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KoRn - THE PARADIGM SHIFT WORLD TOUR EDITION 2014

This year, KoRn re-released their absolute massive new record from 2013 with new goodies. This serves as a promo tool for their full year of touring around the world and the fans can now hear some live tracks with Brian Head Welch on guitar for the first time since his departure in 2004. The album also includes some b-sides that are rather hard to find, those being pressed only on previous Japan versions of The Paradigm Shift. The absolute new banger here and the star of the show is the new track they recorded called Hater. Describing this song is rather pointless. Is just another well done Korn song. It’s a banger as we’d expect cause when Korn delivers, they do it like no other band. The song is a groovy digital rock monster with an irresistible pop vocal melody line. Jonathan’s writing capabilities are just out of this world.The vocal hook on this tune is just mesmerizing. He constantly improves his skills and breaks new territorries and that’s scarry. Name one artists that succeeds in   doing this after 20 years of brilliant carreer please. Well, nobody? That’s exactly our point.

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of their groundbreaking debut album! The band deserves some celebration and great feedback for a wonderful carreer. Not to mention that this album is perfect. So go and buy the hell out of this album! KoRn rules!

Score: 10/10

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BIG DEAL - SAKURA EP 2014

The most beautiful pop group in the world today spawned a small perfumed package of songs that makes us happy and entranced. It’s like having a small box of fine chocolate. They constantly seem to push for a formula to break them more into the mainstream. They work hard to bring yet another perfect single by somehow flooding the timeline of their carreer. They never failed but I think their underground status is the most charming thing about them . Of course they should be kings of the world, fuck everyone else. They deserve endless pages in music history also. But oh man, I am that selfish and proud that this is MY amazing secret awesome band that kills all my friends and make their jaw drop whenever i spin this group.

Score: 9 / 10

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Luicidal is a punk gang led by the ex- Suicidal Tendencies bassist Louiche Mayorga. The group aims to capture and to further spawn the raw original skate punk of the early Suicidal Tendencies era. It’s an ST alter ego built up by members that had their way into the iconic crossover band at different points in time and this is their first attempt at delivering that raw style in the form of new compositions.

Well we kinda need that sort of aesthetic and sounds on the streets again. We’re all kinda bummed on the instantaneous association between punk and the likes of blink 182 kids make these days. We think of modern punk as garbage and it’s really not the case. These guys bring back modern punk as it was before it got into joks’ playlists. 

The pains of being old is that you tend to get past energetic music and sink into sophisticated levels of musical expression. It’s hard to spin that old Sex Pistols favorite when you get into neoclassical. But check these guys out. The album sounds like it’s captured live. They really bring back that youth energy and makes you want to be teleported in a huge moshpit. It’s that really cool feeling that you get when you see a good band that you never heard of before when you attend a random gig.

The songs are straightforward, simple and powerful. Yet they seem to blend in a ton of styles. The riffing is hardcore mayhem and some songs also lay down some classic thrash metal riffs. You’ll even hear classic heavy metal interludes. So, there’s plenty of room for surprises here. Monotony is not their game.

If you ever enjoyed hardcore punk then check this release out! 

Score: 8 / 10

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DIANE CLUCK - BONESET 2014

It really feels like Aghori trance. It really feels like a whole ritual of entropy and rebirth with her bones and her guitar in the center as symbols and guiding. 

This is one of the records that will allow you to experience something uniqe, unheard of before. That is Diane’s voice and her mind-numbing technique of expressing different notes with a sublime aggressivity of transition. And it is not that irish/scottish thingie. 

Her past records displayed it already but with a rather sub-lo-fi quality. It is really nice to hear her in a more normal way so she can shine even brighter.

Let’s hope the cello stays as well.

Wonderful!

Score: 9/10

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Who wouldn’t want more and more new blasphemic sonic blessings from these guys? They acquired a sense of ultra-artistic musicianship , so  spawning some rather tedious sonic nonsense is impossible for them as it is not for others that damaged their halo of creativity with time’s passing.

Everyone with decent taste should just hit play and  drool at Hellhammer’s ongoing superhuman skin onslaught. You just can’t hear that anywhere else. 

If some were worried and devastated by the departure of Blasphemer, calm down. It is really curious, but Teloch, the new guy just slays in the same Blasphemer style. The songwriting level of quality is still up there.

So yeah, this really is Ordo Ad Chao part 2. Both musically and sound-wise. Nothing is new on surface. True geeks would disagree. “Maaaan have you heard those ravishing tempo increases in the midst of some songs?” . So you’re hearing Hellhammer blast at superhuman speeds and just when you think this is amazing, the whole tempo just speeds up to alien-level ecstasy. It’s like a big shot of cocaine into an already hyperkinetic behaviour. That’s a real slap in the face for those that were bitching about fake nekro production. This is not an intentionally bad sounding Pro Tools session. Can’t do those tempo variations with click tracks. Here is a band that still retain that true “band feel”. Here we have men sweating and bleeding on their instruments. This is a true horde from hell. So as mentioned before…. nothing is new  (on surface). The beast hides underneath.

Oh… and I hope our readers are educated enough, because we won’t  write about this band’s history and background. It’s useless, we care for music and -  believe it or not -  their new music tops even the most shocking drama they had back then. It’s shocking good!

Score: 9/10

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SKRILLEX - RECESS 2014

       After having a rather platonic affair with some eerie witch house-sprinkled minimal electronic bass music, Sonny kept his word as he was indeed leaving. He didn’t necessarily meant leaving his sonic army of scary monsters but rather pointing out his  fierce infidelity regarding pretty much any sonic spectrum that he’d conquer. So he ditched in a predictably unpredictable way even the newer more pretentious and calm  tunes that worried some of the filth lovers. 

The striking fact is that he won’t even respect his “leaving” habit. If the collaboration with Boys Noize  only came to reinforce a sense that more “less than EDM accessibility” was what he is aiming for , here he presents a record full of the Moombahton that he mixed during his more recent live sets.

This is truly his first EDM release as he really goes more in the Aokified sense of partying rather than sticking to his bangers where people would also stagedive and mosh. He goes over the top along Diplo and goes on mixing tons of reggae and stupid-simple dance synth lines just to make irresistible booty shakers.

His subs still jump out of the speakers but the brostep is indeed brostep this time around, as a true watered down version of his old filth aggression. Tracks like “Fuck That” still keep the eerie sensations and ambiance that was delicious on “Leaving” while bringing forth a wild combination of atmospherics and crazy heavy oldschool bass wobbling. The scary monsters are still here but they are more disguised in a clever way. If you turn “Fuck That” way up, it will not only blow your walls off with the massive lurking subs but it will also open a newer, ever-widening horizon of dark classy electronic ambiance.

Score: 9/10

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DUSTIN PRINZ - ELEVEN 2014

       You probably know him since he has a pretty big Youtube following. Dustin Prinz is the typical guy that others call indie singer/songwriter , who spreads his charms mainly on Youtube. Well the indie term would only describe functionality and logistics here since it should not be confused with real indie music, no not the Interpol joke but the 80s alternative scene. Dustin has that typical Youtube star sound on this new record, which is not so typical of his style. If you’re diggin’ around for your music on Youtube you probably know him for some time now and you think of him as that virtuoso guitar player dude. 

      Indeed Dustin, born in Nebraska is a guitar whiz kid that can easily impress anyone with his guitar idiosyncrasies. He always pulls cool stuff out of the hat like hybrid picking and percussive acoustic guitar tricks, stuff that he would put the “para-picking” trademark on.

       On this CD however you don’t get to hear that side of him, so newbies beware, he’s more than just a pop singer. Here he tries to appeal to a wider audience with some rather formulaic acoustic pop songs about heart ache and everyday problems that the simple man would relate to. The music is calm but it often seem to push some dynamics and alternate rhythmic/tonal patterns just to make stuff more interesting. There are some technical eccentric takes and intelligent twists to make you know that Dustin’s vision can go way more complex than the easy listening music theme that he’s trying on this time around.

If you love your music pretty and calm then you’ll totally dig Dustin’s embrace of this style as he presents it as sincere as he can be. His voice is warm and really complements his gentle guitar sweeping. This is sunday afternoon music for rest. It should do no harm to anyone.

Score: 8/10

Buy this record from here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/eleven/id776674604

http://www.dustinprinz.com/store/eleven-coming-soon

http://www.reverbnation.com/dustinprinz/album/56151-eleven

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Back then, when hyperbolic tongue in cheek music was fairly unheard of , Reh Dogg was probably the one who pioneered the latter awkward aesthetic that would eventually culminate with success acts that stretch even to Nicki Minaj or that lurks to some degree inside the skeleton of more respected ladies that cover their pop artificialism with classic trademarks by Queen. Even though he’s not so out there in the spotlight right now, Reh was hitting hard well before Die Antwoord or Lil B. Who can forget the massive viral breakthrough from years ago that was “Why Must I Cry” ? He’s not just one of the first in the game. He owns all others with his ability to confuse the listener. No one knew if he is for real or if his attitude was a brilliant comic act. It had you watch all of his videos to figure that out. You don’t really have that curiosity with The Based God, let’s say.

So Reh has a record out and he’s really serious about it. In the age of singles and digital downloads, Reh proves that he has class, he stands out. Mixtapes aren’t his deal also. He delivers pure classic album format with a well thought tracklist dynamic. He introduces the Calypso style. He’s always on the run, alway trying  not only to reinvent himself but to also educate the crowd with this unique style.

Reh’s flow is cool on this record, his rapping style is somehow different as he embraces a very cool homegrown blend of semi-descifrable reggae style rappin’. He also feeds his fans with some tunes that feature his signature ballad style aching-swan singing reminiscent of “Why Must I Cry”.

What really stands out on this record is the production. No matter how serious is your take on Reh Dogg, you can’t deny the cool dynamic sound on this. His production is sleek , clean and boomy without being over-the-top. You won’t hear this level of production in the more mainstream acts from this genre that sound cool (Die Antwoord ) .

With track titles like “American Gals Stay Away From Me” or the provoking “Reverse Racism” , this record will obviously shake your booty ! Respect! Reh Dogg is your friend!

Score: Rating is futile !

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GARY SCHWARTZ - LETTINGO LIVE THE MUSIC AND INFLUENCE OF ORNETTE COLEMAN 2013

Sharing the same elegance and refinement as in the original recordings and compositions of the great modern jazz pioneer , Gary Schwartz expands his jazz guitar territory to a full ensemble that tries and succeeds to deconstruct and rearrange . It may indeed sound cold and lifeless as far as a description goes but Gary and the ensemble present these brilliant old songs with a new beautiful wrapping that also has functional values with deep roots into the product itself, as his reinterpretations are truly - to a certain extent - subtle re-compositions that remain under the same original stylistic paradigm of fine balance between the beauty of harmonic disharmonies and crushing sacred melody.

This exercise is fluently intertwined with Gary’s original compositions that live up to their main function of completing this album as a fluent one , both on a stylistic level and on quality level . The quality is without doubt here since we’re not talking about a studio record. It takes lots of care to satisfy a jazz audience.

As mentioned before, one of the things that make this recording shine is the fact that it is captured as a live performance in Montreal. This way the dynamics are blooming and seem more obvious. Each instrument shines in great resolution as it is required for a Coleman thematic concert.

This rendition of Lonely Woman could be one of the most unique and creative . This will be a big surprise to any Coleman admirer. It starts with a slow build of delicate guitar parts that could induce a misconception to the listener that a guitar performance would never do any justice to this piece. When the main theme creeps in though, the guitar fades in the mix under the bludgeoning lenghty brass notes as it is desired, the guitar only creeping in slightly with a lingering tone similar to a sustained amp feedback over different notes. Quite interesting sound. The altered tempo and the disjunction between the slowed down horn melody and the paroxistic high speed drums give birth to one of the most original and interesting takes on this song.

However a very strong  and catchy piece on here is Gary’s composition “Between The Lines” . It is a great closer and it blends very well with the overall sound and style while leaning more towards conventional harmony assuring a gradual ending of the adventurous modern listening experience.

An original and mindblowing starter and a beautiful and entertaining ending is a wonderful formula that can easily assure  an overall excellent record. All of Gary’s composition are more than relevant in this context and they wonderfully break and prevent any underlying form of eventual stylistic monotony.

The recording quality is top notch and it is a bliss to give this one a spin even just for the fantastic brass textures and for those intricate idiosyncrasies in the drum section.

Highly recommended for Ornette Coleman admirers and general modern jazz fans alike.

Score: 10/10

You can buy the album from here:

https://itunes.apple.com/ro/album/lettingo-live-music-influence/id701070353

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/garyschwartz1

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Michel Héroux is a veteran of the Canadian jazz scene often fusing and blending his jazzy skills with  other different styles along the years. He was involved in many projects but now we’re gonna focus on his third solo album.

Michel’s latest solo effort is a  very comfortable and fluid stream of sound both for the listener as it is for the artist himself. The record is not a full blown jazz record and it is not a fierce onslaught of jazz shred technical frenzy either - as some would expect from a jazz guitar album. It seems like the artist is recording a session of a handful of songs that he’d usually like to play when he’s just chilling and wants to relax on a lazy pleasant evening.

So the material is indeed a collage of various sountracks for calm and cool moods. Perfect to listen to on a special night. The songs swing with different stylistic backbones and draw sonic sketches ranging from bossa nova to minimalist ambiental interludes. This is a guitar only record, mostly acoustic. Michel plays everything and does duets with himself. The most striking thing about his technique here is the jazz double bass line emulation of his rhythm guitar part. That’s a really unique and fun approach. He also tries some trios and quartets with himself.Different types of acoustic guitars are played, and besides the songs that range from mellow to some quite technical parts, the different guitar sounds and production type provide a treat and a true delight for those with a trained ear that can appreciate the production and the pure texture of  sound. There may be just different miking techniques but some songs sound huge. If you like the detailed sound of the vibrating strings and the slight plucking of strings on the wood surface, then you should definitely check this record for some of the production here.

Ennio (prelude) is a breath of fresh air . It is the most different track on here and it sure does stand out. Oddly enough it can really be a favorite for lots of listeners. The few chords that are played can make one remember the fresh flower filled landscape that would only be tailored by some piano chords played by Claude Debussy. This interlude has that delicacy and is filled with charm and musical intelligence.

By the second half of the record we get some electric guitar on few songs. These songs rather feel as being composed on acoustic and played on electric. They are not the typical electric jazz guitar tunes you’d normally hear. It’s very clear that the electric guitar doesnt fit that well with the musical idea underneath. It’s not really that important since most jazz guitarist in the world bury musical ideas by playing the wrong electric guitars just for the sake of tradition. I guess we’ll have to wait some more till jazzmans will drop Gibson guitars and humbucker pickups. So many jazz guitar  players that would have sounded 10 times better if they just picked up any guitar with single coils. A strat should be the easy way out of the mud cause we really don’t want jazz artists to lose their focus from their greater art just to learn how to turn up a treble knob on the amp. Jazzmans will never be tech geeks.

So grab a glass of wine and unwind or be patient till you get to those song sections where you’d feel like you should find Michel and beg him to teach you guitar lessons. The record has it all, virtuosity, musical delicacy, lounge seduction, you name it… it is the good light jazz sound you want to hear.

Score: 9/10

Check Michel’s website and buy the album from here:

http://www.michelheroux.net

https://itunes.apple.com/fr/artist/michel-heroux/id275913828

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/michelheroux2

http://michelheroux.bandcamp.com