Artist Album Review: David Vaters – “A Voice In The Wilderness: Volume 1” LP

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

It’s definitely an admirable feat to come into the industry with a double-volume & double disc collection of tracks as your discography debut, totaling 19 songs. That’s quite impressive for the Folky-Soul & Christian-Country recording artist David Vaters with his current release of A Voice In The Wilderness: Volume 1, with Volume 2 just around the corner. An astonishing and compelling take on Christian music with what the best of the western style can offer with a voice so memorable behind the strings, strums and drums, he will likely encompass your spirit and heart simultaneously from your very first listen. This is a true artist, with true soul in musician form.

We get a great taste of tracks, from Vaters’ heart-string playing of “8 Ways From Sunday” to his solo efforts of Melodic favorites like “Let It Rain”  and “Brighter Than the Stars”, all of which have received critical acclaim, positive reception, and a relentlessly growing fan base ever since their initial releases.

While Volume 1 gives us the first installment of his double-release comprised of 10 brilliant tracks, you can hear a beautiful and subtle midwestern tone in Vaters’ unforgettable voice and vocal approach altogether; all the while delivering messages of eye-awakening spirituality and effective Soul-soothing melodies that are bound to leave you breathless, fascinated, and emotionally captivated in ways you may haven’t quite felt.

When it comes to singing, sometimes it’s not what you sing, but how you sing it. And one unwavering defining factor I’ve noticed is texture. The overall delivering of one’s voice in a way that defines the humanity and signature sound behind the texture and tone a voice can give off. And ontop of the insatiably well-crafted musicianship with piano-driven verses and solid guitar strums that compliment the rhythm section with a pure and full-sound, we have Vaters’ voice completely thriving through our hearts and souls by the time Volume 1 ends, and inevitably, gets you pumped up for Volume 2, being released this September. We hope to follow-up this review with that anticipated release when it happens! In the meantime, give this first installment the recognition and spirituality it deserves. We promise David Vater‘s voice will be sticking around for quite some time.

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Artist Review: Anton Cullen – “Breaking Through” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

EDM with 8-bit Nintendo Plugins and melodies? Sign me up!

Anton Cullen is an elite EDM producer and has a sound with a lot of twists and turns with his song “Breaking Through”. From clever progressions, memorable structures, and sound-effective melodies with a video-game spin, we get served a great value of production, tasty measures of melody, and brilliantly diverse song structures with buildups and breakdowns that compliment each other throughout the song’s captivating stride.

There’s a lot of unexpected fun breakdowns in this track that really showoff Cullen‘s versatility, which gives it a raw and original approach. It’s witty, danceable, and could easily be deemed as a club track or even a straight rave track you could loosen up your mind to, and just take what’s coming with its energy, aura, and nostalgic realm.

It’s something you can play just about anywhere; even your car to test out those new Sony Xplodes. Stuff like that. It’s not generic, but is very universal and holds a very unique balance in between being radio friendly, and straight-up gritty. It’s a toss up really (depending on the Disc Jockey).

No matter how you take this song in, Anton Cullen is new food for the ear. This has that sensibility that’ll definitely have you coming back to the song time and time again. The likability factors are there, so in my eyes, you’re gonna love this track too. Now go listen!

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Artist Review: The Big Mackoofy

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

With a full blast of many different influential multi-genre approaches from Soul to Classic Reggae with a pinch of today’s more favorable EDM post-production, London’s The Big Mackoofy delivers an explosively versatile sound with their newest LP Marinaleda.

Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue according to Plato, or as George Clinton said “Free your mind and the ass will follow.”

With a sound that could be in the same family as legendary industry heavyweights like Burning Spear, Jami Hendrix, Toots & the Maytals, The Meters, and The Clash, it’s not every day that you end up with a true authenticity and diversity coming from a trio like these guys.

Most notable characteristic is the diversity, no doubt. Each of these astonishing tracks offer up something different. Going from something upbeat and head-bobbin to straight dance-the-night-away tactics, you won’t get the same recipe twice with TBM. And it’s no surprise having these vast array of iconic influences while hailing from the London area — a city/metro area just like here in NYC, where some of the best talent is gracing

All 13 tracks take you on a sort of trip — a place you entered, but didn’t need much caution, however, you still managed to get your basket of surprises anyway. The mood-changes is what definitely keeps this record being the bomb on a scale of 1 to awesome. The dynamic interchangeable textures is definitely something you can hear and feel beautifully while letting this record sink under your skin and give you that feel-good drag on incredible levels.

The point is, there aren’t many Roots/Reggae Artists out there that completely blow you away with the city-style of yesterday and today’s favorites of the respective genre. There are many, many different characteristics coming from this trio you don’t hear anywhere else, so besides being completely versatile and diverse — add raw and original to their sensibility and overall execution.

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Artist Review: Hayley Lam – “Being Alive” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Most girls on our platform are Pop Singers, Divas, and people who use their voice as their key ingredient. However, we get a knockout Jazz/Fusion Lead-Keyboardist and composer out of Hayley Lam, a musician since 2-years old, that makes most of us men turn our heads a different direction and make us wanna practice our instruments a little more than our normal run-of-the-mill routine. Or perhaps open some Music Theory books.

It’s all in the title. Her single “Being Alive” is a dynamic exercise in contemporary Jazz, Fusion, and a very alive, per say, style of music that showcases Lam‘s relentless talent on an electric Piano. From sounds of Marimbas to classic Rhodes-influenced leads, we get measure after measure of very versatile compositions that go above and beyond anything you’d expect from a girl with some astonishing good looks and take-no-prisoners leather image.

Believe me, this is quite the surprise. With every girl coming out of the gate trying to become the next Adele, Nicki Minaj, or Lorde…we hear a diverse female New Yorker with musical influences ranging from Allan Holdsworth, Return to Forever to Weather Report and many more to list. 

Especially coming out of the gate of New York, this is definitely a girl you’d hear performing sets at Jazz hot spots like Blue Note, to even genre-mixers like Webster Hall and The Bitter End. Either way, Lam will be turning heads, raising eyebrows and grasping at your attention with her insatiable abilities to grab each measure by its throat, and put down some of the best music-theory-oriented chops you could wanna hear. Her abilities will absolutely captivate you.

Right now, she’s trying to raise money to get her EP recorded and off the ground. So we encourage all of you to listen to Hayley Lam, be stunned, and help a truly gifted artist get this music out there. Her campaign can be found here:

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Artist Review: Uyoka – “Jupitersong” EP

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Enchanting, ambient, and strikingly cinematic with moods that can have you walking through the city streets, and feeling the vibe and aura coming at you from every direction.

There’s a lot of different ways to describe this dynamic and beautifully-crafted record. Uyoka‘s Jupitersong displays artistic merit, and production value that fits the EP’s ingredients perfectly. This has very powerful moods and innovative musical spectrums that bring out different angles of genres we know and love today. With Jupitersong, I hear an R&B and Alternative crossover with very subtle vocal textures that showcase beautifully written melodies and lyricism that parallels it beautifully. With her deep vocal tones and great use of layering her backups, I can hear musical influences ranging from Natalie Merchant, Tracy Chapman, to Alanis Morisette and Bjork.

Her opening track “Aquaheart”, we have pure emotion and an introduction to the Soul side of the record. With a chord progression that can easily play at your heart strings, it’s hard not to fall head over heels for this song. Uyoka‘s vocal textures drive this track forward and definitely keep you fascinated.

With “Love Song”, we get a very good-vibes-only stride with the straight-forward rhythm section and soundtrack-worthy vocal melodies. This one displays more of a verse-to-chorus buildup that gives this song character and wit in all the right places. A very interesting and dynamic changeup to this song’s predecessor.

“Diamonds, Silver, and Gold” is definitely the radio hit and most-likely most-notable track. It has that chorus that sticks with you long after the song is over and keeps the song structure simple and memorable. It’s a fantastic execution of something that could be called contemporary, but with likability factors that prevent this song from being generic. It’s a feel-good experience. Her song “Firestarter” sort of follows up from what’s already been structured as well, and maintains the feel-good vibe we’ve come to hear so far on this EP.

“Daydreamer” and “The Star” are great closing tracks, with a charismatic back-to-back sensibility that works for both songs like an anthem that could attach itself easily to the other. They are songs that conclude something that reminds you of a sound, vibe, and texture you haven’t heard quite yet. And by the time you finish this EP, you’re gonna add this to your list of favorites, and pass it along to your friends.

Uyoka‘s thoughts and inspirations behind the EP: “This album explores my introspective thought process, and I hope it gives listeners a chance for them to stop and think, even if it’s just for a little while. It’s so important to take that time and really get in touch with yourself. And who knows – you might also discover something new.”

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Artist Review: Nate Utley – “Infinite Potential” EP

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Acoustic, eclectic, and an edge you never saw coming. 

As a guitarist myself, I must say, this is an artist that knows his way around a fretboard. From star to finish, we get some of the most full sounding, detailed, and innovative guitar chords that turn progressions more into compositions with Nate Utley‘s “Infinite Potential” EP. 

But it’s so much more than that. It’s beyond your run-of-the-mill contemporary acoustic-infused solo record. We have twists, turns, and genre-bending we have yet to hear come from this type of acoustic-based approach.

His opening track “Blue Dream” is very nostalgic, and showcases Utley‘s fully-detailed guitar parts along with his perfectly mid-ranged vocal melodies as well. He makes great use of multi-layers and dualing-vocals as well, demonstrating different angles of his defining factors as a songwriter, guitarist, and lyricist altogether.

The next track, “What Up”, with a more darker edge to the guitar measures, is one of my favorites off the EP. But this is where you begin to hear something completely different. And his track “Bet” touches on this as well. We get the same dynamic guitar riffs, but add in some Hip Hop and Reggae to the mix; both in the beats that drive the song forward, the rhythmic rhyming schemes, and lyrical content that pieces it all together. It’s straight Hip Hop laced acoustic-infusion that is merciless, brilliant, and brings out a whole new realm to the genre altogether. It’s one of the best mixes I’ve heard in a long time.

The same goes for tracks “Its over” and “Blowtorch”. Songs that start subtle, but delve into the same chemistry you’ve heard thus far. Utley‘s Jack Johnson style vocals definitely add to the raw and original factors to this EPs spectrum. It sings and speaks volumes, with moments of intensity, and always with perfectly executed textures with Utley‘s mastered craft of songwriting, and with an indie-lover’s production value.

Overall, the likability factors of this EP are supercharged and relentlessly high. It’s a chillout-album with elements of something raw and original in every way. If you want some new food for the ear, then Nate Utley delivers it beautifully with “Infinite Potential”.

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Artist Review: Tom Connan – “Beautiful Day (Club Remix)” 

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Action, Drama, Suspense. We have an EDM club track with some of the best cinematic direction in a Music Video I’ve laid eyes on in quite awhile.

Tom Connan‘s “Beautiful Day” (Club Remix) is not just a very melodic song with strong buildups and dynamic vocal structures, it’s also a song accompanied by one of the most impressively shot and (most noticeably) edited Music Videos you could ask for.

It’s a theatrical and suspenseful video, with some touches of possible influences from Darren Aronofski. But whether that was the intention or not doesn’t matter, it’s just a beautifully executed video with a very enamoring club-going track to parallel with it.

The song is chill, yet steady with a good-vibes-only approach. The well rounded vocals don’t attempt to steal the spotlight from the production value from the beat or progression at all. It all comes together perfectly and mixes into the perfect chemistry. It’s a fun, witty, and clever one that definitely shows an insatiable dynamic to the mixing skills that Connan shows when he’s at the mixing board.

There’s so much about this video that elevates the song’s likability factors, and vice versa. There’s something different around every twist and turn that makes this song memorable, and completely different from anything else you’ve ever seen or heard. My suggestion: check this out for yourself right now. You’ll be glad you did.

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