E.P. REVIEW: Balloons by Dechard

Dj_Dechard

 

SINGLE REVIEW: Brightest Blessings by Denise Renee Caplock

THESSALONIKI GREECE MAY 8 2014:People taking photographs with touch smart phone during a music concert live on stage for the Ace of Heart tour at Sports arena in Thessaloniki.

Denise Renee Caplock is a recording artist, songwriter, producer and publisher hailing from Staten Island, New York. She grew up in a musical environment, with her mother a gospel singer signed to the Scepter record label. Denise sang in church and went on to join the group Staten 7.

After working in radio and the music industry, she began her way towards being a recording artist when her mother passed away and music became a huge solace to her. This track, Brightest Blessings, was inspired by the loss of her sister Patricia. Denise says the song “summarizes being judged, talked about yet still wishing others the best of everything”.

Musically, the track is an original and innovative hybrid of different genres. It starts with an EDM-style pounding bass drum, exotic percussion and a catchy riff played on what sounds like a banjo, giving it a country element. On top of this, Denise lays down a distinctive spoken word vocal, describing the importance of trying to help others and not knock them down.

Then a soulful descending piano progression enters, which lends the track a gospel feel. The percussion becomes more complex and insistent, giving it a real sense of rhythmic momentum. Denise then begins a lengthy sung section that shows her impressive vocal range. Towards the end, we hear some wild organ and bass playing, bringing the music to an uplifting climax.

Overall, this is an inspiring track that blends several musical styles in an inventive way, as well as blending spoken word and singing. Ultimately, it is an upbeat dance song that could become popular on the clubs, but it’s also just enjoyable to listen to due to its infectious beat and positive message.

 

Alex Faulkner

Verdict: 8.2 out of 10

https://soundcloud.com/denise-ocoileain-collins/brightest-blessings?in=denise-ocoileain-collins/sets/collins-crest-entertainment

ALBUM REVIEW: Grooveatropolis by Asmodelle

Grooveatropolishttp://asmodelle.com.au/

Estelle Asmodelle is an electronica artist and performer hailing from New South Wales, Australia. Formerly a dancer, she became involved in electronic music whilst living in Japan in the early 90’s. She has now released seven CDs of music and has composed for film soundtracks, art installations and dance parties. Her music spans several sub genres including trance, house, chillout/ambient and even experimental electronica. She was the winner of Best Instrumental Music Video in 2012, awarded by the Australian Independent Music Video Awards.

This album, Grooveatropolis, consists of ten tracks which range in their style and length, averaging out around the six minute mark. The album opener If You Knew is a near seven minute trance track, built around a pounding four to the floor kick and catchy bassline. Over this, Asmodelle weaves synth lines in and out of the track, some which double the bassline and some for rhythmic effect. It’s a fine start and at a perfect tempo for dancing.

Second track Is This Just A Dream is an uptempo house number with funky, syncopated percussion and spoken word vocals from Asmodelle, which act as a good hook. Over this is a simple, jazzy chord progression underpinned by a one note bassline and pulsing synth melodies/rhythms. Come With Me, track three, is slightly more aggressive and darker in sound with a moody rising bassline and eerie synth lines, also incorporating a spoken word hook.

Fourth track Groove Al Dente is somewhere between trance and house, with a high synth melody working in tandem with the bassline. It features several different sections, with a drop section around the minute mark. It adds a catchy EDM lead synth riff around the second minute, which drops out to then later returns for the last two minutes of the track, along with various atmospheric melodies that add to the texture.

All Tranced Up is, as the title suggests, another trance track. It has a faster tempo than the rest, around 140-150BPM, which gives it a sense of urgency and intensity. I loved the lead synth riff which is more musical and melodic than most EDM you hear. It’s also the longest track on the album at over eight minutes. Your Storybook World is also trance, with some complex layering of synths and a nice piano melody that enters briefly. A more mellow track than the last.

Track seven, I’m Fractured, also has a laid back feel, featuring some spacey ambient style synths melding with more traditional trance melodies. Eighth track Your Suspected returns to the fast tempo of All Tranced Up, though this one is somewhere between trance and house, becoming more house as the tracks goes on. I liked the subtle vocoder vocals used very sparsely.

Taking Chances is darker sounding, with a complicated rhythm and moody bassline as well as some excellent synth lines that brought to mind harder-edged electronica like The Prodigy. The amusingly titled Prance Like A Superstar closes the album and its a fine way to finish. The texture builds gradually throughout and would sound great towards the end of the evening in a nightclub.

Overall, this is a very good album of electronica music that showcases Asmodelle’s talent for writing and producing excellent trance and house tracks that are perfect for the dancefloor. Although they are all instrumentals, Asmodelle creates variety through tempo, texture and style from track to track making it good just for listening as well as ideal club tracks. I’d expect her rise to major success to continue with this release.

 

Alex Faulkner

Verdict: 8.2 out of 10

E.P. REVIEW: Nerve by BogglesWorth

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BogglesWorth is an electronica music artist and producer, hailing
from Yucca Valley, CA, USA. He sees it as his musical mission to
bring originality to the EDM scene and his music is somewhat
difficult to categorise as just one genre. It is a blend of 80’s electronica,
90’s Hip Hop, as well as aspects of techno, house, trance, dubstep
and punk to create an innovative hybrid sound.

As you can tell from his chosen moniker, BogglesWorth thrives on
being unconventional, quirky and strange. His bio states: ‘From his
music to his life, this rebel is always pushing the limit. Society may
question his humanity and state of mind but normal is boring. BE
ODD! ‘. This EP, Nerve, consists of six instrumental tracks that
showcase his unique approach.

First track Beeper makes an impact straight away, starting with
short synth stabs of a melodic chord progression which is soon
joined by a pounding dubstep beat. I loved the way the beat enters
on the offbeat, and it’s these small details that immediately set this
music apart from the mass of generic electronica out there.

After adding a high end synth melody on top of this progression it
then enters a Skrillex-style ‘growl’ section. The beat drops
out and we hear an intricate melody on a bleepy synth sound that
combines with the original two melodies perfectly. The beat then
changes from half-time to full time, incorporating some highly
intricate and subtle drum fills. The rest of the track juggles with
this material, alternating half-time and full time, or the beat dropping
out for dynamic effect, as it does at the end. An impressive opener,
both in terms of arrangement and production.

The excellently named Scottie’s California Cornflakes comes next,
featuring another addictive synth riff and a punchy four to the floor
beat. The intro goes through a lo-pass filter sweep, a popular dance
music production technique. It gives the effect of sounding like
being outside a club, then hearing the music with clarity as you
enter.

This track is more commercial than the first, essentially
mainstream EDM, though it does have some quirky production
techniques thrown in. After a riser that I thought might blow my
speakers up, it breaks down to just kick and bass around the two
minute mark. The track is gradually built back up with a high end
synth melody providing movement. It then becomes Daft Punk
electro disco for the last minute, aided by some funky handicaps.
Another great tune.

Third track, the unusually titled Bill Clinton, starts out for the first
minute as chilled Balearic house, which made me feel like I was
sipping a cocktail on a beach in Ibiza. Around the minute mark
enters a five-note synth melody that sounds rather like a
saxophone (possibly wear the title arises from? Bill likes to
play…). Again, it breaks down in the middle and builds up the
elements of the music, though this is probably the most sparse and
laid back track here.

The title track comes next and it’s a different beast altogether, a
real melange of styles that perhaps exemplifies how Bogglesworth
stands out from the rest of the electronica crowd. It melds
atmospheric synth lines and swirling beeps with aggressive low-end
Prodigy-style riffs and a pounding dubstep beat. There is some stellar
drum programming once again as the beat becomes more intricate
in the middle (you can hear the 90’s hip-hop influence at this point)
before a spectral sounding breakdown. It then builds to a ferocious
end section. As ever, you never quite know where the music is going
to go, the polar opposite of the EDM by numbers that fills the charts.

Fifth track E.Z. carries on the dubstep vibe and is perhaps the
most wild one here (the most Bogglesworth?). It alternates
between a superb swirling synth melody and sections of Skrillex
growl taken to the max. This production effect is made by a
detuned saw wave put through distortion, but on this track a
vocoder or formants are used so that it almost sounds like a
vocal.

Last on the E.P. is Blue Tuesday and it’s a nice way to finish. It
starts with a long, gradually building intro that creates tension before
bringing back the stripped-back Balearic house feel of Bill Clinton.
The moody, slowly morphing and pulsing synths create a spacious
atmosphere and momentum in the music to bring things to a blissed out
close.

Overall, this is a fine E.P. by an electronica artist/producer who
ignores all the rules about how it should be done, and this is the key
to his originality. Defining your own sound in the world of
instrumental electronica is no mean feat, but Bogglesworth
achieves this through hybridizing several genres, sometimes within
the same track. He already has a large fanbase and this will
continue to grow with material of this quality.

 

Alex Faulkner

Verdict: 8.4 out of 10

 

SINGLE REVIEW: I Encourage You feat. Myra Maimoh (Ebenholz remix) by Vin Deca

Vin Deca is a songwriter/composer as well as producer/mixer originally from Cameroon but now based in Germany. This particular song was originally released in 2011 as a contemporary pop song, but Vin Deca noted how it seemed to stay relevant and he decided to remix it in a modern style. After four doing remixes, he discovered the Ebenholz remix, this version, found most favour with radio stations.

The song begins with not so much an intro but a prelude to the verse, with a four to the floor beat starting straight away, a sense of tension created by the filtered vocal and whirling rising synth. The beat then drops out to just light percussion and we hear Myra Maimoh crystal clear for the first time without effects. She has a fantastic voice, similar to Nicole Sherzsinger, which really shines on the chorus that begins just 45 seconds into the track.

A short instrumental follows after the chorus, a beautiful melody played by a trumpet before another verse and bridge, then second chorus. The contrast between verse and chorus is large as it should be for a dance track with the chorus lifting the track every time. The overall sound is very current, similar to other pop-dance artists like Clean Bandit and Avicii. After a sparse third verse there is a short build, then a final chorus to complete the song.

Overall, an excellent remix and production of a very good pop song that should make Vin Dead more well known, brilliantly sung by Myra Maimoh, with huge potential to become both a hit in the clubs as well as on radio due to its highly commercial sound and infectious melody.

 

Alex Faulkner

Verdict: 8.5 out of 10

LINKS:

ARTIST WEBSITE

SPOTIFY LINK

ITUNES LINK

SONG PAGE