It can be really exciting to listen to tracks that are collaborations. At their best, all the artists give a bit of themselves and create something greater than its parts. Pomagranite's "EAST" in one word: delivers. This is what happens with you pair high level production with high level bars. It sounds like these artists really took time to listen to each other. In doing so, the bars mesh well and kept me, as a listener, engaged throughout the track. They hold the key to digging down into a listening ear's psyche so far that the song plays multiple times before they realize it. Truly a magical trick, Pomagranite's "EAST" is the type of track the world would be a little bit colder without.
The track opens up with a brief robotic voice before the beat kicks in alongside Fernweher's vocals. He sites inspiration for the composition from the sounds of Björk's single "Crystalline," but I'm immediately reminded of Tricky and Massive Attack. The intro is enough to pique my interest and I become excited to listen to the rest of the song. The vocals quickly bloom into a thick harmony, "I'm going to hide...," sounding somewhat like Styx over an R&B electronic groove. The track slowly builds and turns inside out, increasing in intensity as a jungle beat takes over, delivering the listener to the end of the experience. Fernweher is a skilled and creative artist hitting the electronic scene; I look forward to the full release of his EP.
Speaking of Cholly's voice, it is gorgeous. One of the most fun things about this song from a musicianship and arrangement standpoint is the number of turns the composition takes. This song would be a lot of fun to spin or remix. I love Cholly's sense of groove and timing, how the artist weaves her way through the arrangement of the piece, pushing and pulling different emotions, flashing different stress. The full experience of this song, from finding it in my inbox until now, is why I enjoy doing this work.
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"23/IOU" is Turner's latest track, packing together two emotionally vulnerable dark pop tunes. Her signature husky vocals sound as if they should belong in a rock or jazz project, but are sonically refreshing over electronic music. Hanging over angsty synth and energetic arpeggios, her vocals are kissed by autotune here and there, giving them an electronic edge for emphasis. I'm particularly in love with the second half of the track, "IOU," finding it playing on repeat in my head as I try to fall asleep at night. I'm totally engaged and look forward to the forthcoming music video.
"Triangle Offense EP" is built on great production paired with witty bars. I really like the inclusion of the bass guitar in "This Is For The Mind." Brisk Oner, responsible for beats, doesn't disappoint. His sample use is as witty as the Smash Brothas' bars. That's a recipe for success. "Smash Em" once again delivers the goods, with the sample setting the listener up for a "wow moment" once that actual beat comes in. All this is before the MCs get to work, taking things to another level. Smash Brothas seem to have bars and hooks for days, which is saying something, as I've only listened to two tracks so far.
From here, I moved on to the final track, "Bounce," and now am officially a fan. This EP is quite a combo; the culmination of the tracks leaves the listener in a place where they cannot refute the energy listening to this act gives. LOL: "turn it into agua, like Titicaca..." So much #YES! These guys nailed it, I just wish they all had set up real artist pages so I could follow them!
Who are your biggest influences; who inspires you?
I get great inspiration from seeing people being themselves and just living their life for themselves. I feel like 'Billie Eilish' is doing a lot of that lately, I really like her. The music video for 'When the party's over' was just wow, one shot! Like, it was one shot! Also the fact that she came up with the whole Idea herself was really nice to hear. Artist, Lucas David is v cool. I think some people are under the impression that its no longer cool to be a stereotypical, pretentious artist type but his authenticity makes it transfixing. Grimes will always be a big inspiration to me because I am all about that DIY approach and if there is anyone who knows about that it's Grimes.
Your debut EP "Adolescent Content" was recently released, what influenced the sound and songwriting for the tracks?
The sound always shocks me when I hear it, because it never makes sense in my head with my interests and Influences but I just let it all happen organically and I love it! The songwriting was as a whole was all based around people in my life, myself included, either being an angsty teenager or acting like like one hence the name 'Adolescent Content'
You've also released a new music video for the single, "Taste of Your Love." How was that conceptualized and completed?
The concept for the music video didn't come about until the song was finish. They never do. With music videos it's funny because my mind will be totally blank for ideas until I know i'm ready with the track and then it all just comes gushing and floods my mind. I think a lot of it is like a subconscious visual. Like, I don't sit down with a script and relate it to the lyrics or anything. I think because my songs are honest and true to my life so are the ideas for the videos. It's the same story, yano? I filmed the entire video in my mothers kitchen and during filming I actually got a nasty knock to the head but as soon as I recovered from that I dove straight into the editing.
What's your songwriting process?
I have spurts of inspiration, be it a riff on guitar or a tune in the shower. Then I tweek and tweek and tweek. It takes me ages to work on a song if I'm being completely honest. Took me almost a year to finish 'Taste of your love' adding this removing that while doing the same with a bunch of other song at the same time. I've only ever written one song in one sitting and it's my absolute favorite song! I had a very dramatic summer and obviously a lot of built up emotion so I just word vomited it all in one go! It was really strange actually. So, I suppose you could say it varies all the time.
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
I don't think so. I'm very much a 'what you see is what you get' kinda person. I tend to wear my emotions. My friends can always tell how I feel. Even if I tried to hide it I couldn't. I could write a really cryptic song but I guarantee you I'd have to explain why its so cryptic and hidden hahaha so it would be a little pointless. Let's just cut to the chase.
What are your future plans for your music?
To make more of it!
Tell us something quirky about yourself.
I love writing during a full moon.
Wrong Kata Trio's Dark Earth, is an absolute smash-and-grab groove factory that's bound to get anyone moving some part of their body. I listened to the first track, "Aura." With its rhythmic twists and turns, varying instrumentation and graceful lead lines, the composition ebbs and flows as most good jazz should. It begins with the organ leading the way melodically, into a bonafide sax groove. It was a fun ride. Next I listened to "A Good Day to Be Alive," which honestly brought immediate thoughts of Prince. Brandon Graves' musicianship shines here. He takes advantage of his time, striking strong and leading with his playing. Anthony Case rounds out the rhythm section with licks dipped in butter. UJ Pesonen has great touch with when, where and how he expands his riffage. I must say, "A Good Day to Be Alive" by Wrong Kata Trio is the type of song that gets you in trouble. I'm talking about the best kind of trouble. Also, Lawrence Kansas? Really? This has got to be the grooviest outfit to ever come out of Kansas. Seriously, I didn't expect to hear this type of music at all.
"Scotch AM" picks up right where "A Good Day to Be Alive" leaves off, and actually ups the ante with a ridiculously "rocky" groove that is text book "escalation." I love that these guys took this step and placed these songs one after another. I'm sold now. Ya got me. I hadn't planned to listen beyond a couple of tracks. But as I hoped, "Here's the Circumstance" kept me engaged. A few gears down in tempo, it was just what I needed at this point in my experience, and I think for any listener of the record at this point. We've already churned a load of jam in just a few moments. I swear, everyone should listen to a little more jazz. Wrong Kata Trio's has been a breath of fresh air. Things stay beautifully low key with "Christena's Dream," with absolutely lush guitar work. I really like the bands phrasing as well, in general. Not too much, not too long, or too loud; they have done a great job of placing the right parts in the right places. That's high-level musicianship.
Bitter Lake is the soundtrack to a movement against fascism, poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, climate destruction, and the oppressive neoliberal agenda. Their latest track, "Rat Food," is no exception. In a world where everything is decried as "fake news" and the only agenda that finds constant success is that of the one percent, Bitter Lake proclaims the truth of the masses.
"Rat Food" begins with a slow and somber bass line and feedback. A melancholic guitar weaves around the bass, setting the dystopian atmosphere of the track. After almost two minutes, the bottom falls out and the metal begins - an angry response to the first part of the song. Dissonant, loud, yet groovy, Bitter Lake's energy soars as Jason Myles screams. Once the message is delivered, the band deposits the listener back to the first riff, a reminder of the situation and message of the song:
"I want to pivot to A REAL state of emergency in the US. One that doesn’t talk about walls and invaders. Our homeless problem [...] I live across from one of the largest homeless encampments in the city of Oakland. Nestled in the bowels of the lower bottoms of West Oakland, CA. I have seen this thing grow exponentially over the last few years. The camp looks like an outlaw city. Made of rubble filled with mostly older people. The rising tide of gentrification has forced these people out of their homes due to rising housing costs, coupled with an inability to find adequate employment to live on, you have quite a disaster on your hands. People living in burnt out cars and RV’s, graffiti covered tents, pallet houses, shopping cart dwellings, all existing among a rising sea of trash. People are still attempting to exist in this post apocalyptic nightmare of humanity. Forging a life, somehow, by any means necessary. " - Jason Myles
Survive no shelter
Survive the starvation
Survive the poison
We are all poisoned
They got us trapped like
Verse 2 from “Rat Food”
No, everyone can't like everything - maybe we can appreciate everything through some high degree of maturity, but we can't like it all... or even understand it all. I sure can't understand it all, meaning the cesspool of artists poorly regurgitating music that was only average in the first place. Seriously, too many artists believe a little bit of talent, the right geographic location, and a sprinkle of money means anything in the scope of art. No matter how you look at it, spray painting a turd gold doesn't work. What I'm trying to get to is this: THANK YOU STATS!
Thank you for giving me what I demand from an artist anytime they put themselves out there: sincerity, vulnerability, energy and, for fuck's sake, a groove worth a damn. The syncopation of the drums combined with the synth arps make my heart swell. The chorus is catchy. I suppose if everyone were able to tap into the energy "Lose it" conjures, making music wouldn't be special now, would it? Before I played this song, I felt I needed a shower to wash the filth off of me from wading through a muck of new music. After listening, I am rejuvenated. Thanks again Stats.
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