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

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Artist/Single Review: "Real Wit Yaself feat. Melinna Bobadilla"

Let's face it.

Rap at its core - when it's good - is all about expression in the most soulful and elaborate way possible. Its depth is measured by the content heard in the lyrics and its production is systematically placed by utilizing harmonic blocks in a digital audio work space. When you're listening to hip-hop, the idea is to pass along a message in a unique approach as to create an exclusive signature. In other words, get people to say, "This s*** is dope."


The artist, A-B-E, does just that. From the start, we have some superb strings playing in the back with an expressive jazz guitar. The groove is polished and the drums are smooth; it carries the song until the vocals provide the melody telling a story along the way. More than its production values, this is a very inspirational song. From the title alone, the message is "to be yourself". Don't lose your values or dignity as a human being; each person has their own set of freedoms. The artist makes it clear that this song is meant to trigger motivation and inspire those with a less than a fond perspective of humanity.

...and on top of that, there are some sexy vocals spread out in-between sung by Melinna Bobadilla.


If you're into intelligent songwriting, captivating rhymes, smooth beats, and uplifting messages...A-B-E is someone to look out for. I really liked this track and I hope there will be more like it. The only thing I could say in criticism is that I wish it was available through more outlets such as Soundcloud or Bandcamp, since it's only on Spotify and iTunes for now. More outlets means more advertisement/exposure and this is an artist who deserves it.

Thanks for reading!

Check out A-B-E at these places!

Links:

Spotify:
https://play.spotify.com/artist/6iY6jD1hPT9bTqVJRh5WK9

iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/mt/album/real-wit-yaself-feat.-melinna/id721659939

Monday, November 18, 2013

Random YouTube Video: Texting, Talking, Checking Mail (TTCM) by BrothersP

Haven't spoken for a while, how's everyone doing?

Great, because here's something I found that's quite different. A comedy/country music song that focuses on the sole purpose of emphasizing the over usage of phones. Trying to go out on the date with a beautiful girl just isn't what it used to be and sometimes the phone can be a bastard.

Who knew?

I'll admit, I'm not a huge fan of country (Johnny Cash, has and will always be exempt from this)...I listen to most things that are out there today and it just doesn't click. Comedy, is another genre though. Putting these two together in most cases...just seems like you'd be putting bread and mustard on your already well established pork and beans. But instead, you have Oreos and milk.

Overall, a good story; one that a lot of people will find enjoyable. The kind and polite gentleman meets a lady that has a phone plastered to her face. He continues to press forward with the date as the lady is exploring the latest apps. It's clever, the dialogue is witty and it features a number of varied backgrounds to keep the listener going!

Nearly 5 mins; starts to feel a little long, but this song is great! Albeit the lip syncing was a little strange, but given the nature of things...it's almost meant to be off in a comedic fashion. Everything makes sense, and gave me a good chuckle. Good work, BrothersP!



Check out the rest of their stuff here.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

I gotta say, more than anything else...this past week has been interesting. With a series of ups and downs...ranging from cleaning house to being rejected for a DJing performance, I have realized my marketing strategy is not working. It's a shame I won't be able to perform, sure....but, more than anything I'd very much like to attend this convention...and hang out with the people I've spent the past 4 years talking to and learning from.

There's so much I can say about MAGFest, it's hard to believe I haven't been there yet. From cosplayers, to video game remixers, to just web personalities such as the Angry Video Game Nerd...there is a LOT of variety and such a chance to network, rarely comes along.


...and while it's been nice building up my reputation as a composer/producer/blogger or whatever else, it's hard to come to terms with the fact that I haven't been able to meet the vast majority of this amazing and talented community. I would definitely not be where I am today, without their help.

This blog is definitely not a beg, and it's certainly not panhandling...but in order to continue my work/craft...

I need help...

In order to keep going on the current path I'm travelling:

- Get a website
- Create physical copies
- Better marketing strategy

These are all costly goods and I simply just...do not have the funds. With the amount of money I've had to use in order to get this far...I've just not been able to make ends meet.

So this post is pretty much a last resort, in any hope of getting to MAGFest. I can't promise anything at the moment...but I have worked on some pretty neat stuff lately. With time, I plan to have my own line up of candles and perler bead art, to add on to the "studios" portion of my business. So music, blogging, and other crafts will all become a part of the business I've tried to create and establish myself in.

...and if I had a functioning camera, I'd show you all right now what new items I've created.

However, I haven't a cent to my name currently to buy myself an SD Card reader.

So if any of you read this, and would like to help me get to MAGFest...I promise I will more than make up for your generous contributions. Releasing brand new music, candles, and whatever else comes to mind. Also, if anyone has an idea for new things you'd like to see me create (or remix?), please, leave a comment.


Thank you for your time, and as always...thanks for listening!