Tag Archives: Reviews

US Review: KIMIA PENTON “WHERE THE RAIN FALLS”

17 May

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For more information or to order the WHERE THE RAIN FALLS EP, please visit KIMIA PENTON’s website and social media pages via: https://kimiapmusic.com/

To order WHERE THE RAIN FALLS on digital services please visit:

http://smarturl.it/KimiaPenton

 

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German Review: HIGHEST INTENTION “UNIVERSAL LIGHT”

30 Apr

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Translated from German:

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For more information about HIGHEST INTENTION please visit: www.highestintentionband.com

To order UNIVERSAL LIGHT on digital services please visit: smarturl.it/HighestIntention

To order UNIVERSAL LIGHT on Bandcamp please visit: highestintention.bandcamp.com

For Booking inquiries please contact: highestintention@gmail.com

 

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Reggae Vibes Review: HIGHEST INTENTION “UNIVERSAL LIGHT”

26 Apr

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RELEASE INFO

HIGHEST INTENTION – UNIVERSAL LIGHT

Label: Universal Light Records | Format: CD-DR | Street date: March, 2019 | Facebook Highest Intention |

HIGHEST INTENTION

California has, is and will be a region brimming with Reggae artistes and destination for many tours. Numerous elements showcased from North to South. Foundation statesmen like Fully Fullwood, Tony Chin, Haile Maskel, Lesterfari and Shakaman continue to make solid impact after decades in Southern California. New generation bands like Tribal Seeds thrive in San Diego. In the North, veterans like Earl Zero, Red Lions (Burton Eubank/Jeremy Grey), Ras Biblical raise Fyah levels alongside new Roots units like HIGHEST INTENTION. Their debut, “UNIVERSAL LIGHT” hits stride with a collective of well experienced souljahs….

Singer/guitarist Ben ”Down” Lowe founded the band in 2012 with heavy credentials. He’s produced Reggae formats for ABC, MTV and Bravo. The group has made solid impact up and down The West Coast and have shared the stage with countless Reggae greats. Ben and crew cut no corners with their solid debut. Guest musicians like Raleigh Neal (Michael Franti), Toho Saunders (Don Carlos, President Brown..many more) anchors heavy bass. Paul Wolstencroft (Slighty Stoopid), producer Ces-One (J Boog) and mix maestro Aaron Dahl rally together. Couldn’t find additional musician info but cd sleeve makes honorable mention to such greats as bassie Herb Daly (The Rastafarians), Nicho De Silva (Irie Magazine) and longtime ambassador Eli Alaimo (Music Box) displays the true Love and Respect the band has attained. A bright future in store for these committed Souljahs.

CRISP EDGE

“Morning Light” sets a Roots tone with vox from Arise Roots(one of the premier CA Rootz bands) frontman Karim Isreal. This is tradition and progression in Rightful balance. Karim exalts positivity over a detonating riddim with vivid horns, crucial licks and kicks and Toho’s lilting bass. Superb production with a crisp edge. “Fat One” is a bubbling great flow. Ben has a soulful delivery and heartically celebrates Chalice wise. Herb anthems have saturated the market but the lasting lyrics observe the abundantly green Bay Area runnings with original urgency. “Ocean” shines with a horns rich musical backbone and an Ital message presented with perfect simplicity. Standout selection !!

PROVOKING LYRICS

“Vibes” has radio ready aspects; showcasing “Cali-Reggae” Roots and branches. The listener can’t help but absorb the obvious joy that took place during studio sessions. Big guitar licks and drum rolls on course. “Riverside” is a brilliant ride! Ben’s experience producing music for a large scale television audience is translated nicely here. Thought provoking lyrics born with infectious riddim back and crisp yet Dub flecks sprinkled through and through..boom!! The levels are lifting on “Dive In”. Ben’s Singjay flow is spot on with the refreshing talent of Empress Lindsay Stubblefield. Taut riddim with Jazzy overtones and international appeal on the wyah. A Joyful anthem bound to please.

FINGER ON REWIND

“Escape” continues the positive atmosphere. Over a tight riddim recalling great ‘80’s Kingston sessions, Ben turns up the vibes factor. Remarkable mix and production. Each instrument presented just right with a Dub outlook on Scientist caliber qualities. “Sky” is a ethereal Love ode that bridges tradition with surging progression. Ben’s hearty vox float over a bed of riddimatic roses. Finger on rewind! The title track is one that shines with universal message. The band’s observations are mystic and pertinent. Crucial wah wah and country licks correspond over the Dub laden riddim like Fyah fly. Quality in all aspects. “Hold Your Own Love” is masterclass ability. This is professional Reggae music. The arrangements possess a Third World quality; recalls the timeless anthems the late, great Bunny Rugs and “Cat” Coore created. Amazing horn section; bubbling is hotta; bass will cripple the hips. From lyrics to riddim, this song Fyahs on all cylinders.

TASTY AXE WORK

“Binghi” is Hearty tempo for sure. Niyabinghi frequency with flute and organ…a solid interlude…. “Reggae Paradise” continues the quality songwriting, musician manship and journeyman mixing theory. The ability to incorporate nuances of other genres is commendable. This great album closes with “Time So Slow”. An impeccably crafted offering indeed! The spread is laid out on this table! Meditative in message; active on the riddim. Solid structure with reinforcements of drum and bass accordance, deep “organ”-izing and tasty axe work. Rewind again.

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For more information about HIGHEST INTENTION please visit: www.highestintentionband.com

To order UNIVERSAL LIGHT on digital services please visit: smarturl.it/HighestIntention

To order UNIVERSAL LIGHT on Bandcamp please visit: highestintention.bandcamp.com

For Booking inquiries please contact: highestintention@gmail.com

 

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US Review: NAPA VALLEY DUO “A SOFT MESSAGE TO YOU”

8 Apr

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Click Here to Read More!

 

Stay tuned in 2019 for even more great artists and releases from IAC RECORDS!

For more information about IAC RECORDS and Artists, please visit www.iacrecords.com

To order IAC RECORDS Releases on Bandcamp please visit: https://iacrecords.bandcamp.com

 

IAC 2018 Cover Image Flyer

 

 

STIMULI Newsletter Feb-March 2019

22 Feb

 

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Greetings from STIMULI HQ!

Exciting news is coming in spring & summer and can’t wait to share it with you!

Before that happens, we want to let you know about a trio of upcoming Bay Area shows as we close out winter 2019.

On Friday March 8th, STIMULI will return to one of our favorite venues – The Uptown Nightclub (site of the 1st STIMULI show!) in Oakland, CA. This very special night will feature some of the best local heavy rock bands – The Devil in California & Stalin – all bands with deep Oakland roots at a great rock and roll club!
Get your tickets before they’re gone at:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1213066375509944/

Those in the San Jose area this Saturday February 23rd, STIMULI will be at the X-Bar in Cupertino, CA. Presented by Pinup Productions, this show features B.T. Saints & Drawing Heaven. Both of these great South Bay-based bands will bring heavy sludge and grind to this all ages rock show! Tickets to this show are available at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1232270920275463/

Those in the North Bay this Friday February 22nd, STIMULI will join the one and only Bryan Kehoe w/ his Kehoe International band along with heavy riff rockers Ranchero at 19 Broadway Nightclub in Fairfax, CA.
Tickets are available at:
https://www.facebook.com/events/541315123023698/

Bring a friend to an upcoming show. We look forward to seeing you there 🙂

To stay up to speed with the band,
follow us on social media and visit www.stimuliband.com – where you can also stream or purchase a copy of the STIMULI album ‘They Are We‘.

Thank you for supporting STIMULI and original rock bands everywhere.
We appreciate you,

– Jimmy, Cole & Tai

 

 

 

Copyright © 2019 STIMULI All rights reserved
STIMULI
2200 WOOD STREET
OAKLAND, CA 94607
info@stimuliband.com
www.stimuliband.com

 

 

Germany Review: JENNIFER SARAN “SOULFUL CHRISTMAS” featuring THE TEMPTATIONS

22 Feb

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Translated from German:

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US Review: NAPA VALLEY DUO “AN AMERICAN IN PARIS”

21 Feb

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Napa Valley Duo

An American in Paris

Review by Gary Hill

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http://www.musicstreetjournal.com/index_cdreviews_display.cfm?id=106618

Perhaps this set is classical music. The duo in question is Jeffrey McFarland-Johnson who plays stringed instruments (I’ve often labeled it as cello, but I might be wrong in places) and Terry Winn on piano. They create a mix of sounds here that is unique and quite compelling. While this isn’t really my kind of music, I found that parts of it really drew me in.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

 

Track by Track Review
Hotel
The piano and cello both work together well to create a pretty and rather sad musical texture on this piece. This instrumental is fairly short and a good way to start the set in style.
An American in Paris
While the opener was short, the same can’t be said for this. It’s almost 15 and a half minutes long. It’s quite a musical ride with some rather crazed instrumental sounds at play at points. It conveys a lot of modes and textures along the ride. Both the cello and the piano find plenty of opportunities to shine. They certainly capture a lot of different sections of the soundtrack to the film.
It Never Entered My Mind
This is such a pretty piece. It has a certain sad air to it. There is a real majestic quality, too.
JMJ Suite: Prelude Perfume
Piano starts this one with an almost magical kind of vibe. The strings lend a new air as they join. The cut continues to evolve as it drives forward. This is quite classical and a bit odd at times. It is also oddly compelling.
A Soft Message to You
This has a lot of beauty and is another effective number. I particularly like the piano melodies on the cut, but everything works well.
Star Trek Anthem / I Love Lucy
Combining “Star Trek” and “I Love Lucy” might seem odd. The fact is, they were connected. Lucille Ball believed so strongly in “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry that she signed him to her Desilu Studios for the series. So, combining these two pieces of music makes sense in a rather unique way. I love the twist that this arrangement brings to the “Star Trek” sounds. It’s just a short bit of the music, though. Then they take it into an upbeat and fun romp of the “I Love Lucy” theme.
Meritage Estate
Coming in slower and rather melancholy, particularly in contrast to the previous number, this works out after the introduction to some more crazed sounds as punctuation to the mellower, more melodic segments.
Preparing For the Day
The classical tones on this are fun and energetic. There is a playful air to this piece.
Vesper For Janelle
Slow moving, sedate and rather melancholy in tone, this is also quite a pretty number.
Chimera
I love the piano textures that start this. The strings add so much as they join. This has more energy and a lighter tone than the previous number did. There is a real moving vibe to it. It feels almost like “traveling music.”
See Me Feel Me / I Will Fight and Never Slack
The strings start this, playing the familiar Who passages in a slow and measured way. The second half of this brings an almost Celtic angle to things. It’s not until that movement kicks in (and nearly two minutes in) that the piano joins. They work things to a fast paced and playful jam from there. Then, just after the three minute mark, they bring it back to the Who melodies, this time with the piano added to the mix. That movement takes the cut to its end.
Moderatamente
I love the classical elements on display here. This is a pretty and rather reflective piece. It is packed with emotion.
Romanza
Another that’s on the sedate and classical end of the musical spectrum, this is a pretty track.
The Lady Caliph
This is also quite a pretty piece of music. It’s a satisfying way to end the set.

 

For more information about IAC RECORDS and Artists, please visit www.iacrecords.com

To order IAC RECORDS Releases on Bandcamp please visit: https://iacrecords.bandcamp.com

 

 

 

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