Week 76 | Tobi’s New Independent Music Picks

A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our New Independent Music Friday playlist

Music reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

Artist: Thyla
Track: “December”

Thyla’s latest single, “December” is a work of compelling grace and sublime melancholy.

December by Thyla

Painted in great sweeping ambients of shimmering feedback and sustain, slow-burn six-string arpeggio and delay-drenched rake; drums pounding deep at the heart of it all, kick and snare trading blows; great wash and crash of cymbal fizz, exploding onwards and outwards. The bass walking the groove steady and strong at the back.

Millie Duthie’s vocals cry out in scattered, overlapping echo and double; desperate shards of melody cast skywards and infinite by the talented vocalist. The instrumentation of the track swimming around her, sonics shifted, pitched, and reversed by modulated sample rate and timing. The production building in step with Duthie’s voice and delivery to a towering, massive musical event.

As the music industry runs itself down to the traditional festive break, quality releases become thin on the ground as artists either hold off to the new year or fall foul of the dreaded christmas song (a phenomenon which year on year robs musicians of any discernible taste or apparent ability). Amidst this slew of mediocrity, Thyla have delivered one of the stand out tracks of the year. “December” is a work of compelling songcraft and sublime musicality; a composition where emotion and production work in well-judged and inspired harmony.

It’s time to amend those best of 2019 playlists.

Facebook.com/thylamusic
Twitter: @thylamusic
IG: thyla_music


Share your music via Thursday’s #Musichouruk 8 pm – 9 pm (UK Time) for considering on our New Music Monster Playlist and review as one of our New Music Picks!


About Tobi
Tobi is a mastering engineer and remixer via Tobisonics. As well as writing music reviews for Brash and running various Independent Music playlists, he also hosts Thursday’s #Musichouruk on Twitter.

Tobisonic Mastering
Facebook.com/tobiproducer
Twitter: @masteredbytobi
IG: masteredbytobi

Week 75 | Tobi’s New Independent Music Picks

A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our New Independent Music Friday playlist

Music reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

UP N DOWN by Izzy Camina - BRASH! magazine blog

Artist: Izzy Camina
Track: “UP N DOWN”

Independent artist and producer Izzy Camina delivers dystopian dance pop with new single, “UP N DOWN”.

Pulse-tronic, blunt and fused on a bitcrush; sonic-ricochet cracks the ambient open; and beats land, kick punching deep, tight, and hard; the snare smacked thin and brittle-sharp.  The bass shifts in dark, heavy ripples of sub and low frequency spl; pushing, throbbing, driving the track in animalistic surges of compacted energy.  Synths burst and rip in atonal, shards of electronica; as much sound design as composition.

Camina mouths lines in absence, in abstention, in search of absolution; words drip in vowel and hushed, throated whisper; syllables linger and drift.  Camina’s vocals stacked in odd double, awkward and compelling.  Part mantra, part musing, part meditation, Camina crafts image, thought, and sardonic aside.

A soundtrack to the 21st century dystopian driveby, “UP N DOWN” draws deep upon intoxicating thrill of losing oneself to the filth and stink of the oblivion chase; an anthem for a generation raised in the era of ego, where privacy and liberty have been traded for 15 minutes and convenience, where chaos has been prescribed to act as a catalyst for capitalism, and indifference has been normalized; a generation who, in the absence and impossibility of enlightenment, are, instead, in search of escape through any means unnecessary.  In speaking for herself, Izzy Camina is speaking for all of them.

Facebook.com/IzzyCamina
Twitter: @izzycamina
IG: izzycamina


Share your music via Thursday’s #Musichouruk 8 pm – 9 pm (UK Time) for considering on our New Music Monster Playlist and review as one of our New Music Picks!


About Tobi
Tobi is a mastering engineer and remixer via Tobisonics. As well as writing music reviews for Brash and running various Independent Music playlists, he also hosts Thursday’s #Musichouruk on Twitter.

Tobisonic Mastering
Facebook.com/tobiproducer
Twitter: @masteredbytobi
IG: masteredbytobi

Week 74 | Tobi’s New Independent Music Picks

A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our New Independent Music Friday playlist

Music reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

 

Landscapes by Bamboo SmokeArtist: Bamboo Smoke
Track: “Landscapes”

With sublime melody and scattered instrumentation, Bamboo Smoke’s latest single “Landscapes” is an inspired and singularly beautiful piece of work.

Beats, dusty and homebrewed burst and shuffle; guitar notes countdown subdued, gently chorused to resonate as though submerged; the bass shifts in broken-up dabs of low frequency force and weight. Keys break-open, brittle and beautiful. All across the stereo-field, six-strings, acoustic and electric rattle, sustain, and echo; cascading percussive moments, shards, snippets in time.

Amidst the scattered instrumentation, vocals swoop, lift, and turn; sublime lines of melody, delicately paired with lyrics, ‘Everything about you makes me want to dance’. And the words dance, moving about the ambient; left to right, and front to back; overlapping thoughts, phrases adrift in space and time.

“Landscapes” moves in tumbles and falls, building into rises of fragility that quickly wash away, only to soar again. The production exists in but a fleeting moment; a perfectly judged series of blinks of the musical eye. It captures and captivates, holding the listening in suspended reality; an odd, quite a beautiful world of the band’s own imagining.

Facebook.com/bamboosmoke
Twitter: @bamboosmoke
IG: BambooSmoke


Share your music via Thursday’s #Musichouruk 8 pm – 9 pm (UK Time) for considering on our New Music Monster Playlist and review as one of our New Music Picks!


About Tobi
Tobi is a mastering engineer and remixer via Tobisonics. As well as writing music reviews for Brash and running various Independent Music playlists, he also hosts Thursday’s #Musichouruk on Twitter.

Tobisonic Mastering
Facebook.com/tobiproducer
Twitter: @masteredbytobi
IG: masteredbytobi

Week 73 | Tobi’s New Independent Music Picks

A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our New Independent Music Friday playlist

Music reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

novacaine by brookelyn rose Artist: Brookelyn Rose
Track: “Novocaine”

Brookelyn Rose delivers a gutsy alt-rock anthem of distorted six-string and bassline swagger with new single, “Novocaine”.

Presented in huge, unapologetic tones of saturation serrated at the edge and drums bedded deep into the noise-floor with weight and force, Brookelyn Rose’s vocal soars and towers above the massive alt-rock instrumentation; telling testament, indeed, to great power and talent of her voice.

The 3-minute 15-second track shifts and struts with a compelling sense of theatre and occasion; and although much of the production and lyrics are willfully blunt and unforgiving, “Novocaine” is smartly arranged to create crowd-pleasing dynamic and change.

A stripped down, ‘no-nonscience’ methodology runs throughout, making for an ever-engaging listening experience. “Novocaine” feels grounded in artistic integrity, thanks to a sense of creative self-discipline and deliberate intent. On this evidence, Brookelyn Rose is an artist very much on the rise.

Facebook.com/brookelynrosemusic
Twitter: @BrookelynMusic
IG: brookelynrosemusic


Share your music via Thursday’s #Musichouruk 8 pm – 9 pm (UK Time) for considering on our New Music Monster Playlist and review as one of our New Music Picks!


About Tobi
Tobi is a mastering engineer and remixer via Tobisonics. As well as writing music reviews for Brash and running various Independent Music playlists, he also hosts Thursday’s #Musichouruk on Twitter.

Tobisonic Mastering
Facebook.com/tobiproducer
Twitter: @masteredbytobi
IG: masteredbytobi

Week 72 | Tobi’s New Independent Music Picks

A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our New Independent Music Friday playlist

Music reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

Where Will You Run by Hannah CliveArtist: Hannah Clive
Track: “Where Will You Run?”

In great cinematic tones and with compelling musicality, independent artist Hannah Clive delivers a heartfelt call-to-arms in defense of our planet, with new single, “Where Will You Run?”

Shifting from side to side with great weight and ancient grace, vast layers of production and instrumentation surge forward in deep pulses of sub and low frequency. The ambient fizzes left/right with reverse, glitch, and shimmer. Pads grind in the low mid, strings rise in desperate flight, and choirs resonate from a middle distance.

Chorused arpeggio and darken piano note add depth, drama, and foreboding. Cymbals explode in metallic shards and scatter, as beats snap dry and bit-crushed. Loop, repeat, echo, and delay cast odd texture, unnatural act, and sonic contrivement across the massive landscape.

Hannah Clive’s vocals stalk the mighty expanse with tightly coiled anger, her words spat and stabbed in exasperation; apocalyptic visions of a nightmare future, approaching ever more rapidly due to our collective indifference and inaction.

Songs of protest are notoriously difficult, more often than not coming off as preachy, naive, or simply disingenuous. Where so many, including the great and good, have failed, Hannah Clive has not only succeeded, she has excelled. “Where Will You Run?” is a staggering, epic track of great musical depth and even greater importance. It is further testament to the unique and inspired talent of Hannah Clive; but moreover, and so much more than that, it is a rallying call of the utmost imperative and severity. And, in doing so, it asks the most simple, straight forward, and vital of questions to each and every one of us.

“Where Will You Run?”

Facebook.com/hannahclivemusic
Twitter: @hannahclive
IG: hannahclive

 

real talk by I M ArtistArtist: I.M the Artist
Track: “Real Talk” (Self-Made EP)

London-based singer-songwriter I.M the Artist delivers a darkly soulful dose of understated poetry and quiet musicality, with new song “Real Talk”.

Presented in a compelling sparse musical expanse of sweeping ambients, shimmering reverses, and stark sonic elements; ‘Real Talk’ grows quietly in brittle and distant piano progressions, deep subs that bleed down to the noise floor, and bit-crushed beats that snip, stutter, and snap.

I.M the Artist walks the beat with a series of tightly woven lyrical phrases, rich in imagery and thought. The talented vocalist carefully gauging her vocal pace to match the ebb and flow of the instrumentation around her. Voice and production shifting as one living, breathing listening experience.

Fiercely contemporary, “Real Talk” blurs the line between musical composition and sound design to such an extent that one becomes the other; and in doing so, questions the very need to even make a distinction. In very much the same way, so success is I.M the Artist in blending the seemingly opposing genres of ambient, beat, and singer-songwriter, that they cease to be separate; and instead, become something new, singular, and unique.

Facebook.com/i.mtheartistofficial
Twitter: @IMtheartistt
IG: i.mtheartist

 

 super bullshit by lauren ruth wardArtist: Lauren Ruth Ward
Track: “Super Bullshit”

LA-based Independent Artist Lauren Ruth Ward drops a raucous dose of no nonsense old time rock ‘n’ soul with new single “Super Bullshit”.

Fiercely percussive throughout, “Super Bullshit” shifts and shimmies, swaggers and struts, moving like a Travolta-Cat. Six-string acoustics spank and rasp, with slap and rattle, while electrics spit fuse and funky fuzz in riff and lick. The bass line walking like you’re talking in tightly delivered dabs of low frequency; playing off and against, the snap and crack of drumsticks working the pocket with skill and finesse.

Lauren Ruth Ward mouths the lyrics with compelling nonchalance and glorious lazy soul. Her voice, rich in low mid texture and deep tone, draws the listener’s voice into the production. A great disarray of willfully, and wonderfully, untidy backing vocal providing fantastic depth of harmony and vocal variation.

Raw, uncontrived, and very much in the room, “Super Bullshit” is a refreshingly honest and uncomplicated production; trading on sheer talent, inspired musicianship, and standout performance. ‘Old School’ is a tired and overused expression within the music industry; but with so many artists relying on FX, technology, and novelty, kids, it’s time to knock off the bullshit and go back to school.

Facebook.com/laurenruthwardmusic
Twitter: @laurenruthward
IG: laurenruthward

 


Share your music via Thursday’s #Musichouruk 8 pm – 9 pm (UK Time) for considering on our New Music Monster Playlist and review as one of our New Music Picks!


About Tobi
Tobi is a mastering engineer and remixer via Tobisonics. As well as writing music reviews for Brash and running various Independent Music playlists, he also hosts Thursday’s #Musichouruk on Twitter.

Tobisonic Mastering
Facebook.com/tobiproducer
Twitter: @masteredbytobi
IG: masteredbytobi

Week 71 | Tobi’s New Independent Music Picks

A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our New Independent Music Friday playlist

Music reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

Wild Love by The TrustedArtist: The Trusted
Track: “Wild Love”

UK-based four-piece The Trusted round off a stand-out 2019 with an upbeat dose of compelling well-crafted Indie-Rock with new single, “Wild Love”.

Bleeding in from the sonic vista haze, guitar feedback shimmers and resonates in golden tones; electric arpeggio’s cascade in reverb and echo; dancing off and around the golden guitar light, left and right; in ambered time stood still. Fizzing riffs burst open in well-judged double, delay, and ambient triple; immediately engaging hook delivered by Dale Holt-Mead in sizzling saturation.

Bassline and drum working as one to create drive and groove; Finlay Cunningham’s bass shifting across the fret in swift, precisely timed run and dab of low-frequency force and weight; the pitta patta of Dave Batchelor’s kick and snare, punching and snapping in tandem with each other and support of the bass.

Tom Cunningham’s vocals stood center stage and drawing the listener’s ear deep into the midst of the band’s compelling and hard-worked musicality. Lyrics trading blows from the casual conversation to the enigmatic and poetic; unfolding in layers of engaging image, thought, and aspiration. Cunningham allowing his voice to drift off the beat and catch your attention with aside and shout.

‘Wild Love’ shifts through its 3-minute 45-second runtime in a series of carefully composed indie-rock stanzas; each member of the band delivering both impressive musicianship and inspired creativity, successfully emphasizing the changing dynamics of the track with a quiet, unassuming confidence that feels natural and easy on the ear.

And although born of, and very much forged by, the stage and the live show, The Trusted have delivered an instant indie-rock classic; built for the radio and the drivetime hour, “Wild Love” is a quiet-riot, a soundtrack to infinite highways, and escaping the dull, grey days.

Never you mind the darkening winter nights, the chaos and confusion of Brexit and desperate December election fights, the static of socials, and all the world of reasons and arguments why not; crank open the speakers and let The Trusted strike the brightest of lights; and blaze, blaze like it’s the end of days.

‘We’ll run where they can’t find us, baby we run, it doesn’t have to be this rough, we can hide in our wild love.’

Facebook.com/thetrusted
Twitter: @thetrustedband
IG: thetrusted

 

Pressure by Ellie DixonArtist: Ellie Dixon
Track: “Pressure”

Independent singer-songwriter and Producer Ellie Dixon drops a fiercely percussive slice of soul and groove with new single, “Pressure”.

Guitars dab and stab left/right, playing off and against each other; metallic percussive shuffles, chinks, and rattles wide around the stereo field; bassline joins with force and weight, doubled up with kick; low punch, landing tight and right for the count.
Dixon works the beat with her words, trading on clever use of cliche and well-judged use of repetition to create a compelling vocal mantra. Though tight to the grid, Dixon has wisely left her vocals enough room to breathe; thus, retaining her voice’s natural sense of timing.

Additional use of FX to create a double, echo, and pitched counter adds depth and width to the lead vocal line, while the 2-minute 55-second track shifts in smartly worked stops and starts; teasing sonic space, throughout. Dixon delivers an inspired series of musical change-ups, dropping variations of arpeggio, keys, and breakdown.

The rapid pace of changing production textures injects an engaging sense of pace into “Pressure”. The track refuses to stay still, perpetually looking to surprise and delight you with the next sonic stanza. Quality work throughout from songcraft, to performance, to production. Very nicely done.

Facebook.com/elliedixonmusic
Twitter: @Elliedixonmusic
IG: ledixon

 

5 Myths EP by FaultressArtist: Faultress
Track: “Icarus” (5 Myths EP)

Independent and multidisciplinary artist Faultress crafts a compelling musical world of theatre and myth, sonic oddity and intriguing wonder with new song, “Icarus” from her new EP, 5 Myths.

Harmonies lift out of, and taking form the silence; great expanses of gracefully modulating sustain, ancient organ, and primal tone. Faultress’ voice drifts, thinned by distance; saturated as though transmitted or, perhaps, projected ethereal. In shuddering reverse shard, her vocal joins in full; imagery and contemplation, delivered in cascading lyrical stanza; countered by mantra thrown left/right working in compelling percussive repetition.

Sonic oddities pop and burst, creating rhythm; a snare drum smacking dry and crisp in texture; kick drum landing dull, deep, and blunt; dabs of low impact, earthly roots. Chords grind in slow-motion; pushing the track in protracted surges of low-mid sound pressure.

“Icarus” shifts in great masses of seemingly inevitable musical energy, only to breakdown and reform in scattered vocal and structure re-constructed; a kaleidoscopic, ‘theatre in the round’ of vocal, word, and thought; composition in careful contradiction of itself, perfectly polarized by opposing observation, theme, and social value.

Complex, unsettled, and utterly engaging. A singular original musical creation. And one not to be missed.

Facebook.com/faultress
Twitter: @thisisfaultress
IG: thisisfaultress

Week 70 | Tobi’s New Independent Music Picks

A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our New Independent Music Friday playlist

Music reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

Feel Something EP by Camp CrushArtist: Camp Crush
Track: “Gymnasiums” (Feel Something EP)

New Wave Pop Duo Camp Crush delivers an intoxicating landscape of cinematic synths and epic vocals with new EP Feel Something and the new song, “Gymnasiums”.

Bit-crushed beats crackle, smack, and grind. Vocals drift ambient, distant, elusive and yet persistent. Synth-sonics toll, great electronic bells; the ambient thickening into fizzing rises of an amped fuse. Synthesizer riff chime in gloriously odd modulation and compelling melodic hook. Drums erupt in gated tight reverb, beating and pounding; machined-tribal, surging in pulse and shudder. A bass thickens and drives in a great shifting slab of monophonic low frequency.

The lead vocals stand tall and epic; a great theatrical performance in voice. The stage a multi-dimensional construct of electro-phonics; pad and lead, expansive and brassy. Lyrics projected as though spotlight lit; a world of music hewn from electrical current, exploding and cascading all around; a great globe set real in melody, word, rhythm, and harmony.

“Gymnasiums” is an intoxicating montage of compelling songwriting and vocals, framed by a vast territory of synth-sonics; romantic and awesomely cinematic. It not only draws you into its magical world; it lifts you up and propels you, outwards from this oft dreary life, and away into the heavens; to where the stars dwell. Camp Crush are not just musicians, they are magicians too.

Facebook.com/campcrushmusic
Twitter: @campcrushmusic
IG: campcrush
Better Off Dead by Aimee StevenArtist: Aimée Steven
Track: “Better Off Dead”

Independent Artist Aimée Steven delivers a wondrously rowdy and willfully unrefined mess of raucous drum, blistering guitar saturation, and super cool vocal with new single, “Better Off Dead”.

Gruff and grinding electric six-string riff spanks and rusts, overdriven and gloriously rude; cymbals smash, metallic eruption. Kick landing big, bold, and boomy; the snare, in the room and deliciously distorted on the transient; bassline chugging and grooving in thick, heavy-set footsteps of deep, low-frequency SPL. Guitars rattle, spit and burst in fuzz, grunge, and gut.

Aimée Steven’s vocal strolls, nonchalant and smokey cool, through the great and glorious mess of distortion and noise. Her voice thickening around the lyrics, crafting weight and depth to the words; resulting in a physical listening experience.

“Better Off Dead” is an instantly and deliciously satisfying composition. The production feels grounded and bedded in; tones are fat and massive. The intentionally unrefined recording and processing of the instrumentation create the perfect contrast for Aimée Steven’s uber-cool vocal performance. A bluesy, smoldering, old school soul number delivered in great waves of distortion and fantastic noise. More, please!

Facebook.com/aimeestevenmusic
Twitter: @AimeeSteven
IG: aimeesteven
Eastcote EP by Sam JohnsonArtist: Sam Johnson
Track: “Lost in the Mail” (Eastcote EP)

Singer-Songwriter Sam Johnson crafts compelling drama and inspired musicality in great waves of instrumentation and soulful vocal with a new song and opening track, “Lost in the Mail”, from his debut EP, Eastcote.

Vocal harmonies land tall and theatrical left/right; six-string acoustic spank, Morricone cool; electric wail set distant and ambient; a great surge of instrumentation and wondrous noise. The 3-minute 38-second track breaking and rising in massive waves of sound and open spaces of percussive force and ambient depth. At the center of it all, a kick punches deep and thick with weight and gut; the bass line moving in tightly-controlled turns and runs, holding groove and line. Guitars electric and acoustic burst and pulse in incredible eruptions of percussive force, or rattle and gently spank in palm mute and riff. The production lurching and strutting like a mighty animal of melody and sound.

Sam Johnson’s vocals draw the ear into the depths of the great arena of noise, with soulful grace and well-judged pace, emphasize, and projection. Smart and accomplished producing and mix engineer craft space and breath for Johnson, among the mass of inspired instrumentation.

Impressive musicality and songcraft, framed by well-thought-out production/mix and master, stand, “Lost in the Mail” apart and above the great din of en masse upload. A composition of the highest quality, that both succeeds technically and creatively; successfully marrying the fundamentals with striking originality and imagination. Sam Johnson is very much an artist to watch.

Facebook.com/hellosamjohnson
Twitter: @hellosamjohnson
IG: hellosamjohnson


Share your music via Thursday’s #Musichouruk 8 pm – 9 pm (UK Time) for considering on our New Music Monster Playlist and review as one of our New Music Picks!


About Tobi
Tobi is a mastering engineer and remixer via Tobisonics. As well as writing music reviews for Brash and running various Independent Music playlists, he also hosts Thursday’s #Musichouruk on Twitter.

Tobisonic Mastering
Facebook.com/tobiproducer
Twitter: @masteredbytobi
IG: masteredbytobi

Week 69 | Tobi’s New Independent Music Picks

A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our New Independent Music Friday playlist

Music reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

Wolves by MoxiArtist: Moxi
Track: “Wolves”
LA-based dream-pop duo Moxi burst back into the musical fray with sublime grace, inspired the use of space, and haunting musicality; new single, “Wolves”.

Heralded by a howling pack of pitch-shifted and modulated harmonies, cast in depths and layers of reverb and ambient; the 3-minute 18-second track opens up in cascades of shimmering sonics and sublime instrumentation sat within inspired use of space. Electric six-strings rack in chorus and delay, liquid electricity caught in amber; a bassline shifting in tight runs and stanzas of low-frequency dab and movement; kick landing blunt and dull, stuttered heartbeat. Guitars grinding in short bursts of riff and echo-drenched lick.

Choruses rise with accomplished and deceptive ease, kick and snare driving in consort; six-string doubling bass and riff twisting and turning left/right in compelling counterpoint; ambient pad glimmer and accent width, with additional musical set deep and barely audible; each adding depth, layer, and width.

Anna Toy’s vocals drift, float, and soar across the great, odd, and beautiful electronic landscape; at times ethereal, at times wistful; a spirit voice, projection of introspection; lost in imagery and thought, ancient reference; born of the land and the sky, a simpler and more profound time; forgotten by most, but revered and cherished by a select few.

Instrumentation and voice set at the glorious ballet, movement in balance. “Wolves” expands in slow-burn, silence and surge; a private world made tangible, hewn into musical form. Layer and depth, both compositional and emotional expressed in tandem; because of each other and by means of each other, inspiration inaction of each other.

Great bands and artists are not just engaged in the act of making music, they are married in the pursuit of making entire worlds. And in Moxi’s music, we find worlds within worlds. Great depths of the musical and emotional continent, territory and landscape. Vast, infinite, and without fathom. Presented in the electro-sonics of modernity, yet born of the primal, the blood feud, and the spirit dawn.

Before the settlers brought their cities of steel and glass, before artificial light dulled the night sky, before their toxic smoke made the land cry, before their greed, their lies, and their diseases of the mind; before, when there were a simpler time and an honest line between human, animal, land, and sky. Before, that is when the music of Moxi was born. And now, timeless and out of time, it bears witness to that simpler time.

Facebook.com/moxilovesyou
Twitter: @ilovemoxi
IG: ilovemoxi

 

RKC LP by Rachel K CollierArtist: Rachel K Collier
Track: “Three Faces” (RKC LP)
Independent producer and artist Rachel k Collier rounds off a stellar year of strikingly original and fiercely creative electronic releases with her debut LP, RKC.

Electro-sonics hulk, grind, and swagger. Productions drop down to stalking kick and bass; coiled risers, contorting and snarling; ready to pounce. In great animalistic percussive force, choruses surge, leap, and bound. Drum fills are slung, scattered, and snapped into sharp focus. Tracks shift muscular and athletic; tempos race with a musical element in rapid cascade. Melody transmitted in a battle cry, primal shriek, and rear brain shout. ‘RKC’ moving through its exceptional tracklist with profound physicality.

Collier’s vocals walk with accomplished percussive presence; syllables dropping onto and about the beats, adding additional rhythmic pattern and movement. Whereas most successful productions are built around the lead vocal, Rachel K Collier’s production and vocals are one and the same; a great beast of the arrangement, words, and instruments hewn together at their collective core.

The various genres of electronic music suffer terribly at the hands of indifferent practitioners, seemingly more compelled by dreams of wealth and success, than any love or genuine appreciation for the art form. ‘RKC’ is a compelling and potent reminder that electronic music need not be formulaic, generic or cynical; ‘RKC’ is great testament to the vast creative potential of electronic production, an inspired collection of fiercely original works; collectively driven by an animalist physicality and sublime application of sonic-space, instrumentation, and composition.

Rachel K Collier has done more than just craft her debut LP. She has created an entire world of noise, percussion, and melody. A wild kingdom of the electro-sonics and swaggering sound pressure level. An undiscovered country of electronic music.

Facebook.com/RachelKCollierOfficial
Twitter: @rachelkcollier
IG: rachelkcollier

 

Bonus Heart by Petravita Artist: Petravita
Track: “Bonus Heart”
Stockholm-based rap/hip hop artist and spoken word poet Petravita drops sublime flow onto easy grooves and lo-fi tones, with new single, “Bonus Heart”.

Driven down the middle by low organ drone, sat deep, and modulating slowly; kick ducking underneath with sunken sub and blunt top, striking in protracted counts. Drumstick worked across the rim; click, flat and dry. An electric six-string noodles in loop, idle riff; edge in overdrive, rusted on the tube. Hi-Hat tipping and rasping in a sporadic stanza, injecting lazy pace into the gloriously understated 3-minute 5-second track.

Petravita works his words in burst, laze, and rhyme; shifting from conversational to rapidly percussive, breaking out into melody spontaneously; voice injecting variety of structure into the stripped-down arrangement, giving rise to dynamic contrast and ever-changing counterpoint to the understated instrumentation.

Wondrously lo-fi with compelling groove and hazy, lazy soulfulness, “Bonus Heart” is an act of tenderness presented in oddity; and, though strikingly different in presentation, it is, nevertheless, evocative of Syd Barrett’s ‘Bike’ (Pink Floyd’s ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’); in that, it feels like ‘the other guy’s love song’; an alternate, off-beat, left-field, seldom-expressed love song for the dysfunctional, the maligned or just plain awkward.

Facebook.com/PetravitaMusic
Twitter: @PetravitaMusic
IG: PetravitaMusic


Share your music via Thursday’s #Musichouruk 8 pm – 9 pm (UK Time) for considering on our New Music Monster Playlist and review as one of our New Music Picks!


About Tobi
Tobi is a mastering engineer and remixer via Tobisonics. As well as writing music reviews for Brash and running various Independent Music playlists, he also hosts Thursday’s #Musichouruk on Twitter.

Tobisonic Mastering
Facebook.com/tobiproducer
Twitter: @masteredbytobi
IG: masteredbytobi

Week 68 | Tobi’s New Independent Music Picks

A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our New Independent Music Friday playlist

Music reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

Wrestling by Cartalk - BRASH! Magazine BlogArtist: Cartalk
Track: “Wrestling”
In gloriously grungy tones, Cartalk delivers a quiet-riot and tour-de-force in compelling songcraft and inspired production with new single, “Wrestling”.

Electric six-strings rattle, grind, and rake; the stereo field opened up and the 3-minute 30-second track given depth, with competing movements of crunch-blunted tone, delivered in saturated-crafted contrasting timbre. The bass moving fast, with a sleight of hand, across the fretboard; perfectly punctuated dabs of low frequency, flavored with a delicious edge of distorted grit. Drums working a pittapatta of kick and snare; kick landing light, bouncing the track from beat to beat. Snare impacting into the skin, the stick turning and dipping on the wrist. The tip and tickle of the Hi-Hat adding count and pace; keeping the top of the groove, as the bass drives the bottom.

Vocals laze, talk, and shout their way through the verses; conversational and idle, yet building in weight, inference, and quiet intensity; shards of an image, an afterthought, and possibly trade-off in scattered aside; an understated soliloquy, meandering monologue.

Only to break-open in the choruses, a voice on-the-run in stacked double-track upon double-track; rushing and rising in glorious and untidy, indie-singalong-hook. Guitars surge and shift into supersonic, great velocities of distortion cast left/right. The production accelerating and breaking as one; wondrous dynamic movements en masse. Cymbal shimmer and smash cascading across the width of the track; snare landing in rapid-fire smacks of rasping, exploding noise.

Though presented in the homebrewed tones of slackerdom, lo-fi, and hazy, dazy, garage rock, ‘Wrestling’ is, in fact, a deceptively well-crafted production; the composition moving from movement to movement with accomplished finesse and compelling contrast. The instrumentation employed demonstrates a keen sense of musicality in its choice of complementing and competing tone and timbre. The unassuming arrangement creating great depth, shifting layer and width with great, and quiet, success.

The history of rock ‘n’ roll has known more than a few ‘larger than life’ bands who went about their music-making with great and glorious pride, pomp and circumstance. And although the legendary status of the likes of Led Zeppelin, Queen, and Pink Floyd are well-deserved; far fewer, truly great bands, went about their work quietly, in compelling diligence and inspired service to their craft and their audience. And it is in this less celebrated, but every bit as impressive, regard that Cartalk begins to stand compared to, and are evocative of, the likes of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. For they too were deceptively accomplished in their production, understated in their presentation, standout in their songwriting, and out and out rock ‘n’ rollers.

Facebook.com/cartalkmusic
Twitter: @cartalkmusic
IG: cartalkmusic

 

Selfish Girl by MayflyArtist: Mayfly
Track: “Selfish Girl”
22-year-old producer Mayfly makes a welcome return with an inspired dose of sizzling synthpop sonics and driving electronic bass, new single “Selfish Girl”.

Rising out of the silence, a pulsating, modulating sequencer shimmers from note to note of low mid spl. Kick punches deep and deadened, smacking low frequency and a touch of sub down the center of the 3-minute 28-second track. Snare arrives in stabs of smack and rasp; dry implosions of midrange impact. A second sequencer fizzes and shifts down the gut of the track, providing movement and pace.

Mayfly’s voice travels in breathless rushes of a graceful whisper, placed ethereally and afloat above the center of the mix. Lines are repeated as though loop or percussive sample; building in emphasis through the act of repetition; their inspired melody compelling contrasted by the repetitive presentation.

Throughout Mayfly’s vocal plays off against the instrumentation, drifting into the distance as the arrangement swells and surges. Synth leads meander, almost absent-minded, in the background. The production creating a constantly evolving and contrasting stereo field, as the orchestration grows in complexity, layer, and depth.

Mayfly’s output is protracted at best, with only two singles in the space of a year, but each is an exquisite act of composition. The young producer demonstrating a keen ear for detail and a seemingly intuitive sense of how to build complementing elements and layers. “Selfish Girl” represents further evidence of the striking talent of Mayfly. We can but hope that we need not wait another year for her third single.

Facebook.com/officialmayfly
Twitter: @Officialmayfly
IG: officialmayfly

 

Escape from Mars by CostiArtist: Costi
Track: “Escape from Mars”
London-based rapper and singer-songwriter Costi drops a sublime slice of graceful jazz joints, vocal, wit, and flow with new single, “Escape from Mars”.

Vinyl crackles left/right, snippets of stereo, lo-fi ear candy on the down-low. Piano keys tumble, climb and fall in loop; set back and roomy, gramophone timbre; jazzy with understated opulence. A bassline begins to groove; shifting movements of low-frequency grind, pushing and pulling the track; laid backswing. Beats snap and punch; snare crushed rattle, drum-machine sneezed; stuttered shards. Kick dabbing deep, dull, and flat; popped on top, creating a presence in the mix.

Costi walks his words at a stroll, allowing the beat to breathe; working in loosely syncopated stanzas of conversational thought, observation, and reflection; lyrics rich in wit and insight, compelling undersold.

Unassuming and quietly engaging, “Escape from Mars” is delivered with accomplished and tastefully judged musicality; word and instrument working in effective tandem. The intuitively pitched production, an object lesson is knowing how much is enough. A demonstration of artistic integrity and the great potential of its creator.

Facebook.com/costithe
Twitter: @therealcosti
IG: realcosti


Share your music via Thursday’s #Musichouruk 8 pm – 9 pm (UK Time) for considering on our New Music Monster Playlist and review as one of our New Music Picks!


About Tobi
Tobi is a mastering engineer and remixer via Tobisonics. As well as writing music reviews for Brash and running various Independent Music playlists, he also hosts Thursday’s #Musichouruk on Twitter.

Tobisonic Mastering
Facebook.com/tobiproducer
Twitter: @masteredbytobi
IG: masteredbytobi

Week 67 | Tobi’s New Independent Music Picks

A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our New Independent Music Friday playlist

Music reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

"Something in the Way" by USE ft. T.O.L.DArtist: USE ft. T.O.L.D
Track: “Something in the Way” (Grungewave)
Self-described ‘Grungewave’ Artists USE featuring T.OL.D. deconstruct Nirvana’s 1991 release, ‘Something in the Way’ and cast it a staggering stripped-down reimagining of vast, unforgiving sonic landscape, haunted by electro-vocal, phantom and elemental.

‘Underneath the bridge, the tarp has sprung a leak,’ phonetics devolved utter constant and guttered vowel; rung flat and electro-atonal, vocoder ghosts; a phantom zone modulates distant, low bass drone and ambient; rising darkness, dank and unforgivable. Whispers shimmer in drift and delay; slivers of reverb, ethereal and unearthly.

“Something in the Way”; kick impacts deep and sunken, low frequency stained dirty; gated snare smacks tourniquet tight, accompanying its funeral drum. Ambiance rises, gaseous and fused with electric charge; static movement, unnatural. Odd synth-sonics pulse and modulate in great mortal breathes of fizzing saturation. Piano keys brighten in brittle desperation and lamentation, only to die back into the nothing.

Both faithful rendition and inspired reworking; “Something in the Way” delivers a singular listening experience unlike any other; though evocative of seminal works, such as Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’, The Smith’s ‘Last Night I Dreamt that Somebody Loved Me’, and Nine Inch Nail’s ‘Something I Can Never Have’, USE have crafted a production of standout originality; a staggering statement of artistic intent, uninhibited and uncompromising; raw, difficult and quite simply beautiful.

Facebook.com/untitledsocialexperiment
Twitter: @USEBOT001
IG: untitledsocialexperiment

Facebook.com/itistold
Twitter: @theworldistold
IG: theworldistold

 

Girl Wilde, Probably Crying EPArtist: Girl Wilde
Track: “BATSHIT” (Probably Crying EP)
LA-based Independent Artist Girl Wilde delivers a noisy slice of alt-punk-rock and aggro-pop with new song “BATSHIT” and new EP Probably Crying.

Synth-sonics pulse blunt and saturated tonal, fused-funk and oddity; a kick dabs flat, deep space vacuum implosion; the snare dry, crisp and willfully unrefined. The bass shifts in protracted drives and turns, form and force from the back of the mix. Sound FXs burst in compression compacted close-quartered noise; from spot, sound to scream. The chorus erupting in grinding, six-string drive and fuzz. Layers of distortion, contrasted by flavor, tone, and timbre, create depth, width, and excitement.

Girl Wilde delivers her words, understated and talk-sung through the verses; overlapping stanzas of vendetta unrealized and wrongs deserving of violent righting; a smoldering epicenter of pending natural disaster. The fuse lit, Girl Wilde’s vocal explodes in the choruses, rushing and burning through the lines; lyrics contorted to frustrated shrieks, energy unhinged.

Hardwired aggravated, hewn from noise; a perfect pop animal for kids to trash their rooms too, “BATSHIT” is an alt-rock aggro-anthem for the downtrodden, disrespected, and denied. A 2-minute 52-second scream-fest. Destruction, given form. Jump up and down until the world shakes. Don’t take it. Don’t accept it. Just go BATSHIT.

Facebook.com/GirlWilde
Twitter: @ImGirlWilde
IG: girlwilde

 

Devour You by StarcrawlerArtist: Starcrawler
Track: “You Dig Yours” (Devour You)
LA-based 21st Century Rock ‘n’ Roll animals Starcrawler drop a deliciously debauched dose of distortion, drums, and detonations with the new song, “You Dig Yours” and new LP Devour You.

Noise. Thunderous, pulsating, noise; delicious detonations of drums and distortion, the track arriving with massive pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious rock ‘n’ roll. “You Dig Yours” whispers lead singer Arrow de Wilde; right in your ear. Bassline running in staggered dabs of low frequency; the kick, a tightly coiled punch; snare hitting with rattle and smack, rattlesnake sucker-punch. Hi-Hat rasping in fizzing metallic implosion and cough. Electric six-string wails in the delayed right to left, sonic howl, with grunting, crunchy riff and grind playing off and against the bassline.

De Wilde’s voice struts and snarls, with gut deep resonance, rusty, soulful edge, and breathy, absent sustain. Words stand tall and defiant at the center of the mix, refusing to be rushed by great, storming mass of rock energy. Confrontational in delivery and offensive in the phrase; each line landing with an implicit and uber-cool ‘f**k you’ attached.

In an age where so many rock ‘n’ roll wannabes have EDM-ed their compositions in the hope of attracting a wider audience and remaining relevant, Starcrawler is a refreshingly unapologetic dose of bluesy swagger and dirty rock. Their sound stinks of 12 bar fret walks, overdriven tubes, and turning it all the way to eleven. Starcrawler is a gloriously noisy and very boozy night at the opera. Turn it up loud. And then turn it even louder.

Facebook.com/starcrawlertheband
Twitter: @thestarcrawler
IG: starcrawler


Share your music via Thursday’s #Musichouruk 8 pm – 9 pm (UK Time) for considering on our New Music Monster Playlist and review as one of our New Music Picks!


About Tobi
Tobi is a mastering engineer and remixer via Tobisonics. As well as writing music reviews for Brash and running various Independent Music playlists, he also hosts Thursday’s #Musichouruk on Twitter.

Tobisonic Mastering
Facebook.com/tobiproducer
Twitter: @masteredbytobi
IG: masteredbytobi