SINGLE REVIEW: Buss Di Bassline by Audiovascula

BUSSDIBASSLINE(1).jpg

Audiovascula is an EDM/reggae/dancehall artist hailing from the City of Montego Bay, Jamaica. He grew up in a musical environment, even hearing 12 feet speakers pounding on the concrete walls of his room. This made a major impact on him and his music is an exotic hybrid of reggae and dancehall, currently huge, as well as a big hip-hop influence, R&B, pop and various genres of EDM.

This track, Buss Di Bassline, is a perfect showcase of his unique sound. Starting out sounding like a standard EDM track with fizzy synths, it then surprises the listener with a loping hip-hop beat that brought to mind James Brown’s classic Funky Drummer sample. Audiovascula’s inimitable vocal style then grabs your attention, with an arresting performance of controlled rhythmical flow.

The track is hugely catchy, managing to combine the vital energy of hip-hop with the more laid back style of reggae and dancehall. In terms of vocal style, the only reference point that immediately springs to mind is Shabba Ranks, though Audiovascula is really a true original. The deep dub bass will hit even harder in a club environment, and I can see this becoming a huge hit on the dancefloors.

Overall, this is an artist with his finger on the pulse musically, and this track will surf the wave of popularity that reggae/dancehall flavoured EDM is currently enjoying. Having his own distinctive vocal delivery will help him further stand out from the crowd, but the music itself is original and massively addictive. Audiovascula and Buss Di Bassline could be spreading like wildfire this summer.

 

VERDICT: 9.1 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

Listen here:

Advertisements

SINGLE REVIEW: Summer Nights by SOUNDSTREAM

cover

SOUNDSTREAM are an electronica/EDM group from Kiev, Ukraine. They formed in 2008 when Denis Timish (DJ FatCat) and Alexander Bulanov (Bulya) met at university and decided to form a group. Their first track Feels like Heaven was an immediate success, and the line up changed over time which eventually lead to the release of several albums including Number One, Partytime, Midnight Hour and Dancefloor Generation, One More Time, Resurrection”, Maxximum Drive and Way To The Stars.

This track, Summer Nights, is being released along with four remixes. The ‘radio edit’ version grabs your attention immediately with an addictive synth melody. This style of EDM is what they call HandsUp/Eurodance, which is essentially up-tempo, high energy house music. It’s soon obvious that this group have a firm grasp of production and how to build a dance track. With a speaker-pounding ‘four to the floor’ kick, the percussive elements are added in layers to create momentum and energy.

Vocally, it has two contributors. Rapper/MC Yuriy ‘DJ Spacedreamer’ Muktarov gives a great spoken word performance on the verse, contrasted nicely by female sung vocals on the chorus, performed by Ann Pazyura. With a chord structure mildly reminiscent of the dance classic Mr. Vain it will sound somewhat familiar to dance fans, but the lead melody and killer title hook is entirely their own. The breakdown section towards the end is very effective in building up to a climax at the end. Also worth checking out are the various remixes.

Overall, this is a highly enjoyable piece of up-tempo house that is guaranteed to get a dancefloor heaving. With first rate production plus two high quality vocal performers in their arsenal, SOUNDSTREAM have the perfect track for a summer heatwave and EDM fans/DJs worldwide will want to add Summer Nights to their playlists.

 

VERDICT: 8.8 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

Listen here:

 

 

SINGLE REVIEW: Roller Coaster Night by Shane Scheib

SHANE_SCHEIB_RCNCOVER_WES_BOWKER(1).jpg

This song, Roller Coaster Night, is a collaboration with producer Ryan Mohr. It’s a very modern sounding EDM-tinged pop track, just about perfect for radio. It grabs your attention from the start, with a short intro based on rolling toms, then Shane delivering a very catchy vocal melody with energy and flair. His voice is strong and  distinctive yet wouldn’t sound out of place amongst pop contemporaries like Justin Timberlake or Ed Sheeran.

He has a definite sonic style here, with some fantastic synth swirls on the bridge giving it an almost futuristic vibe. It really bursts into life on the chorus, a pumping beat and Uptown Funk-esque high end guitars combining with a very memorable title hook. After the second chorus, it enters a breakdown section based around a long, anthemic melody that’s the perfect contrast to the rhythmic nature of the chorus. It will also sound great to sing along to at 2am in a club!

Overall, this is a very well written, performed and produced pop/dance track from an artist with a very authentic musical background, showing he can compete with the current luminaries of the pop world . It’s a great song for the season, and will work both on radio and the dancefloor, the best of both worlds. And who knows, there’s still time for it to go viral this summer.

Shane Scheib is a recording artist born in Eastern Washington State, growing up in Coulee City and Ellenburg. He studied jazz guitar at Jeff Berlin’s Player’s School Of Music, and guitar theory under Yuzuru Tanakura. For a while, Shane got involved in missionary work, and upon his return to the States was encouraged to move to Nashville, which he eventually did. Since then, he has released some highly successful EPs including Genrelicious and Fast Friends, which garnered rotation on over 100 radio stations.

 

VERDICT: 8.6 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

 

Listen here:

 

 

SINGLE REVIEW: West Coast by Yam Haus

Yam Haus - Album Cover

https://www.yamhaus.com/

Yam Haus are a four piece pop-rock band hailing from Hudson, Wisconsin. Having met as classmates, the group consists of vocalist/guitarist Lars Pruitt, Seth Blum on electric guitar, Zach Heinlein on bass and Jake Felstow on drums. Despite forming only recently, they have already written and recorded their debut album Stargazer and amassed a huge following on social media, gaining acclaim for their live performances along the way.

This song, West Coast, is an upbeat pop/rock track with an infectious summer vibe. Musically, they incorporate the funk-influenced sound of Maroon 5, while Lars Pruitt’s likeable, radio friendly vocals will be popular with Ed Sheeran fans. They also have a strong EDM influence, reflected in the synth sounds and melodies as well as the production.

Lyrically, it is romantic in theme, with the West Coast a metaphor for harbouring feelings for someone: “I’ve been hanging on the West Coast of my heart, right where I meant to from the start...”. The song is well written and structured, with every section catchy and memorable aided by some fine guitar lines and Calvin Harris-esque synth melodies.

Overall, this is an excellent track that has its finger on the pulse in terms of combining the most currently popular styles, pop and EDM. With its pristine, high quality production it’s just about perfect for radio and streaming playlists, and in Lars Pruitt they have a charismatic lead vocalist. There’s every chance that this group could achieve success on a par with the current luminaries in the pop world, and this song should be another step towards global domination.

 

VERDICT =  8.8 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

Listen here:

E.P. REVIEW: Other Worlds by Drone Flesh

other-worlds

Drone Flesh is an electronic artist/producer hailing from Zurich, Switzerland. His music is a unique hybrid of electro, house and dubstep or complextro, as he describes it. His primary musical interest is in “exploring different genres of bass heavy music that does not fit into a drawer”. He has already released several tracks including Do Not Touch, Risk Everything, Big Bad Bass and Petrified, to which I gave a very positive review in 2015.

In the intervening years he has developed and refined his style further, creating a futuristic sounding hybrid consisting of techno’s precise beats, dubstep’s punch and vitality and the sophistication of complextro. His musical raison d’etre is best surmised by himself: “Drone Flesh ignores the rules, controls the madness and turns the chaos into complexity.” This is very much self-evident on this four track EP, Other Worlds.

Opening track Be Yourself throws you into the deep end straight away, the musical equivalent of a rollercoaster ride. Pounding four to the floor kick drum competes with syncopated filter effects and tension-building risers before bursting into a full beat driven by a pulsating low end synth bass.

It goes into an excellent percussive section around the 1.30 mark that made think of The KLF’s acid house classic What Time Is Love? It has a similar sense of euphoria and momentum, maintaining the energy till the end. A barnstorming start to the EP and surely a hit waiting to happen on the dancefloor.

Second track Ride The Waves maintains the feverish intensity of Be Yourself, again propelled by a slick synth bass and a colossal, equally dubstep-inspired beat. It takes the essential sound of Deadmau5 and sends it into space, with interesting results on re-entry. Indeed, things takes a rather psychedelic turn around the halfway mark, before returning to its hard hitting roots.

It should be mentioned how Drone Flesh has raised the standard of his production to a fine pitch. Whilst his music always had a vitality and force, he has raised the bar even higher so that his beats and melodies burst from the speakers like Skrillex on PCP.

That’s actually a very adequate description of third track Hey, which is a joyous explosion of riotous rhythms and distorted, angular synth melodies. This one has a synth riff best described as mindblowing, incorporating vocal samples and sound effects with highly intoxicating and enjoyable results.

The title track of the EP is also the finale, accompanied by a video that’s well worth watching. It’s a slightly more mellow track than the rest, yet still hard hitting. The sonic textures again border on Dali-esque, with a cornucopia of chaotic sounds and melodies combining and synergizing. This is perhaps Drone Flesh in his purest form, ripping up the traditional rules and genres then morphing it all together to create something genuinely original. An apt way to complete the musical journey.

Overall, this is an inventive EP from an artist who has blended electronic genres in a way I’ve not heard anyone else doing, let alone with such panache and style. Owing to the danceable nature of the music, it has the potential to spread like wildfire in the clubs. Drone Flesh shows that the world of EDM is still full of exciting and barely explored sonic territory, and he is leading the way to something new.

 

VERDICT =  9 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

Listen here:

Watch the video for Other Worlds here:

 

SINGLE REVIEW: On My Own Again by Deltiimo ft. Marley Blandford

Screenshot-2018-4-29 Deltiimo Marley Blandford – “On My Own Again”

Deltiimo are a music production team headed by veteran British songwriter/producer Gary Louca, with the aim of creating and releasing uplifting dance pop anthems. He collaborates with international songwriter/producer Bradon Grobler. Grobler has worked with Maxi Priest, Jason Nevins and Tiesto, amongst many others.

In 2017, Deltiimo released their first single Lazy Summer Days and followed up with Now Sing Out Loud and Everybody Around The World, which were all very successful. They now have an album’s worth of original material, and this latest single, On My Own Again, features the vocal talents of Marley Blandford. He is an acoustic singer/songwriter from Portsmouth, England and winner of WOW24/7 “Best Solo Artist 2015”.

Marley has the perfect voice for this material, which combines pop balladry with uplifting hi-NRG EDM sections in the style that has been so successful for DJ/producers like Calvin Harris and David Guetta. The dynamic between the gentle, crooned verses and the vibrancy of the four-to the-floor-sections is effective, with the latter sections allowing Blandford to display his considerable vocal range. Most importantly, the melody is anthemic and memorable.

Overall, this is a very well produced and performed pop/EDM crossover that balances commercial, radio friendly pop melody with dancefloor appeal, that should ensure its popularity in the clubs as well as the charts. Deltiimo are a gifted production team, and with Marley Blandford contributing his talents, it’s a formidable recipe for success.

 

 

VERDICT: 8.3 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

Listen here:

 

 

SINGLE REVIEW: Sociopath by Hagiphonic

sociopath5ac278ee583b4v2(1)Hagiphonic are an enigmatic electronica duo hailing from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I say enigmatic, as their website consists of only their logo and a free download of this track, Sociopath. The mysterious approach certainly made me intrigued to listen to their music and this is their first release.

The track is slightly towards the more alternative end of electronica, though I would still regard it as commercial in its genre. Essentially, it blends vocal samples in a clever way with a trance-style electronic backing. It begins with a super-catchy revolving sample of “Snap, crackle, pop…somebody had the chop“.

Musically, it has its finger on the pulse as this brought to mind the currently successful dance track Fake ID by Riton and Kah-Lo, which also uses revolving spoken word phrases to hypnotic effect. The bassline is sparse and simple but highly effective, helping to create a mesmeric mood. The track builds up gradually for the first minute before breaking into a slick 2/4 beat. It sustains the interest through clever weaving of the vocal samples, subtle complex percussion and nice production effects (delays/reverbs etc.)

Overall, this is a strong first release from an electronica outfit who are admirably prepared to let their music do the talking and remain largely anonymous, at least for now. Sociopath is quirky, original and extremely catchy. The production is first rate and I expect this track to find success in the clubs and with dance fans in general, but especially the trance crowd.

VERDICT: 8 out of 10 – Alex Faulkner

Listen here:

Download for free HERE