuscule. I can say, with complete honesty, that I have not heard something like this before. Similar styles? Maybe. But this is a rich collection of songs that is both inspirational and appeasing to my ear lobes and is very well worth listening to. Try something new out; keep yourself open minded about the world of music because sometimes you might just overhear something you didn't expect and be transported into a new realm of genres.

The best part is, is she's all over the place! Unlike the last artist I reviewed, Teni has done quite a bit of social networking. She's on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Pick up a copy of 'Afrodisiac' today from iTunes, Amazon MP3, or just visit her personal website for a glimpse into her future endeavors: http://tenimusic.org

Thanks for reading!

Facebook: http://facebook.com/Tenimusic
Twitter: http://twitter.com/TeniMuse
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=MakedaHouse
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/teni
Instagram: http://instagram.com/soulsiren