Week29 |Tobi’s New Music Monster Picks

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

Music Reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

Break Point by X.AriArtist: X.Ari
Track: “Break Point”
Bittersweet alt electro-pop artist X.Ari returns with Midi Jones produced heavy synth hook and stutter, burn low on the down and out, “Break Point”. Caught between the two worlds of hyper-confident anthemic chart bangers and dysfunctional electronic pop, X.Ari is a difficult artist to pin down; the 3 minutes 21 second shard of sonic scream in anguish, ‘Cattle Call’ a glorious demonstration of all that is great, raw and noisy about Independent Music; could not be more starkly contrasted, than by that of the brazen mass appeal and uber ‘Boom Boom’ of ‘want you up in my room’ crowd pleaser, ‘Stay Go’; the release of these two tracks not separated by years, but rather featured on X.Ari’s second EP ‘Dis-Order’. To date ‘Vapors’ perhaps represents her most successful endeavor to reconcile these two opposing creative forces; both perfectly formed slice of consumable electro-pop and problematic expression through lyric, introspective and raked with self-doubt. With latest release, ‘Break Point’ the young artist and songwriter draws upon painful memories of her own mental breakdown; the protracted shattering of self and sense of dislocation; which, to this day, she still carries the psychological and emotional scars. X.Ari’s talent for crafting vocal lines of engaging and contrasting percussive pattern is evident throughout, as she walks the beats with well-practiced finesse. The verse twists and turns through the lyric; a tightening spiral of scattered thought, flashback and abstract impression. The chorus presented in two halves; the first, a sharp series of melodic splinters that cut and snap at the ear; the second, a rapid vocal cascade and collapse. X.Ari’s smart use of vocal structure to reflect the weight of her words is further enhanced by well-judged and imaginative production and sound design by producer Midi Jones. Deep impact kicks and stuttered beat are combined to form an odd, stunted rhythm, paired with a lumbering, grungy synth and smartly blended reverses and quick rises; resulting in a compelling and unique listening experience. Additional musical and sonic elements add rich variation and surprising depth and detail to the on the face of it, stark pop production. Tastefully arranged backing vocal support, compliment, and counterpoint X.Ari’s own impressive vocal performance. Although eclectic, there’s a consistency of thinking behind the design/arrangement of the song that is evident throughout. ‘Break Point’ may well be X.Ari’s most accomplished work to date; no small achievement, considering the stand out quality of her work so far. With a Midi Jones produced EP slated for release, X.Ari is standing tall on shoulders of her hard-earned successes of last year, and looking straight up at the stars. To her great credit, she continues to turn her pain into our power.

Facebook.com/xARIofficial
Twitter: @xariofficial
IG: xariofficial

 

Stuck in the House by Cream with a K

Artist: Cream with a K
Track: “Stuck in the House”
Former J Pop front-woman Cream with a K drops a five-minute slice of ultra-cool alt-pop oddity groove, new single “Stuck in the House”. Having spent five years behind the mic with J Pop group NEKO PUNCH, the British born Independent musician and visual artist released her first solo material early 2018. Driven by a retro drum machine, saturated trashy and sat back in reverb, debut single, ‘Burn’ contrasted fuzzy lo-fi guitars and gloriously draggy bass line, with sweet vocals, delivered lazy, laid back and luscious. Two further singles followed last year, the stuttered bit-crushed skip and distortion fest of ‘Terrible Voices’, and trash-compacted beat, stupefied guitar breaks, and surreal feedback dance ‘5:35’; both adding weight to the integrity of fledgling solo artist’s songwriting and musicianship. Latest release “Stuck in the House” adds awesome alt synth drone and noise to the do it yourself digital drums and grungy over driven six strings. Cream with a K works the ‘at odds’ instrumentation with impressive finesse, successfully crafting a unique and cohesive sound. The production is willfully ‘garagey’ and stands in stark and, no doubt, intentional contrast to her self-described ‘bubblegum J Pop band’. The hazy, dazy vocal delivery, idle lines and undersung/talked lyrics further contrast the super-catchy/hyper-singalong melodies of NEKO PUNCH. And yet, despite a seeming indifference in presentation, a keenly developed sense of songcraft is nevertheless hard at work, as “Stuck in the House” quietly catches your ear, holds your attention and encourages you to sing along. With musical influences ranging from early electronic through grunge to pop, Cream with a K stands apart as a strikingly original and exciting young artist. One to watch in 2019.

Facebook.com/Creamwithak
IG: cream_with_a_k

"Beast of the Night" by CatbearArtist: CATBEAR
Track: “Beast of the Night”
South London Electro Indie Grrrl Band CATBEAR’s debut release, “Beast of the Night” is an uplifting neo-synthpop infused independent pop gem of stand out quality. Released in late November 2018, “Beast of the Night” is a well-worked production of soaring sequencer, ambient pad, and carefully placed riser. Punchy electro snare and pumping dance kick smack and thump the three minutes twenty-second track forward in tight percussive stanzas. Additional sound design and clever use of automation ad extra depth, width, and movement. The vocals delivered, quietly confident and with understated cool; lyrics running through a shifting, building mood, impressively reflected in the shifting, building arrangement. Although very much kept on the down-low, “Beast of the Night” represents an accomplished demonstration in musicianship and songwriting. An impressive debut release. More CATBEAR, please!

Facebook.com/catbearmusic
Twitter: @catbearuk
IG: catbearmusic

 

You can now submit / recommend new releases for our New Music Monster, every Friday via our new Reddit!


About Tobi Davis (BRASH! Magazine/Blog Writer)
​Good producing is like good plumbing. If you do your job right, no one notices. Mix, Remix + Master. Run @monsterthread w/ Singer Songwriter Jon Magnusson. Host Thursday’s @musichouruk. Music Reviews for BRASH! Magazine. Promote. Occasional Lyricist. Love my beagle Enzo + fav bands Little Empire and Moxi.
Check out Tobi Sonics – Mixes + Remixes!

Showreel
Facebook.com/TobiProducer
Twitter: @producedbytobi
Instagram: ProducedbyTobi

About The Monster Thread
The #MonsterThread is a community of Independent Musicians, Bands and Artists supporting each other in making and sharing Indie Music.

Facebook.com/TheMonsterThread
Twitter: @MonsterThread

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Week28 |Tobi’s New Music Monster Picks

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

Music Reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

talk talk ep by miss gritArtist: Miss Grit
Track: Talk Talk (EP)
Brooklyn-based Indie rock outfit Miss Grit delivers a debut EP of striking musical contrasts, emotional depths, and awesome noise.  Electrical Engineering and Computer Science student, Margaret Sohn formed the band on the back of a winter break spent knee deep in stompbox distortion and feedback delay; the Michigan born frontwoman running her vocals through guitar FX and amp. The resulting four-track EP, Talk Talk feels almost like a sprawling mass of attenuators and pots, switches and dials, soldered and resoldered again across a haphazard terrain of circuit boards. Saturations, loops, stutters, and pitch shifts modulate, oscillate, fadeout and feedback, in great waves of pulsating sound pressure. The experience of listening, every bit as much one of texture and tone, as melody and lyric. Sohn’s vocals wash above, beneath and within the tracks in overlapping layers, often partly submerged; the singer mixing her own voice with that of FX with inspired finesse. Talk Talk takes the form of an odd duet of sorts between Sohn’s own voice and the voice of her guitar. The ever-changing personality of her six-string steel vocal cords, counterpointing and challenging her human voice in call back, shout out and shout down. Sohn’s guitar working through a vast and various repertoire of wail, wah, shriek, fuzz, drive, and crunch. The great quality of Miss Grit’s debut offering will no doubt turn off many mainstream listeners, who will struggle to ‘hear’ through the apparent mess of cluttered sonics. It will, however, delight and enthrall fans of alternative music; many of whom feel bored by the current ultra-conservative, hyper risk adverse, super-slick productions that dominate chart and so-called independent playlist alike. Miss Grit join a rising tide of Independent Artists and Bands who are bringing the noise, the risk and the wonder back to alternative music.

www.MissGrit.com
Facebook.com/missgrit
IG: miss_grit

 

ghost 2 u by jinkaArtist: Jinka
Track: “Ghost 2 U”
The willfully indefinable genre contrarian Jinka drops 3 minutes 41 seconds of inspired alt art pop/experiment in sonic space, new single, “Ghost 2 U”. The Transylvanian, Berlin-based Independent artist, and producer, released her first single, electro-kaleidoscope and melody in deconstruction, ‘Trash from the Past’ in 2017. The intervening years have been spent in her, self-described, ‘laboratory’ shrouded in the structure of sound. The subsequent five releases as much installation art pieces realized in audio, as they were singles. Jinka’s latest track, “Ghost 2 U” continues in her characteristic theme of defying thematic analysis or consistent artistic identity. The production rests uneasy upon a scattered beat, arriving in fits and starts; tight pockets of bit crushed hit and sample burst, erupt and die back in obliquely timed patterns. Trap infused bass drops and heavy drone provide sudden stab and shift/core and weight; one juxtaposing the other, in an intentional act of musical defiance. Jinka’s vocals land in fragmented phrases and vocal hook, cut to shard. Her voice engaging and disarmingly pop, edged with pitch and synth FX. Deliberate and accomplished production works the depth and width of the stereo field, with stylish use of frequency in arrangement and brazen use of pan; ear candy flung violently from left to right/right to left. A chart popstar exploded and reduced to atomic element, Jinka’s self-imposed perpetual state of self-reimagining has yielded that rarest of phenomenon, original pop music with integrity. We can only hope, Jinka’s experiments in the fundamentals and structures of sound keep her working long into the night.

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

 

preacher_learner by blossomerArtist: Blossomer
Track: “Preacher_Learner”
Risen from the dead, prodical Independent cine-scape, sonic alchemists Blossmer return with five-track collection ‘HLLW’ and opening track, “Preacher_Learner”. Having scattered to the four winds on the brink of blowing up, the Sheffield born and breed three-piece return from their self imposed four years in exile, to make good on the considerable promise of the debut self-titled album. Protracted breaks between releases have not always been conducive to continued quality, Manchester based The Stone Roses famously falling short of their debut release, with much hyped/much delayed follow-up,’ The Second Coming’ (unfortunately, in name only). With expectations high and every to lose, “Preacher_Learner” strikes a deep vein of quality with the opening arpeggio of blunted synthesizer tone and accompanying brooding ambiance. The three minutes thirty two second track unfolds majestically as if hewn from an ancient ore of melody, rhythm, harmony, and bass; a great expanding soundscape of pulsating, modulating sonic terrain. A bit crushed beat snips, snaps and smacks the accomplished instrumentation forward; a stutter/skip train line of fragmented iron shards, pixelated, fused digital and modern. The sheer range of musical element and encompassing design is hard to take in all at once and seems to increase with every listen. Vocals walk quiet in deliberate, hushed footsteps across the vast territory; doubles, delays and reverbs add ghosting textures, afterthoughts, and shadows; the lyrics mournful and almost at prayer. In contrast to the all too often shallow and superficial chatter of throw away, pop productions, the music of Blossmer is set deep with weight. “Preacher_Learner” plays heavy, rich in the resonance of musical integrity. Independent Music is littered with the unrealized potential of countless rising stars, Blossomer have returned with a confident statement of intention. They intend to make good on their promise.

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

 

You can now submit / recommend new releases for our New Music Monster, every Friday via our new Reddit!


About Tobi Davis (BRASH! Magazine/Blog Writer)
​Good producing is like good plumbing. If you do your job right, no one notices. Mix, Remix + Master. Run @monsterthread w/ Singer Songwriter Jon Magnusson. Host Thursday’s @musichouruk. Music Reviews for BRASH! Magazine. Promote. Occasional Lyricist. Love my beagle Enzo + fav bands Little Empire and Moxi.
Check out Tobi Sonics – Mixes + Remixes!

Showreel
Facebook.com/TobiProducer
Twitter: @producedbytobi
Instagram: ProducedbyTobi

About The Monster Thread
The #MonsterThread is a community of Independent Musicians, Bands and Artists supporting each other in making and sharing Indie Music.

Facebook.com/TheMonsterThread
Twitter: @MonsterThread

Week27 |Tobi’s New Music Monster Picks

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

Music Reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

good problems Artist: Good Problems
Track: “Cadaver” 
Indie Grunge 4 piece, Good Problems serve up a 3 minute 2 second slice of home-brewed DIY Delight, with new single, “Cadaver” . Very much the noisy new kids on the block, the Liverpool based band dropped their first single, “Curio” just last year; a swaggering, trashy six-string distortion fest with thumpy bass-line and intoxicating roomy vocals. They followed up with the strikingly different, ‘Heavy Head’; driven by punchy drums and dry upfront vocals. Jen, Liam, George, and Nat hit the New Year running, releasing latest single, “Cadaver”  on January 1st. The track moves in glorious waves of warm, fuzzy saturation, framed deep in smartly judged and generous use of reverb; the instrumentation benefiting from the size and depth of the ambient treatment. The production feels physical and chunky, making for a tremendously satisfying listening experience. And although in achieving all this, the mix sacrifices a little definition down the center, the overall emotional impact of the presentation, more than justifies this slight compromise. Creative use of vocal delay and pitch FX add engaging and entertaining ear candy; Jen Baranick’s vocals complementing and contrasting the arrangement; her indie-pop voice, rich in soul and tinged with just the right amount of anger. The confidence of Good Problems third release, speaks of a band quickly coming into their own. With the video for “Cadaver” (‘rustic and DIY af’ – their words), live shows and new singles (‘on a different level of awesome’ – again, their words), all coming up, Good Problems are a band to watch in 2019.

Why? Because it’s gonna be on a different level of awesome; rustic and DIY, as f**k.

You can catch Good Problems live on Sunday 20th January, where they’ll be supporting Redwood at the Sound Basement.

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

 

broke & gifted by dmstry - brash! magazine blogArtist: Dmstry
Track: “Broke and Gifted”
Workaholic music production robot Dmstry drops a tasty slice of beat, rhyme, and electro-sonics, with single, “Broke and Gifted”. The Zambian born Choolwe Siamubotu aka Dmstry, began crafted beats and tracks in 2010. While his work producing other artists draws upon a wide range of genres and influences, his solo work is, by his eclectic standards, more focused. His first solo release arrived last year, with dance floor pumping, wave synth assault, ‘The Mystery’. Second single, ‘Roar’ continued in the aggressively EDM theme, with heavily pitch FX-ed vocal hooks and smack/strobe saws and risers; only a slow drone in the subs and lows, suggesting any possible Hip Hop influence. The slow drone returned for follow-up Double A-Side release, ‘Savage’; electro ear candy fizzing from left to right, across the stereo field; bit crushed snares and kicks, snapping and punching the track along; Dmstry spitting words throughout. With the Hip Hop influence standing tall, “Broke and Gifted” delivers a brooding, dread, and determination on the lo-fi and the downbeat; smart use of contrasting synths and well-judged arrangement, creating a compelling soundscape. Dmstry’s flow delivered in tight runs/fits/starts, and change ups; creative use of expression, articulation, and language, adding flavor and character. The tidy mix presenting the track in a well-balanced frame; making light work of taming and handling the various low-frequency elements while maintaining width and depth. With music being used on both Zambian and UK radio, and a steadily increasing catalog of quality productions, Dmstry is steadily establishing himself as a music maker of weight and integrity.

Every busy, check out Dmstry’s latest single, “Praise Riddem”

Facebook.com/DMSTRYmusic
Twitter: @DMSTRYmusic
IG: dmstrymusic

 

souls on fire by alice in videoland Artist: Alice in Videoland
Track: “Souls on Fire” / “Shocker”
Swedish Electropunk four piece Alice in Videoland delivers a double dose of EBM beat, synth-assault, and attitude, with new drops, “Souls on Fire” and “Shocker”. Formed in 2002 by lead singer Toril Lindqvist, Alice in Videoland spent the next eight years writing, recording and touring their way to a worldwide fanbase of devoted listeners and the reputation as one of Europe’s stand out Alt Electro bands. The nonstop grind, however, had taken its toll, and despite world domination beckoning, the band found themselves disinterested and indifferent. In Deciding to take a break, the individual members took time out to concentrate on their own projects. In 2015 the self-described, ‘world’s greatest electropunk band’ returned with a new single, ‘Let Go’; a contrasting production of shimmering, bubble pop electro-synths and slapped EBM beat. Latest double drop, “Souls on Fire” delivers a snarling, driving sequencer bass and accompanying synths, fizzing and biting in aggressive (dis)harmony; drums land flat and packed. Lead singer Lindqvist’s vocals soaring above the track in modulating reverb and delay; her delivery at once, triumphant/aggressive/defiant/confrontational. The track hauls at speed, thick with musical idea and layer; pausing only to dive deep into subs, before breaking open, fiercer and tighter. In contrast, alternate drop “Shocker” lands tight beats, stabs of sonic and riff; vocals percussive and carefully worked layer. Whereas ‘Souls on Fire’ arrives in great walls of incredible electronic sound, “Shocker” is relatively sparse, built upon sonic space and works the stereo field with dab and jab. The combined listening experience, an inspiring demonstration of the sublime talent of Alice in Videoland; refreshed, revitalized and ready to claim their rightful title as the world’s
greatest electropunk band. Stay tuned. Don’t touch that dial.

Facebook.com/aliceinvideolandofficial
Twitter: @aivtweets
IG: aliceinvideoland

 

You can now submit / recommend new releases for our New Music Monster, every Friday via our new Reddit!


About Tobi Davis (BRASH! Magazine/Blog Writer)
​Good producing is like good plumbing. If you do your job right, no one notices. Mix, Remix + Master. Run @monsterthread w/ Singer Songwriter Jon Magnusson. Host Thursday’s @musichouruk. Music Reviews for BRASH! Magazine. Promote. Occasional Lyricist. Love my beagle Enzo + fav bands Little Empire and Moxi.
Check out Tobi Sonics – Mixes + Remixes!

Showreel
Facebook.com/TobiProducer
Twitter: @producedbytobi
Instagram: ProducedbyTobi

About The Monster Thread
The #MonsterThread is a community of Independent Musicians, Bands and Artists supporting each other in making and sharing Indie Music.

Facebook.com/TheMonsterThread
Twitter: @MonsterThread

Week25 |Tobi’s New Music Monster Picks

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

Music Reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

 

Kelsy Karter Catch Me If you CanArtist: Kelsy Karter
Track: “Catch Me If You Can”
Unofficial Angelina Jolie/Mick Jagger one night stand, bastard lovechild and rock n roll animal, Kelsy Karter delivers a lean, mean, overdriven jump up n down and scream machine, new single, “Catch Me If You Can”. The New Zealand born Artist, first gained traction, with a feature vocal on Israeli psytrance electronica duo, Infected Mushroom release, ‘That is Gold’; part of their 2013 release, ‘Friends on Mushrooms Vol.2’. A highly creative partnership with composer/producer Stephen Barton (‘i, Robot’, ‘Deja Vu’, ‘Alien: Covenant’) followed, with Kelsy’s soulful, raspy vocals featured on a string of showstopping cover songs, across the four seasons of hit Sci Fi show, ’12 Monkeys’; including a staggering. stripped down rendition of Simple Minds’ iconic 1985 hit “Don’t You Forget about Me”. Latest release, “Catch Me If You Can” marks the Independent Artist’s firth single of the year; and whereas most Artists, are releasing Christmas cosy ballads and Autumnal introspection on the low down and/or lofi, self described, ‘switchblade carrying, blue eyed rock & roll lady rebel’ Kelsy Karter, has instead stamped on the loud pedal and aimed it straight at the vanishing point. The three minute eight second track arrives a gut rush of kick/snare kick/snare and ripped up bassline on the mustang drag; Kelsy working the vocals percussive, through the verses; nailing the lyrics to the beat. Tight stops punctuate the track, adding funk and swagger. The chorus opens and lifts up with layers of fuzzed guitar, panned hard left/hard right. Kelsy switches up, rising on the melody; hitting the beats on the sly. The talented vocalists demonstrates further variation in the middle eight (if indeed, middle eights even exist), by pulling over to the side of the road, taking a break from the burn and breaking out the melody in glorious swells and surges. “Catch Me If You Can” is a perfectly formed pop rock gem; one of those rare tracks, that makes good on all it promises. Sharp production, further enhanced by creative use of sound design, successfully frames and elevates the smartly written song ; with well crafted and engaging lyrics, coupled with Kelsy Karter’s barnstorming vocal performance, combining to push the track over the top. An out and out playlist slayer, “Catch Me If You Can” could and should be tearing up the Christmas Party mixtapes.

Facebook.com/KelsyKarterMusic
Twitter: @KelsyKarter
IG: kelsykarter

 

Brigitte NuesArtist: Brigitte
Track: “Le Chat”
French duo Brigitte drop a 3 minute 27 second slice of strings on the slide and bit beats on the dry with “Le Chat”, taken from their 19 track release, ‘Nues (Deluxe)’. Although originally released in 2017, Aurélie Maggiori and Sylvie Hoarau aka Brigitte delivered a ‘deluxe’, double album edition of ‘Nues’ November 30th; with eight additional tracks, including “Le Chat”. Steeped in the vibrant and vital, Art and Culture of 60s France; and named after three female icons of the era, Bardot, Fontaine and Lahaie, Brigitte fittingly began their music journey with the bluesy, hazy, folk ballad, ‘Les Vacances au Bord de la Mer’, for the 2010 film ‘Thelma, Louise & Chantal’. A debut EP, ‘Battez-Vous’ followed and included two of what are still currently, Brigitte’s most popular tracks on Spotify, title track, ‘Battez-Vous’ and their singular take on Suprême NTM’s 90s Hip Hop anthem, ‘Le Benz’. “Le Chat” marks the stark musical distance traveled, from the dreamy, sweet nostalgia and wistfulness of their soundtrack debut, to the tight, pop produced, sonic knife edge of “Le Chat”; structured/constructed very much like the sample/loop productions of Hip Hop, with lofi beat and pulsating bass; strings swinging percussive, in stutters, glitches, swoops and slurs; kick landing dusty and snare, snapping and biting; touches of piano key set light and almost decorative. The talented pair of vocalists, treading the beats with great flare; breathing and slinging the lyrics in short rhythmic salvos, doubling, underlining and reinforcing each other. The chorus open up in bittersweet vocal melodies, teasing and terse in tone; supercool nursery rhyme for the bohemian streets and borderline extro/introverts. Recorded at Henson Studios (Los Angeles) with Aurélie living in the hills above LA and Sylvie in Paris, the characteristically high standard of production synonymous with the City of Angels, creating an engaging and intriguing contrast, with the inspired oddity of Brigitte’s lyrical/vocal stylings. A stand out track, both original and contemporary. Brigitte are a class pop act. And very worthy of your attentions.

Facebook.com/brigittemusic
Twitter: @brigittetheband
IG: brigittedefrance

 

Tobisonics DarkCityArtist: Tobisonics
Track: “Noirstar (Dark City Edition)”
Las Vegas based duo and professional genre-blending noisemakers Fans of Jimmy Century 2018 release “Noirstar (Memories of his City)” gets the Tobisonics cinematic synth-scape re-imagination treatment, with his debut drop “Noirstar (Dark City Edition)”. Tired of streaming media platforms forever creating new ‘Tobi’ profiles with every remix, thus making it impossible to build momentum and/or fan base between releases, the Luxembourg based Producer/Remixer reluctantly came to the conclusion that he needed to invent and control his own brand. Every bit a ‘behind the scenes man’, the reclusive Tobi living a life of solitude, with his beloved beagle Enzo, in the Luxembourg countryside, he preferred to work in quiet service to the creative vision bands/artists; the majority of his time spent mixing and/or mastering for others; however in the social media / brand dominated Independent Music scene, Tobi needed to make a bit of noise. Tobi had also thought of his collaborations as ‘alternate versions’, rather than ‘remixes’; that the term ‘remix’ did not serve his work well; moreover he felt uncomfortable placing himself alongside talented EDM producer/remixers, who had skills he simply didn’t understand, let alone be able to duplicate. The ‘Tobisonics’ brand represented an opportunity to ‘reframe’ his alternate versions, reflecting the way in which he approached and felt about them. The singular, theatrical, operatic musical world of Fans of Jimmy Century offered the perfect starting point ; their lesser know release “Noirstar (Memories of his City)”, inspiring an odd, cinematic landscape of isolated counterpoints, stripped down bassline drives and vast, expansive synth stanzas; the 3 minute 11 second track build around the cryptic, neo-noir myth conjured by Alicia Perrone’s lyrics; drawing heavily on Victor James’ pulsating, bass line and recasting it a modulated/phased sequencer bass. True to his inability to stick to the straight forward or obvious, Tobi breaks the track at 2 minutes with tribal chants and scattered, stutter beats and pitch drops. Far from the maddening crowd of formulaic dance-pop, lumped together by ambitious, chart hungry producers (with little love apparent, for the genre in which they work), “Noirstar (Dark City Edition)” is a sonic oddity and difficult to pair with obvious playlist and, therefore, walk the well trodden path, of so many electronic productions (both good, bad and indifferent) ; thus making the possibility of success, regrettably uncertain. But success or no, given his pathological inability to even recognise the box, let alone think inside of it, we can sure that whatever Tobisonics dreams up next, it will be interesting. Stay tuned.

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

 

You can now submit / recommend new releases for our New Music Monster, every Friday via our new Reddit!


About Tobi Davis (BRASH! Magazine/Blog Writer)
​Good producing is like good plumbing. If you do your job right, no one notices. Mix, Remix + Master. Run @monsterthread w/ Singer Songwriter Jon Magnusson. Host Thursday’s @musichouruk. Music Reviews for BRASH! Magazine. Promote. Occasional Lyricist. Love my beagle Enzo + fav bands Little Empire and Moxi.
Check out Tobi Sonics – Mixes + Remixes!

Showreel
Facebook.com/TobiProducer
Twitter: @producedbytobi
Instagram: ProducedbyTobi

About The Monster Thread
The #MonsterThread is a community of Independent Musicians, Bands and Artists supporting each other in making and sharing Indie Music.

Facebook.com/TheMonsterThread
Twitter: @MonsterThread

Week24 |Tobi’s New Music Monster Picks

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

Music Reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

Venus by TannersArtist: Tanners
Track: “Venus”
New York based, alt electro pop Artist, Tanners delivers a tight slice of nu disco groove and uber cool synth stab ‘n’ build, with new single, “Venus”. It’s been a busy year for Tanners, having released both debut single and EP; her music breezing into the over saturated dance-pop marketplace, like the bohemian kid at a packed high-school party, who simply doesn’t give a f**k; roomy drums and darkly 80s-style synth phrasing, played alongside gated beats and sing-along Indie-pop melodies; Tanners playing the genres like an instrument; crudely at times, no doubt; a little rough and ready, but with the unmistakable brazen audacity/joyful liberty of someone, who simply doesn’t see the box; and therefore, doesn’t have to make the same effort to think outside it. The first 46 seconds of latest release, “Venus” plays like a well produced piece of chart-targeted electro-pop; the production has been stepped up and tighten; Tanners working the counts well, with her vocals; lyric and beat building in smartly fashioned unison. It’s not until the 47th second that the bohemian kid struts onto the dance-floor, and slams us with a bust of synth/beat sound pressure; the track alternating and contrasting between, percussive pop on the down lo and surging, eruptions of electro-sonics and soaring melodies; resulting in a dramatic, forever off balance, listening experience that engages and keeps the track feeling new and exciting, play after play; with well judged use of frequency/register, instrument and reverb to build the song, in terms of height, width and depth; both enhancing Tanners eclectic musical voice, and framing the track ‘more playlist friendly’, without sacrificing or comprising its creative intentions. Tanners has been hard at work, practicing ‘the genre instrument’, her playing has become more accomplished and comprehensive. You better step back, that bohemian kid is about to own the dance-floor.

Read my review of Tanner’s previous release “Crazy”.

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

 

No Pleasure only Pain by Tokyo Taboo - BRASH! Magazine BlogArtist: Tokyo Taboo
Track: “No Pleasure only Pain”
Dirty vocals and gut punch drums, glorious guitar fuzz and bass line strut, shock rock nutjobs Tokyo Taboo drop 3 minutes and 28 seconds of awesome noise, new single, “No Pleasure only Pain”. London based Tokyo Taboo first hit Spotify (right in the face) in 2016, with their debut single, the electrocuting scream-fest and sonic exploding drag racer, “Make it out Alive”; following up in 2017 with second single, slammy jump-around crowd-pleaser, “Pussy Power” (gotta love that title); and their debut LP, 6th Street Psychosis, a ten track speed/demolition derby; striking, not for the obnoxious loudness (although it is impressively obnoxious in its loudness), but for the depth of songwriting and instrumentation. Tokyo Taboo kicked off 2018 (right in the balls), with 3rd single “Paper Cut” (taken from 6th Street Psychosis), a mustang on a razor-blade; precise and almost surgical in its noise, drive and aggression. “No Pleasure only Pain” works the ring, with well stepped menace; landing its punches in tight combos that snap and bite at the listener. The track sweats heavy, neo-bluesy swagger from the crotch; the verses built of stripped down bass-line; contrasted by thick, fisted guitar riffs that land left / right about your head; drums smack sporadic, sucka punching on the counter, fills splattered like shrapnel. Dolly Daggerz runs the gambit of vocal tone with great success; torturing and contorting her voice with simmering distortion; allowing it soar, like scram jet fumes, through reverb; or delivering rich, soulful melodies, often in call/response with her distorted alter-ego. The attitude, aggression and glorious, obnoxious noise remains, aided and abetted by accomplished production/arrangement; opening up the track and allowing the depth of the band’s songwriting and musicianship to better express/test itself. Tokyo Taboo began 2018, a street-fighter; a brawling rock n roll animal. In 2019, they’ll step into the ring, not a boxer; but an hardened, snarling ultimate fighter.

Watch the lyric video for “No Pleasure only Pain”.

Facebook.com/TokyoTaboo
Twitter: @TokyoTabooUK
IG: TokyoTaboo

 

Black Hole by Freya Alley - BRASH! Magazine BlogArtist: Freya Alley
Track: “Black Hole”
Upon driving sub and dance pop kick, with lyric poetic, bound by percussive vocal hook, London based Lithuanian Artist and Songwriter Freya Alley’s new single, “Black Hole” is pop music with integrity. The Vilnius born Independent recording artist began her musical journey in 2016 with debut single, “Another Man”; a graceful piano ballad, with accomplished orchestration and mournful vocal melody. Though poetic and striking in it’s imagery and tone, it’s not until follow up “Swimming” (released in 2017), that Freya Alley begins to find her own brand of obscure, oddly beautiful and unique pop music. 2018 has seen the upcoming young Artist release a steady string of four singles, including the stand out, “Come Back”; a darkly melancholic, brooding tapestry of tribal drum and menacing guitar/string. Latest release “Black Hole” continues the trend alternating from melodic, singer/songwriter compositions to percussive alt-pop artist productions; “Black Hole” very much and very successfully belonging to the second, the new single representing Freya Alley’s most ‘playlist friendly’ release so far. Freya’s vocals stand tall in the arrangement, rich with idea and image; her voice rising above the instrumentation in great pulsating phrases, demonstrating her talent for both vocal and lyrical expression. A sub drone pushes the 3 minute 41 second track forward in slow burn build; weighty kick and snare/clap (in tried and true, kick/snare kick/snare pattern), punctuates the sub build in metronomic stomps and slaps. Synth-sonics fizz and sparkle in oblique sequences, creating an ambiance, stunned and punch drunk; the track opened up left/right with snaps and clicks. Solid production/mixing frame the track well, while smartly never attempting to overshadow or outdo Freya Alley’s singular style and creative identity. Very much an artist still in the early years of her musical journey, and clearly one not afraid to take chances, Freya Alley’s creative path will not be without the occasional misstep. However for every misstep, her fans will be repaid with inspiring musical moments; these moments made by possible, by the artist’s willingness to take risks and chart her own creative course.

Watch the official music video for “Black Hole”.

Facebook.com/FreyaAlley
Twitter: @Freya_Alley
IG: Freya.Alley

You can now submit / recommend new releases for our New Music Monster, every Friday via our new Reddit!


About Tobi Davis (BRASH! Magazine/Blog Writer)
​Good producing is like good plumbing. If you do your job right, no one notices. Mix, Remix + Master. Run @monsterthread w/ Singer Songwriter Jon Magnusson. Host Thursday’s @musichouruk. Music Reviews for BRASH! Magazine. Promote. Occasional Lyricist. Love my beagle Enzo + fav bands Little Empire and Moxi.
Check out Tobi Sonics – Mixes + Remixes!

Showreel
Facebook.com/TobiProducer
Twitter: @producedbytobi
Instagram: ProducedbyTobi

About The Monster Thread
The #MonsterThread is a community of Independent Musicians, Bands and Artists supporting each other in making and sharing Indie Music.

Facebook.com/TheMonsterThread
Twitter: @MonsterThread

Week22 |Tobi’s New Music Monster Picks

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

Music Reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

I Like Drinking by IndianaArtist: Indiana
Track: I Like Drinking
Self proclaimed narcissist and born again fiercely independent alt-pop-attitude artist Indiana drops the anthem for your Friday Night/Saturday Night/Every Night (delete as needed), with new EP I Like Drinking. Signed to Sony in 2014, with debut album, No Romeo released in 2015 and single, “Solo Dancing” racking up 10 million streams on Spotify, Loughborough born Indiana had apparently hit the music industry jackpot and surely everything a ‘small town girl’ could ever hope for; everything except what the talented young Artist needed above all else, creative freedom. With the record deal and 3 years behind her, Indiana released the ten track LP, Not Girlfriend Material earlier this year. Part musical expression/part life mantra/part testament to her Independence, Indiana describes the album as ‘representing me, not everyone else’s me’. Track three of the ten, I Like Drinking is a pulsating, heady mix of throbbing electro-funk bass line, tightly dabbed kick and scattershot stutter beat, with smartly placed instrumental and vocal hook. The 3 minute 53 second track shifts through a contrasting series of well blended musical scenes, each providing satisfy variations of dynamic, width and depth; well placed ear candy catches the ear, fizzing and bursting left to right/right to left; the track rising and falling in well worked overlapping layers that complement and / or counterpoint each other, in an defy finessed production that flows with an accomplished ease from beginning to end. Indiana’s voice teases and talks in breathless tones and hushes; the talented vocalist delivering the lyrics with a laid back, uber-cool nonchalance. Though instantly catchy/pub pop singalong, the lyrics successfully engage on a deeper level with intelligent use of language, quietly insightful observation and conflicting idea, juxtaposed to great effect. ‘I’m a narcissist, but I don’t see that as a negative thing – it’s part of who I am.’ A common theme runs throughout Not Girlfriend Material, that of accepting yourself and being okay with it. In learning to be okay with ‘not being girlfriend material’, Indiana has crafted a message for us all, it’s okay not to be okay.

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

I Can't Help Myself by Liz Longley - BRASH! Magazine BlogArtist: Liz Longley
Track: I Can’t Help Myself
Pennsylvania born singer/songwriter Liz Longley makes a welcome return with quietly breathtaking, on the slow burn rendition of The Four Tops 1965 iconic hit, “I Can’t Help Myself”. Having scored a number one on GarageBand.com with song, “Naked Trees” while still at high school, completed her self released debut LP, Somewhere in the Middle while studying on a scholarship at Berklee Collage of Music, and won a slew of songwriting competitions (including the BMI John Lennon Songwriting Scholarship Competition); not to mention scoring a regular rotation on Sirius XM with her cover of Van Morrison’s “Moondance”, opened shows for major artists and landed songwriting cuts on hit TV shows  it is a testament to the uphill battle all Artists face in a ‘post download’ music industry, that despite her hard earned successes, this stand out, talented young singer/songwriter still had to seek ‘crowdfunding’ to finance her next album, self titled and follow up to the 2010 release, Hot Loose Wire; a fourth album, Weightless followed in the 2016, which included her most success single to date, with nearly 4 million streams on Spotify, the hauntingly beautiful, ‘Rescue my Heart’. Liz Longley’s latest release re-imagines The Four Tops uptempo, swing beat classic, as graceful, stripped down ode to fidelity. Much of the three minute twenty three second track is carried by vocal and electric guitar ; the six string grinding and grunging in spits, crunches and drives, it’s tone rendered blunted and distant, with well judged use of saturation, tape slap and reverb. Liz Longley’s works her voice with inspired variations of technique and tone ; hushed deliveries open up into gentle whispered lingers, only to drop back into perfectly placed under-sung phrases, that draw the ear closer; Longley’s voice taking flight, but breaking back, in a compelling series of vocal waves that build in rises and falls. At its finale, the track slow bursts into an eruption on the down low, of deep pounded drum thud, resonating feedback and metallic, distortion shift; oscillating in quiet ambient cacophony, that reverberates about the stereo field. Liz Longley’s voice, gently howling melodic, like a wolf serenading the distant moon, in testament to its lifelong love; her incredible vocal performance collapsing down upon itself, exhausted, and onto the words, ‘I can’t help myself. I can’t’.

Biographical information can be found on Liz Longley’s Spotify Artist Page and was written by Thom Jurek

Facebook.com/LizLongleyMusic
Twitter: @lizlongley
IG: lizlongley

Waiting for you by Katie & Lillias - BRASH! Magazine BlogArtist: Katie & Lillias
Track: Waiting for You”
Premiered on BBC Introducing and written/recorded in one day, whilst heavily hungover, singer/songwriters Katie and Lillias release a 3 minute slice of vocal delight, rhythm, blues and soul on the live side, with their debut single, “Waiting for You”. The talented young duo first met at University, where they become fast friends and developed an instant creative rapport. Despite Lillias returning home to Glasgow, the two were determined to continue working together; and so, Katie bordered a train to Scotland, along with her laptop, USB audio interface and microphone; Katie having invested in the equipment for her own second EP (to be released early 2019). “Waiting for You” shuffles along in syncopated stabs and starts; heavy slung bass line and raspy, low mid deep acoustic guitar play off each other, in an alternating blues standard; weighty stomp pumps and punches the track, in thick subby dabs; the instruments shifting about each other in lively jolts and loosely timed slews. Katie and Lillias’ vocals soar, dip and dive; playing across the width of the mix; their voices resonating in surging harmonies that compel and enthrall in equal successful measure. Additional backing vocals from Zara Holme (recorded post hangover, back at Katie’s home near Liverpool), linger and echo, deep in the room ambient; adding a beautiful, even poetic, sense of height and depth. Imaginative stereo placement, further enhances the listening experience, with Lillias’ lead and bass sat halfway off to the right, with Katie and acoustic, even further to the left; leaving the center to the stomp and Zara’s third vocal line. This odd arrangement creating both width and a sense of intimacy. The track carries a full spectrum feel, rich in bass and busts of treble lifting upwards. Already promising artists in their own right, Katie and Lillias bring a wealth of songwriting talent to their new collaboration ; and yet, it is the open, natural, uninhabited way in which ‘Waiting for You’ moves from section to section, that will really catch your ear; an ease in the creativeness, as though the two young women were born to make music together.

Twitter: @katieandlillias
IG: katieandlillias

You can now submit / recommend new releases for our New Music Monster, every Friday via our new Reddit!


About Tobi Davis (BRASH! Magazine/Blog Writer)
​Good producing is like good plumbing. If you do your job right, no one notices. Mix, Remix + Master. Run @monsterthread w/ Singer Songwriter Jon Magnusson. Host Thursday’s @musichouruk. Music Reviews for BRASH! Magazine. Promote. Occasional Lyricist. Love my beagle Enzo + fav bands Little Empire and Moxi.
Check out Tobi Sonics – Mixes + Remixes!

Showreel
Facebook.com/TobiProducer
Twitter: @producedbytobi
Instagram: ProducedbyTobi

About The Monster Thread
The #MonsterThread is a community of Independent Musicians, Bands and Artists supporting each other in making and sharing Indie Music.

Facebook.com/TheMonsterThread
Twitter: @MonsterThread

Week21 |Tobi’s New Music Monster Picks

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

Music Reviews written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

almere by I wear experiment - BRASH! Magazine BlogArtist: I Wear* Experiment
Track: “Almere”
Estonian cinema-scape/electro-groove outfit I Wear* Experiment, drop 4 minute 29 second dose of Baltic neo-synthpop cool, new single, “Almere”. Hailing from the Estonian capital Tallinn (on the banks of the Gulf of Finland), Hando Jaksi, Mikk Simson and Johanna Eenma aka I Wear* Experiment, began grinding out a slow burn rise to International recognition back in 2013 with debut release, 4 track EP Crickets Empire I. In the subsequent five years, the Nordic 3 piece have earned ‘Debut Album of the Year’ for 2016 release Patience at the Estonian Music Awards, glowing reviews from tastemakers The Line of Best Fit and Louder Than War; landed supporting spots for both Hurts and Kasabian, with 2016 and 2017 spent touring heavily across Europe and Asia. Latest release “Almere” is a driving, pulsating blend of deftly crafted overlapping musical stanzas; engaging lyric and synth-sonic; framed by smartly worked production and quietly dynamic mix/master. The track moves forward in soft-footed, confident strides; sequencers fizz and oscillate, playing off each other in counterpoint; beats skip and shuffle, with well judged dabs of bass line; the rhythmic structure making intelligent use of sonic space. Johanna Eenma’s vocals catch the ear and draw the listener into the song; the talented singer moving gracefully from percussive phrases to open melodies; tasteful vocal processing, adds pitched harmony and abstract tones, set deep in the reverb. With 3 minutes becoming the new standard for singles, in emerging age of streaming media, “Almere” runs a weighty one and half minutes longer than a ‘playlist friendly’ 180 seconds; but the track makes light work of its runtime; a tight punch of well worked Nordic Electro Pop, perfect for playlist and radio play alike. I Wear* Experiment are very much ready for the International stage and well deserving of any and all success that comes their way. Without doubt, a band to watch in 2019.

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

 

Release EP by Only Girl - BRASH! Magazine BlogArtist: Only Girl
Track: “Crave” / Release EP
Sweeping melodies and graceful harmonies, production kept on the down low and beats with a touch of lofi, Independent Artist Only Girl releases four track EP, Release. Having recorded her debut EP, Feel it in 2014, the talented, young singer songwriter dropped a further two records over the next two years, before switching it up in 2017 with a string of five new releases; totaling 12 separate titles, including remixes, acoustic and live versions; 2018 has continued in the same prolific vein, making Release the seventh drop of the year. The South London based Artist’s latest, draws on a wide range of styles/genres, from the down beat, soul bitten electronica and groove of “Crave” to the stripped down, beauty and simplicity of ‘Gabriel’; the EP bound together by glorious vocal arrangements, rooted deep in gospel and soul. Tasteful production gentle builds instrumentation around the lead vocal; giving space and support, with quietly musical moments and dashes; so well judged, and therefore, so easy on the ear, it’s easy to miss the impressive range of musical idea, carefully crafted into the EP; the various genres, styles and elements, intuitively blended from one to another. At the heart of it all, vocals rise and fall in bittersweet stanzas; inspired use of backing vocal, enhancing and enriching. Having already earned support from BBC Radio, Spotify and taste-maker publications like Clash, Line of Best Fit and Fader, Only Girl is quietly building a reputation as a serious artist of the highest quality; and whereas many UK Artist struggle to make an impact in the American market, with sublime vocal and songwriting, partnered with first rate production, Only Girl has every chance of becoming a success on both sides of the Atlantic.

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

 

Consider This by Pre-Echo - BRASH! Magazine BlogArtist: Pre-Echo
Track: “Earth Says” / Consider This EP
Norwegian pop odyssey sonic engineers Pre-Echo deliver five track EP, Consider This. Having only released their debut single, the eco-concerned, neo-synthpop guilt trip, 3 minute 6 second ‘who did this’ earlier this year, the Oslo based five piece have been quick to find and establish their ‘sound’. Consider This is an impressively accomplished musical work, particularly for a band so early in their career. Tracks burst open with contrasting instrumental idea and construction; the EP evolving in dynamic surges of imaginative and inspired juxtaposition. Drawing upon guitar, bass and drum, complimented and countered by analogue synth and sample, the band deliver a rich phonic palette of compelling musicality. Drums lands with both punch on the beats and trash on the cymbal; guitars are raw, yet scattered, re-imagined and reinvented by FX; both bass and guitar evocative of the work of Roger Waters and David Gilmore, during ‘The Wall’ era of Pink Floyd; synths feel chunky with texture, the band opting for analogue other virtual. Andrea Louise Horstad’s vocals run like a stream of consciousness, a reflection in frustration, meditation upon inequity; lyrics preoccupied with this injustices and inanities of this world, rather than the passing or superficial; many Artists talk ‘depth’ in interviews, but few write in into their songs. Andrea Louise Horstad is one of the rare lyricists, able to engage the listener upon subjects of importance and weight. With only five songs to their name, Pre-Echo, nevertheless, manage to impress as a band of substance and credibility. Already capable of so much, we can but imagine and wait impatiently to witness, the dizzying heights, Pre-Echo may well reach in the coming years.

Facebook.com/preechoband
IG: preechoband

 

You can now submit / recommend new releases for our New Music Monster, every Friday via our new Reddit!


About Tobi Davis (BRASH! Magazine/Blog Writer)
​Good producing is like good plumbing. If you do your job right, no one notices. Mix, Remix + Master. Run @monsterthread w/ Singer Songwriter Jon Magnusson. Host Thursday’s @musichouruk. Music Reviews for BRASH! Magazine. Promote. Occasional Lyricist. Love my beagle Enzo + fav bands Little Empire and Moxi.
Check out Tobi Sonics – Mixes + Remixes!

Showreel
Facebook.com/TobiProducer
Twitter: @producedbytobi
Instagram: ProducedbyTobi

About The Monster Thread
The #MonsterThread is a community of Independent Musicians, Bands and Artists supporting each other in making and sharing Indie Music.

Facebook.com/TheMonsterThread
Twitter: @MonsterThread