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US Review: Unknown Hero “In My Head”

3 Apr

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unknown hereo in my head

Unknown Hero

In My Head

Review by Gary Hill

It would be pretty easy to lump this in with a lot of modern pop music and electronic dance music. Clearly this shares a lot of territory with that kind of sound. However, this album is much more creative than the bulk of those genre. There is almost a progressive music vibe here, and the science fiction angle to the concepts bears that out in definite ways. I like this set quite a bit. Yes, the vocals are processed. I’m not a big fan of that in general. For the most part here, it really works, though. This isn’t necessarily my kind of music, but there is plenty here to pull me in despite that. I would imagine that people who are really into this kind of stuff would really love it.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Be Alright (ft. Kate Wild)
An intricate acoustic guitar section opens this. The vocals enter after a bit, and we’re in more of a processed kind of electronic pop song. This is a bit on the odd side, but in a good way. That makes it a bit unpredictable. There are powerful moments, jazzy elements and more here. There are symphonic elements at play, too.
Monsters in My Head
I dig the trippy electronic music vibe on this. The vocals are a bit over-processed for my tastes, though. While the music built around a modern pop element, there are symphonic sides to it, hard rocking ones and more. This is definitely away from the norms.
Her Name
The modern pop sounds are still present on this, but this comes across more like an electronic space music type of piece. This could almost qualify as progressive music.
A Minor 2125
There are some particularly pretty elements at play here. This feels like a modern classical piece in a lot of ways. I think that’s the point, given the title. There are some non-lyrical vocals on this, but otherwise it’s an instrumental.
Hero Beware
I really dig the electronic groove on this piece. The extremely processed voice at the onset is designed to sound artificial or alien and does so in style. This has some cool melodies and energy. There are some computer type vocals later in the track, and overall this is very trippy and space-oriented.
One More Day
With both male and female vocal loops at the start, this is a trippy kind of modern jam. This is more of a hip hop kind of piece as the main vocals (still processed) enter. This is creative and dramatic.
Make It Happen
The modern pop music groove on this works quite well. I dig the texture and vibe on this number.
Dance
As you might guess from the title, this is electronic dance music. It has a cool groove and is rather unusual as the genre goes. It has some cool atmosphere.
Keep Moving Me
I love the funky guitar sound that opens this number. It eventually shifts out to another cool electronic groove. There is definitely a healthy helping of fusion the mix, though.
Going for a Ride
Another classy electronic pop song, the rhythmic groove and keyboard textures on this are both great. This number has a few vocals, but is mostly instrumental.
Ask Me
There is a lot more of a hip hop groove to this piece. It is cool, but not a highlight. I do like the vocals on the piece quite a bit.
Hero’s Groove
Somehow there is a bit of a James Brown vibe to this. There is a lot of old school soul music sound merged with more modern elements on this piece. Like a lot of the music here, there are a few vocals, but it’s mostly instrumental. I suppose this one does qualify as electronic dance music more than it does anything else.
Close My Door
There are a lot more vocals on this piece. The number is very electronic, but also quite soulful. It has a cool groove and vibe to it.
Be Alright (Instrumental)
Some cool acoustic guitar work opens this. The electronic music enters as that continues, bringing drama and more layers of sound. There are some vocal loops on the track, despite the parenthetical. I suppose they are used more as instrumentation, though. I like this version of the cut much better than the one that opened the disc. I just wasn’t all that crazy about Kate Wild’s vocals.
Monsters (Instrumental)
Here we get another instrumental take of one of the cuts from the earlier in the set, but this time the title gets shortened, too. Again there are some vocal bits as loops on this take. I like this version quite a bit, but I think I prefer the original version.

 

For more information about UNKNOWN HERO and the IN MY HEAD release, please visit the Unknown Hero website and social media pages via www.unknownheromusic.com.

 

To order IN MY HEAD from iTunes please visit https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/in-my-head/id1274692222 or http://smarturl.it/unknownhero

 

To order IN MY HEAD from Bandcamp please visit https://unknownhero.bandcamp.com/

 

unknown hereo in my head

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Canada Review: Unknown Hero “In My Head”

19 Mar

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For more information about UNKNOWN HERO and the IN MY HEAD release, please visit the Unknown Hero website and social media pages via www.unknownheromusic.com.

 

To pre-order IN MY HEAD from iTunes please visit https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/in-my-head/id1274692222 or http://smarturl.it/unknownhero

 

To pre-order IN MY HEAD from Bandcamp please visit https://unknownhero.bandcamp.com/

 

unknown hereo in my head

 

Germany Review: Birdseed “Not Out Of Time”

14 Mar

Birdseed / Not Out Of Time – EP Review

Artist: Birdseed Label: Bird Records Music style: Pop Rock

Birdseed - "Not Out Of Time" - vinyl EP review 

Funnily enough, the band Birdseed from San Francisco, California was formed by middle-aged hobby musicians, who had met at school events of their descendants. After finding out that each other’s favorite hobby is the music, a band was started. The combo released from the end of 2015 a few digital singles, which were now summarized on the EP present to me.

The essence of the five tracks in total can be compared to the Fleetwood Mac sound in the early to mid-seventies. Cool Pop / Rock, so to say, who benefits from a clever groove and a strong lead vocalist. The title song “Not Out Of Time” starts the journey pleasantly rocking and the voice of Kerry Reed Landreth has that certain something that is so eminently important for every front man / woman. The track is very harmonious, variably arranged and loosely flaked over, which makes him a first winner. “Next Trip Around The Sun” starts off with an e-piano sound before the notable vocals take over the scepter. The ingredients mentioned above are also added here and make this number a listener.

With inviting guitar sound and piano, “I Want You To Know” starts the second act. Musically maybe not the best track on the disc, which is the strong text (the mother’s declaration of love to her child, probably not many years later can really understand) will be made up for. Background is probably that Kerry Landrethdiagnosed with incurable breast cancer a few years ago, she wanted to leave a statement here, so to speak. The shortest song of almost three minutes is called “We Can Do It” and builds again on a really cool groove. This works and harmonizes wonderfully with the vocals and the very positive or optimistic lyrics. The unfortunately last title “More Than I Needed The Truth” keeps the quality quite relaxed and invites you to enjoy the complete work “Not Out Of Time” right from the beginning.

Both the band Birdseed and (especially) the frontlady Kerry Reed Landreth can only wish to spend a lot of time to music and new recordings, because the present (on vinyl quantitatively limited) “Not Out Of Time” makes a great mood and goes splendidly into the ear. Relaxed music with profound lyrics, which at no time lead the listener to the uncomfortably sad feeling trail, but rather powerfully forward looking to convey an uplifting feeling.


Line-up Birdseed:

Brian Hetherington (keyboards)
Peter Landreth (saxophone)
Jamie Goodyear (guitars)
Scott Bell (drums)
Lane Murchison (bass)
Mason Morfit (guitars)
Kerry Reed Landreth (vocals)

Tracklist “Not Out Of Time”:

Side 1:

  1. Not Out Of Time (3:48)
  2. Next Trip Around The Sun (4:09)
Side 2:

  1. I Want You To Know (4:53)
  2. We Can Do It (2:56)
  3. More Than I Needed The Truth (3:54)

Total Time: 7:59 (Side 1), 11:47 (Side 2), Release Date: 2017

 

 

 

Meet Go Ji, music expert and owner of Club Starlight

1 Nov

 

Go Ji’s favorite album to spin at Club Starlight is UNKNOWN HERO’s IN MY HEAD.  Buy or stream it here: http://smarturl.it/unknownhero. 

Go Ji, a human born in Lunya, is known to many as DJ Go Ji. She is a middle-aged, once married woman who escaped the city of Lunya years ago, at great risk, to pursue her love of music. She left behind her husband and young son Ken Ji and resettled in Arya, a city outside the Republic of Kraven with no art restrictions. She can be found there researching old-world music and musical artifacts and playing at her popular night club Starlight.

Stay tuned for more from the planet Altarz.

For more information about UNKNOWN HERO and the IN MY HEAD release, please visit the Unknown Hero website and social media pages via https://www.unknownheromusic.com

To order IN MY HEAD from Bandcamp please visit https://unknownhero.bandcamp.com/

NEW RELEASE ALERT: Unknown Hero “In My Head” OUT TODAY

13 Oct

Hunter and Kraven panel

UNKNOWN HERO is a musical creator on a mission. He combines his extensive musical talents, which include composition, production, keyboards, and voice, with his lifelong love of animation, heroes, and their stories to offer unique and inclusive musical and visual experiences. His debut album IN MY HEAD is being released TODAY in stores and online worldwide through his own label Unknown Hero Music.

Growing up a fan of comics, anime, film, and video games, UNKNOWN HERO was disturbed by widespread lack of broad representation. He was particularly dismayed that comic-lovers were offered almost no heroes of color to look up to. Using innovative combinations of music, visual imagery, and story, UNKNOWN HERO has set out to right this representational wrong. Inspired since childhood by comics and Japanese animation, and more recently by musical artists who connect music with animated characters (The Gorrilaz, Kanye West’s “Heartless” and 2NE1’s “I Hate You”), he creates musical and visual worlds that invite music and story lovers of all ages, genders, and hues to engage in visionary fantasy. With IN MY HEAD, UNKNOWN HERO offers fans the first glimpse of one such world, rich with possibilities for further development.

Each track on IN MY HEAD has a place in a dystopian drama unfolding in the year 2125 on the Planet Altarz, where Lord Kraven and the UNKNOWN HERO are moving toward a showdown. Years before, Lord Kraven abolished any practice or mention of music. But recently he has learned that a mysterious figure known only as the UNKNOWN HERO has been depositing strange music-generating devices around the city. A growing band of rebels are plotting ways to support his apparent mission: to give music back to the people. The cast of characters in this musical space odyssey include a middle-aged, newly rebellious DJ Go Ji; her son and conflicted Kraven-protector Ken Ji; a half-human, half-Altarian Bounty Hunter; and mystical warrior, secret songstress, and New Revolt member Z’oa.

IN MY HEAD is an electronic album that blends elements of Downtempo, Trap, Dubstep, Rock, Funk, R&B, and Hip-Hop. Its wide variety of tracks, many of which blur genre boundaries, offer fresh takes on familiar elements. In the soulful and compelling “Ask Me,” UNKNOWN HERO expertly intertwines Dubstep and Trap beats, horns, choral background textures, and chopped vocal samples, all behind lead vocals reminiscent of R&B, Pop, and Soul. On “Hero Beware,” he creates an up-tempo Dance track that is both relatable and new, weaving together layers of EDM/Techno and Trap beats, modulated Dubstep baselines, and choral vocal elements. IN MY HEAD also offers mood-suggestive instrumental tracks such as the Hip-Hop inspired “Hero’s Groove,” and the smooth, downtempo “Going for a Ride.” Also on the album are more traditional Pop or R&B influenced songs, such as the 808-heavy “Be Alright” and “Close My Door,” which features rich vocal harmonies and piano melodies. The album is sprinkled with UNKNOWN HERO’s signature soulful vocal samples.

Music, story elements, and characters from the planet Altarz are currently available at http://www.unknownheromusic.com, and UNKNOWN HERO will develop new musical, narrative, visual, and video content to be released over the coming year. Beyond Altarz, UNKNOWN HERO will continue to develop new music and stories, so fans can look forward to more dynamic, broadly representational, and engaging content for years to come.

UNKNOWN HERO has a long musical history and has collaborated with many great artists. Having grown up as his San Francisco neighborhood beat-maker (using Roland 626 and 505 drum machines with Casio and Korg keyboards, all mixed down on a Roland 4-track mixer), his music has always been a creative outlet. Over the years, he has created tracks and back beats for countless rappers, vocalists, and burgeoning music makers. He collaborated with producer/engineer Dave Beigel, and later continued independently, professionally producing music for a wide range of independent local artists who were looking for alternatives to large, commercial studios. Recently he produced Bay Area Artist Reform and has provided music for other artists, including the highly-esteemed avant-garde choreographer Erika Chong Shuch.

As a young rapper and beat maker, UNKNOWN HERO performed around the Bay Area, including at San Francisco’s iconic DNA Lounge. While performing with Dave Biegel, he was spotted and recruited to join the group Mystery Tramps, with whom he worked on a remix of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” currently available through Hot Trax. Inspired by iconic vocalists like Seal, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Wonder, UNKNOWN HERO began to explore and develop his expertise weaving together rich vocals with instrumental melodies, expanding from beat-maker to songwriter, and developing the signature elements that continue to be a through-line amongst his eclectic catalog. More recently, UNKNOWN HERO teamed up with the late Dwayne Calizo, a local legend, vocalist, and vocal coach, to develop his range and expand his vocal repertoire.

For more information about UNKNOWN HERO and the IN MY HEAD release, please visit the Unknown Hero website and social media pages via http://www.unknownheromusic.com.

To order IN MY HEAD from iTunes please visit http://smarturl.it/unknownhero

4 PANEL CD DIGIPAK

For more information about UNKNOWN HERO and the IN MY HEAD release, please visit the Unknown Hero website and social media pages via http://www.unknownheromusic.com.

To order IN MY HEAD from Bandcamp please visit https://unknownhero.bandcamp.com/

For Press and Interview inquiries, please contact Billy James at Glass Onyon PR at (828) 350-8158 or glassonyonpr@gmail.com

For Digital Marketing, please contact Jerome Forney at Independent Distribution Collective at jerome@independentdistro.com’

TODAY: Amanda Abizaid at Hotel Utah! Don’t miss this!

12 Oct

HotelUtah_flyer2

Please join Amanda Abizaid in promoting the release of her latest album, Walking In Twos, TODAY, October 12th, 2017. Amanda will giving a special performance at Hotel Utah Saloon. It is a night you will not want to miss! 

Date: Thursday, October 12, 2017
Time: 8:30pm show
Venue: Hotel Utah Saloon
Admission: $10

Amanda Abizaid Releases New Project in Support of HelpPhilippineSchools.orgWalking In Twos EP featuring the Legendary Stephen Stills. Amanda describes her music as “Neo-Soul meets World.” A gifted pianist, guitarist and flautist, Amanda will be performing an eclectic bi lingual set. This will truly be a night of bringing the east and west together in song. “Amanda is Fabulous. Really! Check this out!” – Stephen Stills

Don’t Miss The Amazing Amanda Abizaid at Hotel Utah in SF on 10/12!

6 Oct

HotelUtah_flyer2

Please join Amanda Abizaid in promoting the release of her latest album, Walking In Twos, on October 12th, 2017. Amanda will giving a special performance at Hotel Utah Saloon. It is a night you will not want to miss! 

Date: Thursday, October 12, 2017
Time: 8:30pm show
Venue: Hotel Utah Saloon
Admission: $10

Amanda Abizaid Releases New Project in Support of HelpPhilippineSchools.orgWalking In Twos EP featuring the Legendary Stephen Stills. Amanda describes her music as “Neo-Soul meets World.” A gifted pianist, guitarist and flautist, Amanda will be performing an eclectic bi lingual set. This will truly be a night of bringing the east and west together in song. “Amanda is Fabulous. Really! Check this out!” – Stephen Stills

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