Lawrence Preston AKA The Groove Master Tells YOU How to Survive a Unsuccessful Date Night

Other than having an incredible fashion sense that anyone would aspire to have (seriously, look at that shirt?!) Guitarist and Vocalist Lawrence Preston has been making moves (groovy ones of course) in his career with a brand new single Stood Up. Initially, your first thoughts may be to disregard such a ‘outdated’ genre, but you will be pleasantly surprised at the outcome of this one.

So, how does it sound?

When a budding musician makes an attempt to revive a genre which hasn’t been mainstream since the late 1980’s, it’s a very difficult thing to do, but Lawrence seems to incorporate ‘R&B’ codes and conventions that could be heard in tracks created by the likes of R Kelly, and Usher.

The track begins with what can only be described as atmosphere, clearly indicating that the track is going to tell a story (like a radio drama, just less boring…). However, incredibly well mixed bongo’s appear over the top of the commotion as if Jack Contanzo himself was in the room. The introduction overall is an excellent foundation of what is to come.

Following the introduction, the first verse and chorus are fairly conventional, but again, are very well mixed. Moreover, the guitar is incredibly important within a Funk track, as it is the life and soul of the ‘sound’, and Preston really captures this essence with a resounding tone that brings the track to life.

Overall, the track continues to impress as it draws to a close by showing more of Preston’s incredibly talented skills on the guitar, bass and vocals. The overall story told within the vocals also draws to a close, which if listened to closely takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

“Stood Up” shows Lawrence Preston as being not just a consummate smooth soul singer at the peak of his powers but as an artist for fans of 70s disco and funk, 80s stars like Rick James and Maze and for those wanting to hear real musicianship and ego-free musical fusion.

Why not have a listen for yourself? Get your rollerblades on an get down to the discotheque!

Author – @DJJAMESCANE

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbmi4OPrUK11kdxDnjPG8Pg/videos

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lawrence-Preston-628359403890387/

Twitter: @law_preston

Website: http://lawrenceprestononline.com/

Feelin’ Lucky (Cyber) Punk? Well? Do ya? – An New Insight into the Dystopian World of IDM

The latest addition to the crazy world of IDM music is none other than Neon Jungle enthusiast Deplicant or Danny Agoston as he’s known to his friends and family. Deplicant sets out to defy the codes and conventions of IDM or EDM music; they’re virtually the same.. *hides from electronic music fan base for eternity*.

How does aim to do this? Well, his new track ‘14/40’ is an excellent portrayal of avant garde music, that is filled with both passion and intricacy that brings a real ‘Daft Punk’ feel to the overall piece.

How does it sound?

 

The introduction is theatrical. The track’s white noise and risers slowly relax your mind before what is to come. Moreover, right from the start the mix is very well balanced and provides a stereo sound that has excellent clarity.

Delving deeper into track, its structure is set out fairly conventionally. But unlike most tracks of its kind, it paints a picture, which is a fantastic way to keep the listener intrigued and engaged. The main section (around 30-40 seconds in) introduces a main lead, which provides depth to the mix, whilst also giving it an 80’s theme. The synths used throughout have clear influences, and this was cleared up by the man himself when he stated his influences are electro-futurists Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Justice and Jon Hopkin. Overall, this track would fit perfectly in movies such as Tron and Blade Runner (both old and new version’s people.. everyone loves a classic right?!)

Deplicant really has hit the ground (blade) running with this track, and we really hope this is the start of something special. Electronic music is missing this niche, and we’re excited to see where it leads!

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/deplicant

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Deplicant/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/deplicant 

 

 

A Flock of Seagulls Reconvene to Release Super-Charged Greatest Hits

A Flock of Seagulls were one of THE most iconic bands of the 1980s, known for their outlandish haircuts, a tribute to the power of hairspray. Criminally, their music output is less celebrated in many circles, partly as their success was centered more in the United States than the United Kingdom. This is finally set to be redressed as all four original members return to the recording studio for the first time since their mid-80s break-up.

2018 is definitely the year of the orchestral reworking, with fellow popsters, Ultravox, also employing a full orchestra to re-work their tracks. AFOS have also returned to their original material and have re-recorded all elements, which far from sounding stale and reinvigorated them immensely, the sweeping strings and horn sections really beefing up the already rather majestic choruses. Lesser hit “Space Age Love Song”, a lost classic, is the first track to be released from the album, “Ascension”, though fans will be delighted to learn that the tracks with which they are most associated: “I Ran” and “Wishing” (If I Had a Photograph of You). The album is out now and is highly recommended.

Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/aflockofseagulls

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcluFtLtRzipm7CdtERnceA

Facebook: facebook.com/seagullsrunning

Twitter: twitter.com/seagullsrunning

Instagram: instragram.com/seagullsrunning

Website: www.aflockofseagulls.org

Hitha: introducing the new pop princess on the block

It’s been some time since we’ve had a teen pop princess in our midst. The likes of Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, and Selena Gomez are now in their mid-20s and making music for more mature audiences. But there is one budding singer we can think of who’s chomping at the bit to fill their shoes.

13-year-old Californian, Hitha, is already demonstrating her understanding of the millennial listener with pop nugget ‘Standing Up With Pride’.

This is a single which gives listeners of all ages a message of hope; that by focusing on what you want to achieve in life, you can use a positive mentality to overcome any hurdle. With a video which cleverly uses black and white imagery transforming into a world of colour when Hitha realises her potential.

Clocking in at just under four minutes- it’s all the time she needs to get etch her earworm hooks into the heads of her audience and leave the inspirational message resonating long after the music has stopped.

Website: https://www.hitha.me/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HithaMusic

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hitha_music/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ByHitha

An Album For The Ages! Satellite Ravens’ ‘The Equinox’ Is A Treat For Any Music Lover…Or Bassist

 

Taking all musical angles possible to create a fusion based album unlike no other, Satellite Ravens forefront leader Carson Rohde’, has made darn sure he has the funkiest and tastiest bass lines around.

Taking Funk and mixing it up in a rock-pop-jazz medley is probably no small feat for Carson, however, to the average music listener that something that is interesting, rich and full of life, making Satellite Ravens a band to watch out for.

With tracks like bright and colorful ‘Rearranged’, and the always fantastic ‘Changes’, there is no doubt that you will love this album!

Be sure to check him out:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/satellite_ravens

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4DWM8jTdcf2wyyWt3a7SzV

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuJAay056LCLnCks9ua9Duw?view_as=subscriber

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/satellite.ravens/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/satelliteravens

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/satellite.ravens/

Website: https://satelliteravens.com/

Review: Killer New Single ‘Along The Way’ From Survival Code

The new single ‘Along The Way’ from duo rockers Survival Code is a banging track from the off with a pounding, fast beat that sets the intention clearly.  This is rock but with a slight nod to pop and comes across as somewhat less gritty and more of a track to put on repeat instead of being some sort of power rock ballad.

There are plenty of strong chords, and quick instrumentation that couples perfectly with the lyrics layered in hooky harmonies.  Think Blink-182 and Green Day here.  You will find yourself singing along in agreement to where the lyrics lead at an increasing pace.  This isn’t cloying rock and has just enough strength with a bit of bite to it.  You can hear the weighty strong riffs and fast paced rhythm to guide the track ably along.  There is an unfortunate tendency for bands falling into the  rock genre to get a bit distorted by the sheer roughness and unfinished texture to their content but you definitely won’t find that here.

What is evident with this track is how deftly this has been arranged and written to fully rock out on.  It is punchy and the structure is succinct and tight.  More importantly, this track is a great indicator and representation for the rest of the album as a whole.  What’s even better, for the entirety of the their album, Hopelessness of People, you get more of the same with every track.

With upcoming dates in London and Dublin, this is definitely a band not to miss.

Dissecting Donegan – 1st XI Reviewed

My favourite albums all have a few things in common:

1. Great tracks – and no duds.

2. work as a coherent whole end-to-end.

3. include enough variety to keep you going (with softer and more upbeat numbers too).

4. Start in a way to draw you in and end with an epic.

5. Would sound awesome played live.

Those pressures don’t square with today’s world of online streaming and it’s therefore most encouraging to report on British band Donegan’s new album “1st XI”, a true tour de force of an album in the fullest sense of that phrase.

“Donegan” is an eponymous family band: songwriter Thomas sings and plays piano, organ, guitars and synths, with Emmet on guitar, mandolin and vocals and Martin on percussion. The new album and its singles prosper from collaboration with renowned producer Chris Coulter, who recently took Arcane Roots to no. 1 in the UK Indie charts and various other guest musicians credited.  Followers of the underground music scene will already have heard “Reminisce” and “Candles” and so will be aware of the broad array of musical influences and genres affecting this band’s music.  With melodies and harmonies dominating over bass, the album reflects songwriter Thomas’ classical training and passion for melodic rock music.  The variety of musical influences on display here is extraordinary: rock, indie, folk, pop, classical – albeit generally with a piano rock / alt rock vibe.  The album in part pitches up somewhere around where Radiohead left things around 1996 and in part somewhere near Billy Joel or Keane.

To kick things off, opening track “Requiem” is an orchestral film-score kind of piece, forewarning us – in this study of love – that “All must fall”.  From there, we move to a series of love songs.  Donegan’s acclaimed single “Reminisce” deals in the joyful sparks of first love.   This catchy, radio-friendly, synth-rock track is simultaneously uplifting, reflective and insistent.  “Around the World” is equally catchy, based around broken piano chords and a piercing lead guitar solo.  For the album, Coulter remixed Donegan’s debut single from a few years ago, “Waking”.  This synth dominated love-song wears its heart firmly on its sleeve – a more passionate and earnest exposition of true love in a happy couple would be hard to find – and may be too much for some.  Completing the love-song end of the album’s spectrum, “I wonder” may be its strongest track, a beautifully produced piece featuring more of folk musician Emmet Donegan’s influence than the others, being led by acoustic guitars, mandolin, harmonica and his backing vocals.

From there, things get darker.  “Democracy” pitches an anthem on the sad current state of politics, lamenting politicians, whether they stand for remain, leave, war, tax or change (“they’re all just after number one” … “didn’t want it, don’t support it”).  This is another classical-piece-turned-synth-rock, with interesting chord modulations and a heavy brass bass-line.  This, and the next track, “Television” are metaphors for argument – and add notable variety to the album. The latter is an outspoken critique of the media and another Coulter remix of a little-known previous Donegan b-side.  This is quite an audacious track: a waltz piece in three-time (quite unusual for a rock track now or ever) using church organ, strings, a Latin cow bell and bongos, without an electric guitar in sight.  And yet, it blew me away as a piece of rock music.

From there, the album turns darker. “Falling” is a synth-dominated break-up song, featuring some impressive chord combinations, key modulations and instrumentation.  “Human Behaviour” would sit easily on Blur’s Parklife – satirising a desperado chatting up women in a bar.  This story leads into “Candles”, the second single from this album.  This dark song tells the story of a difficult conversation after the night out depicted in the previous track, addressing darker themes such as anguish, conflict and regret, with an engaging narrative and symbolism built alongside yearning melodies.  Finally, “The End” terminates things quite appropriately with a bombastic rock epic, featuring no less than three simultaneous lead guitar lines, plus bass and two rhythm guitars, as well as a brass section.  This reflective break up song is quite more upbeat than “Candles”, reminding us that it is better to have loved and lost, than not to have loved at all.

So what did I not like?  Well, the concentration of three love songs at the front-end may be a bit too much for some.  And the better tracks are at the end meaning that some might not get there.  Secondly, whilst lead singer and songwriter Thomas Donegan’s voice is adequate in terms of having a decent range and having an interesting husky quality to it, it does not compare to some of the great vocal talents that dominate music charts today – and in the post-X Factor world generally – in lacking a bit of depth or feeling and its somewhat nasal quality.  This is counter-balanced by musical arrangements which activate all the senses and hit all the wavelengths: like the album’s whole tenet, this is something of a throw-back to times when the music came first and the personalities were secondary.

All in all, this album presents a quite extraordinary musical and narrative journey.  Turning to my criteria for a great album: 1. These are 11 great tracks – no duds in sight.  2. They tell an interesting coherent story. A concept album studying love sounds fairly banal and unoriginal even, but this deals in experiences of a whole adult lifetime from the good to the bad in a quite engaging way.  3. Musical variety – be it instruments, genre variation, key modulations, track length, song structure – is extraordinary if not unprecedented – and keeps you wanting to hear the next track without the album ever verging near disinteresting experimentalism.  4. It hooks you in and sends you off: this starts with a film score and ends with a rock anthem featuring one of the best guitar solos I’ve heard. 5. I’d really like to hear these guys live.  So, “1st XI” ticks all these boxes for a great album and some.

This album’s tracks were composed over more than 20 years.  It’s been a long gestation period, but it’s really been worth the wait!

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/1st-xi/1350991442

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0CDlwG8LzNxLQAuJcgSbhj

Website: https://donegan-music.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/donegan_music