ARMONITE: And The Stars Above

 

This band from Pavia, Italy has been around since 2015 and has put together their new album of instrumental prog rock. Basically, a duo, Jacopo Bigi (acoustic and electric violin), and Paolo Fosso (piano and keyboards) have added a bunch of people to this album to give it the sound that they were striving for. The album also includes Colin Edwin (bass), Giacomo Lampugnani (double bass), Corrado Bertonazzi (drums), Maria Chiara Montagnari (voice), Diletta Fosso (child’s voice), Marcello Rosa (cello), Quartetto Indaco (string quartet): Eleonora Matsuno (violin), Jamiang Santi (violin), Francesca Turcato (viola), and Cosimo Carovani (cello), and finally Jacopo Bigi also plays viola, and ukulele on “By the Waters of Babylon,” whistles on “Freaks” and plays both violins and viola on “A Playful Day.” Whew!

As you can see, what a group of people on here, and not totally instrumental, but vocals used very carefully and sparingly on the album. Starting off with violin and sweet vocals, the album gets going to a great effect with added piano and then the band kicks in and get things going in a rock-oriented vein that is catchy and thrilling. The instrumentation on this album is just unbelievable, with so much going on and in such different ways that the blend is simply intoxicating and will give you goosebumps. The album has a beautiful flow to it, going from one song to the next and carrying you on a journey that you never want to end. The production is perfect, giving the sounds the space that they need to be heard and having fullness to the mix.

This band is unique and will have you wanting more and more from them as you listen to the haunting sounds they produce. This is something special that you won’t find in any other band, they have hit the jackpot on this one.

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/04/armonite-and-stars-above.html

http://cleorecs.com/

https://www.facebook.com/CleopatraRecords/

http://www.armonite.com/

https://www.facebook.com/armonitemusic

https://armonite.bandcamp.com/

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AGENCY: Philosophies

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Agency plays neo-soul layered between fun-loving, message-filled hip-hop grooves on this brand new album. Agency is making an impact on the music scene, hitting number one on Traxsource and winning two Indaba Music contests. Agency’s sound encompasses indie, rock, acoustic, electronic, house, and alternative hip-hop, along with funk, soul, pop, and jazz flavors.

Coming off more like a funky, non-rock version of Lenny Kravitz on the vocals and the ‘60s-‘70s vibe of the album, I was really not prepared for what I heard. I thought it was going to be more rap/hip-hop oriented, and yes, there is that feel to an extent, but the funk…the funk. There is a modern sound on this album, especially on “Joyride,” but the first two tracks are more old-school sounding and really grabbed me right away. This is a very mixed bag that hits so many different styles, think going to a club and hearing different artists, that’s what this is, something new on every song. The cover of The Classics IV’s “Spooky” is fantastic, with such a great vocal and delightful playing. The production is clear and gives you a chance to hear everything in the mix with nothing fighting to be heard.

This is the kind of stuff that I would normally never listen to, mostly because of the way that it has the rap/hip-hop terms added to it in the description, but that is such a small part of this. This is funky, fun and a delight from start to finish…grab this one!

Also posted at: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/04/agency-philosophies.html

https://www.facebook.com/anticodonrecords/

https://www.facebook.com/theworldofagency/

VIOLENT DIVINE: Louder Than Love

Swedish band Violent Divine formed in late 2005 and in 2006, they released their debut album which spawned three singles. They now have their fifth album out and continue to put forth songs of power and energy.

Overall the album is really great. The vocals are so rich and deep, however, they are hidden within the music a tad on some tracks for my liking but that’s just me. Each track has its own personality, its own identity, but I can say for sure that each member of the band has some serious skills. The album is so rich and in-depth with the sound, it’s deep and rich with power and emotion. Every sound, every word is portrayed beautify. To me, the sound is a mixture of metal/rock and has an 80’s feel to it, but not true 80’s, with its modern touches. The album reminds me of Five Finger Death Punch’s albums War Is The Answer and American Capitalist with its strong, harsh, powerful sound. The album has so many tracks which are really awesome. I love how each track is multi-layered and textured and it has such a good fast pace to each song. You can really get a sense of emotion and meaning of each of the songs. There are only four members of the band, Mike on vocals, S.J. on guitars, Oscar on bass, and Simon on Drums, and yet they sound so well-rounded and full of life.  I don’t know how long the band has been together or been creating songs, but I do know they sound like experts and been doing this for a really long time to hone their craft.

I found it hard to review this album since it was so hard to talk about just certain songs, instead of the overall effect the album had on me. I love this album from the fantastic album art to the great sounding music.

Album review by: Amy East

http://www.violentdivine.se/

https://www.facebook.com/violentdivine

SAM LEVIN: First World Problems

Sam Levin just released his new single, “First World Problems” from his upcoming full-length album, I Am. When he was five years old, Levin began playing the guitar, a Fender Mini Strat, and at age 12, he dropped his debut EP, I’m In Here. His music style is a mixture of Indie, acoustic, and a little rock.

Sounding both retro ‘90s and modern at the same time, he infuses a slick sound with fun, relate-able lyrics that make for a track that stands up to repeated listens. The song is super catchy and will get you singing along after the first listen.

If this is any indication of the songs on his upcoming album, then we have a killer set to listen to and play over and over. His talent is well beyond his years and that’s an awesome thing to hear.

Also posted at: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/03/sam-levin-first-world-problems.html

http://thesamlevin.com/

http://facebook.com/thesamlevin/

https://samlevin.bandcamp.com/

H+: Hidden Dimension

H+ is the performance name of Malcolm Brian Swan, a music teacher with a Bachelor’s Degree in performing the double bass and a Masters in Music Composition. He lives in Bermuda, creates IDM/glitch and adds the twist of funk, jazz, dub reggae, and deep dubstep. Malcolm has been writing music under the name of H+ since the end of 2016.

Sounding like a mixture of your computer freezing while playing music, a video game and a sci-fi movie, the music actually has a more warmth then you would think. Adding female vocals from Nicola Swan really helps to give more feeling to the music. “Error In The Standard Model” has a bit of a funky/jazz sound that made it a real stand out. “Dimensiones Ocultas” is another track that really stands out, kind of flamenco and really peppy, it will get your foot tapping and make you hit repeat. The album also has a great flow to it that I enjoyed because it didn’t just sound like random songs; it felt like a complete idea.

While not usually a genre that I would go for, this is an album that will get the replay from me and will be in the car with the windows rolled down and turned up loud. I will be interested to hear what comes next and hope the quality stays as high as it is on this album.

Also posted at: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/03/h-hidden-dimension.html

http://hplusmusic.space/index.html

https://www.facebook.com/transhumanglitch/

https://hplusmusic.bandcamp.com/

FOX MEDICINE: Greetings From Mars

Fox Medicine is a two-piece originally formed by Neezy Dynamite (Guitar/Vox) and Vanny Keeps (Drums). This two piece from Eugene, OR has just put out a noisy album of eight new songs for destroying eardrums everywhere.

The fuzz is laid on nice and thick, vocals that are a bit distorted and sometimes shouted and sometimes so blasé that you would think a mid-‘80s valley girl was singing, but that’s not an insult, it actually sounds cool. This has a fuller sound than you would think that only two people could pull off, especially how much power and raw emotion there is in these songs. Yes, the songs are dense, the fuzz and the effects are in your face, but it has warmth and a realness to it that makes you come back to it again and again. The band sounds like they are close to losing grips in what they are doing sometimes, especially at the beginning of “Stars,” but they add in some synth and pull it all together and you have a great track that is both insane and amazing.

Maybe not something for every day to listen to, but a definite keeper that you will put on to enjoy, and piss off the neighbors with. How can that be anything other than a glowing review?

Also posted at: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/02/fox-medicine-greetings-from-mars.html

http://www.foxmedicine.net/

https://foxmedicine.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/foxmedicinenoise

MAXX THE MUFFIN MAN: Every Summer Since

Maxx the Muffin Man is an 18-year-old rapper and songwriter working out of his college dorm room in Portland, Oregon. This is his new mixtape that he said, “I really hope that whoever listens to this enjoys it, and if it helps anyone through a hard time, then I’d be extremely happy!”

This kind of reminds me of Canada’s rap band Organized Rhyme who put out the great track, “Check The O.R.” and was the group that had “comedian” Tom Green in it back in 1992. Lots of personal lyrics, some positive stuff and a bit of goofy stuff all makes for an interesting listen that will get your head bobbing and has a cool mix of beats. This is something to throw on and get into the flow and cruise along to. Pretty fresh sounding and actually holds up fairly well compared to a lot of the crap that’s out there.

Take a chance if you like hip hop and want something a bit different to listen to, something that has a positive message mixed in. Maxx said, “I almost gave up on life, and music is what allowed me to survive. I hope this mixtape can touch you in a way that music did for me.” If that isn’t a good enough reason to support someone, I don’t know what is.

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2018/02/maxx-muffin-man-every-summer-since.html

https://www.facebook.com/maxxthemuffinman/

https://maxxthemuffinman.bandcamp.com/