Monday, December 17, 2018

Best Of 2018: Beechwood, Spirits of Leo, Death By Piano, Heaven, Ronains, Language, Navy Gangs, Bebe Buell, Plastic Waves, Vandelles, No Swoon, Sofas, SuneRose, LHCs, Gamblers, Mevius, Isla Invisible, Fat Heaven, Public Memory, Devon Church

The final month of every year serves as a time for reflection by many on events deemed noteworthy. For a music site, annual “Best Of” lists point to the most significant artists written about since the beginning of the year they were featured in. 2018 served to be another productive year in that regard, with exclusive coverage here sharing space with reviews initially published at The Deli Mag. A loose chronological date order of when the features first posted is adhered to this time, for the “DaveCromwellWrites Best Of 2018.”

NYC psychedelic glam-punk rockers Beechwood released their record “Songs From the Land of Nod” on the glorious date of January 26th via Alive Naturalsound. Building a reputation for reckless and disorderly behavior (which covers the punk label well), their sound draws equally from the psych and glam rock realms.

Elements of both Marc Bolan and Daniel Ash's soft vocal style can be heard in many of the tracks. Thickly layered background voices juxtapose sweetly against garage drums and guitars, leading to frequent psych-out jams by songs end.

Top track “C F” (streaming below) makes full use of all these aspects while adding slide guitar and keyboards into the mix. It's overall easy vibe looseness ultimately rises to crescendo, pointing to Velvet Underground devotion with modern artists like Tame Impala and Foxygen as potential influences.

The band has played a number of celebrated shows over the year, including opening for NY Dolls legend David Johansen and on bills including popular like-minded rockers Baby Shakes and celebrated DJ Jonathan Toubin.

Catch them live in the new year at Bowery Electric on 1/24/19 headlining a show that will also include kindred spirit rockers NY Junk.

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On March 23rd Brooklyn's Spirits of Leo released their epic 16 track album “Equinox.”

Focusing on stand-out track “Eden,” its reference to a biblical paradise without sin creates a dreampop impression of that mythical earthly temptation garden. Having relocated to Brooklyn from California, band creative force Ryan Santos Phillips weaves in a nod to Steinbeck's “East of Eden” as well.

However, much like the human struggles in that literary tale, the prevailing focus here is of a paradise lost. Built around a driving bass line, melodic guitar riffs and clearly defined percussion, the vocals cascade in layers that create an atmospheric motion. “I wonder where we're going again” serves as the songs catchiest repeated lyrical refrain providing a glimmer of hope for another chance at paradise.

You can listen to that track (and all the others) and order the album in multiple formats here.

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There is a slow burn soul that runs throughout the synth-pop created by Brooklyn duo Death By Piano. The six songs on their debut EP “Countdown” emerge at a measured pace with singer/keyboardist Kalen Lister and producer/instrumentalist Greywolf crafting a deliberate, moody feel.

On the title track deep bass synths and electronic beats create a pulsating groove leading to the vocal hook “please – please (sung -plee – eee – heese) don't turn the lights out - give me space to shake off the in crowd.” A spacious ambience emerges at the midpoint, where beatless waves of sound pulse behind Kalen's emotive vocals. With the beats returning, the ultimate declaration is to “look the wolf in the eye, don't back down.”

The band has two live shows coming up:


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The March DCW featured a number of significant musical entries, mostly focused on live shows. Portland legends The Dandy Warhols brought their own unique magic to New York City. Supporting one of their bigger shows was DCW faves Uni.  Perennial “Best Of” best buds American Darlings played their own show on a bill with featured Deli Interview rockers Looms.  Rounding out the big March feature were live sets from punk-poppers Giftshop, NYC glam-rockers Baby Shakes and another Deli Interview with psych-jammers Of Clocks and Clouds.

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Long time friends of this site Heaven released their second full-length album “All Love is Blue” earlier this year, and was given a deep dive track-by-track review.  Touring Scottish rockers The Ronains played their debut NYC show and received a similarly detailed review of their current record "Love, Drugs and on the Dole."  Equal measure was also applied to the live shows and recorded works of Mevius, a place both wonderful and strange, The Cold Seas and Panophonic.

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After honing their skills via two self-released EPs, Brooklyn trio Language released their latest recording "Plymouth" via Good Eye Records on May 18th. The five tracks show the band developing a hybrid sound falling in a space between prog and industrial.

“Where To” is a short burst, under minute and a half instrumental displaying the bands impressive chops. Angular rhythms and sharp cuts emerge from precise placement of drums, bass and guitar . “Game Piece” ramps up the tempo adding shouted punk style vocals over the shifting progression underneath. Title track “Plymouth” emerges out of jagged guitar textures that lead to a softer lyrcial center followed by a Zappa-esque extended psych-out coda. “Into and Out Of” pairs emergency broadcast signals with triple-time high-hat flutters before the full band throttle explodes into a throbbing onslaught. Final track “Square Winds” bring vocals back over an equally hyperactive rhythmic undercurrent.

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On April 29th Bebe Buell once again brought her "Baring It All" show to New York City at the storied Public Theater venue Joe's Pub. Accompanied by her outstanding band of Nashville musicians, the event served as the official NYC record release show for her latest album Baring It All: Greetings From Nashbury Park. Check out that record on Spotify (and read the track-by-track review linked below).

Also included there are live show and record reviews of The Naturals, Dany Laj and The Looks, Low Doses and The Hell Yeah Babies.

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Brooklyn-based indie rockers Navy Gangs released their debut album "Poach" via Modern Sky Entertainment this past summer. Having previously garnered interest via their 2016 released self-titled four song EP, the full-length includes an ambitious 14 tracks.

Mixed and mastered by Delicate Steve Marion, the albums guitar work benefits from this added dimension. Lead single “Housekeeping” is a prime example of this, with it's brightly buzzing riffs and distorted jungle rhythm. The easy-going slacker rock groove is accompanied by a tale of new roommate remodeling. “You’ve really made yourself at home” begins a conversational story capped by the ultimate compliment “it's your own feng shui.” The closest thing to a chorus comes by way of the repeated line “I really love what you’ve done with the place,” capably serving as hook and emotional center.

The band has shows coming up at Market Hotel in Brooklyn on 12/29/18 and at Pianos in NYC on 1/3/19.

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The month of June saw Beechwood getting recognized once again in The Deli Magazine's Spring Print Issue.

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Returning after a lengthy hiatus, nyc surf-rockers The Vandelles released a new single “Techromancer” on the (also) glorious day of July 6th.  Working on other projects during the break did nothing to temper the bands penchant for twangy guitars and California beach vibrations.

The rhythm section comes on even harder this time around with a circular throbbing bass line and aggressive thrashing percussion. Creating a new word for the songs title by combining modern video gameplay (Technomancer) with William Gibson's groundbreaking sci-fi cyberpunk classic novel title Neuromancer is intriguing on a number of levels. “I'd rather be dead than you, I'd rather be black and blue, I'll greet the darkness when it comes” sets the initial lyrical tone. Those quieter moments set up an explosive chorus that goes “so come and get it, come and get it from me – I 'm always ready,” accompanied by slashing power chords over pounding drums and bass.

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After making the move to Brooklyn from New England, Plastic Waves released the single “Drift” on August 1st.  Relying purely on electronic instruments, the verses come supported by modulating synths and slap-back percussion. While an initial impression might elicit comparisons to the 80's and 90's sound of bands like Depeche Mode, OMD or even Gary Numan, a soulful, fall-in-love romantic feel emerges within the bridge and chorus.

I don't want to fight it, but don't get excited if you feel it too” leads into a lush cascade of melding voices and synths. The chorus takes it one step further with buzzing, elevating melody lines between the vocal refrain “can't seem to find another - cause I won't take any others - you pull me right back into it - and I don't know how you do it.”

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After showcasing their impressive live show at this years Northside Fest (fully covered on this site here), noisy dream-gazers No Swoon released the track “Blame The Messenger” on August 7th. Establishing its soaring melody from the very first note, a triumphant swirl of guitar and keyboards float above deep thudding drums.

Vocalist (and guitarist) Tasha Abbott sings in a sultry and elongated style that references Liz Fraser with The Cocteau Twins. “Blame the messenger, and dusty words,” she sings (extended out as “wo-o-o-ords”) against the band's momentary angular accents. “Tongue's all wet ( pronounced “way-a-yet”), flooding the curb” points towards a theme of desire and apprehension. With nearly (if not all) the bass coming from keyboards, the tracks underpinnings are buzzier and less note driven.  A central ambient interlude ultimately leads to one more lengthy instrumental break, complete with elevated vocal outro.

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Emerging out of NYC's psych and noise rock scene, The Sofas released their single “Keep Pass Turn Again” in early August.   With it's explosive wall of buzzing bees guitars and heavy snare drum time-keeping, a softer, dreamier approach is taken on the vocals. “It is strong – but I feel it when you're not around” gets delivered with the cool detachment of J. Mascis on early Dinosaur Jr. records.

Sonic breaks between central vocal phrase “burning out” include momentary bursts of chaos along with a well-placed minor chord. “Is this not enough? Enough to keep you waiting?” ushers in a pitch-bendy change, aligning more closely with fellow gazey rockers like Ringo Deathstarr.  Extending this segment out to end allows the blending of guitars and vocals to provide an ultimately uplifting warmth.  Along with this track, their full album “Chop Water” was mixed by Bill Skibbe (Protomartyr, The Kills, Blonde Redhead) and received its full release on Jurrasic Pop Records the following month.

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It had been over four years since Like Herding Cats put out proper studio recordings of new material. With the recent release of their“Curious Faces” EP, the band comes through with five creatively stimulating, impeccably recorded tracks. Along with the record comes the accompanying music video for their single “Affliction.”

Employing his own Carousel Media House video production company, frontman Dom P produced and directed this visually striking achievement. Filmed in a historic Catskills home, the imagery depicts a stylish but troubled woman in precise quick cuts and focused details. The song itself is a brilliant update on the very best elements of mid-80's-to-early-90's alternative pop. From the opening three snare drum shots, warm keyboard pads, quick pulsing bass guitar and distinctive repeated sonic hook (echoed by overlaying guitar licks) every note has it's place and purpose.

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August proved to be a most productive month as I also conducted an exclusive face-to-face interview with multi-talented artist Sune Rose.

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A compelling live show went down in early September with frequent DCW favorites Mevius playing a featured support slot at Long Island's Revolution Bar and Music Hall.

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After honing their skills through a variety of production work and live show appearances, Brooklyn indie pop rockers Gamblers released their debut EP “Corinthian Order.” The title track makes use of retro keyboard pads, more substantial piano enhancements and unadorned guitar plinks as a softly sung tale of breakup builds towards it do-do-do denouement.

We're Bound To Be Together” masquerades outwardly as a buoyant uptempo rocker with Strokes-style churning guitars and Beatles-eque harmonies. A dichotomy is revealed as those words of love are meant to reflect an addict's blissful state while on drugs. “Heavenly Mouse Routine” leans on it's forward march beat, buzzy synth texture and staccato plucked guitar to approximate the frequently repetitive existence people are subject to. Clever vocal interplay is further enhanced by momentary bursts of acoustic guitar,tambourine percussion and electric guitar.

There Was A Window” builds off the bands hip-hop production roots with it's percussive underpinnings serving an otherwise traditional rock approach. Alternating play between varied textures of pianos, guitars and vocals are woven throughout this charmingly quirky composition. Closing track “The Selfish Bell” initially rocks harder through it's chunky drum beat, distorted electric guitars and snaking bass line. Falsetto vocals depict scenarios of self-imposed limitations against an expanding, near prog-rock-like composition.

The EP is available for ordering via itunes as well as streaming on spotify.

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Dreampop is never out of fashion it seems, with each new generation embracing that classic 1990's sound. NYC trio Isla Invisible have accurately captured the mood of this era on their recently released debut EP1 via Velvet Blue Music. With obvious (and admitted) influences such as Slowdive, Cocteau Twins and next decade practioners The xx on display, additional elements such as the 1-2-3 cadence and pace of Mazzy Star's “Fade Into You” can also be felt.

Featured single “Pillow” lulls you into a hypnagogic state where melody ultimately merges with an overwhelming cathedral of synths and guitars. It's a potent formula, eliciting waves of emotional responses and feelings while immersed in this ethereal world. Second track “Outward” impeccably captures the male-female tandem vocals of Slowdive's Neil and Rachel, emphasizing similarly styled minor key harmonies. Those harmonies go even further on third song “Frail Device” where soft feminine voices swirl around and complement the centrally placed male vocal line.

The 7” vinyl can be ordered here, and accompanying download card comes with 2 bonus tracks.

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Punk rock has taken on a number of forms since it's emergence in the late 70's. While some have celebrated its more abrasive aspects, many others embraced the speed and energy while adding a pop song qualities. Brooklyn's Fat Heaven fall into the later category with the release of their four song “Crybaby” EP. The power and punch of aggressive three-piece guitar-bass-drums coupled with barely two minute songs fall clearly within the genre. However, the bands penchant for easy to understand vocals leans closer to pop acts like Jimmy Eat World and Green Day.

That said, there's certainly enough edge on lead song “Crybaby” to fuel a mosh pit. Lyrics included on each of the four videos indicate thought behind the rhymes. “Suburban Nightmare” doubles-down on that approach with a high-powered lament on the working life. “Never Needed You” provides the perfect break-up song for those who've been in (and then out of) a relationship. Final cut “Fashionista” adds a 50's feel to the progression while calling out style appropriation when it's merely a pose.

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Having spent the month of November touring numerous west coast cities, Felte Records recording artist Public Memory celebrated the release of their second full-length album “Demolition” with a hometown show at Alphaville on 11/30. Having previously written about Robert Toher's ever-evolving musical projects on The Deli and DCW here (both with Public Memory and ERAAS) a new record was most welcome.

Lead single “The Line” has made an immediate impression. Embracing a hypnotic trip-hop beat, layers of synths and samples create dark and mysterious melodies. Vocals soon emerge within deeper padding textures as space is cleared for additional live drums. As the track continues to progress, elements of sampled voices materialize, adding one more element to its otherworldly nature. A hypnotic pulsating rhythm permeates “Red Rainbow” with dominant shaker percussion moving out front of Robert's measured cadence and unmistakably unique vocal timbre. There's something eerie and unsettling about that voice, as if possessed by mystical influences from darker layers of a multi-dimensional existence. “Mercy” quickens the pace somewhat, before creating a sparser space for Toher to deliver his chilling theme. The percussion gets busier as it bubbles up from underneath, while bassy synth lines snake through the center.

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Former Exitmusic member Devon Church (whom I previously interviewed and covered live here on DCW) has also released a new album “We Are Inextricable” on Felte Records, debuting as a solo artist. While holding on to many of the dream-like qualities of his previous band, a more intimate and introspective style of writing has emerged. His voice is slightly rougher now, with a world-weary singer-songwriter, storytelling approach now evident. “Draw the knife of your beauty one more night – cut these fibers now that tie me to your bed” Church sings on the title track.

Chamomile” emerges from a cloud of vintage distortion, sounding like an old 78 rpm record being played on a Victrola. A quick-time 1-2-3- waltz pattern follows, setting up sparser surroundings for the story of suicide attempt being told. “Eggshell white – bathroom door – opens like a cold sore. Razor straight – chilled vodka – Klonopin – hot water. Life is for the living and you're meant to be free.”

Curses” builds around a four chord pattern that merges a divide between simplicity and majestic. “I live with a Japanese ghost. I live with an actor out of work. I live with a teenage poet. And I live with this curse – the curse of your beauty” - and later on – “the curse of your brilliance.” While verses come solo and gravelly, the chorus is lushly filled in with synths and female backing vocals. “I've been a lonely boy, and you've been a lonely girl too.”

At a full five minutes in length, “Pass Through My Heart” serves as the longest track on the album. Distant sounds of rural night times and possible passing trains are woven in with synthetic flutes, creating mysterious atmospheres. Whispered voices float above before a steady percussive beat and bass-line emerges. When full vocals begin, Devon soon asks “is your light inside my heart?” As wings flutter and beat down in this spiritual metaphor, lyrics “like a light ray through a prism, you pass through me” breaks the solemn tone towards something more explosive.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Featured Reviews: Stellarium, Women Of The Night, Vancorvid, Simon Boswell, Translove Airwaves

Recorded works takes precedence over live concerts this month, as a number of high quality (and woefully under reported) creative types (musicians, filmmakers) reached out for analysis and recognition. As bloated internet sources tripped over each other posting the same repetitive paid for PR announcements (devoid of any actual thoughtful insight) freedom from those callous trappings allow this site to focus solely on the art. The question that haunts daily is this – is EVERYTHING for sale? Is financial commerce the ONLY motivating reason to care about anything? Quoting a rock journalist LEGEND who was never driven by that, Lester Bangs once said, “the only questions worth asking today are whether humans are going to have any emotions tomorrow, and what the quality of life will be if the answer is no.”

It's been a few years since the music of Stellarium was fully featured here on this site. Their self-titled debut album garnered a track-by-track breakdown at that time with an accompanying recap by yours truly over on The Deli Mag a few weeks after. The band now has a brand new seven track collection, delivering nearly a 40 minutes mix of alternately fiery and glowing sonics.

Leadoff track “Summer Bloodbath” teases 7 seconds of backward looping before moving into a fuller ambient cathedral wash. Open high-hat cymbals signal the rhythm section kicking in, as bass guitar and drums thunder underneath shimmering guitar chords. Its fast paced and rhythmic – a propulsive forward motion assault. Vocals emerge with varying degrees of FX masking, providing an ominous howl over the frenetic rhythm that continues to churn underneath. Despite the songs macabre title, a warm sensation is felt through the rushing guitar washes, rising single note melodies and counter-melody bass guitar figures. If this is truly about a “murderous bloodbath,” the accompanying soundtrack to it here adds a certain romantic beauty.

Paradox” comes on harder edged, with aggressive deeper toned guitars, rapid-fire drum roll bursts and high-pitched squeals creating a hyper-force rising swell. Vocals take on that unintelligible heavy-effects laden texture that serves more as another instrument, rather than any kind of actual storytelling vehicle. Whether a possible truth can ultimately be revealed by contradictory forces seems a moot point within the framework of this sonic exploration. Ferocious battering often engulfs segments of this track, as quick fluid bass patterns propel matching-speed drumming and rising guitar onslaught. The final minute has the tempo shifting down a gear for a raucous jam-out coda.

A live version of this can be heard here.

The pace is brought down somewhat on third track “Lo,” as dreamier elements are explored through chiming guitar textures and more inquisitive vocals. Fuller motion is once again provided by a busy rhythm section that employs free roaming bass guitar work. Not to be outdone, the percussion is locked on tight with precisely confident snare-shot accents. Longer note guitar melodies are woven in and throughout the course of this nearly 8 minute song. As one might expect from a track of this length, an ambient breakdown appears just past the halfway point, allowing for further auditory explorations.

The vigorous drive returns for “Still” which adds elements of “gothic-pop sonics” - rumbling, low-note Bauhaus-like bass – open note arpeggio Cure-like guitar figures – and a more clearly defined chord progression. While the (still) unintelligible psychedelic vocals also skewer toward romanticism, is it happiness or “the hanging garden” serving as ultimate final destination?

Returning to deep, trippy, ambient sensations, “You Die Inside” bathes the listener with engulfing aural washes before glimmering guitar chords emerge. A deliberate progression slowly takes shape before dream-like vocals appear. Well placed minor chords adds a sensual dimension to the overall proceedings. A final one-minute coda sees the band ultimately opening up for a dynamic finish.

Heavily fuzzed bass notes and audible squeals usher in “Space Candy.” Hard battering drums and wildly chugged guitars fuel this explosive rave-up, while the vocals continue to be applied with deep reverb and drawn-out enunciation. At 2:43, it serves as the shortest track in this collection.

Final (and epic) track “Dynasty” closes everything out with the longest contribution here at over eight and a half minutes. A deep percussive beat anchors doom-laden riffs as violent guitar layers thrash over top. Vocals come in that deeply muffled manner that a band like A Place To Bury Strangers frequently exploits. In fact the pacing and overall sense of foreboding on this track pays a certain homage (whether intentional or not) to Mr. Ackermann's finest work. Halfway in the brutal pummeling gives way to an ambient plateau where the clearly audible vocal question is put forth: “how does it feel when everything is you know gone?” With only seconds to ponder that, the answer comes via more frenzied instrumental aggression.

While waiting for all this new material to fully emerge as streams and downloads, you can check out all of the bands previous work at their Bandcamp.

Additional DaveCromwellWrites features on Stellarium can be found here:

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There's a retro mid-70's punky garage rock feel to Women Of The Night's latest release “Moscow Mansions.” It's slow-burn two-chord groove and rough-hewn city street vocals feels like a lost track off the original Live At CBGB's album. One could picture this primal groove rooted in 50's style strolling blues and gritty urban lyrics fitting seamlessly between The Tuff Darts and Mink DeVille on that seminal record. While those artist drew inspiration from legends like Van Morrison, modern touches emerge throughout this current track.

With the resolving hook centering around how “she” (then “he”) is “gonna catch them stars” and “ain't coming down again,” a ghostly keyboard melody line is added on the second pass through. Leading into a longer than anticipated instrumental segment imbues the track with a subtle psychedelic quality. Arriving at a dramatic pause, subsequent background vocals and final descending melody adds one more distinctive touch. “It's getting harder every day - I ain't gonna let you go by” is declared while tasty guitar riffing bubbles up inside of those ending lyrics.

Opening with the chord progression strummed out cleanly on an unadorned guitar, second track “Be Careful What You Wish For” sees heavier single notes quickly entering the mix for dramatic effect. Shuffling drums and bass are joined by an alternating keyboard melody as the lyrical story unfolds. Channeling elements of early (Freewheelin') Bob Dylan and all those who followed that conversational songwriting style (from Lou Reed through Nick Cave and the hordes of others), compelling imagery set to melody and rhythm takes hold. “5:30 as the city empties out - I wish I could just be a part of your well oiled machine - conversations the persuasions as the business men do business - they try their luck - and they dance around the streets and bars - as they proposition underage girls.”

The chorus moves things closer to pop hooks however, with the catchy refrain: “I've got you on repeat - girl be careful what you wish for - you've got me on speed dial -you only call me when you need to.” An unexpected level of pathos shines through via some well-placed (and haunting) slide guitar work. Ultimately this clever story concludes with a reckless (yet life affirming) denouement: “I just love the thought that sometimes betting with your heart you can surely win.”

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Sharon Victoria Courtney is an Irish musician based out of Toronto, Canada making original music under the name Vancorvid.  It is a unique and intoxicating sound that blends classical instruments, modern electronics and mysterious spoken word prose.  Her latest release "Summon" sees her original composition (initially mixed and championed by Martin Bowes of Attrition) expanded upon through a Precious Child remix and accompanied by its strikingly cinematic video.

Opening with visuals of hands fluttering like wings, four distinct chordal chimes are struck before it all goes temporarily quiet. The image (and sound) of plucked harp strings is presented before a fuller, driving, percussive rhythm takes over, accompanying quick-cut moving pictures of frames, yarn, nails and scissors. Extended note reverberated voices float over the mix that includes a fluctuating 4 note melody pattern and piercing violin. Another quick pause ushers in a pulsing electronic pattern and the spoken word narration, providing the thematic core of this composition.

 “Summon your courage. Your fake beliefs that you barely hold to and come to me. Summon your voice to speak.” A dream-like quality envelops the viewer with quick-cut images of the artists face next to elements of nature.

 Blending violin textures with whispered voices, a steady throbbing beat creates motion until the next dramatic pause. Vocals re-emerge more fully sung, yet bathed in gossamer qualities as clouds float through horizontal faces.

 The overall sensation is that of a psychedelic experience (of which dreams often resemble). Rich violins, humming voices and the return of those fluttering hands imagery pulls everything full circle.

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A dovetailing of two like-minded forces has developed through a mutual fascination with and passion for the psychedelic state of mind. Award winning over 30 year career film composer Simon Boswell and alternative conscious film-maker Matt Levin are seeking to push the boundaries of their individual crafts through collaborative and individual projects.

While Mr. Boswell continues to simultaneously celebrate and rework his decades long soundtracks to many of the most innovative alternative films of our times, Mr. Levin has chronicled this recent activity through his Translove Airwaves outlet.  Reaching out beyond the recording studio, Simon Boswell and his band The And have been performing live over the last few years. They brought their multi-media live show to The Mercury Lounge on October 3rd, 2018 and Translove Airwaves captured featured segments of that performance on film. Shared here is Mr. Boswell and his band performing a segment of his composition from the cult-classic film “Hackers.”

While that particular film was critically panned, but loved by audiences (as it's 32% and 68% rating on Rotten Tomatoes would confirm) - and spawned a budding romance between a very young Jonny Lee Miller (Sick Boy in "Trainspotting" and Sherlock on TV's "Elementary) and Angelina Jolie (very well known) Simon's use of synthesizers on its film score reflected that eras fascination over emerging cyberpunk culture.

Mr. Boswell has recently stated that he and director Iain Softley are working on the definitive soundtrack release of this film on vinyl.  Included with the original score there will be featured tracks by The Prodigy, Underworld, Orbital, Leftfield, Carl Cox, Stereo MCs and the composer himself.

As one might expect of an artist who's career has spanned three decades and continues on today, there is no shortage of material to draw upon.  Providing soundtracks for a who's who of groundbreaking film-makers,  the work of Alejandro Jodorowsky ("Santa Sangre"), Dario Argento ("Phenomena"), Michael Hoffman ("A Midsummer Night's Dream"), Danny Boyle ("Shallow Grave") and Richard Stanley ("Hardware," "Dust Devil") have all been scored by Mr. Boswell.

Having earned the freedom to rework his original film score material (where he was always beholden to the directors final choices), the live show now features visuals from the movies remixed to fit his music.  What he refers to as "revenge of the film composer." Directors Jodorowsky, Argento and Richard Stanley all appear as virtual video spoken word artists.

In addition to his film score work, Simon also distinguished himself as a record producer and remixer.  Achieving huge successes in the Italian market, he went on to work with world class artists like Elton John, Marianne Faithful, Dolly Parton and Andrea Bocelli.  His unique style combines electronic and orchestral instruments, acoustic and slide guitar and synthesizers.

The recent live show at Mercury Lounge shows Simon introducing his “Hackers” music with a story about how like-minded psych artist (and VR specialist) James Edward Marks introduced him to computer programmers who coded under the influence of psychedelics. As the digital code imagery running behind the musicians blended with the sounds being produced, visual trails are recreated to represent one aspect of that mental state. It's a wonderfully immersive experience that expands further with powerful live electric guitar. Mood altering tempo shifts are combined with detailed footage from the film (a seriously intense Jonny Lee with equations flying around his head) while Simon unleashes precise guitar solos like Edgar Froese in 1970's era Tangerine Dream.  Percussion thunders away underneath as the images of baby face Angelina Jolie speaking into a land-line phone enhance the visuals.

Sharing a similar attraction to and devotion for the connections that broad spectrum psychedelic thinking offers, film-maker Matt Levin works through his Translove Airwaves platform as a consciousness raising force.  Combing his love for music and film school training, Matt explores psychedelia as a natural component of our complex brain interactions, moving beyond simple drugs-only applications.  Choosing instead to focus on the unlimited scope that everything in this life has to offer - be it art, music, technology and positive healing lifestyle choices - all contribute to a higher level of cognitive awareness.  View the Translove Airwaves trailer below:

Translove Airwaves | Official Trailer. from Translove Airwaves on Vimeo.

Matt owes a debt of gratitude to psychedelic film-makers like Alejandro Jodorosky, as well as individuals who continue to provide guidance to this day.  In particular, management/production guru Dave Newton and animation artist Batuhan Bintas.

Links to everyone mentioned here have been provided at the first instance of each of their names.

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