Thursday, October 15, 2020

Autumn Reviews: Goth, Dream-Pop, Gaze, Prog, Jazz, Jam

As the year 2020 advances towards it's ultimate conclusion, a select collection of diverse and eclectic musical artists have been hand-picked for feature review here. While the frequent and familiar rock styles of goth, dream-pop and gazey ambience are once again represented, so too is the work of an improvisational virtuoso. The essential commonality running through all of these works is a deep emotional commitment to their respective artistic styles.

New Dark Ages PR Maestro William Z presents a variety of artists that fall within a visual mode often referred to as “gothic music.” This discernible aspect must be noted as the actual audio output of the artists represented cross over a very broad range of sonic styles. Extremely harsh and abrasive industrial on one end, and dreamy beautiful on the other. What ties them all together is a common visible style that emphasizes pale skin with dark, heavy makeup and similarly styled clothing.

One such artist is the glamorous Italian singer and musician Elle Noir. Trained in Opera and Music Composition, the skilled pianist spent time with a symphonic metal band, performed in cabaret shows as well as experimental music theatre. With a new EP “Like A Black Doll” slated for later this year, a video for one of the songs “The Day I Died” has now been released. Describing the track as “a metaphor of emotional death, it tells of a world where nothing has value anymore, which is also an - - inner world given by mental states like depression.”

Strong piano chords and gentle follow-up notes open the track, as lush symphonic strings quickly fill in open spaces. Soft vocals begin “One day you will come – on my grave” while video imagery of the darkly glamorous Italian model lies motionless on her back, tiny flowers all around her. Both visual and lyrical imagery come together with the line “and you will leave flowers just for me” while the photogenic musician assembles a crown of blossoms.

Reaching a chorus that states “I forgot to tell you the pain of the world is not there,” one notices stylized vocal diction that suggests English is most-likely not this artists primary language (adding another level of overall charm). As the chorus resolves and turns-around, poetic ennui is revealed with the line “beautiful words are meaningless – like – 'I love you'.” Follow that thought process, unencumbered vocals add “It's just a dream through my mind, my fear of you,” before full percussion accompaniment enters the mix.

A combined natural earth gothic imagery enhances the video with it's central figure carrying a dagger and slowly advancing towards an ominous body of water. Close-ups of a silver-ring-on-every-finger hand continues to place flowers in the intended's funeral crown. Poetry sustains audio symbolism with lines “the scars on my arms will just disappear - until someone touches the fresh ground -and he'll realize it's the day I die.” The chorus is now lush and full, with heavy string layers and active drumming throughout. Reaching an emotional peak both in video image and within the song, vocals are doubled on the (allegedly) “meaningless” words “I love you” while the funeral crown gets placed and the “scar cutting” dagger is dropped to the ground.

Closing images alternate between depictions of our tragic heroine walking into the lake, seemingly drown, but also very much alive and well on the shore.

Watch and listen to this wonderful video and song here:

Elle has created a brand new trailer for her "Like A Black Doll" EP and you can view that here:

To find out more about Elle Noir, follow on Social Media here:

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With social media now a big part of how we discover (and connect with) each other, you're never really sure how one winds up in a “follow for follow” situation. Noticing the Chicago-based, trans-continental duo Sally Haze turning up frequently on Instagram streams (both Main Page and the now quite popular “Story's”) an opportunity to hear what they do presented itself. This fortunate occurrence has brought to light (on this site) their second EPWet Dream” (and who doesn't like one of those?). Released earlier this month, the six-track record serves up a refreshing blend of DIY dreamgaze (and more) from couple Will and Jessica Wright.

It's something of a genius move to open your recording with a one minute instrumental called “Fade In.” With the feeling of lush orchestral strings (and their synthetic counterparts) floating into the mix, a trance-like state-of-mind is immediately established. At :20 seconds a new element emerges with shimmering guitars and high-hat percussion creating more defined movements. While those strings continue and other percussive clacks join in, a “cut-up” feel takes over, with a particular minor chord change providing what can ONLY be described as an intoxicating audio-orgasmic-rub. The :50 second mark drops to a more spacious, gentle pulsing for the final twenty seconds.


Immediately surging into the second track, “Be Mine” builds around a shuffling drum pattern, plucking bass and chiming guitar textures that give it all an early 80's The Cure feel. Jessica's vocals (and lyrics) are far more American much too content for anything the poetically despondent Robert Smith usually depicts (“Friday I'm In Love” notwithstanding). “Just make me feel good and make me feel fine. Make me feel happy, and you will be mine,” is how the refrain goes. There's a busy, calypso feel to it's chorus that goes “this is what it feels like, to be all in – always.” Instrumental breaks lean on icy keyboard riffs which add to an overall jangle-pop mood. Against brighter keyboard stabs and Jess' upward diction on the word “hearts” (on the full line “all of the hearts are intertwined”) elicits a touch of Patty Smyth and “I am the Warrior” era Scandal sensation within those grooves.

Quietly rising up into the mix via insistent bass-line and steady drum pattern, “Pavilion” rides a plucky rhythmic guitar over ascending ambient textures. Long-held, deeply-echoed vocal lines emerge like a clarion call “don't try to hard – keep it going.” What feels like an extended holding-pattern (with subtle varying undercurrents) morphs into stereo-field angularity after the initial lines ”trying to keep up, faces come and go.” That chorus becomes more stable on the second pass through, repeating “reality starts to hit, I'm losing control.” Building tension once again through creative instrumental passages, a crescendo is reached as Jess sings “it's hard to let it be” and “I can't fix it all.” One more round of angularity leads this track out to it's conclusion.
Don't Forget” surfaces ethereally via slow, undulating bass synths and fluttering pulses over top. Jess delivers the opening lines “it goes beyond – into a place” in deliberate, elongated voicing. Drums kick in on the next passage, creating a busier undercurrent to the prolonged vocal phrasing. Reaching the lyric “how long will I have you,” all background sound drop out leaving a lovely formed, emotionally-charged keyboard passage. Cymbal driven drumming returns along with this lyrical tale of devotion: “I'll always wait for you there,” “because I'm sure it's the real thing.” An unexpected buzzing-like-a-gnat melody (of sorts) is presented (is it guitar or keyboards?) adding one more level of curiosity.

Shimmering guitars and shifting rhythmic undercurrents mirror the fluid motion of EP opener “Fade In” on the previously released single “All That Matters.” Bass guitar serves as the driving force behind opening lyrical salvo: “it's coming up again, that familiar feeling.” For her part, Jessica's vocals are clean and straightforward, as FX and phasing (prominent on previous tracks) have not been employed to those levels here. The big chorus of “It's what we both want - we're both reaching for it” carries a similar emotional gravity and vocal tone quality of mid-80's, post-Sugar Cubes Bjork. Keyboards jump out from multiple locations on the fragmented change section “outside – it's gone” up through “I'm here – I'll hang on.”
Sixth and final track “Around The Corner” serves up a lyric heavy view inside the mind of someone taking stock of all they have while pondering what the future might hold. There's a slight 1950's vibe to the intro melody, even if the accompanying sound effects morph from nursey rhyme to futuristic clang. With each successive pass through a chorus that goes “this is where I close my eyes, and take a deep breath, just don't think about the past, live in here and how, I am loving every bit, it all goes so fast” the production evolves from very little backing music to fuller bass guitar and keyboard enhancement. A final segment has Jessica's vocals harmonized between close-up recitation and full-throated singing on the lines “maybe around - the corner - or in the next - next few years - look next to me - look and see - that it is all I’ll ever need.”

Find out how to acquire this recording here, where you can sample all the tracks as well.

Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Also visit the Sally Haze Music Linktree for all streaming and additional options.

The band is also signed to Kansas City based label The Record Machine

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Long time readers of this site will know that along with the dreamy, gazey, rock, pop and punk music, an affinity for more sophisticated prog, jazz and extended instrumental jam bands has seen those artists work reviewed in detail here as well. New York-based guitarist and composer Oz Noy has now found his way on here, with an exhilarating new track “Looni Tooni” off of his soon to be released new album “Snapdragon.”

The full recording will contain six original compositions, plus a cover of the Zombies’ “She’s Not There” and two Thelonious Monk pieces. Accompanying Oz on his musical journey are a who's who of world renowned musicians that include Vinnie Colaiuta, Dave Weckl, Dennis Chambers, John Patitucci, James Genus, Will Lee, Brian Charette and Special Guests David Kikoski, John Sneider, Chris Potter, Jason Lindner, Adam Rogers, and Wallace Roney.

The track and video for lead track “Looni Tooni” opens with drummer Dennis Chambers shot from multiple angles, overhead and straight on. He lays down a syncopated pattern as Oz first appears playing a blonde Telecaster, chunking out a funky rhythm. Next shown is bassist Will Lee – so well know from his work with Paul Schaffer and his own Beatles cover band The Fab Faux – playing seated and immediately locked in on the groove. A side shot of Brian Charette's double-tiered organ focuses on his hands and a quick cut view of percussionist Danny Sadownick's conga work also reveals an “Art Ensemble of Chicago” framed poster on the wall.

Cutting quickly to John Sneider and his trumpet - complete with a rack of guitars on the wall behind him- making it look like the sales floor of Manny's Music [RIP]- is the first time the songs signature, extended riff is unloaded in unison between John and Oz. A sweet, rising bridge is then rolled out for the first time, before that impossibly long riff returns – this time with Brian's keyboards joining in for the ride. There are soon slight variations on that riff – subtle key changes -and quick cut breaks where bass and drums will drop a single note punctuation point in-between the extended runs.


Another cool element are easy breezy rhythmic cruising sections, where the organ textures combined with those congas inspired one commenter to accurately describe it as sounding “like a futuristic Santana.” With percussionist Danny briefly switching over to tambourine, a clearly defined, rising note passage creates a momentary Big Band feel. On each turn-around back into the main groove, variations on that lightning quick riff serves as the essential bridging link. At the 1:45 mark Oz takes off on his first solo, playing clean, fluid lines that begin on the top low note strings and work their way up the neck, all through the higher register strings down below. Then goes off on a musical “conversation”, morphing between Carlos Santana-like riffs (with the background organ tones enhancing that vibe) before taking off on an all out John McLaughlin-style free jazz flight.

As Will Lee is now matching the guitarist in intensity (and increasing number of notes), another astute commenter amusingly states that “Oz has gone mad @ 3:15.” It truly is incredible playing, and the video split-screening with images of the other bandmembers now overlaid, drives home the power of this ensemble cast. The 4:06 mark sees trumpeter John Sneider taking a solo turn, delivering cool jazzy lines while the video screen overlays soft-edged splits of the six principal musicians. As the funky rhythm continues to flow, Dennis adds more fills inside of his steady drum beat before the band returns once more to multiple variations of that intoxicating extended signature riff – up to the eventual punctuated ending.

"Snapdragon" will be available on all digital platforms and through Noy’s label, Abstract Logix, and can be pre-ordered here.

Check out a preview visualizer of the whole album here:

Previous Features covering like-minded artists and events on this site can be found here:

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Friday, September 18, 2020

New Music Interviews, News and Reviews

Mid-September 2020 has this site rolling out a number of compelling new releases that receive detailed reviews here, along with an exclusive in-depth interview. With live shows still on hold for hopefully only the next few months, recorded works become even more important these days in the audio artists creative life. The opportunity to conduct direct one-on-one interviews via phone and email is still a formidable option for the music writer to gain insight into an artists latest project.

 There is a whole lot more to Jody Porter than the notoriety he's achieved with the chart topping rock group Fountains Of Wayne. While that Grammy-nominated attention is most-certainly deserved, Porter has also maintained a solo career in the spaces surrounding his essential contributions with that band. In the early 90's he fronted his own dreamy-gaze group The Belltower, which made a significant impression as part of that emerging scene in the UK. Two solo albums, 2008's "Close To The Sun" and 2014's "Month Of Mondays" showcased the artists talent for songwriting and self-production skills. All of that is now on full display with his brand new album “Waterways.” Co-produced with his fellow Fountains Of Wayne band-mate Brian Young (who also adds drums on a number of songs) two tracks have been released in advance of the full album's imminent arrival. Jody was kind enough to answer some questions about this record, as well as his entire career so far.

Q: It's been a few years since your last solo release “Month Of Mondays,” but you've released two songs now from an impending album titled “Waterways.” Why now for this record? Had these songs been knocking around in your head or in partial completion for a while? 

 A: Everything is partial until it’s realized but a few of these riffs go back to Y2K and were too good to forget and but I didn’t polish them off at the time. Maybe they didn’t fit but a few were too good to forget. This was back when a home studio consisted of a few ADATs so they got as far as demos. They had to age like a fine wine (laughs).

Q: Conflicting reports say the album was recorded in either London, England or close to your home near Asheville, North Carolina. Can you clear that up? Did you do some work on it in both places? 

 A: It was written and started in England but finished in the good ol' US of A

 Q: Research indicates that you come from a nautical background and were once a sailing instructor where you grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. That background appears to provide inspiration for the new album title “Waterways” and one of the early released songs “Moonbeam Reach.” That impressively produced track appears to skillfully employ subtle backward looping along with layered guitars (both acoustic and electric) with a vocal style falling somewhere between David Bowie (early years) and John Lennon (solo). Lyrics referencing “ships lost at sea” further solidify an overall thematic approach. Was this one of the first songs completed for the record? 

 A: I grew up on the coast and am landlocked in Asheville at this point in my career. I suppose the theme is being lost at sea rather than lost in a mountain. I’d prefer to be lost at sea. Since the record is in the can I’m vacationing on a beach at the moment. I think that song was channeled half way through.

Q: It's would be an understatement to say 2020 has been a rough year for most everyone. You in particular had to deal with the loss of your long-time band-mate, friend and essentially a brother with Adam Schlesinger's death. How did you handle the grieving process? 

A: Still trying to process it really. Shockwave part 2 I’m presently on. We hung out at his karaoke place in Chelsea a few months ago and he was super keen to hear what I had done on this new record. I told him not until it gets mastered. Apparently Brian told him it was great. So there is a bit of regret regarding being Fort Knox about that. 

Q: It's been reported that you initially hired Adam (who answered a bass player wanted ad) back in the early 90's to play bass in your band. Was that with your first noteworthy band The Belltower

A: Yeah. The Belltower was my first band that made records. We were an indie success in the U.K.and that was enough for me. Adam joined when I moved back to the States but we only did one tour. Our Agent at the time was coming up with some shit bands to package us with and I kept saying no to everything. Adam never turned anything down and I think that’s what brought him success outside of our band. I didn’t want to be on a major but was nudged into lining people’s pockets which eventually destroyed the thing. I guess we owed some studio bills. 

Q: Did The Belltower break up because of your marriage to Britta Philips coming to an end?  Had Dean Wareham already entered the picture with her? 

A: Nah. A nine year marriage is enough. If anything I dismantled it to team up with Chris and Adam. I have to say the US 3 piece version with Britta on bass was the pinnacle. Unfortunately we were not putting out records at the time so it all went into the ether. I don’t know Dean or when he entered a picture but I like some of his music. 

Q: Once Adam and college-buddy Chris Collingwood started Fountains Of Wayne, they brought you and Posies (and current Jesus and Mary Chain) drummer Brian Young in to complete the band. Did you have to audition, or were you hired right away due to your previous relationship with Adam? 

A: No audition. Just had to make up my mind. Brian did though and it was informal as fuck. We played a bunch of Steve Miller songs and after 5 minutes it was like there he is.

Q: You've been quoted as admitting to a “Keith Moon level” of rock and roll hotel wrecking debauchery on prime-era Fountains Of Wayne tours, where Adam was there to “bail you out of jail,” “at least two or three times.” These kinds of stories are always entertaining, so if there is any more there you can elaborate on, I'm sure people would love to read about it. 

A: You’ll have to wait for the book (laughs) I’m not naming names but I didn’t act alone. I may have done a little art on the walls of a hotel a few times. Never threw a TV out the window. 

Q: By 2007, Chris stepped back somewhat from the band and reports indicate that you and Adam made the Fountains Of Wayne album “Traffic and Weather” pretty much all by yourselves. Any additional insight on what those sessions were like? 

A: Yeah. It was more guitar heavy and it was a collaborative effort. Bri had done his bits and was back in LA. Chris came down with one and a half songs but pretty much did vocal tracks in a few days. Because Adam and I were based in NYC the two of us were able to work daily.

Q: On October 5, 2013 I was fortunate to catch one of your final live performances with Fountains Of Wayne at Webster Hall in New York City. You guys were in prime form that night, performing on bill with the band Soul Asylum as well. Was that in-fact the band's last live performance? I had heard there might have been another show or two after that. 

A: That was sort of the middle of the tour I think.  The last show was a Prince's venue in Minneapolis.

Q: In June of 2017 I then caught an early incarnation of your Jody Porter and The Berlin Waltz live show during The Northside Festival in Brooklyn. It was great to catch you with such a tight band in that more intimate setting. Do you have fond memories of that show? Were you doing additional touring and live shows during that time period? 

A: I think we did something in DC the night before.

Q: The All Music website has you listed as playing guitar on a number of The Monkees recordings. 2018's “Christmas Party,” 2016's “The Monkees 50” and “Good Times!” How did you become connected with that iconic pop legacy? 

A: Adam produced both of those albums and I was living in LA at the time, so he brought me in. Good Times came out in 2016 and the Christmas one was after that.

Q: Newer released track “Sunsick Moon” (continuing a “moon” theme as well) comes on a bit harder, with riff-heavy aggressive guitars this time, yet still stradling a hazey-gazey feel. Lyrically expressing a chastising look-back, “no flowers bloom under your sunsick moon” is the exiting send-off. What were the inspirations for this track, and how quickly did it come together? 

 A: It’s another one that’s been lurking around. I just thought it fit with the others. Not sure why I pulled it out. Brian plays some good skins on it.


Q: You recently posted on social media about a dream you had where you were on tour and got locked out of your room. It seems like the dreams we recall often come in that hour right before you wake up. The back-in-a-work-related scenario with some kind of odd difficulty is a frequent one for me. Do you remember your dreams most of the time? Write them down for future reference? 

A: Yeah I sleep a lot. Borderline narcoleptic. Sometimes a melody will wake me up if it’s good and I’ll whistle it into my phone or something. 

Q: How much of this new record was done at home versus in the studio? 

A: I recorded it at home mainly. I think 2 songs were recorded in a “real”studio but my permanently loaned mobile has everything I need. Just had to learn to use it, I was a little spoiled being able to call stratosphere and do a graveyard shift if no one was in. Lure an engineer in with promises of bringing in a keg. The mix and mastering sessions were done in more elegant studios. 

Q: What favorite pieces of equipment (other than your guitars) do you favor when recording at home?

A: I’m on Logic but apart from the lack of a 2” tape machine everything is fairly analog. I don’t normally use plug ins so my early 60s coppertop AC30 and a couple of black face Fenders. There are more pedals employed on this album and I made good use of the tremolo/pan which I’ve had since 1990. I’d always run tape at our old studio as well but everyone is mac’d out now so I joined the party, albeit late in the game. A couple of years ago I heard that David Byrne and Annie made a file share album which kind of gave credibility to sending out for drums and mixes. I miss being in a room with some guys and banging it out. That Monkees thing we did with Peter Buck was 3 takes and there’s the record. Adam and I agreed that we would like to do another record old school like that rather than playing the instrument known as the computer. I’m ok in this era sharing files but there were some high fives after that session.

Q: At it's peak, how many total guitars did you own? 

A: Sort of embarrassing but maybe forty or so. I get restless and move around a lot. Could probably pair it down. Pain in the ass to lug around.

Q: I understand you self-produced this record. Since you are quite knowledgeable about the whole recording process, would you ever be inclined to work with an outside producer again? 

A: Oh yeah there are some like Albini or Brian Eno depending on the songs. People like that. I’ve gotten used to letting other people’s ideas in. Brian co produced with me this time. There are some songs he didn’t do but the ones he did he did drums and often mixes. 

Q: Is there a person other than yourself that's been important in perfecting your recorded or live sound?  
A: Mix engineers. I know my limitations and don’t enjoy using a lot of technological stuff I don’t understand. Don’t have the patience. I can tell you the final mixes that came back from those guys were hella better than my ruff references. They really brought something to the table. 

Q: What one piece of hardware/software would you most like to add to your recording setup (cost not an issue)? Why? 

A: Pretty much have everything I need but could always do with another Neumann. Really apart from Logic I stay as old school as possible. Basically put the 47 on vocals and mic the amp. I like the Daking pre. Omnipresent on the guitars.

Q: Your wiki states you have “used an arsenal of vintage guitars over the years, most notably a three pick-up Les Paul Custom, several early '60s Fender Jazzmasters, Fender Telecaster various vintage Gretsch models, and more recently a '57 Les Paul Junior that belonged to your father and a new signature guitar. That signature guitar is a SchoolHoused BeachBlaster which consists of a surf green finish and 3-Seymour Duncan Whole Lotta humbuckers, and you've generally favored Vox amps. Is all that still accurate? Any subtractions or new additions? 

A: Using a lot of Rickenbackers lately. There are more acoustics on this as than the last one as well. Everything is in my studio so I can grab something out of the rack. Usually I’m able to find something that works tonally after auditioning 3 or so. Props to my techs for taking good care of them over the last 2 decades. All I have to do myself these days is occasionally change the strings (laughs).

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The new full-length album "Waterways" from Jody Porter and The Berlin Waltz is expected very soon.

A previous feature on Jody can be found on this site HERE.

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With limited live show opportunities in these pandemic times, musicians have taken for the most part to recording studios as a means of working on new material. New York City's The Carvels approached it from another angle by recording a new full-length album live in one of the better equipped music venues. “Live At The Cutting Room” serves at the band's debut long player, released on Die Laughing Records. Recorded back in May 2020 on The Cutting Room's legendary NYC stage, production work was handled by Freddie Katz, with mixing and mastering by Jim Diamond (who's work with The White Stripes and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion is well known).

Originally set to be recorded in front of a live audience during a show back in March, those plans came to a halt due to lockdown closures of the city's music venues. Creatively regrouping with a revised approach, the band got the album recorded two months later at this legendary (now empty) venue. Nine tracks in all, choosing to open the record with a classic Ramones cover “I Wanna Be Well” pays homage to an influence, and a nod to the current cautious times. As the core unit of drums, bass and guitars commence to chug-out this punky-power-pop groove, Lynne Von Pang's richly resonant voice shines above it all. Once again adding R n' B saxophone to the mix expands sonic reference points out of 70's punk, pointing back to the 60's and 50's.

Follow up (and first original) track “My Little Troll” is a rollicking and lyrically amusing expose of those internet people who seem to have endless amounts of time to fixate on someone. Humorous lines like “letting me know I'm not alone,” and “I thought nobody was paying attention” is smile inducing stuff. It's a special relationship indeed, where anonymous internet obsession is the only way to connect. 

An even more maniacal rock and roll rave-up comes by way of the equally lyrically clever “Lonely Fantasy.” Delivered at a frantic pace, one more example of the inability to connect in a mutually healthy manner is cleverly spelled out. “I looked at you, looked at me, looked and then you looked away. You went off on your own, thought about me later when you were alone. You made mental maps, from the front and oh baby from the back. I don’t want to be -Your lonely fantasy.”

First single “New Normal” takes full aim at our present-day social-distancing caution via a mid-tempo, western-sky rocker. Although serious enough about this real world problem, a quarantine and have sex with your loved one scenario is suggested with lyrics “now we finally got the time,” “we will make our own vaccine,” “let me be your COVID queen” and “come on baby, let’s make a new normal together.” 

 Thematically paired flipside to the single is the hyper-speed punk rocker “Stay The Fuck Home.” Clocking in at just over a minute and a half (in true punk rock brevity) a litany of inconsiderate sins are noted for germ containment failures. Crushed out with punk rock sincerity, there's still room for bassist/backing vocalist R.B. Korbet's spoken lead-it “make me sick, Brian!” right before the named lead guitarist rips into some incendiary licks.

Those two songs are available now via this link (where you can hear clips of each track). 

Darling Where Are You?” begins with a deceptively slow intro, before charging into another high speed two minute raveup. Depicting an “I can't remember last night” scenario, Steve Pang's double-time drumming sets the requisite pace. Vocal interplay between Lynne and backing vocalist (and bassist) RB Korbet on the chorus adds an impressive touch. The final half-minute features another blistering riff burst from guitarist Brian Morgan, leading into trade offs with the sax.

Dipping into another classic deep track to cover has Lynne and the band doing their own interpretation of The Velvet Underground song “Candy Says.” Written by Lou Reed, the track was originally sung by new (at the time) band member Doug Yule (replacing John Cale) on their 1969 self-titled third studio album. Inspired by that generations transgender superstar Candy Darling (who was also referenced again later in Lou's song “Walk On The Wild Side”) the issue of body dysphoria is explored. Reed has been quoted as saying it's also about more than simply that. It also speaks to "something more profound and universal, a universal feeling I think all of us have at some point. We look in the mirror and we don't like what we see...I don't know a person alive who doesn't feel that way." For their part, The CarvelsNYC deliver a louder, more fuller band version than the original track. Lynne shines when singing out in full on the joyous chorus lyric “I'm going to watch the blue birds fly.” The band brilliantly capture Lou's everlasting love of NYC street “do wop” with a gorgeous rendition of the songs “doo – doo wah!” coda.

Eighth track “I Don't Know How You Do What You Do” rumbles up through a tribal drum beat, chunky sawing back and forth guitar chords and bass-guitar/saxophone punctuation. Along with a distinct hook guitar melody comes the lyrical story of a journeyman's dilemma. Who's to say when it's time to finally “give up the ghost” (as that expression goes) or even if you ever should? An artist creates because they have to, it in their soul. Lynne ponders this existential state-of-mind while adding Buddy Holly inflections to the end of numerous “oooh oooh oooh” lines.

Fittingly the album closes with it's most energetic rock n' roll rave up in “Saving You For Later.” Bold guitar chords and searing sax lead the charge over rat-a-tat drumming and rubbery bass-lines. A song of appreciation for coming together with someone at the right time (later on), where an earlier meeting most-likely would not have clicked. It's an honest and heartfelt insight that strikes at a universal truth many can relate to.

The full album comes out September 25 on Die Laughing Records, with Pre-Order and Save options on all download and streaming platforms right now!

Previous Features on The Carvels NYC can be found on this site Here and Here.

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Shoredive Records is a label this site has become quite familiar with over the last year.  Always providing a steady stream of creative new music from around the globe, there have now been multiple DaveCromwellWrites features on their growing catalog of artists. The recent release by indie rock/dreampop band Just Like HoneyInto The Wild” is a gorgeous full-length album that deserves to be heard.

With the opening notes of percussion driven, under two minute “Intro” a sense of “light” and “heavy” is showcased, setting up how the album will unfold. “Slow Lane” bursts out with heart-tugging hooky melody before the sweet, angelic solo female vocals begin a wistful lyrical tale. The true strength of this band quickly emerges via their multi-voice harmonies. Lavish guitar layers become enhanced by overlaying a truly passionate guitar solo. “Peace Of An Evil Kind” moves at a more languid pace, combining a slight country-vibe within an indie rock structure. The pace quickens exponentially on “Heart Has No Place,” where jangly “C86” style guitars share space with soft whispered female vocals and an echo harmony chorus.

Goddess In A Cadillac” begins with a bass guitar “tribute”nod to The Pixies, as slow-build acoustic guitars lead in to an insightful lyrical contemplation on today's idolization of the feminine ideal. A high point is reached near this albums mid-point with the glorious “Dream On.” Over an impeccably recorded, crisp driving snare-drum pattern, dual female vocals create a beautiful tapestry of love, longing and hopeful desire. With everything dropping out at the two and a half minute mark, majestic guitar figures slowly bring the melody back in with the full force of the band (those drums!) and emotive Liz Frazer/Cocteau Twins-style chill inducing vocals.

Pauline” emerges out of the rhythmic style and bold chord progression pattern that served a band like The Cranberries so well. There's a sensation of Irish Country Folk mixed in with the Indie Rock here. “Shorelines” dips back a decade further with its Harriet Wheeler/Sundays inspired combined falsetto and harmonized vocal ode to nostalgia.  “Fragments” delve into a less structurally defined, slightly psychedelic combination of quieter moments and quick flash chaos that is often experienced while submerged in the dream state.  Chunky, chiming guitar chords provide the driving force for “Rain.”  Dipping once again into the Wheeler/Sundays sweet vocal stylings, busy tom-tom drumming add motion underneath steady held guitar textures.

Velvet Skies” straddles the line between emotive indie-rock ballad and it's country-tinged counterpart. Vocal harmonies stand out here,with deeper male voices adding depth to the female sweetness. There's a subtle time-signature change on “Only One” where a 1-2 rhythm supplants the more traditional 1-2-3-4, creating a heightened sense of urgency. Bonus points for the final :25 seconds of extended ambient fadeout.  “Do You Realize” initially slows things down considerably, creating additional space for the tandem harmony vocal storytelling. “No one said it would be easy, no one said it would be hard. Take me back to the start,” is how the key refrain goes.   Unique guitar textures are presented throughout the instrumental interludes, adding yet-another level of audio satisfaction.  Final entry “Outro” is a two minute and twenty second instrumental rumination combining Cure-style bass-notes, phased guitars, steady, forceful drumming up to it's lighter ambient conclusion.

Also visit the Shoredive Records Linktree for additional info.

Previous features on Shoredive Records artists on this site can be found HERE, HERE and HERE.

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Monday, August 10, 2020

Deep Summer - New Releases And Featured Reviews

 August seems to always come with a slight twinge of melancholy that we've now entered the third and final real month of summer. Oh, sure there can be some balmy beach days in early September, but for the most part this time of year is when you want to make good on summer-fun plans. Along with this pursuit of one more perfect beach day comes a new batch of music releases from various corners of the globe. While hometown New York City counts for half of what's reviewed here, there are still two others hailing from continents ranging over the most extreme northern and southern locales.

There is a distinctive quality to the rock and roll that rises out of New York City. From 50's era “doo wop” through the late 70's punk rock and beyond, the feel and vibe of building front stoops, electric guitars, subway cars and crowded bars all permeate it's sound. Blues-rockers New York Junk evoke all of that and more on their latest record “Dreaming,” which is out now on Tarbeach Records. Recorded at Golden HIVE Studio in Prague, Czech Republic at the end of 2019, it was mixed and mastered in February 2020.

Primary vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Joe Sztabnik's history traces back to those mid-1970's punk rock days, emphasizing it's poetic and literary side (sometimes overlooked when referencing “punk.”) Bassist, backing vocalist and songwriter Cynthia Ross shares a similar historical timeline as a founding member of The 'B” Girls. That band toured with The Clash, The Ramones, The Dead Boys and Blondie, and Cynthia also provided back-up vocals on Stiv Bators' “Disconnected” and Blondie’s “Auto American.”  Similarly, drummer Gary Barnett's roots trace back to legendary NYC clubs like CBGB's, playing significant shows there in the mid-70's.

Lead off track “Gutter Angels” developed through a collaboration between Joe and poet Puma Perl, who's lyrical writing serves as the inspiration for this gritty tome. Chugging along like a mid-70's east village classic, Joe's raspy vocals spit out the lyrics in Lou Reed/Jim Carroll hybrid fashion. “Angels on the subway train - Angels in the rain. Wings of fury in the street - Halos melting in the heat. Gutter Angels up in heaven - Looking down upon us all. Bless the homeless, Bless the dope fiends, Bless the sidewalks where they fall.” The Jim Carroll “people who died” vibe intensifies as people who are no longer with us (angels up in heaven) get name-checked with this verse: “Danny’s nickname was “Guerrilla, Linda’s was 'The Stick,' Tito climbed through windows, Minerva made him pay. Lenny popped the car trunks - All on Christmas Day.” It's a powerful opening track leaving no doubt about what this record is all about.

She Don't Care” comes on like a long lost Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers rocker. Based around a tandem guitar and bass riff melody line, Joe sings out lyrics combining serious and somewhat humorous appeal. “Hey little girl – what'cha tryin' to do? With your dirty red hair. You little 2-bit whooore. Hey little girl – oh you're drivin' me wild. Cause you talk too much – with your 2-bit smile.” Chugging guitar chords lead into the head-bopping chorus “Everybody calls me up to say – you're insane. Everybody tries to tell me- you're deranged. Tell me tell me what do you want when you – feel the pain. The way you scream and shout so loud you know you – drive me insane.” Quick Thunder-esque licks snake between each section, punctuating the cool.
It's delta bayou 12 bar blues for the record's choice cut “Walk My Dog.” Well, “delta bayou” that's been run through an early 1960's Rolling Stones filter. “If you wanna, you can walk my dog – come on baby – put a leash on me. But if you want my love – girl you better run!” There's also a touch of The Cramps swagger-n-raunch with it's slithering bass-guitar driven rhythm, and lines like “if you wanna you can ride in my car, and if you wanna you can be my star.” 60's Fender guitar tone and steady shimmering ride cymbal emphasize the blues licks in-between verses.

Don't Cry For Me” keeps that 60's Stones (by way of Chuck Berry) vibe going with double-time drive, self-descriptive lyrics and conversational vocal style. “Workin' real hard in that midday sun. I'm never slackin' off just to get my job done,” Joe sings with early Jagger feel. While “the boss man is sitting there, sippin his iced tea,” the workers know “you better hurry up if you want to leave at 3.” Over a bold rising bassline the chorus hook “don't cry for me baby” (with filligree guitar licks in-between) punches out on “until I'm gone.” The spirit of Berry's “You Can't Catch Me” and “Memphis, Tennessee” live on inside these grooves.

Cynthia's audible “2-3-4” count-in and immediate heavy pounding tom-toms out front of a dirty low-down propulsive guitar rhythm introduces the Ave B side opening track “Scared.” Serving up graphic lyrics with impassioned vocals, Joe sings: “This is the way, which way the wind blows – learn something nobody else knows. I (ah I ah I) want your mind. When you hear the wind blow, yeah you know which way to go – when the guns are pointed at you. Blood all over my clothes, blood all over the floor. I'm fucked up – I don't care – I'm scared. Why wouldn't I worry? Of what I see in my tv set. Hey watch out, it's jumpin' out – it's trying to catch me.” Those levels of paranoia are understandable with everything that's going on (especially these days). However, the only way out of this state of mind is choosing to (as Joe sings) “let my heart and soul be free.”

Bright, angular guitar licks pierce the air, leading in to a sweet shuffle groove on deeper track “Passion.” Rolling out this lyrical tale emphasizing relationship challenges (both at home and on the road), the vocals exhibit a world-weary sincerity. “Well I've got the passion, but I ain't got the bucks, to fill my heart with another shot of your love. Hallways filled with your makeup on the walls. You got all the junk, so I guess I better crawl.” With all that going on (including “dirty hotel rooms”and “posters on the floor”) what holds it all together is the turn-around line “cause your love keeps me on the run.”

Title track “Dreaming” closes out the EP in grand style with a ballad penned by Joe back in 2008 (as detailed inside the record sleeve). Relying on basic guitar chords and a laid-back rhythm section, primary emphasis is placed on personal lyrics and raw vocals. “I'm dreaming of you – why you went away. The roads all turned blue – since you left me here. I'm all alone.” There's a folk-song quality in how the progression holds steady for a time while each new line is delivered. Ultimately there is a shift downward with an unanticipated chord change on the words “oh baby.” With the final words delivered (“as my world fades away”) a series of euphonious toned guitar lines begin, adding further musical emotion to the candid lyrics that precede it.

The 7 song EP is available now on Tarbeach Records in digital formats, with a red vinyl release planned for this fall.

Previous writing can be found on this site featuring New York Junk here,  and Cynthia Ross here.

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Carrion is an Industrial Rock band from the northern forest lands of Norway, coming together in 2014. Founded and fronted by the bands only constant member Adrian Kjøsnes (working under the moniker Hide Beliya`al) with additional contributions from musicians Dave Diamond and Sam Dusk. A new single has now been released titled "The Blood Ov Saints," which is the first new material since last years full-length album “Iconoclasm.”

Created on modular synths (no digital numerical presets here) one is immediately drawn into foreboding low register tones that introduce “The Blood Ov Saints.” Industrial music has always derived an element of it's defining qualities by recreating the sensation of being inside a factory surrounded by humming machinery. Even more mainstream rock artists like Pink Floyd (It's factory segment on the “Animals” album) or Iggy Pop and David Bowie's collaboration on “The Idiot” (the track “Mass Production” in particular) served to capture the hypnotic drone of mechanized assembly. Those impressions are here as well, along with other details like a slow chain-rattle percussion alternating with a deeper tone thump. It all serves to set up a dramatic lyrical reading that the artist describes as a “dark, alternative path to salvation.” To that end, there's thoughtful poetry in lines that state: “So cast the first stone, and watch their heavens fall - Into the maelstrom - Hear the trumpets call.” As the track progresses, audio textures of what sounds like high-pressure air driven manufacturing devices add to this dystopian imagery. More forceful tom-tom drumming emerges underneath significant moments with the ultimate lyrical declaration: “We'll wash away our pain – with the blood of the saints.”

Also included with the release is an acoustic version of “The Light,”which first appeared on 2019's “Iconoclasm” album. Here the track benefits from the spacial qualities open air strummed guitar chords provide. With a disquieting synth pulse running underneath, more poetic imagery emerges via the lyrics “holding on to the umbilical noose, I'll make my way back up.” The vocals are delivered in rough whispery style that evokes the work of a similarly like-minded artist like Mortiis. It all leads to the pivotal vocal refrain “give me your hand – I'll give you my heart – on my knees to feel your light.” An unexpected extended-note guitar solo (of sorts) arrives in the 3rd minute (of this 4 minute rendition) echoing the melody line and bringing the track to it's conclusion.
Find out more about Carrion via their Social Media on Facebook, Instagram and Bandcamp.

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After 10 years with the influential NYC noise-rockers A Place To Bury Strangers, bassist Dion Lunadon announced he would be leaving to pursue a solo career. Truth be told, Dion had already begun his solo recordings while still with that group, releasing singles in 2016 and 2017, before putting out an 11-track full length record in '17 (fully reviewed on DaveCromwellWrites here). Now in these changing times and current social crisis issues, Dion is back with a new track “When Will I Hold You Again.” Released as a duet with vocalist Kate Clover, the track is dedicated to everyone whose been separated from loved ones as a result of this current worldwide pandemic.

With Dion playing all the stringed instruments (guitar and bass) along with drummer @griffin_kisner, the track thunders open on a crisp percussion figure, throbbing bass line and melodic guitar riffs. Duet vocalist Kate Clover and Dion share a sense of urgency on opening lines “TV television New York shut down. I’ll hold you closer again. 
All alone I’m in the dark.” A palpable level of intensity can be felt in the aggressive guitar riffs slashing in and around each vocal passage. Kate's vocals move up in the mix on the Covid influenced lines “Freezing cold I feel the sweat. Filled with fear as I disinfect. I can’t see the enemy I can’t see it come.” As the track careens forward with increasing ferocity, each vocalist repeats the title line in alternating call-and-response style. It all culminates with a final 30 seconds throttle like The StoogesFun House” era mayhem.

The track is now available at Dion's bandcamp where you can name your price.
All donations will be split evenly between City Harvest (who help feed New Yorkers in need of food) and CampaignZERO.  Dion will match all donations up to $1,000.

Previous DaveCromwellWrites Features on Dion can be found HERE and HERE.

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Returning to the DaveCromwellWrites universe are Sydney Australia's gazey, dreampop and psych-rock collective Trillion.   Their previous six song EP “When I Wake” received an extensive track-by-track review this past November here (which immediately garnered “Best Of” placement in the following month's year-end accolades). The band is now back with their recently released current 5 track EP “Move To You,” and a debut video for the single “Soft.”  Recording their individual parts separately as one might suspect during these harrowing times, the end result shows a determined creativity in spite of those challenges.

Opening track (and single) “Soft” (along with it's accompanying video) immediately explodes off it's quick drum cue-in. No longer content to envelope all with 3 guitar layers (as was their previous incarnation) we now have four (4!) guitarists doing their very best to fill in every inch of the sonic spectrum. It certainly makes for a powerful buzzing wall of down-stroke strummed mayhem, while somehow allowing the throbbing bass guitar and whip-crack drumming to penetrate and be heard. With images of sparklers overlaid on top, close-ups of each instrument is afforded their feature moment throughout the video. Male and female vocals are blended together as a melodic force withing this Spector-sonic wall of sound. Hard pummeling percussion emerges as intensity levels rise, with voices, and guitars inserting melodies inside the overall structure. The video is a total trip that occasionally breaks up into digital cube blocks looking like previous decades media (VHS tape?) and other elements, like floating amoebae. Kudos to the bassist for wearing an adorable cat-themed t-shirt stating that “The End is Meow.”

The EP's second track “Out of Your Mind” initially emerges at a more measured pace, with guitar shimmer rising up as if out of the mist. Soon enough a dominant bass-line and solid drum pattern begins, accompanied by wah-wah guitar textures. A series of intricate guitar melodies weave in and around each other before a solo female vocal begins. Those voices come at the track from different angles, blending in seamlessly with the instruments melodic forays. There's a hypnotic element to the rhythms and things get quiet in places, allowing for dramatic focus via those layered voices. As the track progresses it blows up into a full-on psych-rock tableau,before falling back into that hypnotic groove.

Third cut “Don't Be Sorry” develops out of a tom-tom driven drum pattern and distant swirling guitar embellishments. As the full progression establishes itself with sheering guitar chords and buoyant bass-line over top, male vocals appear in a contrasting effects-free manner. The 4 guitar formation allows for plenty of background wash while one plays a distinctive hooky melody line, paired against the bass guitars low-end harmony. Vocals return with previously established clean delivery, while another guitar melody snakes its way over that. The title line ultimately materializes with female voice enhancement and billowy guitars.

Rising up out of swelling atmospherics and faded in drum pattern, “It's All I Need” serves as the first of the final two longest tracks [6:01 each] on the EP. Returning to that buzzing-bee-wall-of-sound, the multiplied tandem guitars would surely evoke a nod of approval from Rhys Chatham. With an ever-steady bass guitar once again holding its structural center, the drums are free to explore a variety of accents off of the primary beat. Male vocals with ethereal female harmony evoke that 90's-era MBV/JAMC/Slowdive style. Sonorous guitar riffs abound in-between vocalizing, impressing how an “orchestra” of guitars can produce an appealingly controlled noise. The final minute injects an intensifying step-up before pulling back to a dreamy spacious conclusion.

Final entry “When it Comes to You” appears to begin mid-progression, as if fading the mix in as the recording rolled. There is a decidedly different element to the guitar sound, as slightly off-kilter “warbling” tones appear. Shearing, pitch-bended guitar chords soon make their way up front while the ever-present driving bass and percussion lock it all down. A distinctive guitar melody surfaces over top of combined “shear,” “warble” and rhythm-section. More paired boy-girl “Halstead/Goswell” vocals arrive, blending in seamlessly with (and sometimes submerging under) the roiling instrumentation. Momentary quieter plateau's serve to set up another round of explosive turbulence. It's all adds up to a brilliant composition of dreamy-gaze bliss, and a fitting closer for this excellent EP.

Trillion's tunes and more can be found using the link tree below:
A previous Feature on this site reviewing Trillion can be found HERE.

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Friday, July 10, 2020

Analysis: New Audio And Video Releases

As life continues to slouch forward towards “the new normal” (what reopening phase are we in now? Phase 4 or 14 . . .) the one thing we can all count on is the need for creative types to continue making their art. Musicians who spend a lot of time writing and recording as part of their ongoing routine anyway, have focused on new songs and videos as their primary outlet. The touring and live show performing remains on hold for the present, although after-summer dates and beyond continue to appear on their respective calendars. Once again the joy of deep listen analysis and the words that flow from that are featured here at the DaveCromwellWrites global consortium.

Julian Kerins is a musical tour-de-force and frontman for his own sophisticated indie rock power trio. He is the complete package of songwriter, virtuoso guitarist and polyphonic vocalist with a 6 octave range. Accompanied by bandmates Michael Vetter on drums, and Michael Schuler on bass, a full 10 song album “To Solemn Maia” serves as the current full-length release.

One of the albums many outstanding tracks “Vie” was given a full official video release, and has been racking up an impressive number of views since it's initial arrival. While reaching 2 million views in such a relatively short amount of time is certainly an accomplishment, the intricate songwriting and high-level of musicianship is what truly stands out.

The song and video come right out of the gate in full-flight motion, with Julian's primary guitar riff matched by the bass guitar, as the two harmonize over syncopated drumming. Images of birds splashing in puddles and flying overhead lead into the opening vocal lines. “So sodden the glance, the glimpse” has Julian immediately exhibiting his extraordinary range, going from deep baritone to higher tones through innovative vocal phrasing. More imagery of the band playing in a warehouse alternates with close-ups of falling rain and the city skyline beyond. The chorus is reached, serving as sonic high point (as it should) “on limbs, limber as glass lips” while introducing a more sophisticated jazz-prog feel to it all. That vibe is expanded on when Julian delivers a quick, dexterous guitar solo at the minute and a half mark, evoking the mastery of players like Eddie Van Halen and Joe Satriani. While emphasis is placed on repeated vocal phrase “In days,” the denouement comes with doves released around Julian's primal scream and the band furiously throttling away to a prog-rock quick-cut conclusion.

Watch and listen here:

Follow Julian Kerins on his social media for updates and info on all of his music.

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Internationally acclaimed extreme metal band Lamb Of God have released their eighth studio album and first in five years, choosing to go with no title other than the bands name. Now two decades into their explorations of brutally aggressive rock, this Richmond,Virginia conceived quintet have taken their place alongside contemporaries like Metallica, Slayer and Pantera. An official video for the track “Gears” comes along with the album, serving to add a visual element to the lyrical and musically intense storytelling.

The Tom Flynn and Mike Watts directed video opens with images of computer circuitry, keyboard entry via biohazard-gloved hands and aerial views of streetmaps being combed over with a magnifying glass. Dropping down to street-level, two protagonists enter a building as the bands aggressive shearing guitar chords and throttling snare drumming commence. As the two seemingly bored (and yawning) desk jockeys sit in front of their computers, quick cuts to the band inside a caged ring capture in detail the track's pummeling sound. A poster in the office workers cubicle reads: “Feeling Down? Low On Energy? Call and Make the Change Today! First Treatment is Free!” Vocals begin with the lines “You suffer from a manufactured sickness and envy by design - Pre-calculated status and patterns of desire,” make a clear statement on relentless consumer acquisitions as a hollow measure of success.

As the two “accumulation and adoration” seeking workers who remain “perpetually unsatisfied” seek out the poster-advertised chemical treatment, quick cuts of the band thundering away are paired with that magnifying-glass wielding scientist and his boss watching closely. That boss, by the way, is played by previously reviewed Julian Kerins, who appears to have acting skills as well. While the two office-techs appeared to be rejuvenated by their energy-enhancing stimulation – churning out more supervisor-pleasing work, the songs thundering rhythms and lyrics (“hang it on the wall of your golden cage – tell yourself that it means something”) question this approach to life. It's a scathing commentary on corporate life measured in how many big-ticket items you can acquire. Along with a brilliantly precise guitar solo 3/4's of the way in, comes the inevitable “crash” of those artificially enhanced worker bees. The side effects of unnatural human stimulation can be cruel. The overview scientist and his boss, who have been monitoring their test subjects see first hand how needing “always more” is ultimately a shallow existence.

Check out this ferocious track and video here:

Follow Lamb Of God on all their Socials:

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Back in late April the electronic-music and fashion-forward duo Turbo Goth decided to release a new song at the height of this world pandemic we've all been dealing with. Calling the track “Quarantine Dreams,” they refer to it as “a groovy love song” created for interpretation and reflection on applying your dreams through positive actions going forward once this crisis is finally over. That original track has been given the remix treatment by three creative entities, and are now available to be heard.

The original studio version placed immediately emphasis on Sarah Gaugler's sweetly-sung, straightforward vocals with minimal effects and sparse, twinkling background accompaniment. “Spun on your love, don't wanna wake up from these quarantine dreams – nothing's what it seems” comes on like a lullaby. Trip-hop percussion and deep-bounce-bass soon sets a sensual groove for the combined romantic and mystical declaration, “Bae, you know you're pretty amazing, your supernatural vibe is kinda hard to describe. Our constellations align, but I'm only semi-divine.”

Vocal FX and echo-line layering become more prominent with the dreamy segment that goes “baby I'm trippin' but I'll be saving my love for you.” The hypnotic qualities are apparent, with the soft, seductive vocals more clearly asking “how many days do we have to wait?”  That's followed by a vibrant dreamlike segment where an angelic reverberation is applied to the line “my all, I want to give to you.”

As one might expect, the remixes become collaborations whereby new elements are developed within the previously released track. Onetyla Remix places mellotron-like pulses and dry bass-notes around Sarah's introductory vocals. Higher end synth notes begin to fill in places between vocal lines as the song progresses. The original percussion has been stripped back, leaving open space for a simpler hand-clap approximation. The lyrical line “but I'll be saving my” gets looped and is followed by a muted dance-floor horn. Pivoting back to the original track, the “Galaxies are waiting – no more hesitating - we'll be star gazing under the dark, dark sky” segment is emphasized. An alternate trip-hop percussive groove ultimately makes it's way into the mix, with additional synth and studio enhancements leading the track out via the opening mellotron and clean bass-pop simplicity.

Chan Chanlian Remix makes bright piano chords the dominant instrumental attribute powering along with Sarah's introductory vocals. Along with those power-pop chords, the percussion moves away from the previous trip-hop feel, locking into a softer, bouncier pattern. As with the previous remix, once again “I'll be saving my Love” serves as a catalyst for momentum shift into rave dance fare. While the dominant piano chords return for the remaining segments, clever use of a double-time snare drum pattern creates a sense of urgency under the emotionally-charged lyrical denouement.

EDP Beats Remix initially floats in on waves of looping guitar, creating an ambient dreamlike state before an electronic dance music beat kicks in with Sarah's vocals. Rhythmic fingersnap percussion creates forward movement sensations above the slightly muted vocal reading. There is a more spacious, ethereal quality to it all, with soft voice only delivering the “baby I'm trippin but I'll be saving my love for you” lines. An immediate sonic shift commences with “galaxies are waiting” and return waves of softly-psychedelic guitar loops, deep bass notes and click-snap percussion.  An acid-house feel envelopes the closing moments, where lines “gotta pull me out of this hazy phase,” and “crazy state” are immersed in frothing swells of psychedelia.

Check out these amazing Remixes via this link here:

Follow Turbo Goth via their Socials - Official Site - Facebook - Instagram

Read an earlier Dave Cromwell review of Turbo Goth on The Deli Mag here and included in this sites Best Of here.

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Darkwave artist Cat Hall (aka DISSONANCE) has just released a new single and visualizer clip for her song "Precipice."  Described as a lament of personal struggle, her ability to transcend emotional pain and physical scars has ultimately produced this beautiful work of art.

DISSONANCE emerged out of the early 90's Texas synthpop scene, playing live in many of the popular Dallas venues at that time. Many took notice of the unique vocal quality and angelic style Cat Hall presented, with her harmonic layers creating an ethereal state of mind. Catching the ear of Paul Robb (INFORMATION SOCIETY) who was forming his label Hakatak International, DISSONANCE was signed in 1996. Her first self-titled release, Dissonance, produced by Robb, came out in 1997.

Earlier this year, Cat collaborated with Bug Gigabyte of SINTHETIK MESSIAH on his Split Damage release, providing lyrics and vocals for “Languish.” A full review of that recording can be found on This Site Right Here.

The initial Joe Haze NH Remix release comes accompanied by a “visualizer” clip delivering panoramic aerial views over inspiring majestic natural formations. The tracks audio emerges out of brief, muted textures accompanied by underlying distant percussion before the fully bright progression is revealed. That groove comes on via deep-rumble bass pulses, icy high-end synth blasts and hissing percussion lines formulated by the bands musical partner Justin Burning and remixer Haze's further manipulation. It's dance-floor ready with the requisite beats-per-minute to satisfy any pulse-pounding, fired-up heartbeat rave. Cat's vocal performance and emotional lyrics are cut up and re-positioned somewhat, creating a cooler sensation that fits seamlessly with the video imagery. “Standing on the precipice – kills the hope of my life. Fine lines drawn in my skin,” allow the listener to interpret this sentiment from their own experiences.

Experience the song and video here:

To find out more about Cat Hall and DISSONANCE, follow on Social Media here:

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Documentary filmmaker Matthew Levin recently shared a new episode of his “Translove Airwaves” series titled “Krautwerk Umarmt Liverpool” in a limited run preview setting. With the ultimate goal of producing a full season of shows, this follow-up episode to the initial pilot expands the production exponentially. At the end of 2018, this site featured a live show and source material review of Matthew's initial episode, which can be read and viewed here. The psychedelia motivated producer is now back with an immersive look into two German musical pioneers who have teamed up under the moniker “Krautwerk.”

Traveling to Liverpool, England for that city's International Festival of Psychedelia, Matthew interviewed and captured live performances from two legendary “Krautrock” musicians who had recently teamed up - Eberhard Kranemann and Harald Grosskopf.  Although both men have a long history of influence within the very beginnings of Krautrock's late 60's – early 70's birth (detailed in an excellent piece here on the Translove Airwaves site), the pair did not actually meet until 2016.

While the above-linked piece goes into greater detail on Kranemann and Grosskopf's history, a quick namecheck of seminal bands Kraftwerk, Neu! (who's Hallogallo2010 live show was covered on this site here), Ash Ra Tempel and Tangerine Dream all figure prominently in these two artists backstory.

As one might expect, the two-man electronic band's set up relied on an array of tone generators, effects units, laptops, mixing boards and more, laid out on tabletop stands, next to each other. Visual projections of sweeping vistas and dreamlike states rolled behind each artist throughout the performance. While looping automation was certainly employed, a distinct live-in-the-moment element was clear with Kranemann adding rhythmic vocal thrusts and Grosskopf playing digital drum pads. At times there are zany elements of noise (both vocal scat style and instrumental) added on to the rhythmic undercurrent, bringing to mind the frequent offbeat lunacy of a band like Ozric Tentacles.

Although Kranemann may have begun his musical education studying classical double bass, his subsequent discovery of and love for free improvisational jazz being created by greats like John Coltrane is apparent. During the set he picks up an electronic stringed instrument and takes off on a spontaneous jam while Grosskopf continues to loop rhythms and add percussion.

Check out the trailer for this feature here:

Get more info on the Translove Airways series here:

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