Artist Review: Jerome “J-Easy” Weaver

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

An inspirational sound and vibe that caresses the soul, Jerome “J Easy” Weaver captivates audiences from all over the landscape with his world-class Jazz sound with beautiful integrations of Swing, Bossa-Nova, and R&B moods. 

Both of his releases, “Just Me” and “Cooling Water” offer up many magical and inspirational qualities in Weaver‘s self-written and self-produced compositions. With great classical uses of Caribbean style drum tempos, Saxaphone leads, and well-polished guitar progressions, we have an innovative and dynamic sound that is soothing, beautifully crafted, and universal with the advantage of bringing a traditional style of music to the table that could be booked at high class events, weddings, hotels, cruises, and just about anywhere.

Weaver‘s influences range from dynamic composers such as George Benson, Bill Withers, and Lee Ritenour. And he has been blessed to work with Presonus Studio One, Ableton Live, Falcon, and Band-In-A-Box; recording distributed exclusively through CD Baby.

As an artist, he gathers many personal inspirations from his wanderlust. He has been to many different countries, islands, as well as events that host his favorite genres of music. He is a true Jazz enthusiast and really brings his love for the genre to the forefront with his compositions. This is music for the soul and spirit, unconditionally. Weaver has been a professional Musician for years, and his showcase of talent is a joy to behold. If you love Jazz, then “Just Me” and “Cooling Water” will lift your spirits and remind you just how much of an impact this genre really is, and always has been.

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Artist Review: Virtual Zero

Review by: Justyn Brodsky & Chi Brodsky

A 90s influence that brings us back to our glory days; no matter the genre and with an insatiable determination to absolutely be an innovative presence, possibly with a premonition or perhaps a futuristic mindset of what’s to come. Some might say…

ANDREW ZERO: Band Perspective

Virtual Zero showcases a unique cross between grunge and pop rock, changing dynamics along the way. Nobody else sounds like us. Not in Portland, not in the mainstream. Just when you think you’re listening to a grunge song, out comes the church organ, a panflute, or a choir of synthetic voices coming from our keyboardist we truly have an original sound that is hard to match. The band was first formed in 1998 from a name change from Irish Monkey. As Virtual Zero we started off as a metal band comprised with a DJ, which everyone seemed to have in the 90s. The band broke up not even making it to a set of over 6 original songs. Lead vocalist Andrew Zero (Stephens) wanted to be back in the music scene ten years after leaving it and brought the name Virtual Zero back. After several lineup, the band solidified to the lineup today in early 2016. Our debut album The Fall can be found at . Instead of having 6 songs as the old lineup managed, The Fall has 16 songs with a few more under our belts. With all the bands in the city of Portland offering you music, no one can touch ours. We stand alone. Are you a zero? Do people think of you as a nobody? Its only Virtual. Find your voice with Virtual Zero.”

A perfect sum-up of Andrew/Virtual Zero is a story to behold. Many hours of writing, composing, riffing, and everything in between to showcase many sides to Andrew and his full-one-man-band efforts; be it compositions, singing, releases that has aspired and inspired many, has only pushed the bar higher for Andrew and his releases/projects in the shortcoming.

With the amazement this elite musician has in store in the shortcoming, and with a new year in its beginnings, be sure to connect with them on all Social Media & Music Outlets such as Spotify, ITunes, and all other major online radio platforms as you explore them. So please keep an ear open for new music, and a watchful eye as he plans for a very busy performing schedule for 2017 and beyond.

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Artist Review: High Dart

Review by: Justyn Brodsky & Stephanie Brodsky

Experimentally enigmatic and poetically enamorous might give some justification to High Dart‘s I Don’t Play An Instrument, But I Like The Sun LP. But there’s a lot more to it, no matter how intellectually clever you try to describe it.

However, this album is intellectual, as well as clever, and that’s the beauty of it. Out of the catalogue of anthems off this EP, opening track “Avalanche” stood out to me the most. It showcases not only her soothing Alto-oriented overdubbed and natural vocals, but a great demonstration of musicianship, well-written melodies, grungy guitars, ambience, all doused with an EDM sensibility that makes the overall sound eclectic and original. It’s definitely new food for the ear.

With narratives on her track “I’m Waiting” and clever hooks in pretty much every song on this LP, this is definitely for the passionate indie-lover; a breed of music that demonstrated expression. Something that each person might take in differently when hearing it.

Overall, this is a beautiful album of ambience, sensual feelings, and a vast array of emotions. And each track brings something different to the table, but sticks to the same effective formula and original persona and integrity in High Dart‘s craft. Listen to this LP if you’re craving some versatile, eclectic comfort.

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Artist Review: SJW Music Inc.

Review by: Justyn Brodsky & Steve Savarino

One man. One mind. Many musicians. But you’ll never hear the same thing twice.

The musical machine SJW Music Inc., manifested through the dynamic Alt/Rock origination of sound through veteran artist Scott Warren, definitely hits home plate with his most recent LP, A Way of Life.

With incredibly crafted and eclectic use of many different instruments throughout every track, you get a grasp of many different sides of what SJW‘s writing style is like, and just how likable it is. It has a great Alt/Rock take of the untouchable 90’s era, a groove from our favorite 80’s classics, and a great chemistry that stirs perfectly into today’s mainstream interest among any listener that loves to hear something new, effective, and keeps the mind busy.

With tracks that diversify and give off different tastes of the wide range of SJW‘s writing style with slick guitar riffs, a brilliant horn section, foreground acoustic textures, and endless elements of musicianship that flow through each song with Warren‘s perfect vocal range for his take on the genre (not to mention the brilliant production value), it makes A Way of Life an album that perfectly showcases not only SJW‘s writing techniques, but musicianship ability as well.

This is an album where it really stands as a rare gem; a collection of songs where you hear something different, but you know it’s coming from the same artist. Which makes A Way of Life an LP of hits. You won’t need to skip one track. There is something here for everyone, and as you cruise through each song, you’ll have a very difficult time picking out your favorite. Because by the time you reach the last track, you’re going to realize that this album is your favorite; from start to finish. No pauses or skipping. 

Once you take a listen to SJW‘s album of anthems, you’ll see exactly what we mean. Listen, love, and pass it on.

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Artist Review: XT Dream

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Emotional lyricism. Melancholic, and in-depth.

There’s a lot to say about Las Vegas rapper XT Dream‘s 16-track LP Future’s Future; but the main thing, especially with 16 tracks to take in, is that there’s something special going on in each song. 

There’s an incredible sense of an old-school, nostalgic feel. Something that almost sounds as if it were being played on vinyl. But in my opinion, it’s one of the crucial elements in this LP, and 😄‘s sound altogether. His classic approach without smothering listeners with sporadically, outdone overdubs is a treat and isn’t heard too much in today’s Hip-Hop. The production quality is low key, but still edgy. It’s definitely a “lay back and smoke a J” album. 

Tracks off this LP like “Light Signal” and “Friendship” are great examples of the chill, shaken-not-stirred vibe that this album gives off. The lyricism is inspirational, as opposed to graphic or explicit, and always leaves you with something to relate to, or something that’s refreshing to hear altogether. And while these songs are separated into 16 tracks, each of them transition into each other like a story being told, or a concept that personifies itself through continuity. 

Future’s Future is another rare gem that is a discovery you’ll pat yourself on the back for. It’s not an album where you’ll be skipping any tracks, because they’re all connected and tell a story through clever lyricism and narratives that are appropriately placed throughout the LP’s placement altogether; instrumentally and lyrically. If you’re digging for a “good vibes only” album, then Future’s Future will be one of your new favorites.

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Artist Review: The Mox & J. Project

Review by: Justyn Brodsky & Chris Barbosa

An expressive journey into a multi-genre and multifaceted display of emotions, self reflection, and versatility.

Blending very infectious elements of Soul, R&B, and Hip Hop, The Mox & J. Project‘s Who We Are LP is definitely a creative collection of tracks that puts this dynamic duo on the mark. This is another one of those rare gems where you can’t just pick one song off of this album and call it a “hit” or a “single”. Because the entire album does justice, and stands out as a whole.

With a beautiful, soulfully mature and dynamic female vocalist bringing you the hooks, melodies, and lyrical sex drive to the table, it’s nearly impossible to ignore the character and persona that is being expressed through the very impressive vocal range and texture that solidifies her half of the duo’s equation. It’s mesmerizing and astonishing with the glow that her voice brings.

Jumping to the other half of the whole, we have a very charismatic and passionate flow from the rhymes, bars, and measures that are expressed through the male rapper’s edginess and self expressive nature. He has very clean vocal tones that perfectly meshes with his female partner of melody.

Who We Are is definitely appropriately titled from the self expressive tracks that encompass the meaning and uniqueness of the album. You get to grasp onto a very solidified and well-polished signature style, but you get a taste of something different in every track. That’s what makes this dynamic duo stand out with this album.

The Mox & J. Project are anything but a letdown. If you’re looking for something with a bold and new feel with many different songwriting techniques and surprisingly unique sensibilities, then Who We Are is an album just for you.

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Artist Review: Arjun

Review by: Justyn Brodsky & Jeremy Knowles

Instrumental. Experimental. And keeps the mind busy.

From here in NYC, Arjun has been making some very tightly-knit, well-crafted tracks that definitely let you know that it’s not always about just lyrical content. In their new album Gravity, we get the perfect demonstration of Rock & Indie inspired music that not only omits vocals entirely, but for good reason. Musicianship. Getting to hear the strings, strums, beats and drums entirely for what they are, and how dynamically this genre can be played without 7-10 vocal tracks with auto-tuned harmonies and cheesy poetic lyrics.

The tracks on this album ease their way into their songs and keep you curious for how it’ll all play out, and with instruments being the complete centerpiece among all things and how they can be eclectic and interesting all on their own, it leaves a lot of room for this trio to really show off their musicianship, strictly.

With grooves, jazzy fingerpicking scaled melodies, progression, intricate guitar and bass structures, and even some guest musicians including a mind-bending flute solo from Jeff Coffin of Dave Matthews Band on their song “Run”, and an Organ solo on their track “Ascent” by Cory Henry of Snarky Puppy, it definitely goes to show that Gravity is one for the musicians spirit and inspiration, and could even land under a lot of other Indie bands’ influences.

This is a great album to sit back, and just let the band do their thing, and do it very well. If you want some new food for the ear without the risk of having a singer ruin the professional showcase of musicianship coming from instruments only, then Arjun is the band for you.

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