‘Extra-dimensional Sorcerer’ Lailien is a 21st Century Musical Enigma

Toronto based Lailien describes himself as the ‘anti-matter twin and alter-ego’ of poet Brad Shubat, whose debut album ‘Ensoular‘ is set to smash any preconceived notions of how pop music should be contrived from a pre-defined formula. As a classically trained pianist and university graduate (at one point on the path to become a Professor of Literature), predictably this record unveils a mature talent for careful, poetic and intelligent song-writing, although you might be forgiven for misinterpreting your own expectations on your first listen.

“Lailien exists as a fictional character within a mythic cosmology at play: An extra-dimensional sorcerer, conqueror of Vishnu’s body-suit, rational empiricist, fool, gender fluid prince of darkness… and yet another iteration of the Gnostic Christ resurrected.”

From a belief that “the best musical artists [utilise] profound, erudite, mind-expanding lyricism“, ‘Ensoular’ is less of a genre-crossing, and more of a genre-creating experience – with no single track taking the lead on the how the rest of the album sounds. It’s perhaps unsurprising that this debut LP was written in part during an intense period of experimentation with psychedelics, which had resulted in an intense period of clinically diagnosed psychosis during periods of the creative process.

“What happens when you love yourself or someone else unconditionally, with all your heart and soul, but you know that suffering will disrupt said love? Exploring the complex interrelationship between life and death, the song and video features principles of eternal reoccurrence, anti-matter spacetime, a multidimensional daemon and mystical psychopomps.”

The accompanying video for the track ‘Blue Love’ is every bit as imaginative as his music. Having been conceptualised by Lailien himself, the video was shot by Mina A Solomon and directed by Zafir Ahmed of NRWFilms and stars lead actress and former Miss Universe Canada delegate Chealse Sophia Howell.

“a symphony of thick and warped textures… subtle beats and infectious melancholic vocals.” Line of Best Fit

Though discovering a love for experimental electronic, pop, rock and jazz sounds derives the main fuel for his creative imagination, Lailien is perhaps best described as a ‘cultural-omnivore’. At the same time as citing a diverse range of musical influences from Animal Collective to Lana Del Ray, academic influences such as gender theorist Judith Butler and modernist writer Virginia Woolf, even video game influences such as Legend of Zelda and Super Mario had samples which made it into the final edit.

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3gi4c8BpfRl5ZTg6iTZhTl?si=uHDlmGnXTji9MTO_TRavew

Website: https://www.officiallailien.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/THEREALLAILIEN

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brad.lailien.shubat

Deplicant Navigates Electro’s Darkest Regions with Staggering Dual Debut Release

From his own humble beginnings of performing in small clubs across Europe, initial attempts for Danny Agoston – working under the name Deplicant, to rise beyond the success of his peers had already stifled his own blueprint of an easily definable Electro/ Progressive House sound, and he soon found himself forced into a change in artistic direction.

DeplicatorUnder his own orchestration, the overall atmosphere of his debut tracks entitled ‘14/40’ and ‘Epoch’ work to sustain a spine curling ambience of an empowering but unavoidable threat – a false comfort in alien surroundings. The sound derives from rhythmic swell and repetition, churning forward in the kind of cold, hypnotic gaze of something ‘more than human’.

Drawing from a design of dystopian alienation, the thinly veiled mask of influences conjured from the cyberpunk movement, like those depicted in Blade Runner, is laid bare – with visuals sustained in the imagination of the listener, projecting them into the far-flung depths of Deplicant’s musical universe.

The prominent focus of his musical exploration dissects an ambiguity between the role of the electronic and organic in the contemporary world we live in. Rationalising his primary musical influences – including the likes of Vangelis and Jean-Michel Jarre, Deplicant stays faithful to minimal studio equipment – namely a MacBook pro, an Akai MPK25 keyboard, studio monitors and Sennheiser HD25 Headphones, to create a layered atmosphere that sustains a natural progression.

Deplicant’s debut is stellar stuff in all senses of the word, moving through dance, electro, soundtracks and video games to brand new horizons.

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/deplicant 

The gateway to isolation; Michaela Polakova and Natalie Kocab’s brooding collaboration.

When would happen if you took classical music and mixed it with something as niche darkwave? The answer could be in Michaela Polakova and Natalie Kocab’s latest collaboration.

Both hailing from the Czech Republic; Singer & lyricist Natalie Kocab and composer Michaela Polakova join forces in a testament to experimentation, which also features a helping hand from The Verve’s guitarist Nick McCabe and Lou Reed bassist Fernando Saunders.

The album consists of ten tracks and provide a variety of tones and textures, with influences from Patti Smith to Nick Cave, all the way to My Bloody Valentine and The Cure.

The album opens with one of three lead singles ‘Underwater’ which does an excellent job of setting the tone for the rest of the album, providing a strong opening and a strong vocal performance accompanied with poetic lyricism from Natalie which remains consistent throughout the rest of the album. The song features an atmospheric soundscape with a jarring middle eight, comparable to albums such as Pornography by The Cure.

The album then follows into ‘Kiev’, which changes from a soundscape-like structure into something more post-rock influence, with what sounds like a slight oriental twist to the composition. The song follows through with a crescendo; a big finish maintaining that post-rock attribute.

‘These Years’ which is the second lead single changes the atmosphere a bit, the orchestral side to Michaela’s compositions are more apparent here followed by opening with a 90’s or early 2000’s pop melody showcasing its contemporary elements; though like a facade this changes a minute into the track where the melody completely juxtaposes and becomes jarring, maintaining the authenticity to the album.

The album is a collective of melancholic and jarring pop tracks followed by experimental, post punk influenced tracks, Nick McCabe’s guitars compliment the classical compositions and just like Kevin Shields and Patti Smith’s collaboration in 2005 and 2006, vocalizes the instrument.

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Tracks that follow such as the title track; ‘Ellis Island’ and the third lead track ‘Social Affair’ are more of a radio friendly take on the sound that Michaela & Natalie have crafted, contemporary structures whilst maintaining a certain melancholy that is not too drastic or dissonant, ‘Social Affair’ features a more alternative rock take on their sound.

‘Zadnej Kod’, which is performed in Czech is again a more orchestral track, which features haunting tonality, the track picks up and features almost an operatic rock dynamic to it.

I do feel however, following Zadnej Kod that ‘Feeling Falls’ and ‘Carry On’ could have been positioned differently on the album, ‘Feeling Falls’ feels very similar melody-wise and Carry On feels slightly anti-climatic in its positioning. And whilst ‘Feeling Falls’ does well in its minimalist, spacious approach it’s light dynamics into a crescendo came too soon after ‘Zadnej Kod’.

The album concludes with the track ‘Backstabbers’ which unlike the aforementioned two tracks is positioned well and conclude the album perfectly, whilst yet another pop oriented track among the final three, the dynamic changes with acoustic guitars at the forefront mixed with the whirling, wall of sound like tonalities of the electric guitars, the song also features lounge-like spoken word vocals, which adds a nice, conclusive shift from the powerful vocal performance which remained consistent, to something that tones down the album.

Whilst the album features a plethora of musical styles and experimentation, it does not sound messy one bit, Michaela’s work on the compositions make the album sound consistent and authentic whilst making the album interesting throughout, the album does not go off on a tangent nor does it become monotonous: It’s a fresh and relevant take on experimentation that rivals the likes of recent contemporaries.

Natalie Kocab’s vocals are personally one of the biggest highlights of the album, the overall vocal performance was powerful and suited the music that was accompanying them,.

Overall, the album genuinely offers something for everyone, a welcoming form of experimentation that is not to alien to the average listener yet interesting enough to keep die-hard alternative music fans listening throughout.

Ellis Island is out now, you can purchase the album from this link; https://wmcz.lnk.to/ellisisland

To keep up to date with Michaela Polakova and Natalie Kocab, you can follow their social networks below;

https://soundcloud.com/nataliekocabmichaelapolakova

https://youtu.be/QDOEQVGicqM

https://youtu.be/sT1g9fYFon0

https://www.facebook.com/Ellisislandalbum/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

 

No use crying over Pink Milk – Dark Swedish soundscapes in the form of ‘Purple’

It would be unfair to describe Pink Milk’s debut album as simply a ten track Shoegaze album, but rather as whole; a menacing, ethereal soundscape.

Pink Milk are preparing for the October release of their debut album Purple, and with it the group have successfully encapsulated a wide range of influences, offering something for fans of everything alternative and beyond.

The album does not cut around any corners, the album is introduced with an instrumental titled River Phoenix which sets the foundation as to what to expect from the rest of the album. Instantly greeting the listener with sounds reminiscent of The Cure (a la Disintegration & Pornography).

What the album does very well is that it keeps a consistent balance between the dream pop ethereal sounds of aforementioned  influence and the noisier & hectic sounds, following influence from artists such as Mogwai & Low, known for creating soundscapes.

However, what differentiates Pink Milk’s Purple from their influences is it’s contemporary feel and it doesn’t rely too much on classic influences of familiarity; it comes across authentic & artistic in that sense.

Tracks such as ‘Muscles’ present the listener with ethereal, dreamlike soundscapes – these tracks paint a picture and are filled with effective tension, with an almost tribal-like dynamic. Whilst tracks such as ‘Detroit’ and ‘Awakening of Laura’ follow a more upbeat feel and are examples of the kind of “proto-gaze” sound you would hear from artists such as The Jesus & Mary Chain.

A personal favorite on this album is ‘Drömmens skepp’,  a brooding piece deriving from Swedish songwriter Staffan Percy. The track is unforgiving, as is the rest of the album and stays true to itself throughout.

The album concludes with a Foreigner cover of ‘I want to know what love is’, it’s a very appealing conclusion to the album and Pink Milk maintain the authenticity of the tune and keep it recognizable yet add their own flavor, in a tasteful way.

The album encapsulates the art-rock format and the avant-garde that is noise music and keeps it original, Purple does not follow a formula, and that’s what makes it appealing on first listen, just like the first listen of Psychocandy – it offers something different yet attractive.

However, where Purple flaws is with the linearity of the tracks themselves, whilst the pacing of the album of itself is consistent and enough to keep the listeners interested, the tracks themselves stay very linear for the entire two and a half minute average. Tracks such as ‘Muscles’ can be forgiven, the linearity adds to the context of the piece, yet songs such as Detroit attempt to crescendo and are let down when the drum pattern is exactly the same throughout.

This sort of linearity will only keep the most hardcore of noise-rock fans interested, working out what effects they are using in their compositions to replicate the “wall of sound” aesthetic, but I felt after listening to a minute of each track, I could easily anticipate or guess what the latter minute or two of the track will sound like – it didn’t leave much of a surprise to keep me continuously interested.

All in all however, Purple by Pink Milk felt satisfying for what it is. A ten track soundscape of dark alternative music, reminiscing about abrasive artists such as Low – whilst being original enough to keep me interested. The linearity does become apparent after the first couple of tracks, yet it’s original aesthetic is enough to draw fans of similar artists in.

Purple by Pink Milk is out on the 20th of October, you can keep up with the band on their social networks below;

https://soundcloud.com/pinkmilktheband

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvRWoJAz6IGcGmuw3qqah9A

https://www.facebook.com/pinkmilkmusic/

https://twitter.com/pm_theband

https://www.instagram.com/pinkmilkmusic/

http://www.pinkmilkmusic.com

 

“The Mario Baloetlli of art school rock” Johann Sebastian Punk teases his debut album with the release of ‘Confessions’

Sicily’s answer to Syd Barret; Johann Sebastian Punk is preparing for the debut of his debut album Phoney Music Entertainment with the release of ‘Confessions’ which is sure to take listeners on a sonic journey of sorts.

What is apparent is that Johann has adorned an embodiment of some of the greatest icons of the eclectic side of the music world, including names such as Bowie, Adam Ant & Syd Barrett – going beyond the boundaries of when music becomes art.

Incorporating the iconic storytelling aspects of songwriting modeled by the aforementioned influences. The song is more than just a five minute jingle, it’s a psychedelic journey that presents something new with each listen.

Whilst the previously mentioned influences give an overall picture as to what the listener might expect upon listening. The song features a diverse range of influences and sparks multiple ideas in its composition, the ambient yet haunting atmosphere of the song sets the overall mood for the song.

The song features intricate choral-like vocals which makes the composition sound grand, along with woodwind instruments that add a fantastical element to the piece.

The composition concludes with a crescendo, still maintaining that dream-like, fantastical quality to the piece, we are introduced with a static drum beat. It brings familiarity in the form of Radiohead’s more experimental tunes and even The Beatles during their psychedelic years.

What Confessions does well is paint a sonic picture, those who are looking for substance and something comparable to artwork can eagerly look forward to Johann’s debut album Phoney Music Entertainment, which releases on the 13th of October. However, not only is a second single ‘Tragedy’ due for release before then, but U.K fans can listen to the debut album digitally during the second week of September.

For more on Johann Sebastian Punk and to keep up with his upcoming releases, you can find his social media links below;

Twitter: @JohannSebastianPunk

Instagram: @johannsebastianpunk

https://www.facebook.com/johannsebastianpunk/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDUUkQQFWXIFK8R3YjHY0jA

‘Water Colors’: The New Concept Album From M3staken

M3staken, otherwise known as M3, is a boundary pushing artist and producer to adheres to no genre-defining limits.

The young musician from South Carolina creates a thought-provoking and jarring form of electronic beats with a hip-hop edge, seemingly creating a whole new space where his music doesn’t really belong anywhere. And this is a good thing.

Most artists we listen to can be easily placed in a box of a particular genre, but with M3, it is much more difficult, showing that he is a progressor of music, not just someone looking to fit in with a crowd.

His previous album, Apex, featured this unique amalgamation of sounds, combined with classical piano: something completely unheard of, but M3 was willing to see what it was like and what would happen.

Water Colors continues in much the same vein as his previous record, but it is clear that M3 is perfecting a sound of his own, saying that the new album is a ‘continuation’ of Apex.

You can listen to Water Colors here: https://m3ssi.bandcamp.com/releases

Links:

https://soundcloud.com/m3staken

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeJtRw31YnOdiDgsNhyhKyQ