Artist Review: Chuck W – “Get Your Shit Together!” LP

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

With an exercise in innovation, experimentation and musical stimulation, Long Island’s Chuck W brings forth 4 years of in-depth puzzle pieces in every track of the frenetic, lo-fi synth-travel signature sound of his Get Your Shit Together! LP. An album that not only grabs you with persistent musicality, but imagery as well.

This instrumental album is comprised with a vast array of musical elements that range from clever looping samples, atmospheric textures, groovy tempos and jazz-infused outbursts that top off with a theatrical and at-times industrial edge. The track “Monoarm” is a grungy and multifaceted set of layers that sends us on an audio and visual journey. The ambient mood that underlies in this frantic track really demonstrates Chuck‘s dynamic behind the mixing board, as well as his songwriting structure that touches on many tangible elements that gives this song the push that it needs to enter your brainwaves. It’ll stick with you in a way you can’t really explain, but it’ll easily have you enticed to explore the rest of this album with your antennas for detail up. The rhythmic groove on this song is not only notable, but downright necessary. There are no blanks to fill on this track – Chuck covers all bases on “Monoarm” and really delves into detail that gives him undeniable versatility.

Veering over to the soundtrack-worthy “Jazz For A Rainy Day”, this creepy track lends an arm to a more theatrical take on Chuck‘s signature touch. This one gives you visuals and it really dives deep into the clever songwriting structures that is made apparent throughout the album. This keyboard-driven track really adds a fascinating parallel to the other songs on the album and really adds more concept to this multilayered musical journey.

Get Your Shit Together! is a nostalgic landscape of audio imagery that is immediately gratifying to the experimental sides of our brains. It has a wit and charm that speaks solely through instruments, structure and textures. Once you give this a listen, you won’t quite be the same again. But you’ll keep coming back to this album to go through each measure of detail, trying to capture every puzzle piece of the in-depth structure that Chuck W conjures throughout this album’s duration. You can’t go wrong with this album – there’s nothing else like it.

Connect with Chuck W:

Listen to “Monoarm”:

Listen to “Jazz For A Rainy Day”:

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Artist Review: Ples Jones – “Sounds Of The Mind” LP

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky & Bethany Stephenson

Today’s era of Electronic Music and Hip Hop can be very convoluted with all the sub genres that conjure from today’s contemporary run-of-the-mill artists. It’s a big industry with a persistent rise of up-and-comers from platforms like SoundCloud, DatPiff and those alike. While those platforms remain true to form, it’s hard to stand out from this massive crowd. But every now and then you run into one of those rare gems that truly is a standout of their caliber. And a shining example of this gem is Pittsburgh-based Electronic DJ and Producer Ples Jones with his latest LP “Sounds Of The Mind”.

As the title suggests and perhaps putting one of the freshest takes on today’s Electronic Music standard, Jones comes out swinging on every track of this album and brilliantly showcases his versatile craft by setting a nostalgic tone to his signature Chillhop sound. Specializing in R&B and House music, Jones conjures a refreshing vibe to the table that dynamically puts his skillset to the forefront with exceptional precision and authenticity. He’s been honing his craft behind the mixing board for 15 years, touching on his love for Jazz and Soulful R&B additives to a very addictive Hip Hop sound that is reminiscent with yesterday and today’s more elite producers.

“Sounds Of The Mind” really sets the perfect nostalgic tone in consistency and never waivers from the nostalgic flow Jones brings to each track with his clever production techniques and versatile compositions. With tracks like “Alonzo’s Groove”, “Apologia” and “Bleu Light” to kick this record off, you immediately get a grasp on Jones‘ ability to create tracks that touch on several genre elements that blend very tastefully. The beats and rhythm sections that carry each song drives every electronic-infused melody perfectly and really delves into a craft that touches on equal parts originality and familiarity. Carrying over to “Cherish”, this track serves up a classic R&B style that really puts soul into the record. It is refreshing goodness with that perfect beat that reminds us how R&B was meant to be. The standout on this album, however, is feature-artist track “Drop”. A Hip Hop track with EDM touches that features brilliant lyrical hooks and bars from feature artist Phantom. This sweet concoction delivers an array of genre blending, vibrancy, consistency and everything in between to make this song completely unforgettable and a home run on the album.

“EmpPHATic” is a synth-driven tune that continues to drive the R&B element forward and really helps carry weight on this record with its vibrant setting and ambient flavor. “Late Nite Snack” brings us more of that nostalgic feeling this album has demonstrated from the beginning while “Married To The 90s” and “Shine” are more upbeat and animated in their execution. These four tracks in particular really give us a deep dive into the diversity of Ples Jones‘ production value and garners a dynamic quality that is rare among today’s DJs and EDM creators. The next feature-artist standout track “Quien Tiene Boca (feat. Alba Santos)” is a tasty R&B flavor with an amazing Spanish vocal delivery and soulfully crafted melody. The vocal mix on this song in particular is more than notable as it is beautifully performed. This one will get your heart fluttering. “Rise” is another female-featured track with a sound reminiscent to Sia with its own special touch. Featuring female singer Liz Cirelli, this dreamlike sequence brings new heights to the album with a sense of climax and anticipation as the track plays out. It’s brilliantly mixed, perfectly executed and adds more layers to this record while remaining consistent in the overall signature sound.

The bass and beat-driven “Santorini” is edgy and industrial with a darker tone in its delivery and fits like a glove with the predecessors on the record. “Shine (feat. Late Nite Vegas)” is the perfect subsequence that also captivates a darker tone with an upbeat flow and clever production narrative, while closing track “The Realization” brings us a synth-infused light at the end of the tunnel as a perfect album closer. Altogether, creating an innovative and creatively effective album where all the pieces fit no matter how many times you hear it.

The best thing about “Sounds Of The Mind” is the execution of each song with top of the line production value. Every track flows perfectly to the next while keeping consistency afoot with nostalgic vibes and tasteful genre blends. This album is not just recommended, it’s an absolute must-listen in its own right and demonstrates a very versatile skillset that Ples Jones showcases from beginning to end. This album has staying power with an ability to keep you coming back for more. You’ll be more than happy you gave this album a spin, and this record will definitely entice you to look deeper into Ples Jones‘ artist journey.

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Artist Review: The Jive Aces – “Diggin’ The Roots Volume 1 & 2” LPs

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Don’t just go back to your roots – dig them!

We’ve heard a lot of today’s takes on classic songs from many new age contemporary artists, as well as tribute bands and cover artists putting their own spin on yesterday’s hits from many calibers of genres with a fresh additive or two. Some do it well, some fall flat, and then there’s the few and far between gem that comes out swinging with the charms of both yesterday’s and today’s most influential eras wrapped up into one super tight package. That, my friends, is The Jive Aces.

This UK-based band are definitely not a bunch of randies by any means. Renowned worldwide for their high-energy spectacular showmanship, this elite group has garnered an enormous following from a combination of acclaims including their viral video for the track “Bring Me Sunshine” and for also being the first live band to reach the final rounds of “Britain’s Got Talent”. Since then, The Jive Aces have firmly established themselves as the UK’s No.1 Jive & Swing band, and show no indication of slowing down their momentum anytime soon.

So with a résumé like that, you know there has to be something of theirs worth putting on your playlist. And their 2-Volume LPs Diggin’ The Roots are shining examples of their tightly knit signature sound of songs we’ve all come to know and love over many, many years. Boasting into today’s production value while maintaining that old school influential charm, we get a more than solid performance on both records comprised of eclectically professional musicians that absolutely own their roles on every track to deliver a sound that not only resonates with the classic each song became long ago, but with a whole new realm of energy and technique that gets us to appreciate them all over again in a whole new way, in a whole new era.

Diggin’ The Roots is exactly as advertised. They are tracks that have brought on endless inspiration and appreciation among a majority of today’s prominent artists and are the roots to their stories. On The Jive Aces Volume 1 record, RockinRhythm & Blues, we get a tastefully blended album of 13 tracks with many flavorful additives. Classic tunes on Volume 1 include smash hits “Jump, Jive & Wail”, “Feelin’ Happy”, “I Want You To Be My Baby”, and many others of the same caliber. Led by lead vocalist Ian Clarkson, who also takes up roles on trumpet and ukulele, his clean and vibrant voice in the forefront of every song really solidifies the band’s approach. The right rhythm section really paves the way for the rest of the band, and really puts the proper backing behind Clarkson’s effective vocal takes and melody placements. With hot piano leads, an anthemic brass section and funky fiddles added to the mix, this fresh look at some of our favorite Rockin’ Rhythm & Blues tracks will definitely get you up off of your feet and own the dance floor.

On their Volume 2 record, Hot Jazz, we get the same Jive Aces vibe with their tight grasp on 13 more classic tunes that combine equal parts originality and familiarity, just like Volume 1. Staying true to form like the previous chapter of this 2-part release, we get an instrumentally versatile execution of fan favorites from the classic Jazz era that includes “Jeepers Creepers”, “On The Sunny Side Of The Street” and “It’s Been A Long, Long Time“. Both of these records absolutely compliment each other and bring a brand new timeless edge to every perfected measure. The showmanship factors are undeniable and one thing that screams from these releases are the words “INCREDIBLE LIVE SHOW”. Diggin’ The Roots really brings out each member’s musicianship abilities and when put together, collectively bring out a stick dynamite just ready to go off at every event they play. And their devoted fan base and successful career milestones reflect that. But one of the most notable things about The Jive Aces is their authenticity – there is no wacky autotune, no oversaturated production techniques, and absolutely no cheat methods whatsoever being used. This band can produce live exactly what they do in the studio, which is a rare thing in today’s digital age of music.

The Jive Aces are the breath of fresh air you’ve been needing for a long time. They are a standout of their caliber, and once you take a listen to both volumes of Diggin’ The Roots, you’ll see and hear exactly why they are the UK’s number 1 Jive & Swing band.

Connect with The Jive Aces:

•Link to Volume 1: http://jiveaces.com/album/518834/diggin-the-roots-vol-1-rockin-rhythm-blues

•Link to Volume 2: http://jiveaces.com/album/518835/diggin-the-roots-vol-2-hot-jazz

•Official Website: http://www.jiveaces.com

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Artist Review: Jonah Melvon – “RainWater Project” LP

Review by: Justyn W. Brodsky

Some music knows exactly how to touch the soul. With ambient vocal melodies, passionate rhythms and multifaceted male/female hooks, Jonah Melvon delivers up an innovative and soulful R&B album of anthems with that classic sound with brilliant textures of Jazz, Hip Hop and everything in between with every track on his newest LP RainWater Project.

Delving into a spectrum of a glistening R&B signature sound that perfectly resonates from the classics we’ve all come to know and love combined with today’s modern sensibility, RainWater Project is a triumphant album of tracks that really offer up an artist’s true passion in both performance value, as well as the strong messages in the content. This record awakens the entrepreneur spirit within all of us with his song “1099 (Mom And Pops)” from the album. A piano-infused, bluesy laid back tune that really nurtures the Soul from both Jonah‘s vocals, as well as the female feature artist. The song’s bossa-nova and rhythmic tempo really carries the mood of the track with each verse standing its own ground with the narratives and melodies paralleling each other perfectly. Then landing us into a chorus that’ll have you singing this one in your head well after it’s over.

The album also plants the spotlight on areas like gentrification, and an inhuman presidency crafted from his anthemic track “What’s Good for You“. A song that is powerful in its delivery and versatile in its overall edge. This track, with just as much swagger, puts another modern bluesy touch on this finely tuned single that brings out a brilliant execution from all angles. The message is powerful and the Hip Hop-additive makes this track very effective and gives it the perfect touches. It’s a song that really explores the true core of Jonah‘s talent and vocal approach. From songwriting technique to the song’s nostalgic pacing, this song will definitely win you over and will have you exploring the rest of this album more closely.

The biggest standout about RainWater Project is the authenticity and originality. A dynamic blend of tracks that mix the best of yesterday’s R&B approach and today’s innovative production value in all the right places. That, along with the multi-genre additives and several tasty flavors from each track will make this album one of your favorite Soul/R&B records you’ve heard this year so far. It’s an album with staying power, the power to stay with you well after it’s over. It’s also the type of record that will have you diving further into Jonah Melvon‘s catalogue as well as future prospects. RainWater Project is gonna give him a very promising year, and if this review is what lead you to his discovery, you’ll be thanking us later.

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Artist Review: No-EL Dacosta – “The Soul Man From The Endz” LP

FrReview by: Justyn W. Brodsky & Bethany A. Stephenson

A truly modern triumph, and a realm of R&B the way it was meant to be is what No-EL Dacosta‘s The Soul Man From The Endz stands up to be, and represents as a whole. An album of tunes that are soulful, versatile, multifaceted, and a realistic caressing of the heart of real R&B music.

But Dacosta‘s album is a lot more than that. This collection of uplifting anthems have additives of Blues, Bossa Nova, Jazz, Jams, Hip Hop and everything in between. From swinging mid-ranged vocal tracks to clear and concise production value, these songs share all kinds of moods. There are blissful feature artists that bring in soothing vocal textures, beautifully crafted guitar and piano compositions. Best of all, each song breathes its own life into each song. You never hear the same thing twice and every track has a new set of features that conjures these songs more into anthems, rather than just songs on an album.

No-EL‘s album is a masterpiece of R&B in its own right, and rightly so. His vocal approach is perfect for the genre and has really put a modern edge to every song on this album. You’ll absolutely love it, and puts R&B into a new modern world that gives it a whole new sound for generations to come.

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Artist Review: Bami – “Stream Of His Grace” EP

Review by: Justyn Brodsky

Captivatingly talented with her voice and spiritually authentic in her message, rising Gospel artist Bami brings us on a modernized journey into the realms of uplifting our Faith in God with her much awaited versatile new EP Streaming Of His Grace.

Bami‘s sound is explosive, multifaceted and graciously fun with a ton of multi-genre additives and flavorful beats on this 4-track record. Her electronically-infused sound combines an array of funky riffs, hypnotic jazzy tempos and a salsa/tropical and Latin edge that brings out her voice very effectively and tastefully. Her mid-ranged voice tackles very spiritual content about her Faith in the Lord and really brings a new and fresh approach to the legacy of Gospel music with her compellingly dynamic production and highly intricate song structures.

Delving into the songs themselves, the musicianship factors are unwavering. The rhythmic tempos are extremely neat and tidy and grasp onto composition techniques reminiscent of many jazz and fusion eras, but that’s just one of many components. Her Pop elements also add to the intuitive song structures and really helps carry Bami‘s voice in a way that is front and center, with very tasteful melodies in her vocal approach that resonate perfectly with the bluesy rhythms and chord progressions. This is a modern day triumph of Gospel music that could easily take on a life of its own, and really showcases an amazing range of production techniques and songwriting structures that are rare in Gospel music, if not new altogether.

The most striking part of Streaming Of His Grace is the originality. The record does not emulate any other artist and Bami really delves into a signature sound that is in her own right. You can draw comparisons to her if you think hard enough, but there’s no question that her approach in Gospel is anything but ordinary. If you’re looking for a spiritual record that is also musically fascinating and compelling, then Streaming Of His Grace will absolutely blow your mind.

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Press Release: Kimberly Brewer Gets Ready To Glisten The Christmas Spirit With Her Holiday Anthem “Every Day Feels Like Christmas”

Article by: Justyn Brodsky

With soulfully angelic vocals, an elite group of contributing musicians and multifaceted production value, Kimberly Brewer brings a new kind of magic to the holiday season with her upcoming single, “Every Day Feels Like Christmas”, slated for release on December 13th.

Kimberly is no stranger to the industry at all. She has been on an uphill journey in the world of music and entertainment since she began hitting the ground running in the 80s, and became known for her long time collaboration with Stevie Wonder. She has also contributed vocals to several other superstars including Whitney Houston, Kristen Vigard, Teena Marie, Rick James, K.D. Lang, Will Downing, Boney James, Vanessa Williams, and also toured with Earth, Wind & Fire as a backup vocalist in 2002 and 2004.

Now continuing her musical legacy with her newest holiday single, “Every Day Feels Like Christmas”, Kimberly‘s voice resonates beautifully with the Christmas spirit paralleled by her R&B infused vibrant vocals and soulfully fulfilling, wholesome sound. The contributing band for the track is comprised of some of the industry’s most elite musicians from Kimberly‘s life, including Herman Jackson, Byron Miller, and long time collaborator and musical ally, Stevie Wonder; who rocks a melodic harmonica track on this single.

This song, recorded in just five days as a live session, is a soulful and blissful R&B anthem perfect for the holiday season. The song’s precision in performance and production value brings out the best of Kimberly‘s undeniably catchy and attention-grabbing vocal tones and never fails to embrace your soul in every measure. From several-part harmonies, heartfelt lyrics and a classic R&B feel with today’s modern elements, “Every Day Feels Like Christmas” is a perfect addition to your holiday playlist the whole family will enjoy. Another amazing thing about this song is its staying power – it’s a track that stays with you even long after it’s over. It’s music that lights up your life even in the darkest of times, and when Kimberly sings, she sings to your soul. And it’s a feeling that will stay with you every time you hear her voice, especially in this track.

If you’re a fan of real Soul and R&B music reminiscent of the classic Motown era, then “Every Day Feels Like Christmas” will be one of your favorites for many years to come. It’s a captivating and nostalgic song that brings out the magic of the holiday season, and will be enjoyed for many more to come for this time of year. The single officially releases on December 13th, and will be available on several digital music retailers and streaming platforms.

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