Artist Review: Empire Of The Ants

Review by: Justyn Brodsky & Mark Sullivan

An audio and visual realm of ambience, texture, and a familiar versatile stylization.

With many years under their belts as songwriting musicians from the UK cityscapes of West London, dynamic studio-duo Empire of the Ants bring us a fresh take on stylized Electronic Rock with 90s-era Grunge and Industrial influences that are among some of the best we’ve come to know.

Their music video for “Radar” is a solid first impression of the band. With a low to mid vocal range in the forefront, this ambient and subtle track really explores a progressive edge that shows comparisons to pioneer artists such as The Cure, Muse, and David Bowie. With a driving rotund low end and attention-grabbing vocal content, this listening experience parallels perfectly with the visual experience perfectly, and really shows you a style and image that is not only fresh-faced, but pays homage to some of the best music eras we’ve come to know and love over decades.

Their second video “Sirens” brings a more upbeat side to the duo with great cinematic elements with stunning use of color. This grunge/industrial crossover sustains an energetic flow but still brings out the same ambience that really gives Empire of the Ants the signature sound that solidifies their artistic merit and persona.

Their third video, “Utopia”, is another stroke of visual gratification with excellent blends of black & white cinematography. The song is very climactic and utilizes significant structures that deliver a buildup that makes this song an effectively compelling measure-for-measure and frame-by-frame experience. This one definitely looks and feels like the heart of their sound, and showcases their originality the strongest.

All 3 of these music videos are very much worth the watch & listen. If you’re into the classic 80s/90s Rock/Industrial era with magnetic framework and production value of today’s modernization, then Empire of the Ants will be added to your list of discoveries you wished you discovered much earlier.

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Artist Review: Jimmie Smith – “Forty Three” Single

Review by: Justyn Brodsky


A spiritual soothing of the soul with the ability to sway your hips at the same time.

That’s one of the things that came to mind with Florida-based R&B/Pop artist Jimmie Smith‘s single “Forty Three”. A groovy R&B song that immediately showcases a feel-good nature from the components of the initial beat and vocal melodies that really display the defining factors of this track altogether. Every melody fits perfectly with the song’s key signature and leaves plenty of room for Smith to bring his vocal talent’s impressive range to the forefront, which gives this song high likability factors.

Though Smith presents himself with his own signature sound, you can hear influences ranging from industry powerhouse artists such as: Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Major Lazer, Bryson Tiller, and more.

Jimmie Smith is an extremely gifted artist pushing the envelope of possibilities through distinct musical innovation. He possesses a hybrid approach to his music that remains authentic to his overall vision of a self-motivated prodigy navigating through the epitomes of the ever-changing music industry. And that’s a crucial factor among today’s artists. Because Smith is an artist that seems to understand that paying your dues and getting hands-on with the industry is very significant, and I believe that fact alone puts the up & coming artist ahead of the game, as opposed to a lot of artists these days that believe fame is an overnight endeavor (AKA “Tunnel Vision”).

“Forty Three” is a soul-soother and hip-mover all rolled up in one rhythmic package with all the right components; melody, harmony, authenticity, and god-given talent that isn’t covered up or altered by post-production theatrics. It’s the perfect song to listen to if discovering Jimmie Smith for the first time, and it’s also a breath of fresh air that a song like this isn’t drowned in auto-tune or any kind of genre-bending. It’s a brilliant song utilizing elements of R&B, Soul, Vibe, and Hip Hop ingredients, making “Forty Three” a Number One favorite!

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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, while 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, we 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 layered backups, I can hear musical influences ranging from Natalie Merchant, Tracy Chapman, to Alanis Morisette and Bjork.

With 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 the 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, but 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: illrecur

Review by: Justyn Brodsky


Experimental, Industrial, with soothing doses of Ambience, illrecur‘s 27-track release Longitude definitely has longevity with its laid-back textures and mood swings among the dark elements that ties this album together.

With the omittence of vocals completely, Longitude is a roller coaster of emotions and deep thoughts that keeps you captivated with its experimental use of Diminished and Augmented progressions. There’s a very dynamic mesh between a sound that has video game pacing and futuristic EDM sensibilities. It’s definitely something that gives itself great character and a memorable centerpiece; which makes you wanna dive inside the mind of its creator.

It’s an album that doesn’t need a “single” or any specific track to offer up its significance. This is one of those albums where the entire album is the “single” or “hit song”. Every track is a piece of the puzzle, and it flows dynamically with its signature ambience throughout every song. However, it uses this formula without being repetitious or outdone. It’s very difficult to listen to 27 tracks straight without becoming burnt out or perhaps being overly spoon fed by one Artist. But this is not the case with illrecur. He gave this album a title that couldn’t share a more perfect parallel–Longevity.

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