Thursday, September 12, 2013

tapeunderground - úgy lépek

A conversation of reminiscing with a friend had compelled me to revisit tapeunderground. It was then I realized, I haven't made a blog post about these guys!

I had stumbled upon tapeunderground back in 2009, which opened my music taste to trip-hop. There was just something about their sound that grabbed me. A year later I planned a trip to Hungary to see Képzelt Város and Marionette ID. Since it was a month-long trip, I might as well cram in as many concerts as I could. I was super pleased to find out that tapeunderground was playing, and only within a few days of my arrival!

As the day arrived I was incredibly excited. I had invited my Hungarian Couchsurfing host to join me on this musical excursion. She was shocked that I knew of so many small Hungarian bands and intrigued at what this small band could bring. We arrived at the venue, Cökxpôn. To this day I've never been to a more chill venue. The ground floor was the cafe while the basement was the music venue. Pillows and low tables were everywhere. I don't normally like sitting for concerts, but this was definitely the music to sit on a comfortable pillow to. The decor was colourful and trippy.

The environment complimented the music so well. Despite the two jocks seemingly putting extra effort to making everyone's experience less awesome, a potential fight breaking out between them and a guy in front of me, and the entire venue yelling at them... the evening was quite magical. It was definitely a mixed emotion concert. But getting to see tapeunderground was just so much better than I even expected.

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(Their albums are free to download from their website. Letoltesek.)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

New Album Funding: La Inestable de Brooklyn (feat. Emilio Solla)

When I got an invite from my friend to this Emilio Solla's recording session, I had expected another tango band. What I arrived to was this fusion of jazz, tango, and Argentine folkloric music that consistently gave me goosebumps. Years ago I got to experience my friends' instrumental rock band in a recording session, but witnessing this nine piece jazz ensemble was a whole other beast. Even though I was there for work, I had to take a few moments to just soak in the music in the recording booth. It was an absolute treat to get to experience this.

Although they're currently in the recording process, they're still in need of funding to help see this project into completion.
Here is the IndieGoGo fundraising page.

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Thursday, July 04, 2013

Pariisin Kevät - Pyykkipäivä

I've been having a bit of a dry spell with music lately. It's during these times I'm grateful to have amazing friends that know me and my passion in music very well. One of my best friends, a Finnish woman, had just introduced me to this particular song. The band is pretty electropop-y but this particular song has certain deeper sounds that really resonate with me. I'm really enjoying the rest of their music, but this song... and Matkala Etelään too... mmmm.

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(Albums can be purchased on iTunes.)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New Album Release: Arian Saleh - Undone

I finally got around to checking out Arian Saleh's new album, which released a week ago. Wow... just... wow.

Like his previous album, this one is a wonderful mix of different styles of music, some, such as dirty hip-hop and dubstep, I was surprised but quite delighted to hear in such a different environment. And being a fan of strings, it was a welcome sound to hear cello, and plenty of it. As I progress through Undone I feel like I'm coming in and out of different worlds of music, guided by an incredible voice.

This particular song, Cut Me Loose, seemed to resonate with me enough to pick this to post. There's a mix of harsh and emotional within this song that's just... I've been thinking about an adjective to accurately describe what I feel but I can't. One will probably come to me once I post....

Saleh's new album can be purchased on iTunes or purchased and streamed in its entirety through his website.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

The Bad Plus - Seven Minute Mind

I particularly like listening to music before I go out to dance tango. Sometimes it can help me make a connection to music before I make an even deeper connection later on. Just like I would never listen to Caspian right before a Caspian concert, I never listen to tango music before a Milonga.

Yesterday started as a Denovali Records day until one of my favourite jazz ensembles came up, Contemporary Noise Sextet, then it became a jazz day. My good friend from Hungary, noticing I've been listening to jazz for most of the day, suggested me this Minnesotan Jazz trio. I instantly fell in love with the song he introduced me to, Forces. The more I listened to their music the more I was falling in love with their sounds... until Seven Minute Mind came on. When the song started really 'groovy' I thought, "Oh, that's cool, I really like this!" And then it transitioned to this absolutely gorgeous piano, beautiful in a classical (genre) kind of way. This song instantly started resonating with me. Chills were going down my spine, goosebumps formed, my eyes were quickly watering. I went from bobbing my head to nearly weeping. Once the song finished I knew I'd be listening to this a lot in the next couple months. I had just found my most recent favourite song.

Needless to say, it was a good night of tango.

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(Albums digitally available on iTunes and Amazon.)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

New Album Release: Lavinia - Take Shelter [ep]

(Instead of posting a song from their two track EP, I'll save you that experience for yourself. For this post, I'm going to use my favourite song on their last EP. I love obscure instruments in rock, so of course hearing banjo done well in an intense song is just so beautiful.)

Every time I visited my good friend in Boston my not listening to the other band he was in, Lavinia, somehow always came up. And he always took it modestly, "That's alright man," which made me feel worse about it. I have a feeling he knew I would eventually gravitate to Lavinia, it would just take some time. And eventually I did. There are bands that make you feel, then there are bands that make you FEEEEEEEEEEL. Lavinia instantly became among my favourite bands. I can't count how many times I listened to Bone & Arrow. (Well, actually, can count... 28, but I'm pretty sure that's not at all accurate.)

Sadly, though, Lavinia was very short-lived. After coming together, releasing their first EP in 2011 and touring a little they disbanded. However, there were still some songs unfinished. They came back together briefly to finish those songs. This new EP is them.

Download Take Shelter [ep] for a buck-fiddy on Bandcamp!

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Colour For A Rebel Kickstarter

Some time ago Giorgos had told me he was going to focus on his interest in filmmaking and moved to London to start the journey. I had thought that was the end of Colour For A Rebel, which was saddening because CfaR was one of my favourite solo projects. His developing interest in other styles of music had paved a way for some great experimentation in his later recordings.

Well, unknown to me, he seemed to have been quite active! And now he is looking to release a debut album and do some touring.

Here is his kickstarter:

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Atlas Ladder - High Lonesome

Philip Jamieson. We initially met through his other band, which I was (and still very much am) a huge fan of. In 2011 shortly after coming back from a big European trip I visited his hometown in Massachusetts for the first time. Since then we've been really close. He is one of very few people I've felt a deep spiritual connection with. Such an amazing, sincere, deep, cognitive, emotional individual that I'm honoured to call one of my friends. This man is like a brother to me. So, I thought it'd be fitting to have his solo project, The Atlas Ladder, be my 5000th artist on

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(Songs can be downloaded for free from Soundcloud.)

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Drumadics - Merengue

A beautiful NYC weekend shortly after winter will always be a very musical one. People burst out of their caves and flood the city to enjoy the warm sunlight. And it's then the musicians take the opportunity to grace us with their presence.
I don't usually traverse into Manhattan from my comfortable little spot in Queens. (I should more often, though.) But today, a friend and her quest for cheesecake compelled me to.

The former part of the afternoon was spent wandering around Washington Square Park soaking in the music. There was a man playing bagpipes, a guy playing Philip Glass on piano, a woman playing I-don't-know-what-but-it-was-tear-jearkingly-beautiful on the same piano, a jazz quartet, a woman playing banjo, several acoustic guitarists... it was like a little music festival. As the day progressed, after delicious pizza, cheesecake, and deep conversation, it was time to part ways with my friend. It was then we stumbled upon these guys in the Union Square subway station. Upon entering the station sounds of brass came blaring out—baritone sax, tenor sax, trombone, trumpet, with bucket drums. Oooh, I love my brass. And I love those moments when a street or subway musician stops me in my tracks and makes me forget about where I need to be for that fleeting moment. We stayed long enough to experience one song before hopping on the train. However, that song stuck with us through the train ride before we split.

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(Their single, The Musical Adventure Begins, can be purchased through iTunes.)

Monday, April 29, 2013

No Grave Like The Sea - One For Lyman (feat. Paul "Watty" Watson on cornet)

One of my favourite concert-going experiences is attending a concert for the headlining band just to find out that the opening band is equally as amazing. Two days ago I attended the If These Trees Could Talk concert. No Grave Like The Sea opened, and they blew me away. That night I don't see it as two openers (with Signal Hill) and a headliner, to me it was three headliners.

I had a great conversation with Benjamin (keyboards) after their soundcheck and prior to the show. We both agreed, there should be more brass... or generally more brass in instrumental rock. (Oooh, I just gave myself goosebumps imagining trombone in instrumental rock.)

Both Signal Hill and If These Trees Could Talk were superb. But I think my highlight of that evening was discovering a great band I didn't know about prior to the show.

Their EP currently only can be streamed or purchased at their concerts (it's in a really cool tin case with a parchment paper insert). The physical copy has the addition of this song, One For Lyman. Though, the trumpet cornet was just featured in the live show and the recording features non-lyrical vocals. I do hope their next album has some brass.
Edit: "Yes, brother there will be cornet on the record, that you can count on." -NGLTS Nicccccccce!

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

La Bicicleta - Sombras Azules

As of late, I've been heavily into tango. Classic musicians like Carlos Di Sarli, Juan D'Arienzo, and Osvaldo Pugilese are the known greats. But my appetite is never satisfied even as great as the classics are. So, as usual, I have to do some tango exploration. There are some modern musicians that are sprouting with such vibrance and passion.

La Bicicleta is a tango trio from Berlin. Out of the modern tango musicians I've heard, these guys have struck me the most. The peaks and the valleys of their music has created some intense emotion. And while this music would most likely be considered undanceable due to the lack of discernable rhythm, I can't not dance to this. I dance to tango I feel. And oooh, do I feel this.

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(Their album, Tango Progresivo, is available on Bandcamp for purchase.)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

123 - KDA

I come across a lot of phenomenal artists through my music discoveries. And sadly, a lot of these artists get forgotten after a period of time. But the other side of the fun of music discovery is rediscovery. I rediscovered 123 just recently and reminded myself what initially captured me. Their music resonates with such beauty that it penetrates my entire being. When I hear this song, even though I didn't listen to their music during my two week stay in Turkey, I'm instantly flooded with memories of walking through the outskirts of Samsun during the setting sun. I feel a warm sensation and a build-up of emotion when her voice is accompanied by harmonics.

One of my major regrets from my two month trip through Europe and Turkey last year was not getting to see 123 play. But that will be one of my biggest goals of my return trip.

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(Albums available for purchase on iTunes, links on their website.)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Arian Saleh - Wakeup

A couple weeks ago I went on an Iranian music binge, searching for as much as I could find. It was a difficult search, but there were some results that struck me. Arian Saleh's Wakeup struck me profoundly. Most of the lyrical music I listen to (that I can understand, in English) tend to be more toward the upbeat like Mammal Club or more emotional like Blank Maps. But this is the first I can recall listening to and feeling darker lyrical songs. The rest of Arian's music is already pretty downbeat. But wow... the frustration and darkness in this song is so intense.

Arian's diverse influences are brought out fairly clearly in his songs, with the gypsy-like Better in Blue and the tango-like Unspoken. Right when I thought I'd move on and listen to another artist I can't help but go, "Oh, I want to hear this one again... and this one..."

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(Arian Saleh's music is available on iTunes for purchase.)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Dosh - Loud

I've been out of it for the past several days. So what better way to be "in it" than to just to go head-first into some new music. This first started with something a little more familiar. I started listening to a little The Non some The Octopus Project, and from there I discovered this artist. This entire album (Tommy) is filled with an array of styles that all blend beautifully together. A little folk, a little hip-hop, jazz, alternative... it's nice. I'm totally digging this.

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(Albums available for purchase on Bandcamp, his Website, or Label and streamed on Spotify.)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Madmazel & Amir Danaei - Shorou

It is about time I made a new music post. I just couldn't hold myself back from posting this.
Recently I've been infatuated with the Iranian music scene for the same reason why the Pakistani scene fascinates me. The trouble a musician has to go through just to have their music heard is a lot more than we, as Americans, can even fathom. This, to me, is a non-music element that enhances the experience of listening. It becomes more intimate and personal.

I had spent a few hours hoping I'd discover all sorts of different indie, post-rock, rock, and various other artists. Three had come up (the other two I will post later). This particular song made me instantly fall in love with this artist's music. On top of Madmazel's absolutely beautiful voice, Amir Danaei has created a guitar hook both beautiful and so catchy I can't stop thinking about it. Neither have any albums out, but they both have various songs here and there on their soundcloud accounts.

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Amir Danaei
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