Thursday, April 30, 2020

Sonoran Odyssey By Paul Speer

Sonoran Odyssey
Paul Speer
Written by
Steve Sheppard

It certainly has been a while since I have heard from Paul Speer, in fact I checked and I have very fond memories of Ax Inferno back in 2013, so after a very interesting seven years Speer is with us once again, and this time with a smooth and textured offering entitled Sonoran Odyssey.

The layers here are fantastic, a tranquil, but fluent beginning can be found on the opening piece entitled Sunrise. This is a glorious offering to start with, a composition full of hope and the excitement of a new day.

The album has some very interesting options and edits for you to enjoy as well, one of my personal favourites would be the storm laden and powerful Monsoon (Thunder). This mixture of EM and guitar is sublime, then to add a layered but empowered percussion was and is nothing short of genius, thus creating a truly addictive composition.

We can now also go on a journey with 5 different styled arrangements; the first passage takes on a mystical voyage and entitled Moonrise (Full Mix). This arrangement is film score standard with ease, and a track that conjures up a mixture of alien landscapes within the mind’s eye with ease.

Moonrise (Demo Feat Neptune) soon follows; the electronic nature of this piece reminds me in part of the UK’s EM rock outfit Code Indigo. The hovering intent here is both dramatic and addictive; one will literally be on the end of their seat to see what happens next; the oceanic sounds add a further dimension to the proceedings.

Monsoon (No Thunder) is now upon us. There is another level of intensity within this mix that is truly enticing and is a far rockier arrangement as well. That can be emphasised further when we listen to the following offering Moonrise (Guitar Mix), a wonderfully smooth and stylish arrangement that offers a pulsating rhythmic essence to the proceedings.

Our final mix comes curtesy of this next composition entitled Moonrise (Ambient Mix). The more space styled ethic here is evident, Speer in manifesting this particular arrangement, has created a vast musical landscape for us to all wonder within and enjoy.

One of my personal favourites came as I clicked upon track 8, Behind the Waterfall (2020). There was a true lightness of spirit in the performance within this piece of both guitar and keyboards, the compositional structure is enhanced further with a perfect percussive beat, and we’re then left listening to an arrangement that could easily be the theme music to a TV show.

The penultimate offering off the release is the absolutely stunning creation entitled Venus Rising ft. Sherry Finzer. Finzer is at the top of her musical game and her inclusion on this powerful offering is a sublime moment of clarity. The flute partners an addictive tribal beat to bring us something incredibly special and wonderfully attractive, then listen to Speers almost ZZ Top guitar break at the two and a half minute marker, marking this for me as a true stand out track off the album.

Jupiter via NASA is our last port of call and as you would imagine from the title there is a vast space styled feel to the arrangement, one where the keyboards and synths hover with a sense of anticipation. There is such a range of influences here, but a little Vangelis energy seems to be powering this latest rocket ship, but regardless, what a dramatic and utterly cinematic way to end a captivating album.

Sonoran Odyssey is an album that is packed to the rafters with stylish performances, quality productions, smooth yet powerful guitar, and sonic backdrops of textured sounds, keyboards and synths, which manifest for us something quite special to enjoy. Speer has indeed taken the whole genre to a new level entirely with this latest offering, and is one that gets a huge thumbs up from me for doing so.

Floating Lakes By Eric Chapelle

Floating Lakes
Eric Chapelle
Written by
Steve Sheppard

It is so good to find the music of Eric Chapelle on my player again, the pianist popped up on social media just about a week ago to promote his latest single, and I was extremely eager to listen to what this creation would bring me, I was not to be disappointed, Floating Lakes as simply heavenly.

Chapelle has captured the magic of the moment quite beautifully, his piano as always is textured and calming, and the light instrumentational symphonic gestures are utter delectable.

I have now listened to this single 3 times in a row and its ambience never ceases to amaze me, it is as if the clouds have met the sea and the tranquillity of nature has bound them together to manifest something so very transcendent. Chapelle should be commended for bringing something this beautiful into the world;  here is as single that gets a huge recommendation from me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Secret Beach By Barbara Graff

Secret Beach
Barbara Graff
Written by
Steve Sheppard

Barbara Graff has returned with a brand new album, fresh from her success with her last offering Beginnings. This time we are drawn to somewhere I just adore to go, that’s of course my Secret Beach.

Graff has created a very personal album here; one that I am sure will resonate with the listeners. Her gentle and calming style on the opening piece is as delicate as the Sunrise it depicts, the subtle tones and soft tempo leads us into a world of glistening shards of sunlight on another glorious day.

Graff’s piano speaks volumes on this next piece entitled Carolina. There is a nice energy about this song that gives it a slight folk ethic to its energies and the musical narrative is indeed compelling. This is a track that grows in confidence and melodic charm as it develops, at times mysterious, but always incredibly warm.

Hope Springs is our next port of call and from its refrains comes a track so beautifully composed and arranged it would turn out to be my personal favourite from the album, the emotive qualities of this song are impressive, but even with those little reflective nuances, hope always seems to spring eternal from its construction, a completely mesmeric song this one.

Now we find ourselves walking through the sands of the title track Secret Beach, there are a few places here that we like to go to that could be named as such. This was in fact a single for Graff last year and it did pretty well; sitting here in the middle of the album it is the perfect fulcrum with which to move into the second half of the release with.

There are some compositions that just sit up and beg to be loved, and In the Moonlight is most certainly one of them. This is a wonderfully composed piece that seems to have many musical facets, at times reflective, but with a hint of romance as well. The performance is crafted and extremely listenable; one can also detect a slight element of the classical within the structures of this quite moving opus.

Now we are all up for some inspiration are we not? Graff gives us that moment right now in one of her most ingenious offerings called Inspiration, this is such an astute piece, one can never quite figure out which road it is going to take, but it doesn’t seem to matter as the composition grows and evolves all on its own.

We now finish Barbara Graff style, with a flourish as we add some further instrumentation to the keyboards used here, and finish with two versions of the same track, the latter being a bonus track with vocals and entitled Sweet Eclipse, the mood is upbeat as is the percussion, a truly clever and inventive way to finish and end the album.

Secret Beach is a wonderfully imaginative album and Barbara Graff must be pleased with her efforts, she has created several new songs, and manifested a wonderfully fluent musical narrative with which to deliver them with. Moments of reflection, emotion, calm, serenity and happiness can all be found here on an album that sparkles with vitality and positivity, an album well worth a recommendation.

It Is Time (Ze Hazman) By Elisete

It Is Time (Ze Hazman)
Written by
Steve Sheppard

Hot on the heels of her last huge hit My Amazonas Hope, Elisete is back with another single, this time entitled It Is Time (Ze Hazman). We will find a little divine timing with this offering, as it gifts us a lyrically empowering moment of magic, it really is time to accept ourselves.

This is a superb light performance that will raise inspirational energy within each of us, and get the day off to a fantastic start. Elisete is one of those vocalists who have an encouraging and investable style, her voice is warm and emboldening, and the song is incredibly addictive.

It Is Time (Ze Hazman) is indeed a single of motivating proportions, beautifully sung and with just the right balance of added instrumentation to make this offering accessible to all; this one should find its way into the hearts and minds of the listeners with ease.

The Immortal (2020) By Matias Bacoñsky

The Immortal (2020)
Matias Bacoñsky
Written by
Steve Sheppard

Matias Bacoñsky is back with a new single, and the artist is in his usual powerful and dramatic mode too, the sheer intensity within a Bacoñsky production is something to stand and admire in awe.

The almost cinematic presentation of The Immortal (2020) sees some of the most cultured piano you will have likely heard for quite some time, and all to a simply delightful symphonic back drop as well.

The fascinating juxtaposition of crescendo and tempo within this composition is utterly compelling; The Immortal (2020) has to be one of the most commanding performances given by the artist so far, and one of the most astute too, with soft and gentle segments, followed by passionate and potent elements, this is without doubt a full flowing and undeniable work of art. 

Evermore by KeithTim Anderson

KeithTim Anderson
Written by
Steve Sheppard

The latest single by KeithTim Anderson arrived on my desk with the freshness of a spring shower and with the energy of something new and delightful born into the world. We need more good music like Evermore, as here is a single that resonates with the word hope, and places a musical arm around the shoulder, to tell us all will be well.

The performance on this latest single by KeithTim Anderson is both beautifully played and with a vast amount of warmth too. The piano brings forth a delicate melody that slides into our hearts and minds and never leaves, an utterly charming composition indeed, and surely a guaranteed chart hit if there is any justice in the world.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Memories From a Sea View By Kostas Boukouvalas

Memories From a Sea View
Kostas Boukouvalas
Written by
Steve Sheppard

This is somewhat of a truism for me, as out of my upstairs balconies I have several sea views, so I can really appreciate this album from Kostas Boukouvalas called Memories From a Sea View completely, and all that it brings to my senses. This is a musical journey of many styles, influences and instrumentation.

We start our journey with the opener entitled Star Dance; this is a piece with depth and a whole lot of passion, one that weaves a sense of true movement into its arrangement with ease.

We now drift into the arms of the next offering entitled Imprisoned in a Dream; there is a beautiful sense of ambience with the construction of this composition that is utterly delightful, both the piano and guitar bring us an energy of a mystical quality. This is one addictive song; one I found hard to truly leave behind me as it was so well performed.

Sand Paintings had a blissful energy of innocence in its tones that I found most graceful indeed, but below that there was a somewhat mysterious layer of minor magic that kept the attention firmly on the composition, and its tremendous presentation.

In Cyprus, normally we tend to spend a lot of time on the beach, and that is where we are going virtually within this track called, Listening to Bach on the Beach. Whilst we do so, we can listen to Bach in this meditative offering that contains some perfectly balanced sounds of the ocean lapping up to the warm sands of the aforementioned beach. The Violin here is both haunting and soothing in its musical narrative.

The fluency of the piano on Memory Waves is something to be admired, one can literally drift along with this up-tempo offering with ease. The melody and mood of this arrangement is indeed sun kissed and warming to listen to.

A Little Cancer Attacks may sound like a curious title, but as were on the beach I am hoping this refers to the Crab of the Zodiac, the fast paced and jagged keyboard performance would lead me to think so, and indeed, if you listen to its compositional structure, this is rather a clever song, pretty much mimicking the movement of this oceanic creature.

The delightful strings of Sea & Sky Mating had an almost mesmeric effect upon me as I listened. There was something classical, perhaps in the style of Vaughn Williams, but the mood and melody was so picturesque and colourful, and for me at times depicted a view where perhaps the land meets the sea itself!

The gentle refrains of the piano float around us with a gentle calming sense of serenity now, as we listen to Far Away but Still Here. The ambience created here is idyllic, the addition of the guitar created a little extra dimension of musical craft to the proceedings, one that indeed added an extra sense of musical colour to the piece.

Beach Party Echoes is next, it is time to change the energy on this extremely warm afternoon, the deep plunging bass line here is powerful and profound, whilst the keyboards of Boukouvalas wend a fascinating shimmering narrative of fun days that seemed endless and would never change, but now are just echoes across a windswept landscape.

As the boats in Paphos harbour head for their moorings, you can usually hear on the tourist boats, the waves of sound carrying the world famous Zorba and his dance echoing around the port. However here on this offering entitled Zorba’s Gaze, we get a moment to listen to a memory packed guitar performance that reminds me of those precious meditative moments sitting far away from the crowds, watching the glistening on the blue horizon, and the shimmering of the waves as they crash upon the rocks. This is one of the most tranquil, yet picturesque performances on the album, and utterly delightful.

With each passing of a day, our lives evolve into special segments to be remembered, these are moments and memories and this penultimate creation is a testament to those mental perambulations, it is entitled Requiem for a Moment. The artist with this offering has created a masterful composition of musical genius, one packed with so many memories, with so many emotions and feelings, this is one of those tracks that you might well find yourself playing on repeat for hours, and not even noticing.

The last portal to this dimension is called The Irreversibility of Time and in a way is almost a testament to the last piece. It’s deep moving and slow tempo allows the listener to bathe in the memories of time itself, this is an outstanding performance to finish with, and easily one of the most emotive off the album, both keyboards and piano are in complete harmony here, and ending what has been a fascinating, and at times an incredibly thoughtful and passionate album.

Memories From a Sea View by Kostas Boukouvalas is an fine example of how to create a truly fascinating album, one that utilises the options of multi-instrumentation, but at all times managing to hold each and every composition into a format so listenable and perfectly balanced. This is music to be completely enjoyed whether you have a sea view like me, or not.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Moods, Impressions & Souvenirs By Pam Asberry

Moods, Impressions & Souvenirs
Pam Asberry
Written by
Steve Sheppard

Following up from what was an incredibly prolific 2019 for pianist Pam Asberry, the artist is back with one her most powerful albums so far, with this latest release, Moods, Impressions & Souvenirs.

This beautiful new offering comprises of 11 tracks inspired by the works and travels of Czech composer Zonek Fibich. I would also like to kick off this review by noting the album artwork; it is so nice to see watercolours being used to manifest something so redolent of the subject matter to life.

The music is inspiring to say the least, and the opener Praha Fantasy sets the scene divinely, sublime fluency mixed with a little mystery can be found here. This was one of my personal favourites from the album; and a moment I never wanted to end.

This next track is an interesting song for me, as we have them close in on our coastlines, and the track I am alluding to is of course Swimming with Stingrays. Asberry’s performance here is sublime, she plays with such a sun kissed ability, one could with ease picture the liquid movement of both the swimmer and ray, both in perfect harmony together through this sparkling presentation.

The energy of movement on this next offering is wonderfully depicted and beautifully executed; the composition is the classy and cleverly played The Astronomical Clock. The arrangement reminded me in parts of Doug Hammer at times, but one steeped very deeply in the realm of all things classical, as a listener I would have to admit to now being totally addicted to this piece, and I can see it popping up constantly on my musical playlists.

As we move to track four, we find a lush dimension of one of the most colourful pieces off the release entitled Adagio. One is in constant admiration here of Asberry’s touch on the keys, she has really mastered all the nuances that go to make a splendid performance, this arrangement has that little something extra too, one could easily see this being used in a movie soundtrack, it has an incredibly haunting quality to its construction.

There is a soothing sense of warmth about this next piece entitled Reminiscence. This stylish presentation is played with such charm; it is a memory palace of heartfelt moments of time suspended in love. Asberry magically brings the past to life within this offering.

We now drift across the mirrored pool of this tranquil album, and as we do so we come across a song that is filled with emotion, passion and great movement, it is called Cry from Lamanai. We can certainly sense unknown lands being explored within this tracks refrains; there is a clever addition of a little tribal intensity here too, perhaps the Lamanai in question could be part of what was once the Mayan civilization.

I have a lot of love for this next track, as we speak it is the current single of the artist, and when I first heard this composition I was totally moved. Floating is a song that is as delightful as a spring morning in May, it has a duel combination of minor and major energies that make it a total hit for me personally.

So it is time to take A Walk Across the Charles Bridge. We are now swimming within the deeper realms of the album, but this amiable and craft-fully played opus is as light hearted as the walk across the bridge suggests, this is a true feel good composition.

I was in a Reverie the other day, there is indeed much these days to think deeply about. Asberry takes her time with this arrangement and in doing so, allows it to create its own narrative. The performance is light, but contemplative; this tenderly played song is a true composition of the heart and soul.

We land on the doormat of the last offering of the album and this enchanting piece is called October in Paris, a song to listen to in the coffee shops and bistros perhaps. The flow and pattern of Asberry’s creation here is so captivating, with a nice ascendance of power, but partnered at all times by a lyrical chorus and perfect balance.

We have once more arrived at the last piece off the album; we now have an opportunity to attend the artist’s last recital as she plays White Poppy for our eager musical souls. You will find within this beautiful ambient offering a pristine tenderness that is almost palpable, but a performance on piano that is delightfully tender and an attractive way to end the album indeed.

Mood, Impressions and Souvenirs is another step up the ladder for Pam Asberry, she is growing her ability to be an alluring musical narrator, and it shows in abundance within this glorious album. Moods, Impressions & Souvenirs oozes class and style, and if ever an album from the front cover to the quality performances inside were to win someone over, this would be the one. Here is a release of wonderfully magnetic and persuasive piano and one absolutely recommended by this music writer.

Trust In Love By Cadence Spalding

Trust In Love
Cadence Spalding
Written by
Steve Sheppard

Cadence Spalding hasn’t just been on a roll lately, she is a one woman avalanche of sublime musical genius. This latest single is another amazing milestone of class and utter charm, and the anthem like refrains that utter from it have a crafted hook, a sing along chorus, and a texture of calm and serenity that is simply heavenly.

Trust in Love could well be one of those singles that gains the ultimate musical prize of becoming a timeless fan favourite, her vocals within this stunning offering show Spalding at her best, she emphasises a clever rise in energy when needed, and brings a wonderful intensity to the dynamics with perfection, vocal music in the new age industry simply doesn’t come any better than this.

Island Dream By Fransoafran

Island Dream
Written by
Steve Sheppard

One of the most delightful singles from the New Age genre has now just passed my desk, and this glorious and colourful musical narrative by Fransoafran entitled Island Dream, soothes my senses like nothing before.

The artist has not only created something magical here, he has also produced a musical interpretation of Island Life with utter perfection and a sublime attention to detail.

The simply idyllic Bamboo Flute of Thang Tran, partners Fransoafran’s enlightened efforts on his three instruments of choice, Violin, Viola and Vietnamese Gongs, and all to the poignant touches of a background of sweet natural sounds

Singles of this quality are a rare treat, and my delight is emphasised by the sheer pleasure I derived from listening to this new offering from the artist, if this isn’t a huge hit, there is no justice in the world.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Walking the Path of Peace By Ken Noland

Walking the Path of Peace
Ken Noland
Written by
Steve Sheppard

The world of flute music took a huge step forward with the Native American Styled Flute Awards on One World Music Radio the other day, solo flute, and with other instrumentation is, and has now become, a must listen to genre of music, and has now placed it on the centre stage of the vast realm of what can be determined as instrumental music.

One of the artists that this spotlight has shone most prestigiously upon, is one of the nominees for best song solo flute track, and a winner of a Soaring Eagle Award in one Ken Noland, his true hearted and organic performances are certainly endearing himself to a vast global audience these days.

Noland has also now released his second studio album and it is this journey that we shall travel today. This voyage of flute starts with the earthy textures of Walk Beside Me, one that morphs afterwards into one of my personal favourites from the album in Morning Song. I have lived in Oklahoma and this was something that really wouldn’t have been out of place there upon a glorious sunrise; a quite transcendent offering indeed.

The haunting qualities of The Other Side of the Stars are so powerful and quite moving; the flute of Noland seems to hover with a level of expectancy that is rarely seen these days, then the short and jolly Woodland Jazz offers a different direction to walk in beauty with, while Intercessor is a composition that has a perceivable level of depth within its construction that is truly undeniable.

On Eagles Wings is the midpoint of the album and is indeed one of the most beautiful arrangements upon it. The performance here is one of the best solo efforts I have heard this year, its quality of composition is delightful in manifesting something so truly insightful and moving, it feel likes Noland has poured his very heart and soul into this piece.

There is Always Tomorrow is our first doorway into the second half of the album, and once more the artist plays with a connection to the divine and the loving embrace of his ancestors and elders watching over him. This is a masterful solo flute performance by the artist.

My favourite mantra has always been the title of this song We Are One, so it is with a happy smile that I come across this flute/native drum combo on the album. I must thank Ken at this point, because after listening to this track it has inspired Chrissie and myself to give it a go as well, a wonderfully organic offering indeed.

As we move into the deeper waters of the release we come across a truly spiritual offering in the track Keeper of the Heart. The tones and vibrations that come from this offering are so warm and all encompassing, a beautifully played piece that deserves a lot of recognition for its unique and enchanting performance.

A gentle acoustic guitar joins Noland on this next composition entitled The Woman I Love a track written for his wife, and then we seamlessly slide into the penultimate song entitled Spirt in the Wind, this is such a persuasive slice of solo flute, one that I am sure I will be listening to again, and many times over.

Sadly we have now come to the end of our sojourn of mystical flute with Ken Noland and we part company with what in my view is the best piece off the album, and of course the track the artist was nominated for, My Soul Takes Eagle's Wings. There is something so uplifting and captivating about this track, it is easy to see why it received a nomination for an award.

Ken Noland is fast becoming noted as a passionate flute performer and a consummate artist, always giving everything to his audience, often for charitable causes too, and always honouring his ancestors with his heart felt and honest compositions. Walking the Path of Peace by Ken Noland is an album that will warm your heart and bring peace to you soul, this is blissful, uncomplicated Native American styled flute music at its best.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Pacific Blue By Nicholas Gunn

Pacific Blue
Nicholas Gunn
Written by
Steve Sheppard

There are some albums that come into your life and literally touch your soul, they enthral your heart with good music, and lift your senses to previously unknown parallels of existence, Pacific Blue by Nicholas Gunn is now one of those albums.

This smooth and textured release starts with the graphic and beautifully coloured Into the Vastness. This is something truly special to start with, the lush and emotive keyboards and synths here, create a world teaming with possibilities and an abundance of life; a truly amazing start indeed.

Up right now is the awe inspiring And I (feat. Alina Renae). It doesn’t take a genius to suggest that this would be hit single with ease. The gentle keyboards perfectly match Renae’s imploring vocals in a track that you just won’t be able to stop playing.

Sailing has all the hallmarks of a truly beautiful ambient creation, it’s pristine and delicate tones greet our ears with the same propensity of an early summer morning breeze by the coast. The synths of Gunn here are utterly spellbinding, and the genre crossing styled chill out ethic, gives us a sense of an undeniable moment with a superb composition.

The quality of performance is something to admire right through the album, but a fine example among many, is this offering entitled Chasing The Light. The guitar sound is sun kissed, the keyboards and pertinent percussion are bathed in energy so redolent of here in the Mediterranean; this is one album and track that has to go to the beach with me.

The vocals of Alina Renae return on this next song entitled Fallen.  The production quality here is immense and builds gradually to an utterly perfect performance. The construction of composition on this piece is undeniably clever and the bass line tugs at the musical heart with ease.

The wide open expanse of the ocean can be sampled again now through this next piece called Adrift. An almost Medwyn Goodall guitar takes us on a journey through the wide open expanse of life and experiences. The mood here is truly captivating; one can literally flow with this quite colourful arrangement.

There is a mesmeric sense of ambience on this next piece entitled Float, a partner in tune to the previous offering, but lighter in its construction, never the less, a moment indeed to flow on the harmonic juxtaposition of tone, pitch and resonance. The nature of this track is calming and sensitive in its overall energies, and one to be loved and listened to many times over.

We now look across the horizon to glimpse the ever growing presence of the title track Pacific Blue (feat. Alina Renae). Emotive lyrically and thoroughly enjoyable in its presentation, the hovering intent here is palpable, the keyboards, synths and production of this arrangement is so very addictive to listen to, even the added tension that makes one feel the piece is going to explode is so very well crafted indeed.

Our penultimate offering is a song about my current location and called Coast.  The waving palm trees sway in an early summer breeze, the Lapis Lazuli ocean shimmers with an expectancy of warmer days and nights ahead, and the perfect soundtrack to all of that is this very piece entitled Coast. The smooth and delicate tempo really made this one a winner for me, and its melody and construction makes this composition one of the most charming musical offerings off the album.

We are now knocking on the doorway of the very last portal of music on this wonderful new album, it’s entitled Out from the Deep (feat. Alina Renae). The build and progression on this piece is amazing. Here is also a fine example on how to end an album. Gunn once again employs the talents of vocalist Renae and finishes with a true grandstand song, a composition that has power and intensity, but one that has an anthem styled quality too, that for me was utter perfection and simply the best way to leave the release.

Pacific Blue by Nicholas Gunn is a wonderful collection of compositions that could with ease cross a multitude of genres and not bother a single purist whilst doing so. For me this was and is a journey I fully intend to take again, one packed with quality productions, sublime compositions of great style and craft, and an album I am more than delighted to recommend to anyone.

See Me Now By Cadence Spalding

See Me Now
Cadence Spalding
Written by
Steve Sheppard

If you have been looking for something vibrant and empowering to blast away the blues, then you need to look no further than See Me Now by Cadence Spalding.

The artist has been a constant name in the singles chart for months now, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon, and that’s a truly good thing as the singer has taken the vocal branch of the new age industry and shaken it to its core.

See Me Now is a fast paced up-tempo composition that contains a really driving narrative of tone to do exactly what it says on the can.

In my view she has done it again, I cannot envisage this powerful song failing to impress the fans and listeners; Spalding must surely be chart bound once more.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Lonely Bird By Louis Colaiannia

Lonely Bird
Louis Colaiannia
Written by
Steve Sheppard

The ambience that resides within this latest single by Louis Colaiannia is utterly delectable, the descriptive nuances doubly so. Lonely Bird the latest offering by the artist, is a single born out of desire to create a little beauty for a world in chaos at the moment.

Listening to this inspiring offering is like being released into the skies above, being able to break free and soar away from the madness. The string accompaniment is so delicate, but precise, and the textured performance by Colaiannia on piano is really something to admire.

In my view the artist has created something here that is transcendent and gloriously artistic, and one to certainly recommend.

The Riddle Of A Soul By Anantakara

The Riddle Of A Soul
Steve Sheppard

Just when you think you have heard everything that is beautiful in the genre of electronic music, something always comes along to shake the tree; that just happened with the release of the quite stunning The Riddle Of A Soul by Anantakara.

This lush and at times quite moving opus of electronic brilliance is one of those singles you literally never want to end, the compositional structure, its ambience and performance, all drew me in to a realm as of yet untouched, and by its conclusion, one that would leave me wanting more.

The Riddle Of A Soul is nothing more than six minutes of musical magic by Anantakara, and one that I truly believe could be quite popular with the listeners and fans alike.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

It's Time - For a Sustainable World By Freja Eriksen

It's Time - For a Sustainable World
Freja Eriksen
Written by
Steve Sheppard

The lyrics within this incredible song are now more relevant now than ever before, it’s 2020 and our planet has just kicked our behinds with one of the hardest reminders of just who is the boss.

This beautifully poignant song by Eriksen should now be the world anthem as a constant reminder to turn our fear into love. This is one of those songs that need to be played on repeat across the planet, until everyone can unite behind its enlightenment and heartfelt lyrics, and make the changes we must make.

A sublime performance by Freja Eriksen, one with such a delightful array of instrumentation and production quality, this on its own would be an outstanding single, given the global circumstances we all find ourselves in, this is a moment of very timely genius, full marks Freja Eriksen, now let’s love the world, like it’s our best friend!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Waveforms By Liam Boyle

Liam Boyle
Written by
Steve Sheppard

This latest journey about to be taken, Waveforms by Liam Boyle, is the epitome of everything good and great in the genre of electronic music in the 21st century, its fluency and quality of production is smooth and quite breathtakingly classy. Boyle has produced something here that is incredibly listenable and has given me the opportunity to write a somewhat different style of review, as each composition is entitled Waveforms 1 through to 10.

The speed and texture of the opening piece to this album is simply addictive to listen to and draws you in with a simple flick of the switch, for me it was like being drawn literally into the machine.

The character of this album stands tall and each and every composition has its own resonance, one of my personal favourites was the second arrangement off the album, for me it reminded me at times of a mix of both Vangelis in his early years and AD music recording artist Ashok Prema, the mysterious energy added to the mix made this piece a total winner for me.

Sometimes people ask me how many times do I listen to an album before writing about it, the honest answer is at least two times, I want to and like to, get a feel for the music, allow it to become part of me for the duration. This album, well I’m now on my 4th listen, and each time I do so I love it more and more, track 3 is sublime for my interest in smooth, slow, and reflective electronic material, and probably my favourite off the album.

The keyboards and synths on this entire album are masterfully played by Boyle, he is clearly a man who not only knows his stuff, but allows his musical muse to create through his own personal Waveform, and a fine example is track 4, a piece that at times almost takes me back to the great years of Tomita with the symphonic gestures and moods.

I remember going to the Tate Modern in London, I do enjoy modern art and this entire album would be a perfect accompaniment for a walking around the gallery experience, track 5 especially, the vibe here and percussive sounds are fascinatingly tranquil yet vibrant at the same time. However an arrangement of a different colour can be found in the more galactic elements of track 6, and even offers up something of a regal energy at times, perhaps even a little Blade Runner in their as too.

This is my 4th complete listen and I cannot believe just how quick this experience has gone, each track is beautifully played and produced, the build and structure of each arrangement is utterly sublime to behold, with the ambient floating nature of track 7, to the dark halls of what I like to call the albums power piece of track 8, the tone and intent here is incredibly electrifying.

The penultimate composition has a constant driving force of a musical narrative about its construct, one could imagine with ease, cruising around some alien world in a land buggy to this one, and perhaps the composition and its classy performance on synths by Boyle, could even be used in a sci-fi movie.

The last portal to this exciting new album Waveforms by Liam Boyle contains vibrations of mystery and imagination and was another absolute favourite of mine, its powerful arrangement gave me that same tingle of excitement I had when I first heard the theme to Assault on Precinct 13 by the great John Carpenter.

Waveforms by Liam Boyle is an electronic music album of sublime class and production, each track literally lures you in so deep, that the only way out is listening to the entire album note by note until its conclusion. From start to finish Waveforms keeps you hooked and wanting more, it aids you on your exploration of tone and vibrancy, and has to be the best of its genre I have heard this year, how can I not recommend something as good as this.