Quick Album Review: Atmosphere – The Day Before Halloween

Artist: Atmosphere

Album: The Day Before Halloween

Genre: Hip Hop/Electronic

Label: Rhymesayers Entertainment

Rating: 8/10

At this point in their career Hip Hop duo “Atmosphere” shouldn’t be sounding this refreshed and inspired with new ideas, but here we are over 20 years after the group’s formation and the two have surprised us all by sonically exploring new territories one with an old worn out cassette copy of Headshots Vol. Se7en would never see as a possibility for a new change in sound. I’ve never heard so many synthesizers on an “Atmosphere” record, let alone synthesizers that evoke the spirit of 80s “Horror.” Producer Anthony Davis drawing influence from “Horror” isn’t completely out of character, considering much of his early work featured samples from classic Horror films such as Night of the Living Dead, Suspiria, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, and The Shining, but this deep dive into dark synth-driven Electro is a massive surprise. As for Slug, he isn’t exactly breaking new ground, but he solidifies his status as the ultimate MC who can unsparingly reveal his vulnerability and rap his ass off at the same time. This is the best “Atmosphere” has sounded in years.

Written By: Steven Sandoval

Common Flaws Shares New Song “Happy House”

The old “Siouxsie and the Banshees” classic “Happy House” has gotten a dancey makeover by London-based Electronic producer “Common Flaws,” and it’s a dancefloor ready cover that stays true to the original all while putting a new synth-driven House-flavored spin on it. You can watch the music video for “Happy House” below:

Maryze Shares New Single “Squelettes” featuring Backxwash

Even though this whole year has been a Horror movie, many of us are still celebrating this October as spooky season is here. To commemorate the favorite holiday of us weirdoes, Montreal-based singer/songwriter Maryze has released a brand new single titled “Squelettes,” and it’s her most ambitious track yet. I know I probably sound like a broken record, because every time Maryze drops something I describe it as “her most ambitious yet,” well, that’s because she continues to reinvent herself and experiment with new sounds, some even outside of her comfort zone, and that’s the mark of a true innovator. Meaning “Skeleton” in French, “Squelettes” is her darkest track yet. With hard-hitting production from Margo, and an explosive verse from Backxwash, the track is hauntingly catchy, but instead of delving into the typical “ghouls and goblins” tropes affiliated with Halloween, Maryze speaks on addiction and mental illness, which is far more disturbing than ghosts and zombies. Many of us have been forced to deal with our demons during this pandemic, and a lot of us have used unhealthy coping methods, and Maryze doesn’t sugarcoat this subject. The shouts of “what the fuck are you doing here?!” from Backxwash is all of us as we deal with that inner voice that tries to sabotage us, even when things are going well. It’s a dark yet inspiring track that dives deep into the darkness to trudge through the mud in order to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. “Squelettes” is a taste of what’s yet to come on Maryze’s debut album which is set to be released next year on “Hot Tramp Records.” You can listen to “Squelettes” below:

Gorillaz and Robert Smith Share New Song “Strange Timez”

Yes. You read that correctly. “Gorillaz” continue their unbeatable streak of impeccable singles with episode six of their “Song Machine” series featuring THE Robert Smith of “The Cure.” The track is titled “Strange Timez,” which is fitting considering the bonkers all-out shitfest of a year we’re living in right now. Oh 2020, what happened? You were the chosen one. “Strange Timez” is everything you’d want from a “Gorillaz” and Robert Smith collab and then some. You can listen to “Strange Timez” below:

New Order Share New Single “Be a Rebel”

Today “New Order” have shared their first new music since their 2015 album Music Complete. It’s a track titled “Be a Rebel,” and about the song frontman Bernard Sumner has stated, “In tough times we wanted to reach out with a new song. We can’t play live for a while, but music is still something we can all share together. We hope you enjoy it… until we meet again.” You can listen to “Be a Rebel” below:

Brioni Shares New Single “Timeless”

London-based artist/musician Brioni has a unique approach to her art, combining synth-heavy electronic music with her paintings which she uses as an electronic drum when performing live. Today she has released her new single “Timeless,” and it is sure to get you moving and features some of her most pristine production yet. You can listen to “Timeless” below:

Album Review: Deli Girls – BOSS

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Artist: Deli Girls

Album: BOSS

Genre: Electronic/Industrial/Techno-Punk

Label: Deli Girls Inc.

Rating: 8/10

It feels like this is the ideal time for a new “Deli Girls” album, but then again, I don’t think there’s ever a time when a “Deli Girls” album isn’t appropriate. The anger and frustration that is a reaction to the homophobia, transphobia, sexism, racism, and other forms of hate that unfortunately plague this country is completely warranted and will continue until things become fair in this country, if that ever happens. The Brooklyn duo wear this anger on their sleeves and use it to fight hate with abrasiveness and aggression. This isn’t your Hot Topic “it’s not a phase mom” teen rebellion oh no, this is  revolutionary music in its purest form. Music that challenges you, confronts you, and antagonizes you, but with that being said, “Deli Girls'” new album BOSS is never overly political or bias. This music is a place where many of us who have felt misfitted or wrongfully judged can call home. The band could have gone in a direction that recycles their earlier work, becoming a predictable gimmick of themselves, but on BOSS it’s evident that the two have the musical vision and knowledge to match their unadulterated rage. Those who have said the band is one-dimensional will quickly eat their words when listening to this album, because along with the band’s simplistic yet impactful instrumentation that draws influence from Industrial, video game inspired synth-lines, and heavy distorted bass that will knock the framed pictures off your wall, the band explore new territory, incorporating even darker atmospherics and even featuring beautifully haunting harp and violin provided by duo “LEYA” on the track “Barriers to Love.” There’s even a cover of “Korn’s” song “Faget” which the band beautifully reinvents and turns into a new anthem. The band really outdid themselves with this one.

Written By: Steven Sandoval

https://deligirls.bandcamp.com/album/boss-2

Blue Hawaii Share New Song “Feelin'”

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Electronic duo “Blue Hawaii” are set to release their new E.P. Under 1 House on September 25th, and following their dance floor ready single “I Felt Love,” the band have shared another track off the upcoming E.P. titled “Feelin'” and it’s just as danceable, sexy, and “House” dominated as its predecessor. You can listen to “Feelin'” below:

Hammare Share New Single “Here Comes Trouble”

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Following the release of their fantastic single “God Is Doing blow” back in 2018, Swedish duo “Hammare” have been hard at work releasing a single a year, and though that may seem like very little in this fast-paced streaming age of music we now live in, just remember, quality music takes time to create and has more longevity than mediocre songs that are pumped out just for the sake of staying relevant. This year we have been blessed with not one but two new “Hammare” songs. “In Back of the Real” was the first, and now the band have released the follow-up titled “Here Comes Trouble,” and as you’ve probably already guessed by the song titles, the band aren’t here to play it safe. At this point we know the band aren’t going to sugarcoat things. Their lyrical content reflects on the human condition and the ridiculous things that divide us when we should be more empathetic and accepting of each other. The band’s view on this can be from a dark and cynical lens, but instead of sounding defeated, they’re saying “We can do better.” “Here Comes Trouble” maintains that same tone, but this is the band’s most danceable track yet with Industrial-laden production consisting of discombobulating synth arpeggios, a funky as Hell bassline, and Desert Rock guitars that wouldn’t sound out of place on a “Queens of the Stone Age” record. You can listen to “Here Comes Trouble” below:

Cenza Shares New Song “Thriving”

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If her previous single “City Lights” didn’t win you over, then her brand new single “Thriving” surely will. Departing almost entirely from the “Electro-Pop” glamour of “City Lights,” Cenza’s new single “Thriving” is more melancholy on the surface, but never loses its smooth groove brought on by production consisting of electronic soundscapes, strings, bass, infectious synth melodies, and a beat that evokes the spirit of 90’s “Trip Hop.” Despite its moodiness, the track has an inspirational message. About the track, Cenza states “I didn’t write this about a guy. I wrote it about the feeling I often get second guessing myself for making a choice and owning it and about the desire to be unafraid of being perceived as intimidating just because i’m succeeding in something. I hope this song empowers everyone who hears it to own their choices and to stop feeling like they have to dumb themselves down or make themselves smaller to make others more comfortable, and to have fun with it.” “Thriving” was produced by Jay-Elle, Michael Abiuso, and Cenza, and was mastered by J.D. Moon. The track will appear on Cenza’s debut album due later this year. You can listen to “Thriving” below: