Wednesday, August 17, 2016

SONIA - Lucky Stars EP

Time to Run is a powerful cross-over track that touches upon R&B, dubstep, indie-rock, and industrial genres. The supersonic vocals laid down here by SONIA stand out, ensuring that the track can stand up to high rotation on radio. The titular effort on the Lucky Stars EP tells a tremendous story, further bolstered by bold synths and picture-perfect percussion. Hints of Morcheeba, Massive Attack, AWOLNATION, and Christina Aguilera; the distinct sides of the track struggle for dominance. The resulting effort showcases both elements giving their all. SONIA is able to capture listeners with the slinkiness and allure of her vocals. One can easily imagine the effort on a Bond soundtrack, while having delectable instrumentation in the background. The pageantry espoused in this single will draw listeners in, ensuring that they give the remaining tracks on the EP a good amount of their attention.

Give It All To Me creates a darkly emotive backdrop for SONIA to build upon. Hints of ambient and synth-pop rise to dominance on Give It All To Me, meshing perfectly with bits of modern rock and EDM. The production of the Lucky Stars EP ensures that each part of SONIA’s music is able to shine.  Blue is a brooding masterpiece that showcases stellar vocals as well as instrumental arrangements that give further gravitas to SONIA’s voice. Few artists are able to create a cogent statement with their EPs, but the tracks on SONIA’s latest showcase a performer that is not afraid to adopt other approaches, genres, and sounds to make something that is uniquely her own. Check out her SoundCloud for samples of her music or her Facebook for the latest in information about this up and coming performer.

Top Tracks: Give It All To Me, Lucky Stars

Rating: 8.2/10

SONIA – Lucky Stars EP / 2016 Self-Released / 4 Tracks / /


SONIA - Lucky Stars EP

Sunday, August 14, 2016

C.U.L.T.U.R.E. Interview

Today, we are speaking with Baltimore’s C.U.L.T.U.R.E.. How did you get into hip-hop?Pause 4 A Break Final Art

Hey James first and foremost thank you for taking the time to sit down and speak with me in regards to my artistry and brand.

Man the road to this journey, this destiny has been a long one. I originally was just a fan of the music the scene. You know that whole Yo Mtv Raps, Rap City era once I was able to get the visuals of what was being said I was hooked. But directly to answer you my elder bro John and older cousin John yeah that’s both their governments hahaha, they are the reasons I wanted to be more than just a fan. Because of those two creative forces in my young life I decided I wanted to rhyme. Notice I said rhyme, as a young cat around 10-12 I thought Hip-Hop was just putting together words, you only needed to sound cool. But around 12 or 13 my brother John had a rap group going on at my childhood church. I liked the energy so I wanted to be apart of that. Naturally I thought just being his brother was good enough to get in the group but it wasn’t. He pulled me to the side one day after a performance and let me know that this is art, more than a melody more than just rhymes. So I shut myself in my room after that and just started listening to Nas and Wu-Tang mainly and started learning the foundation of rhyming with a purpose. Yup, I had a brother in a christian rap group, a cousin that was a well known b-boy, secular music from The GZA, Nasir all all of  my mom’s and dad’s words influencing me. And thus the start of C.U.L.T.U.R.E.

Can you give us a little background information about yourself, your music, and your multi-media activities?Still Down For Y'all

Well I am a dreamer, man of faith, shy at times artist. A son of a Pastor, yeah one of those mischievous preacher’s kid’s. I originally thought being a Hip-Hop artist was out of reach. So after graduating High School I pursued a career in the crazy Automotive Industry. A factory trained GM technician on paper. Yes I am a certified car nut, anything with wheels on it I am intrigued. The faster, the better it handles with 2 seats a race car for the streets than you got my number. Caution don’t ask if I like Rarri’s or Lambo’s I will definitely walk out of your face with no answer. An ex street racer and street race enthusiast. Before the Fast and the Furious started a false culture amongst me and my peers. But being in the shop was cool somehow though I still felt empty. At the time I thought I could be complacent with obtaining my second dream.

Weird right, most people pursue their first love and if that doesn’t pan out then they move onto plan B. I guess doing things in reverse is the curse of us left handed people hahaha. So my music comes from the life experiences good bad and the ugly. From failed relationships, to trying to wrap my mind around the violence plagued cities to me connecting on a soul crying personal reflection track. Or just offering advice from my perspective. Because I grew up in a very diverse region within Baltimore Maryland my music is for all people, men, women and children. It’s not gutter, not degrading. It uplifts because that’s what art has taught me to do. Shed light on topics kept underground. I come from a blue collar city, so I make music for the working people with dreams and aspirations.

My multi-media reach has been more focused on Youtube because that’s how I connected with music. So personally as an artist I feel every project should have a visual to accompany it. That philosophy is more feasible now because of platforms like Youtube, Vimeo and the cost of doing film work is not to high now. It just fits me better. I actually can’t wait to release my next single project on my Youtube channel. So readers definitely check out my official Youtube channel like, share and subscribe!!


You just released a video for “Pause 4 A Break” in June. What do the visuals add to the song? How’s the overall experience different from your February single, $trings?

To me the visual impact is letting the viewer know this is what Hip-hop is all about. This is how it started the graff, the dancing, emceeing. These all tie into this artform that is now more of a business than a neighborhood past time. I intentionally wanted this filmed in a park because in the birthplace of Hip-hop these events were held there. There was no club willing to allow this culture in, no formal promoters to sell tickets. In a sense this was a way to connect back to the essence . The lyrics and instrumental I wanted to have that old east coast vibe, like the message by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, I wanted people to see the beat. Lastly I brought these different elements to film young and old in to to let people know change in the life does not start with one group, but change in the hood, cities and burbs is a task for all.

The main contrast between “$trings” and “Pause 4 A Break” is me as an artist reflecting on heartbreak to me speaking on and also adding my voice to call for awareness for people to wake up. We must stop hurting each other and began the process of rebuilding community. So “$trings” is more personal and self centered were as “Pause 4 A Break” is focused on the world outside my window.

How has Baltimore helped and hindered your career?

Yeah that’s a touchy subject hahaha. I will say the Baltimore scene has made me a hard worker. Kind of natural because of the blue collar atmosphere here. It has caused me to grow, made me want to stand out in my brand and art at the same time never losing sight of who I am as a man. I have really embraced Daring to Be Different, not by image because image can be put on and taking off. A lifestyle in contrary because this is a reflection of one’s soul. My only hindrance really is I am not a Baltimore focused artist, I mean I love and respect my soil, but this plant has roots for a worldwide outreach. So I care for the community, but I know as an artist my calling is past this city’s and county’s borders. Hence the importance of creating visuals and music that can reach people across the world.

Which artists are the greatest influences for you and your music? Is there a dream lineup of performers that you would like to perform with if given the chance?

I have always wanted to answer this question, I don’t think there is enough space. I will say the artist that has made an impact on my art and life Common or Common Sense depending on how far you back, my uncle Jimmy Waller,  Mos Def, Nas, Kanye, Andre 3000, and Black Thought all of these artists also I admire and look up to. On the rock side it would be Incubus, Korn, Rage. Neo soul Eric Roberson, Anthony David, Erykah Badu, Ledisi. Soul and Funk Bootsy, Parliament, U2 and Curtis Mayfield. Yeah I told ya hahaha.

Dream lineup, Common, The Roots, Incubus, J.Cole, Audio Push, Kindred Family Soul, P.O.D., Yuna, Joss Stone, U2 and KEM.

How has your style evolved and changed over the time since you first started performing?

Yes, funny thing is I only have been performing live going on two years now. I love it, the preparation the performance meeting and networking. But I started recording an album in 2014 finished it by the summer of 2015 and the song formatting and confidence is evident in later recordings.

Two plugs I wanna put in while the door is open. On August 27th I will be the main feature of a show here in Baltimore. Readers can contact me for more info or just checkout my social media accounts for the details. Second plug late November early December I will be releasing my first full length studio album. Don’t want to disclose too much but it will be a healthy collection of material.

Which sort of social media website have you had the best successes with? What about these online services are different from the traditional face to face meeting and performances that musicians utilize?

The best so far has been Facebook, I am slowly grasping Twitter. The main difference for me has been at this point I cannot meet an Hip-hop fan face to face in Chicago, Cleveland, LA, Germany, Brussels or Korea just yet, so these sites help me connect across the globe thru post.

What are your plans for 2016 and beyond? How can interested NeuFutur readers locate samples of your music?

My major plan for the remainder of 2016 is to continue to establish my brand, continue to grow as an artist and provide consistent quality work. Release this completed album with backing visuals and connect with the fan that matters to me the most, everyday people. And stay grounded with life.

Beyond go on tour one day would be a dream, I love to travel.

Readers and the world can check my work on Youtube, Amazon, thru my official website and Google Play. But other outlets are being found everyday.

Thank you so much for your time. Finally, do you have any additional thoughts about life and the universe for our readers?

Yes sir thank you again. Yeah two things to remember young world “The vision takes no labor to create, the work begins with the execution of the dream”. And “Although LIFE changes the DREAM never should alter” Because the race isn’t given to the swiftest but to those that endure. Peace and one L. C.U.L.T.U.R.E.

C.U.L.T.U.R.E. Interview

Friday, August 12, 2016

Hieroglyphic (Barrel Aged Imperial Saison)

The overall saison style is something I can get behind. There is typically a good amount of wheat, hay, and pepper that can be discerned. We received Hieroglyphic from Raleigh, North Carolina’s Gizmo BrewWorks a little bit ago and finally had a second to test it out. Hieroglyphic is the first barrel-aged imperial saison we’ve reviewed; the brew needs a few seconds in a glass to properly breathe. When one takes their first quaff of Hieroglyphic, there is a good amount of bubble gum and citrus elements that come forth immediately. There is a small amount of sharpness that comes through, contributed by the time spent in the barrels. There is a crispness to this beer that ensures individuals will finish the bottle with as much gusto as they began the beer.

Gizmo’s Hieroglyphic is an 8.0% ABV affair, meaning that one 22 ounce bottle should be enough to begin a night spectacularly. The boosted ABV (when compared to a normal saison) ensures that the flavor profile of Hieroglyphic is constant from the beginning to the end of a bottle. Saisons have a tendency to lose some of their sharper elements and become muddled into something that is overly sweet, while Hieroglyphic continues to expand into something delectable each second it sits out and creeps closer to room temperature.

For more information about the entirety of the year-round and seasonal offerings that Gizmo BrewWorks offers, visit their main domain. The brewery’s social media profiles are a great source of information concerning their latest new products and events. Hieroglyphic is one of the best Belgian-inspired beers we’ve received for review so far in 2016, and the desire to change up things and come forth with something that is incredibly different from standard fare is a major strong mark for Gizmo.

Hieroglyphic (Barrel Aged Imperial Saison) / Gizmo BrewWorks / 8.0% ABV / / /

Hieroglyphic (Barrel Aged Imperial Saison)

of Montreal “it’s different for girls”

of Montreal create a track that looks back to Emotional Rescue-era Rolling Stones, linking the sound with hints of Franz Ferdinand and Momus. The twinkling instrumentation, shuffling beat, and echo is used to great impact. The guitar / drum dynamic pushes the track to a higher plateau, with an eclectic sound corralled by a deft set of hands. An otherworldly sound towards the three-fourths mark of the single provides a brief detour before of Montreal can hammer home the catchy chorus one final time. The track’s catchy demeanor and depth of composition makes this into a must-listen.

of Montreal “it’s different for girls” / 2016 / /

of Montreal “it’s different for girls”

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Jonah Cruzz “Multiply”

Jonah Cruzz creates a street-smart, intricate style of rap that builds off of the work of Big K.R.I.T., Kendrick Lamar and Lil’ Wayne. The blend of haunting strings and speedy delivery make this into a perfect smoking song. The punchiness of the backdrop provides ample highlighting to Cruzz’s flow. Multiply is given further replay value through a depth to the composition that will take listeners a number of spins before hearing everything going on. A delicious hook and a lyrical complexity make this into one of the hottest efforts we’ve heard this August.

Jonah Cruzz “Multiply” / 2016 / /

Rating: 8.3/10

Jonah Cruzz “Multiply”

What makes a good motivational speaker?


A motivational speaker can add something to all sorts of events, whether it’s a graduation ball, a sporting awards evening or some kind of corporate event – but the place that they really come into their own is at events targeted towards employees or colleagues in your business.


By sharing their own stories of success and the struggles that they have faced in achieving their goals, motivational speakers can encourage workers. Not only can this result in a workforce which is more positive and motivated to achieve their own goals, but it can also help to boost productivity and potentially even help make your company money.


A top talent agency will have plenty of celebrity speakers on the books from all walks of life and who will appeal to all sorts of different audiences. Just what are the qualities then, which make a truly great public speaker?




To truly inspire an audience it’s crucial that the motivational speaker you choose for your event is someone who is relatable. Sports stars are often good examples because of the truly meritocratic way in which the sporting world works.


Few people succeed because of their background, their parents or their economic status – it’s about who can run the fastest, jump the highest or throw the furthest, and that means that many sports stars are normal people who’ve done exceptional things and are very relatable for it.


Audience members find it easier to relate to motivational speakers they can see qualities in common with – relatable motivational speakers motivate more effectively!




It’s also key that any motivational speaker you book has a good story – a rocky road to the top whether because of a tough childhood, being beset by injuries or having a dramatic comeback after an initial flush of stardom is always good – as long as there’s a happy ending!


It’s not just a good story, however, that a motivational speaker needs; they also need the charisma and wit to tell their story well. An engaging speaker will make all the difference, and if they can get the audience eating out of their hand with light hearted anecdotes, their message will come across all the more strongly.




If you want your speaker to resonate with your audience for long after the event is over, you’ve got to make sure that they are memorable. The bigger the name that you choose, the more they’ll stick in your guests’ minds – and the take-away from the motivational speech should do too!


It’s always easier to remember something you have engaged with than it is a talk or lecture; why not build in a Q&A session to your event to help audience members cement your speaker firmly in their minds?


Talent agency London


If you’re looking for celebrity speakers then check out the talent roster at London celebrity agents MN2S. They’ve got people from all walks of life on their books, so there’s sure to be someone available to suit whatever kind of event you’re organising.

What makes a good motivational speaker?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

An Interview with Maddy Ruff

Today, we are speaking with New York City’s Maddy Ruff. How did you get into music?

I don’t think I really “got into music”. Music has always been a part of my life. My mother was performing 8 shows a week on Broadway in Les Mis up until month 6 of her pregnancy with me! There was no choice to be made, it was something that was already a part of me.  

11879114_970526059672288_1430888310137311287_oCan you give us a little background information about yourself and your band, Maddy & The Ruff Riders?

There is a lot of background, but I’ll try to keep it short. I am a singer songwriter, but I am also a two-time cancer survivor and an amputee. I think that my experiences lit a fire under my butt to really pursue what I am passionate about. I don’t think that my experience with cancer is what I write about, but all of life’s experiences inform who we are and who we grow into. As someone who dances around on stage and has one leg, I look forward to becoming a larger representative of the disabled community. You can be disabled and still be powerful and beautiful!

As for the band, I work with some amazing musicians who also happen to be amazing people. When I decided to work on my material with a full band back in 2012, I wanted to work with people I had never worked with before. Everyone in the group was a friend of a friend or a recommendation of a friend. Originally, the soul purpose of us all getting together was to work on my music. I feel it gave us a totally blank slate to start from, and a completely fresh perspective. I lucked out!  We love working together and we have succeeded in growing a sound together, not to mention, a really great working and personal relationship.

You have just released your latest album Over It last year. What was the writing/creative and recording process for the album like? How did the album compare to your 2013 work Don’t Fall?

The recording process for Over It was a marathon! We had been rehearsing the material for a long time, so we were able really utilize our time in the studio. It was a little insane though. We recorded all 8 full band tracks with trash vocals from about 10:00am to 3:00am including most of the overdubs and solos. I then came in the next morning to record all 8 vocal tracks in about 8 hours.  It was such a pleasure to work with the band and Benny Goldstein on the record. There is a level of excitement that comes from creating new material, and anticipating sharing it with the world for the first time. As humans, we learn and grow from every experience and venture. My first release, Don’t Fall, was a true learning experience, and I accomplished what I set out to do with it. As an artist, and as a band, we have grown and improved since it’s release, and since the release of Over it. Over it is definitely a Maddy Ruff record, but the sound has matured and evolved a bit. I can’t wait to do more!

Over It Maddy Ruff

How has New York City generally (or Brooklyn specifically) helped and hindered your career?

I think it helps in the fact that there is so much amazing and inspiring art happening out here. Many insanely talented friends of mine are in the same or similar career paths, and we do our best to support each other’s work. Not to mention, having played well known spots in New York like:  Birdland Jazz, Rockwood Music Hall, or Bowery Electric makes it a bit easier to book larger venues in other cities.

On the flip side, I won’t lie. Trying to “make it” in New York is HARD! Because there is so much music, art, and culture to choose from here, people often don’t appreciate it as much as they do elsewhere. I’ve had several friends try to convince me to move. They goad me by saying things like   “you won’t have to harass your friends to come out to a show with a $5 cover.” There is a plethora of free accessible music here, and the city is really expensive. Those are the issues that most of us deal with on a regular basis.


Which artists are the greatest influences for you and your music? Is there a dream lineup of performers that you would like to perform with if given the chance?

Female Jazz artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and June Christy have definitely influenced the bass of my sound, but I grab from Blues, R&B, and Rock artists as well. I love me some Etta James and Stevie Wonder, but I also love me some ACDC, so, the influences come from all over the map.

My dream job right now would be opening for Grace Potter out on the road. I’m going to keep putting that out into the universe until it happens!! 😉

How has your style evolved and changed over the time since you first started performing?

Academically I come from Opera and then jazz training. I started as a Classical vocal major at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and then transferred into the Jazz vocal program my second year there. I think that when I first started performing my own material, I was still mimicking a sound that I thought I was supposed to sound like. The academic jazz world, at least how I interpreted it, centers around being able to solo and improvise, but also to kind of fit a mold of a classic sound. I think it took me some time to take from that classic sound, make it my own, and then add to it with my love of hard rock and old school R&B.

Which sort of social media website have you had the best successes with? What about these online services are different from the traditional face to face meeting and performances that musicians utilize?

From my experiences with it, instagram tends to be a bit more interactive than facebook. I think having a strong online presence is very important. At the level I’m at right now, It definitely helps with record/itunes/spotify numbers, but I don’t necessarily think it gets more butts in the seats. Personal messages and face to face at shows is the way to get an audience. Word of mouth will motivate someone to get out of the house more than a picture of rehearsal J


You perform live fairly often; what are your plans for 2016 and beyond? How can interested NeuFutur readers locate samples of your music?

I’m all over the internet, just google Maddy Ruff! In all seriousness though, I’ll have some new video content up of current performances very soon. In the mean time, you can sign up for my mailing list or like my fanpage for updates:  or  . If any Neufutur readers are in the New York area, we’ll be playing Bowery Electric on August 13th at 8:00: , and Hellphone in Brooklyn August 25th at 10:00.

I’ll be heading to Nashville to record a few new tracks with Benny Goldstein in September, and will be documenting a fair amount of the trip and the work I’ll be doing down there.  Hoping to plan a few shows out of town towards the end of 2016 as well, so, stay tuned!

Thank you so much for your time. Finally, do you have any additional thoughts about life and the universe for our readers?

Thank you so much to Neufutur for the opportunity to answer these questions!

Thank you so much to my amazing band: Christian Nourijanian, Tim Basom, Andy Attanasio, and Goh Izawa!


An Interview with Maddy Ruff

S.S.P.M - Sunshine, One More Time, Hatin'

S.S.P.M’s Sunshine is a powerful track that showcases a major issue with life today. When there are so many incidents leading to deaths of innocents, things need to change. S.S.P.M is able to make a plea to put down the guns and find different ways to deal with conflict. The track itself is a hard-hitting rap track with a production that is styled on the Atlanta and Memphis scenes of the late-2000s, while the flow on Sunshine is hot. The wordplay that is present here keeps listeners on the edges of their seats, while the flow adds considerably to the overall feeling of the effort.

It is like day and night when one compares Sunshine to One More Time. The sheer gulf in the styles and overall sounds of these two tracks showcases the raw talent of S.S.P.M. This EDM-infused single will bring listeners onto the dance floor; the female vocals are able to add passion and sexuality, while the grittier, rap-styled flow builds upon the framework of artists like Juicy J and 50 Cent. These two disparate elements create something that stands up to repeat listens and works well amongst a variety of rap, pop, or dance singles in a playlist.

Hatin’ is another solid effort from S.S.P.M; the bit of New Orleans bounce that starts the track establishes this single as something new and unique while reverent to an earlier musical tradition. A bit of 1990s Compton (Xhibit, Dr. Dre) pops through at points during this cut. S.S.P.M is able to create music that is fun and compelling; listeners will not know what they are in for on subsequent singles, but they can be assured that the result will be fire.

Sky’s the Limit (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) , which contains S.S.P.M’s Sunshine, One More Time, and Hatin’, is available on iTunes .

S.S.P.M – Sunshine, One More Time, Hatin’ / / 

S.S.P.M - Sunshine, One More Time, Hatin'

Over It by Maddy Ruff | Review

Hollow is the first track on New York City-native Maddy Ruff’s latest release, Over It. A down and dirty funk groove and vibrant set of vocals inspires listeners to focus on It’s Alright With Me. The shuffling, instrument-heavy opening to It’s Alright With Me provides proper highlighting of Ruff’s vocals. The effort spins out to a mid-1970s Motown meets modern jazz sound. The smoky production of the track allows these wide-reaching elements to be collected under one umbrella. While there are distinct sections here, the ability of the band is such that a cohesive and coherent sound will greet listeners.

Spinning is a track that is complex and dense; fans will have to sit down and pay undivided attention to ruff during this composition. Utilizing difficult time signatures and incorporating a wide array of arena rock, ska, and singer-songwriter styles, Ruff boldly forges forth with her own unique approach to things.

Over It is built off a bass/vocal dynamic that gradually incorporates other elements of Maddy’s backing band to move into an eclectic form of rock with enough soul to stand up to repeat spins.

It’s You is a funky, fun sort of pop music that showcases the powerful vocals of Maddy. These vocals are bolstered through a taut set of instruments, which will impress with soaring synths and splashy drums. While Maddy is able to succeed with her unique take on pop music, the raw passion that comes through during Over It will impress fans of jazz, blues, and rock music; the cross-over of It’s You and the disc’s final effort, Close the Door, cannot be denied.

Maddy Ruff’s Over It is available on iTunes and CDBaby.

Top Tracks: Close the Door, It’s Alright With Me

Rating: 8.7/10

Over It by Maddy Ruff / 2015 Self / 8 Tracks / /


Over It by Maddy Ruff | Review

The Ormewoods - The Bedroom Sessions

Sidelines immediately draws listeners in with a powerful two-part harmony. This smooth sound is further fleshed out with a robust instrumentation, making for an introductory effort that will immediately draw listeners in. Back To You is a slower effort that showcases a different side to The Ormewoods; this more tender track allows for The Ormewoods to build something emotionally effecting. Linking together modern country music with hints of pop and rock music, The Ormewoods establish a unique sound that a wide segment of listeners will be able to enjoy.

Hey Babe is a highlight of this album with a style that feels reminiscent of the Lou Reed’s Take A Walk On The Wild Side. When Don’s vocals kick in, the effort is given a wholly different demeanor. The greater complexity of the interaction between Don and Claire ensures that listeners will continue to find different twists and turns until the song concludes.

Sleep Like Strangers is a late-disc effort that will turn heads. There is little more to this composition between the set of vocals, a strummed guitars, and light percussion, but what fans will find here is brilliant. The rising and falling action experienced in this composition will tattoo its melodies deep into the minds and hearts of fans. Year of Mercy, the penultimate effort on The Bedroom Sessions, has The Ormewoods continue to innovate. Here, Don and Claire are able to both contribute a narrative the can be enjoyed on its own or as part of the larger composition. With a cohesive sound, The Bedroom Sessions is a tremendously fulfilling album. The duo is able to delve deep into their personal experience and expand upon a successful formula over the course of 10 tracks.

Top Tracks: Back To You, Sleep Like Strangers

Rating: 8.3/10

The Ormewoods – The Bedroom Sessions / 2016 Self / 10 Tracks / / /

The Ormewoods - The Bedroom Sessions

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Sitting Down with Perth's Simon Kelly

Hello, Simon. What’s happening musically in Perth in July? 

It is cold and wet this time of year so things slow down a little bit. The weather in Perth is beautiful for most of the year and there is lots of outdoor gigs and festivals but the flip side is that people don’t tend to go out as much during winter.

You’re quite busy when it comes to your music, creating not only your latest EP The Secret Dreams Of Skeletor Jones but a companion ‘zine, The Dangerous Times. What significance do these titles hold? 


I was looking for a title for the ‘zine and ‘dangerous times’ was a line from one of the songs so it was just a lucky coincidence it sounded a bit like the title of a newspaper.

The Secret Dreams Of Skeletor Jones references one of the cartoons i grew up with in the 80s.  Skeletor was this villain character but he was a bit rubbish, his evil plans were always thwarted by He-Man. My nickname is Skelly. I also kind of like the idea that the songs are like dreams… a bit abstract and blurry around the edges. But there isn’t a definitive meaning behind the album title, it changes from day to day and the more i think about it the less idea i have really.What is your creative process and what sources of inspiration (e.g. books, television, film) get your creative juices flowing? Is the process different between print and musical media?

I listen to a lot of podcasts and find them to be a good source of new ideas. Musical inspiration is much less tangible.  Musical ideas seem to come from nowhere so it is just about finding time to sit down and allowing them to arrive or making sure that if that happens while i am doing something else, recording them right away.  Once it leaves my head they will never come back. Once you get the initial idea down it will usually spark new ones but to get that initial seed is pretty elusive.

Your body of music takes on a number of genres, adopting bits of alternative rock, indie-rock, pop, ska, and reggae. What sort of artists have most shaped your sound?


 There is way too many to list. Aside from a brief period as a teenager when i listened to heavy metal, I have always had very eclectic music tastes. At home i will often just press shuffle on my iTunes and it will jump from acoustic folk to death metal to classical to hip hop and so on. It drives my wife crazy. There are definitely certain genres that speak to me more than others but there is too much good music to limit yourself to any particular style. It’s kind of like food, I love tacos but that doesn’t mean i want to eat them every day.

In a related fashion, how do you think you’re music has changed from 2009s Gathering Times to The Secret Dreams Of Skeletor Jones?

My creative process probably hasn’t changed that much over the years but i would like to think i am better at crafting my initial ideas into a finished product.

Finishing a song is such a satisfying feeling and i think in the past i would sometimes cut corners to get to that point. I am a bit more patient these days and will follow a song down as many rabbit holes as it needs to go, either musically or lyrically.2016 is over half-way done. What sort of plans do you have (recording, touring) for the latter part of the year?

I am expecting my first child in the next couple of weeks so i have cleared the calendar out a bit and just playing a few local gigs. I have been working on some remixes from The Secret Dreams Of Skeletor Jones which has been fun. I also just found an old hard drive that has the sessions from my first EP and am doing a remix of the first single ‘Train’.  It has been 10 years since that release and it is still one of our most requested songs. I thought a remix would be a nice bookend to that part of my career before i start this new phase of life.

Let’s talk technology. What does your current recording and music production set up look like? What sort of upgrades do you want to add in the future?  

I try and avoid the temptation of constantly wanting to upgrade my equipment.  My recording set up is pretty basic but it is good enough that i am only limited by my ears and my ideas.  On my last album i did everything myself, which was a great learning experience, but this time i really wanted to utilise other peoples expertise.  I still did a lot of stuff at home but i used a friends studio in Perth to record my vocals so i could just concentrate on performing, rather than having to engineer and edit myself at the same time.  I used an online session drummer in Miami, it was mixed in Tokyo and mastered in Montreal. I definitely see myself working that way more in the future.

How can NeuFutur readers find samples of your music?

The easiest way is probably through Bandcamp
. My website is but there should be something to check out on most platforms.

Sitting Down with Perth's Simon Kelly

Monday, August 8, 2016

Texture & Light - Inner Space Odyssey 

Theft of the Sky is a slinky rock track that links together the electro-pop of acts like INXS with bits of 1990s acts like Stabbing Westward and Savage Garden. By making something old and frayed new and alluring, what Texture & Light do on their Inner Space Odyssey is immediately impacting and appeasing to a wide swath of fans. Pictures to Burn builds upon the same electro-infused style to make something hauntingly beautiful; the vocal and instrumental sides push each other to entirely higher plateaus.

This Too Shall Pass is our favorite outing during Inner Space Odyssey . The slower tempo and more intimate sound achieved here is made more compelling as the instrumentation picks up in the second half of the song. Predators has a sharp, angular sound that builds off of the blueprint of acts like Subdivisions-era Rush, Franz Ferdinand, and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn-styled Bright Eyes. Bold synths and drums match well with the robust vocals, making for a single that is funky, hard-hitting, and virtually ensures that listeners will get out on the dance floor.

Post Everything shatters illusions that listeners may have; rather than putting the chaff on the second side of the disc, Texture & Light make a rich effort that opens up considerably with each subsequent listen. So Many Things is the final track on Inner Space Odyssey; an instrumental effort, the track is an absolute must-listen in what it contributes to the overall sound of the album. There is a rich narrative that is weaved through these concluding three minutes that both inform listeners about the conclusion of this album as well as scattering hints about where Texture & Light may ultimately go on future releases. Inner Space Odyssey is out on October 14th.

Top Tracks: This Too Shall Pass, Theft of the Sky

Rating: 8.5/10

Texture & Light – Inner Space Odyssey / 2016 / /

Texture & Light - Inner Space Odyssey 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Destihl's Tripel, Best in Class

Over the course of the last few years, we’ve had the chance to review a number of Destihl’s offering. However, I believe that Destihl has outdone themselves with their Tripel, a 11% effort that is able to go down easy while possessing considerable depth to the flavors that one will experience within each 500 mL bottle. There are hints of Belgian yeast dryness, sweetness, and bits of citrus fruit flavors (orange, pineapple) that can all be discerned from the onset.

Destihl’s Tripel has just enough in the way of bitterness (30 IBU) to create a more varied experience; the distinct set of twists and turns that one will experience each time they crack a bottle means that one will be just as interested in the final few sips of the Tripel as they were when they initially cracked the bottle. Bits of banana and clove peek through at points, while a spiciness / crispness to the beer makes Destihl’s Tripel something that would be perfectly paired with fish, chicken, or cuisine that is strongly-flavored. A further grass / hay note staves off syrupy and sweet notes.

After a good few months of trying out different tripels, I think we finally have something that we would eagerly pick up again. Destihl has stayed faithful to the style while adding their own unique flair to the brew.

For greater information about the full year-round and seasonal lineup of Destihl offerings, visit their website. Additional information about limited-time beers and other events are available at their social media websites. We have reviewed a number of Destihl efforts in the past, including Vertex IPA, Dubbel and Abbey’s Single, as well as three efforts from their Wild Sour Series, the Lynnbrook Raspberry Sour Ale,  Here Gose Nothin’ and  Counter Clockweisse in NeuFutur.

Tripel (Destihl) / 11% ABV / 30 IBU /

Destihl's Tripel, Best in Class

Friday, August 5, 2016

Cult Hero Slot Machine Games to Play Online

Superheroes have been the models of moral integrity we’ve all tried looking up to and an incredible source of inspiration to anything from graphic artists and film directors to game manufactures. But in recent years, as the popularity of the online casino became ever-expanding, superheroes once again found a new realm to conquer – slot games.

The superhero theme has been often picked up by major casino game developers and they can now be easily found both as free trial games or played “full-throttle” in places like these real money Microgaming AU casinos.

The primary reason for the interest in superhero themes is probably the fact that both slot games and cult heroes are an amazing source of entertainment when enjoyed individually, but when they are combined they make up for a thrilling experience that speaks both to the comic book geek but also the gambler lurking somewhere within. If you don’t believe it, just check out these cult slots and you’ll see how hard it will be to stop “spinning”.


 “X Men” – Playtech

Ok, before the X Men universe travelled back in time to bring us the character versions we have today, the only X Men we looked up to on the big screen were the 2000 versions played by Jackman, Stewart and McKellen. Well, Playtech’s slot is built on that version of the universe, with characters symbols closely resembling the Wolverine, Magneto, and Prof. X we saw in the film.

Apart from its characters, the slot also has several exciting features, like the X-feature, where you’ll get multipliers when the heroes form an X-shape on the slot, but also the Free Games bonus where you can play the Villain or the Hero, with each level bringing you a different set of rewards. And if that’s not enough, you can find 4 different progressive jackpots that accumulate on a daily basis.

“Captain America – The First Avenger” – Playtech

If you want to get your daily dose of red-white-and-blue or help the Cap take down Hydra, then look no further than this Playtech slot. Captain America – The First Avenger is only one in a series of Marvel Slots, and the only one featuring only the Cap. The slot has 5-reels and it’s full of symbols you would expect from the franchise, like Iron Crosses, the Hydra logo, Cap’s old shield and new one, Bucky as well as Super Soldier name tags. And even though the game might not have the progressive jackpots or exciting bonus levels found in other superhero slots, it stays very faithful to the franchise and offers the same clean and simple charm the original movie had.Robocop

“Robocop” – Electracade

There can be no discussion about cult superheroes without Robocop. Despite the latter ridiculous attempts at sequels and reboots, the 1987 film will forever be enshrined in superhero film history as one of the most brutal, original and visually inspiring films ever made. If you were ever a fan of the first movie, this Electracade slot game will bring back the nostalgic love for Murphy’s saga.

Robocop is a 5-reeled slot set against the backdrop of Detroit and full of the classic symbols of the movie, like the Robo-gun, the car, the OCP and Delta city symbols, the OCP building and even an uniformed Lewis. There are also two bonus levels: the Delta City Jackpot where you can get bonus money each time a Delta City symbol lands on your reel and the Assault on OCP bonus level where you’ll have to shoot through a crowd of OCP cops to win prizes. What more do you need out of a Robocop slot?

“Superman” – Cryptologic

The son of Krypton now rules over the casino world as well in this comic book inspired slot from Cryptologic. Unlike the other names on this list, this slot game isn’t based on the movies but on the comic representations of Superman.

The Superman slot is a 5-reeled slot game licensed by DC, and it’s full of Superman imagery, like the logo, the Kryptonite, Clark’s glasses, Lois Lane, and the Daily Planet spinning globe, among other things. In line with the theme, the bonus level is called Save the World, and once you enter it you will have to fight off a torrent of meteors and missiles, winning money with each hit. Once you finish saving the planet, you will then have to choose out of three doors and find Lex or the Kryptonite to finish or win the game.

“The Dark Knight” – Microgaming

Fans of the Nolan trilogy will love this Microgaming slot full of characters from the epic masterpiece. The Dark Knight Slot has 5 reels, where you will find the faces of Harvey Dent, Commissioner Gordon, Bruce Wayne, Rachel, and the Joker, but you will also see cut-scenes from the movie and have Batman and Joker randomly jump out of the screen to reward you with prizes. The slot also has free spins and multiplier increases, but real gamers will mostly love it for its whopping progressive jackpot which increases each day. Dark, eerie and thrilling, the Dark Knight is a must for any cult slot fan.


Cult Hero Slot Machine Games to Play Online

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Everpresent - Omega Point

Everpresent’s Hyponotic is a track that skillfully blends electronic and pop music styles from the 1980s, 1990s, and more contemporary sounds. This means that this introductory track is able to call forth comparisons to INXS, Peter Gabriel, Savage Garden and Linkin Park all in the space of three minutes. Dreamscape is a refreshing of the mid-1990s Pet Shop BOys and drum n bass styles into something brilliant; the strong female voices that are presented here will tattoo their melodies deep into the minds and hearts of listeners. 

Intoxicated is one of our favorite tracks on the Omega Point EP as it brings together disparate styles and approaches.; There is a good amount of mid-1980s / new wave sound that bubbles forth here, but the secondary set of vocals look to the halycon days of the mid-1990s. What results here is unique, fun, and will stick with listeners long after the Omega Point EP has ceased to play. A strong production is the cherry on the top of this sundae, allowing all of these different twists and turns to be showcased without sounding cluttered.

Prey is a distinct effort on Omega Point. The track has hints of gothic music (Black Tape For a Blue Girl) along with a deft blending of synth, drums, and bass elements. The instrumental and vocal sides are both given ample time to shine, making for something that is wholly different from the rest of the EP while still being absolutely vital for understanding Everpresent’s story. The Omega Point EP concludes with remixes of Hypnotic (Catizone) and Intoxicated (DJGX) and is available from iTunes . A remix EP will be available from Everpresent sometime before August ends. Check out Everpresent’s Facebook and Twitter for the latest in news about this alluring performer.

Top Tracks: Intoxicated

Rating: 8.7/10

Everpresent – Omega Point / 2016 Self / 6 Tracks / /

Everpresent - Omega Point

The Mute Gods release 'Praying To A Mute God' video

The Mute Gods, the band from the mind of renowned bassist, chapman stick player & vocalist Nick Beggs alongside Roger King (Steve Hackett) & Marco Minnemann, released their debut album ‘do nothing till you hear from me’ earlier this year to much acclaim. The band were recently nominated in two categories at the Progressive Music Awards 2016; Vanguard and Anthem for the track ‘Praying To A Mute God’. They have now revealed a brand new video for the track which you can see here:

Nick had this to say: “Welcome to the Church of the Mute God.

Where terrible things are done in his name.”

You can find more information on the Progressive Music Awards here:

Back in January they released a video for the track ‘Father Daughter’, featuring Nick’s own daughter Lula Beggs. Watch the video here:


The enigmatic artwork for the record, created by Lars ‘Zeituhr” Tellmann, can be viewed above, and you can buy the album on CD, LP & digital download from the links below:


Nick has most recently been involved with Steven Wilson’s solo band, both in the studio and on tour, whilst also playing live with legendary guitarist Steve Hackett as part of his Genesis Revisited run of shows. In recent years he has contributed to projects such as Lifesigns, Fish On Friday & Lonely Robot, as well as playing live with Rick Wakeman.

The Mute Gods

The Mute Gods release 'Praying To A Mute God' video

Saturday, July 30, 2016

BurgerFi (Cuyahoga Falls, OH)

We had an opportunity to stop at BurgerFi, one of the main tenants that have sprung up by the Giant Eagle Market District in the Cuyahoga Falls neighborhood of Akron, Ohio. We were treated to quick service, large portions, and a hands-on owner that made our experience a delightful one. 

BurgerFi is a fast-casual restaurant that attempts to inject a bit of the high-brow into an everyday meal. From the ability to receive whichever variant of soda they would like with the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine or the sheer amount of toppings that one can include on their fries, visitors to BurgerFi will be able to receive the meal the way they desire.13892094_10104501297865024_2741547033108317049_n

We tried two of BurgerFi’s signature burgers – the Conflicted Burger ($7.47) and The CEO ($9.97). We were surprisingly pleased with the Conflicted Burger, which linked together angus beef with a veggie burger; the crunch of veggie patty provided a more substantive mouth feel when included alongside the beef burger. The BurgerFi sauce and white cheddar included on the burger tied these disparate elements together.13680742_10104501297341074_6979001401853512380_n

The CEO is a behemoth of a burger. The base of The CEO are two wagyu + brisket blended patties; an aged swiss adds an additional sharpness to the effort. A candied bacon-tomato jam is paired with a truffle aioli to add a smoky, nutty side to the burger. We shared a Cry + Fry ($5.47), a split order of BurgerFi’s onion rings and hand-cut fries. The onion rings are fried to perfection and are taken from the thicker outside of an onion, while the hand-cut fries shine when a topping – we got the Parmesan + herb, but the restaurant offers cajun and salt + vinegar toppings along with cheese, chili, or aioli options.13901308_10104501297450854_4074002050971124476_n

The restaurant allows individuals to create single ($4.47), double ($5.97), or triple ($7.47) hamburgers based on their desires. A wide array of condiments (relish, hot sauce, BBQ sauce, BurgerFi sauce) are available along with premium ingredients including grilled mushrooms, truffle aioli, bacon-tomato jam, and fried eggs.

BurgerFi also offers wagyu ($5.47), chicken ($4.97), and natural beef hot dogs ($3.97). We got our American-Style Kobe Beef Dog (the wagyu) done up in the Chicago style ($1/dog extra), which included diced onion, tomato, mustard, neon relish, sport peppers, pickle, and celery salt on a poppy seed bun. The crispness and light char of the hot dog was the perfect counterpoint for the traditional, doughy bun.13906853_10104501297535684_8454062140973883917_n Their Red Velvet Concrete ($5.57) is a multi-layered ice cream treat. Vanilla ice cream, red velvet cake, and even icing are all present at points before one finishes the dessert.

As fans of craft beer, we were quite impressed at the selection of beers that BurgerFi offered. During our visit, the restaurant promoted offerings from Stow/Kent’s MadCap brewery as well as Ohio City’s Platform Beer Co. To. The ability of BurgerFi to change out these taps means that there will always be a brew for the weather; during the 90-plus degree day we attended the restaurant, BurgerFi offered crisp and refreshing India Pale Ales along with a nice variety of chilled wine. 13886504_10104501297944864_4602008870803739588_n

BurgerFi is a warm and inviting restaurant that uses quality ingredients while keeping things affordable. A focus on recycling and upcycling (some furniture is made from recycled cans and palettes) makes the experience particularly fufilling.


BurgerFi / 2002 Portage Trail, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223 / 11AM-10PM / / /

BurgerFi (Cuyahoga Falls, OH)

Rod Melancon “Lights of Carencro”

Rod Melancon starts off Lights of Carencro with a spoken-word styling similar to the Drive-By Truckers classic, Three Great Alabama Icons as well as late-career Johnny Cash tracks. Where Melancon innovates comes in an intricate, deep instrumentation that brings a wave of distortion at all of the right points. Lights of Carencro’s guitar work is fantastic and nearly takes over the track before the narrative begins again. The narrative that is established here is more detailed that bands can craft over the course of an EP; Lights of Carencro possesses a tremendous amount of replay value. Ending before the four minute mark, this is one of the most unique efforts we have heard.

Rod Melancon “Lights of Carencro” / / /

Rod Melancon “Lights of Carencro”

Friday, July 29, 2016

ACT 1: Bourbon Coffee Porter

Good Nature Brewing (Hamilton, NY) has a new line of beers named Funk n’ Barrels. Their first effort in this line, ACT 1, a bourbon coffee porter, is one of the most delectable brews we can covered so far in 2016. 

ACT 1 Has a thicker mouth feel than many porters, allowing the slight bitterness contributed by the coffee along with the sharpness of the bourbon barrel aging (Good Nature chose 4 Roses barrels) a proper palette upon which to shine.  Hints of maple, vanilla, and amaretto are all immediately present. To counter some of the sweeter elements that are presented here, there is a considerable bitter side that shines through.

The Bourbon Coffee Porter is an eminently drinkable beer, and is a porter that goes down incredibly easy . The alcohol content of the beer is perfect to provide something strong that never once dwarfs the more delicate flavors that are presented. Each sip of ACT 1 is different than the others, yielding something that will have imbibers are eagerly drinking the effort as they were when they initially opened the bottle. The flavors are able to remain coherent and strong, even as Act 1 continues to reach room temperature. Well-balanced and without a weakness, Act 1 is one of those efforts that should be sought out; a depth of flavors, an easy drinkability, and something for anyone no matter whether they like porters, stouts, barleywines, or IPAs, makes this without fault.

For additional information concerning the full array of Good Nature beers, visit their domain. The brewery’s social media efforts are a great place to find the latest in new products and events that are being held. Good Nature’s Act 2 will be released to the public sometime in the later summer/early fall.

ACT 1: Bourbon Coffee Porter / Good Nature Brewing / 7.9% ABV / 80 IBU / / /

ACT 1: Bourbon Coffee Porter

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Killing Tyranny - Martyr

Who I Am is the introductory track on Southern California’s Killing Tyranny’s latest, Martyr. The single ties together furiuous guitar work, supersonic vocals, and complex drums and bass that will have  listeners on the edges of their seats.

God Bless The Child begins with a slower tempo, allowing Killing Tyranny ample opportunity to set the stage for a magnificent narrative. The act is able to create a number of twists and turns with this effort, which builds off of the framework of acts like Queensryche, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest. The tender guitar line that plays through this effort works perfectly with the splashy drums and assertive storytelling of the vocals; the nearly six minute run time of this song goes by incredibly quickly.

You Can’t Save Me pairs the vocals and drums in an alluring fashion; the desire of Killing Tyranny to continually innovate at all stages of Martyr makes for an album that is strong from beginning to end. Control Freak is another strong effort on the second half of Martyr; the back and forth of the vocals is given a certain gravity through focused drums and on-point guitar riffs. The titular track on Martyr ties together the Dead Kennedys with a technical metal requiring fans to spin the track multiple times before hearing everything that the band has placed within.

Rule the Monkeys is a fun track as Killing Tyranny looks back to the days of Alice Cooper and pairs it with a pared-down, stripped-down metal style. Martyr closes with Weight of the World, an effort that links together the disparate twists and turns encountered by fans through the entirety of the disc while contributing greatly to the overall profile of the band.

Top Tracks: Who I Am , You Can’t Save Me

Killing Tyranny – Martyr / / /

Killing Tyranny - Martyr

The Dead Daisies - Long Way To Go

What The Dead Daisies do on their latest single “Long Way To Go” is create something that will raise heart rates; the cut sizzles with the fury of a thousand suns. “Long Way To Go” is down and dirty hard rock with plenty of riffs that build off of the work of Guns ‘N Roses and Megadeth. The raw passion and talent of the vocals are a bridge between the work of Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson with a more contemporary (Buckcherry, Seether) sound. The Dead Daisies are able to create some timeless hard rock that sounds as good to fans of 1980s metal as it does to fans of the current crop of bands. Some sick stuff right here.

The Dead Daisies – Long Way To Go / / /


The Dead Daisies - Long Way To Go

Julia Kahn Music - ALICE

Julia Kahn creates a hooky bit of pop-rock that ties together the singer-songwriter style of artists like Sheryl Crow with an impressive instrumentation that takes on hints of surf and psychedelic music. Together, these two elements combine to create something that is bouncy, fun, and stands up to repeat plays. Julia Kahn’s emotion and able to weave a cogent narrative are unmatched, making ALICE a track that is more robust than any other fare heard on radio or online streaming services. The tautness of the instrumental arrangements experienced here are exactly what is needed to push this track into the stratosphere.

Julia Kahn Music – ALICE / /

Julia Kahn Music - ALICE

Has modern digital art lost its artistry?

Has software taken away from artistic inspiration?

Digital Artist have created many stunning works over the years and pushed the boundary lines of what we accept as art.  From the artist which uses Corel or Painter to make a digital image with a traditional twist, to the 3D artist who uses Maya or 3D Studio max to compile their compositions, there is little doubt that the computer has affected our modern views of art. And while the age old question of “what constitutes art” is still subjective, one has to question whether or not this open policy has negatively affected the inspiration and artistry found in art.modern-abstract-art-with-warm-colors-matthias-hauser

The common factor

It is disturbing to see so many stock images recycled and claimed to be original works of art. Much like slapping a mustache on the Mona Lisa did not require much inspiration, using a stock image to compile a work of art does not take much effort. Granted, the artist may choose to add some unique features to the stock image or clip art, but the fact remains that it is common and that the probability that the selected stock image has been used before is quite likely. Should such be considered a work of art then? I would venture to say that unless the artwork is used in a way similar to This is not a pipe, it is not. Yes, it may be pretty, but one can hardly attribute inspiration to a work that is merely a composition of another person’s vision.

The uncommon factor

The reverse side of the argument is that digital art allows the artist to explore new boundaries which the traditional mediums would limit. For example: One can use the 3D modeling to create multiple views and renders of a composition with the push of a button where that same artist would have to repaint or redraw the image if using traditional methods. Additionally, one would argue that the digital artist can fix mistakes that he or she finds within their compositions without having to discard the painting or sculpture and start anew. In this regard, the digital artist is able to expound upon their inspirations without the limitations of running out of materials or losing their inspiration due to frustration.

As the software and advances in 3D continue to be developed, unique and uncommon works of art can emerge. Traditional artist can merge with digital opportunities and platforms to aid in such creations. In this aspect, digital artistry provides a means of inspiration rather than stifling it.

The differentiating factor

Perhaps the deciding factor is not in what can be created using digital software, but rather in the mentality behind using such software. Because there is a plethora of applications which can be applied and deemed as artistic, honing in on one such application would be biased at worst and unsubstantial to the argument at least. Therefore, in order to answer whether or not digital art has lost its inspiration, one has to look at the motivations of the individual creators of digital art. If the creator has used digital software to create a unique work of art which could only be accomplished through the use of such programs, then the answer would be “no” digital art has not diminished in its inspiration. However, if the computer and software is used as a crutch for the artist, meaning that the artist does not want to hone their craft but wants to bypass the need to learn the trade through the use of digital software, or if the artist relies upon the images, and works of others to makeup a dominate portion of the composition, then I would state that “yes” the inspiration of the art has diminished.

Where inspiration and modern technology meet.

One cannot abandon the precepts in which art was established. Traditional artistry will always have a place in the artistic world. Yet, we cannot be so blinded as to restrict art to the traditional medium. We are a culture that is saturated by technology and by social media. It would be rather naive to believe that the influences of our world would not impact, if only in part, the art which is produced by our current generation. While I frown upon those which would take the principles of artistry (such as form, color, positive and negative space, perspective, and emotion) and spit upon them in order to mass produce a work of “art” for profit, I would applaud the modern artist that uses modern technology to expand and expound upon their craft in order to create works of art which go far beyond what the imagination allows (such as with the creation of a sculpture in physical form through 3D printing

Has modern digital art lost its artistry?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Quality Of Mercury - Transmission

The Quality Of Mercury begin their new album Transmission with Deep Space, a microcosm of the styles and approaches that will come into greater focus on later cuts.

Breathe in Stereo is a powerful track that ranges from emotive rock (e.g. Death Cab For Cutie, The Appleseed Cast) and progressive rock. There are so many twists and turns that listeners will experience during their time with Breathe in Stereo that the much more grounded Deprivation Sickness seems boldly stark in comparison. The composition begins with little more than a guitar strumming before opening up into something much more tempestuous. The multiple layers that fans will experience during their time listening to the track require a number of spins before everything can be unpacked.

The Orion Ascension brings a heaviness to Transmission that is matched well by a more pensive and atmospheric sound. Hints of Ziggy Stardust as well as Blur can be discerned here, but the track’s longer run time gives The Quality of Mercury ample time to include a number of distinct movements.

Her Eyes Are The Stars is the magnum opus of this album, requiring listeners to sit down and focus into the sheer mass of guitar fuzz, splashy guitars, and emphatic vocals that they will experience. A more experimental approach is taken here for great effect; The Quality of Mercury is able to make something that will have listeners sitting on the edges of their seats until the track’s closing notes.

Transmission concludes with an assertive one-two punch with Andromeda and Terminal Velocity. This fifteen-minute section of the disc contains some of the rawest and most ferocious segments we’ve heard, while containing some of the same finesse that has been peppered through the release. The breakneck speed of The Quality of Mercury during the final gasps of Terminal Velocity provides fans with an emphatic end to an impressive album.

Top Tracks:  The Orion Ascension, Her Eyes Are The Stars

Rating: 8.7/10

The Quality Of Mercury – Transmission / 2016 Self / 8 Tracks / /

The Quality Of Mercury - Transmission

The forming of a top 1% real estate broker

Anyone who has read through the Wall Street Journal real estate section may sometimes read about brokers. As we all know, across the country there are tens of thousands – but the WSJ has been able to identify the top 185 in the country. In that list, was Sandra Balan.

Not only that, but this statistic means that Balan is classed in the top 1% of brokers in the country. Considering the vast number of people who work within it, it’s certainly an impressive feat.

However, what is the formula behind the success of a top broker such as Balan? Here, we’ll take a closer look at her career to find out just how the very best real estate agents are made.

Who is Sandra Balan?

Before we delve into the makings of such a professional, let’s take a closer look at Balan’s career.

She is currently part of the hugely prestigious Brown Harris Stevens group and covers some of the highest-profile names in the world. We’re talking the likes of foreign dignitaries, celebrities and world-renowned financial experts.

Having been born and raised in New York, it should come as no surprise to see that the bulk of her experience comes in this state. Specifically, she focusses on luxurious Manhattan properties and she’s regarded as one of the best brokers in this area.

What is one of the ways a top 1% broker stays successful?

At this point, we probably don’t need to say the basic attributes that makes a top broker successful. We’re talking about the likes of keeping a property on the market for short time spans, whilst also maximizing the value that it is actually sold for. It should also go without saying that they manage to match buyers with utterly suitable homes that fulfill every need they specify.

However, if one delves deeper into their work, it’s clear they have a formula for remaining at the top of their game. In the case of Balan, the vast majority of her work comes through referrals and repeat business. As anyone involved in any industry will tell you – this is the best form of marketing. She manages to do this by staying in contact with her clients, meaning that they will regularly turn to her whenever they need assistance in either the buying or selling process. Ultimately, she has created her own network and in an industry as cut-throat as real estate – that is an invaluable asset to have.

What publications is Balan featured in?

It should also be interesting to see what sort of publications Balan, and her properties for that matter, are featured in. Again, it’s a good indicator of what separates the elite in the business.

She is regularly featured in the New York Times, New York Famly, New York Magazine and New York Post, whilst from a TV perspective she’s even appeared on HGTV. It means that she is almost a celebrity in her own right – which is probably the reason so many A-list names turn to her when the time arises.

The forming of a top 1% real estate broker

ALEXANDRA - Criminal

ALEXANDRA’S Criminal is a wholly unique entry into pop music, succeeding through a tremendous blend of hard rock, supersonic vocals, and a fury that is unparalleled in current music. The production of the track allows all of the distinct drums, guitars, and vocals to shine on their own and as a coherent entity. What ALEXANDRA does here on Criminal is build on the framework of acts like Evanescence and Paramore to make for something that can hang equally well on hard rock as well as alternative radio stations. The sheer depth of Criminal is such that fans will be able to play the song numerous times and hear new twists and turns to the composition.

ALEXANDRA – Criminal / /

ALEXANDRA - Criminal

Monday, July 25, 2016

GoldKay - Celebrate

GoldKay’s Celebrate is an infectious track that links together the best parts of Flo Rida, Akon, and T-Pain. Hints of reggae, pop, and EDM can all be heard here. A robust drum beat and thick, ropy bass snakes its way through Celebrate, providing considerable depth to a sunny summer single.

The hopeful sound presented here is something that will have listeners gleeful through the rest of the summer. GoldKay is able to create something that builds upon the pop-reggae of Sean Kingston and Shaggy before him, all while imbuing the resulting track with a rich sound that is purely his own.

GoldKay – Celebrate / /

GoldKay - Celebrate