PROUD CREATURE: Opening Creature EP

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Todd Brozman is a multi-instrumentalist and music producer with roots in piano. He started playing piano at age 6 after convincing his mother to buy him a little demo Casio at an electronics store. At Wesleyan University, Todd had a radio show which exposed him to a lot of new electronic music and he got more involved in creating new music, fusing electronics and improvisational jazz. Proud Creature is his solo musical project, presenting ethereal and otherworldly compositions informed by jazz, ambient, electronica and psychedelic music.

The EP is mostly down-tempo and ambient, which I can really appreciate with all the noise in the world. Put this one on and you are transported to another dimension, one with muted colors and weird sights to behold, all while this amazing soundtrack is playing and blowing your mind. The EP shows what he can do when left to his own devices and really gets the layering of many sounds to flow onto one another with such ease and skill that you will want to put the headphones on and be selfish and not let anyone else into your headspace while listening to this EP.

Song after song just gets into your head and makes you want to hit replay on this EP over and over again. For his first solo recordings being so good, I can’t wait to see what he will come up with next.

https://www.facebook.com/proudcreature/

 

PTOLEMEA: Maze

Luxembourg-based female-fronted alternative rock band Ptolemea has established themselves as a live act with a melancholic, dreamy twist. With a powerful voice, tight grooves and grungy riffs, the outfit delivers their newest EP, Maze.

It’s like the early to mid-90s never went away when you hit play on this EP. While not really being what I would call grunge, more like the glut of alternative bands that came in its wake. I really found myself likening this to Linda Perry’s singing style in 4 Non Blondes. There is a lot of energy in the playing and raw emotion in the vocals that carry this EP.  Priscila Da Costa has a great voice that hits you in the gut and sticks with you. The band is very accomplished and the total package works.

This is an album to throw on and sit in your backyard and have some drinks while cranking it up loud, or hitting the road with the windows down and feeling the breeze hit you in the face…just like this album does.

https://ptolemea.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Ptolemea-373927193069737/

https://ptolemea.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/finestnoisemusic

http://www.finestnoise.de/

RAINER LANDFERMANN: Mein Wort in Deiner Dunkelheit

German vocalist and bass player Rainer Landfermann is known for his work with PAVOR, Bethlehem, and his own solo work. Featured on the album are ten dark and highly diverse songs that are pushing the boundaries of the extreme metal genre. You have dramatic low-frequency waves of bowed double basses, tenebrous choirs and somber jazz ballad parts harmoniously join blasting drums and grim avant-garde guitar riffs. The German album title translates to “My word in your darkness”. “The album is about introspection, self-awareness, and – ultimately – about beauty:” says Rainer Landfermann, “its experience, appreciation, and sometimes, the painful loss of it.”

Talk about something different! The vocals go from straight singing, growls to screaming that sounds like someone is being killed, and all in the space of every song. It kind of gets a bit much with it going on over and over again. Some parts remind me of Rammstein, some parts are pure noise, and some of it is just beautiful and sounds like something that you would find on a jazz album and some like on a horror movie. The album jumps all over the place and even has some of the jazz-punk of Black Flag in places…so much to take in and very unclassifiable. Yes, it is metal, but it is so much more too. The album is available both as download and as an elaborately designed limited art book edition, for which Rainer Landfermann teamed up with Russian ballet photographer Daria Chenikova and model Anna Grigoryan, a ballerina at the Stanislavsky Ballet in Moscow, who is also featured on the album cover. For each of the ten songs on the album, they created a gorgeous visualization of the theme and mood of the respective music and lyrics.

While not my cup of tea, this is an album that really takes chances and challenges the listener. I may not be a fan of most of this, but I can respect what he is doing and some of the music on here.

https://rainerlandfermann.com/

https://www.facebook.com/RainerLandfermann/

https://rainerlandfermann.bandcamp.com/

 

MATCHBOX: The Albums 1979-82

Matchbox was formed in Middlesex, in 1971 playing their rockabilly revival music and have been putting out albums and touring right up until the present. The band appeared in the 1980 film Blue Suede Shoes which detailed the revival of 1950s rock ‘n’ roll music scene at the time. Eventually, time and changing tastes meant the hits stopped coming and the various members went off to do other projects. Then, back in 1996, as the rockabilly and rock’n’roll scenes saw another surge of interest, these five guys got back together again to do a couple of shows, and now, the original band is back touring. This is a 65 track 4 CD box set rounding up all of the band’s recordings for Magnet Records between 1979 and 1982.

Being a lover of rockabilly and not owning any of their albums, this is a perfect way for me to get into the band with their original albums and go from there. They started off kicking and screaming right out of the gate with energy and a thrilling sound that will draw you in. Real rockabilly that quickens your heart and fills you with the desire to get up and dance. Disc one is their self-titled debut for the label which reached No. 44 in the UK chart. It contains the hit singles “Rockabilly Rebel” (No.18) and “Buzz Buzz A Diddle It’”(No.22) as well as the non-charting “Black Slacks.” These are great songs that show that they can write catchy songs that still sound great after all these years. The album now comes with four bonus tracks including two recorded under the name of Cyclone. The second disc is 1980’s Midnite Dynamos album which reached No.23 in the British charts. The title track gave the band a No.14 hit single and the album also includes the No.4 smash “When You Ask About Love.” This album continues the wild ride of the first album and you can see the band getting tighter and the writing getting better. The eight bonus cuts include the No.15 hit “Over The Rainbow/You Belong To Me” as well as two ultra-rare Japanese only singles, “I’m A Lover Man” and “Little Lonely Girl.” Disc 3 is the Flying Colours album which contained the hit singles “Babe’s In The Wood” (No.46) and “Love’s Made A Fool Of You” (No.63).  Buddy Holly’s “Love’s Made A Fool Of You” is a great cover that doesn’t mimic the original, they give it the respect it’s due, but make it their own, and then do the same to Holly’s “You’re The One.” Another winner of an album. The final disc is the 1982 LP Crossed Line, released here on CD for the first time. It features the No.63 hit single “One More Saturday Night” plus their collaboration with the late Kirsty MacColl on “I Want Out.” This album sees the band continuing their progression into one of the finest rockabilly bands around and should have got them more popular around the world since others like the Stray Cats came along and stole the spotlight away from them.

Housed in a sturdy clamshell box, each disc comes in a card wallet depicting the original LP art on the front. The 20-page booklet comes complete with in-depth liner notes plus pictures of all relevant singles sleeves and memorabilia. So, as you can see, this is not only a top-notch collection with bonus tracks and a great booklet but a great bunch of songs from a band that deserves to be heard and played over and over again. This is the kind of compilations that truly showcase a band and gives the listener a true taste of what was going on for the band back then and lets you dig deep into the great music.

http://www.rockabillyrebel.co.uk/

https://www.cherryred.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/CherryRedRecords/