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:

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.

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, 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!


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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.