Welcome Back Crack of Dawn!

It really is with great pleasure that I get to announce the return of Canadian soul veterans, Crack of Dawn.

After a hiatus that lasted a few years too many, Alvin Jones, Greg Gooding, Carl Harvey, Michael Dunston and Trevor Daley have once again been doing what it is they do best, and the results are simply wonderful. The new album is a collection of songs both old and new that will delight fans of all ages. The music nods towards the classic sounds of Parliament and Earth Wind and Fire, but injects it with a fresh, contemporary edge that borrows from the more recent sounds of Bruno Mars and his funk obsessed entourage.

Listen to new single Spotlight here: https://soundcloud.com/user-956988938/8-spotlight/s-NwcPC#t=11:09

spotlight

To accuse Crack of Dawn as being a collective of experienced musicians would be putting it mildly.  Guitarist and producer Carl Harvey has been lead-guitarist with Toots & the Maytals since their 1980 “Live at Hammersmith” album, sharing in their Grammy win in 2004. His work with Toots & the Maytals included world tour support slots with the likes of The Rolling Stones and Santana. Also aboard is Rupert Harvey, founder of Canada’s most successful reggae band, Messenjah, not to mention, sax player, Alvin Jones; trombonist, Trevor Daley who has played with reggae behemoths, Third World; the Latin tones of trumpeter Alexis Baro; keyboardist Bela Hayman; drummer Carl Otway, bassist Charles Sinclair who has played with Al Green, and, not leastly, the generously-buttered soulful voice of Michael Dunston, an aural experience like dipping your head in whipped cream. Like the greatest of funk and rhythm and blues bands, they work as a breathtakingly agile unit, more of a force of nature than a band.

Like pouring moonlight in one ear and sunshine into the other, this is true soul and funk music, performed by a band at the height of their powers playing their own instruments and bringing the glories of their past to the present day.”

Keep up with Crack of Dawn here!

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoNzxEP5sJc

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/crackofdawnofficial/?hl=en

Website: https://www.crackofdawn.ca/ 

 

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Julia Mascetti – A Modern Day Dream Weaver

Dream weaving is no easy feat, but Julia Mascetti and her harp do just that with an ease and sense of style that only a true sonic whizz can pull off.

Listen to a live version of her track “In Bloom” here

Growing up in the UK but living in Tokyo, Julia is a melting pot of influences and her new EP, “In Distance, Everything Is Poetry” showcases this perfectly.

One of the more standout tracks from the EP is In Bloom. The song is built around a haunting picked arpeggio that provides the perfect foundation for Julia’s storytelling and leaves space for the smaller, more delicate details of the production to shine through. Weaving cleverly in and out of this are masterfully placed snippets of traditional Japanese sounds and it is this that gives the music its distinct, eclectic character.

The end result though is something that is truly unique, emotive and haunting and showcases the storytelling of someone who truly loves and respects their craft.

Follow Julia here!

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/juliamascetti

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JuliaMascetti

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

Feline & Strange hit the road with the Steam Punk Records Show

tour poster

If you’re looking to experience something new in September and October, Feline & Strange and friends have exactly what it is you’re looking for. Featuring live music and spectacular light shows, the Steam Punk Records Roadshow Tour is hitting venues around the UK and it really is something that can’t be missed. A spectacle of the weird, the wonderful and everything in between, there’s something new for everyone here.

The love child of Mad Max style visions of the future and Victorian fashion and culture, the steam punk movement has been gaining traction over the last few years and is one of the most interesting social movements to appear in the last few years. Let your curiosity get the better of you and indulge in the wonder that is steam punk, even if for just one night!

Get more on Feline & Strange here:

https://soundcloud.com/felinelang

https://www.facebook.com/felineandstrange

https://twitter.com/felinelang

https://www.felineandstrange.com

Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love! : Vinyl Boxset Review. Is it worth it?

After 6 months, £70 and a whole lot of patience, Gambino’s latest project, Awaken, My Love! has finally arrived on gorgeous double heavy weight vinyl, complete with a VR headset, full colour booklet and download code. So, was it all worth it?

Words: Darius Azadeh

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Childish Gambino fan or not, there’s something for everyone in this latest album from multi-talented man-of-the-moment Donald Glover. Ditching the rap and hip-hop previously explored over the course of his previous albums, Glover returned under the same moniker in late 2016 with a new album so far off the beaten track of his career that it just went further to prove that the man can literally do anything. While not perfect, Awaken, My Love! demonstrated not only his extensive musical knowledge, but also prowess. It was a smooth, silky powerful funk/soul record that excelled past it’s peers with sheer inventiveness and influential adaptation that made a vinyl release seem inevitable, especially with it’s 70’s soul music vibe. So, when it was revealed that it would only be released as a limited edition, £70 boxset, which (expectedly) included two 180gram heavyweight records and (unexpectedly) included a Virtual Reality headset, anticipation and confusion grew and grew.

To think that his previous album, Because The Internet, came complete with a 72 page script, this level of ambition and exclusivity should really come as no surprise. And it’s very welcome. What other artist comes to mind when thinking of album releases that come packed with this sort of thing? Not many. As rumours of a shipping date and VR content poured through over the course of the next few months proceeding the pre-order of the record, excitement was reaching fever pitch. After a number of push-backs, a final release date was secured in April, and the end of the painfully confusing long wait was in sight.

Eventually, mid-June comes around. It is now just over 6 months since the initial pre-order of the record, and it’s finally awaiting collection at the post office. Once it’s home and unwrapped, a quick moment needs to be taken to simply appreciate that it’s physically here. After enough courage is mustered to open it, things are looking very promising. The full colour record sleeves present what are assumed to be unused album artwork, which are beautifully photographed images of various models in headdresses, similar to the stunning final album artwork. Next is the booklet, which is more of the same, yet more familial this time, with the headdress and model from the front cover in different poses. Though not sounding like much, it is actually rather beautiful, and thankfully as big as the records them selves, and not shrunk down to a flimsy booklet half the size. Finally, we get to the base of the box, which houses the VR headset. While lavishly decorated in what seem to be the tribal paint patterns akin to Gambino’s style during his live ‘Pharos’ performances. While looking great, however, it is still simply a piece of cardboard.

First off, the records play beautifully. The sound quality is really top notch, playing the record’s smoothest and grooviest tunes with a lovely, warm, subtle grain, perfect for this album’s sound. You can really feel the weight of the wax during slower grooves such as Redbone, adding to the timelessness and authenticity of the album. And if that wasn’t enough, a surprise bonus track, a live performance of the instrumental track The Night Me and Your Mama Met, is included right at the end. The VR headset, however, is a slightly different story.

Before use, the free ‘Pharos’ smartphone app is required to be downloaded, and then it’s off to the races. After slotting your phone into the opening, the content kicks off with a visceral 360 degree live performance of the album’s opening track, Me and Your Mama, from Gambino’s ‘Pharos’ showcase last year. While terrifically exciting, and offering a new dimension to the recorded track, the low frame rate and video quality does dampen the show. After awhile, the VR element slowly evolves into a gimmick that wears off.

The subsequent videos to accompany the rest of the tracks get even more confusing. As well the as live performance audio, the accompanying videos feature lavishly decorated alien landscapes, with purple hills and wild green creatures. Oh, and of course a Star Wars-esque holographic projection of Glover himself performing amidst the extraterrestrial environment. It’s at this point in the experience when one will likely step back and say, “Okay… what?”. It can only be assumed that this is Gambino’s idea of what should be envisioned when listening to the tracks. While an interesting and innovative thought, it doesn’t, and can’t, hit the mark, as this is too subjective. As well as the underwhelming video quality, this most ambitious element of the release, while thankfully ambitious, isn’t something that warrants much repeat usage.

So, overall, is it worth it? Hell yes. It’s a beautifully designed boxset, with embossed features, brilliant artwork and records of absolutely top sound quality. Worth the money and wait? Well, if the VR feature is indeed what jacked up the price tag, then no. It was probably the most anticipated element of the release during the 6 month wait, and for it to be revealed as a cardboard gimmick is rather disappointing. Nevertheless, the level of ambition that sparked it’s inclusion in the set is a very welcome breath of fresh air to the industry, and hopefully an inspiration to artists everywhere. At the end of the day, it could’ve been an overpriced, flimsy single record release with nothing else to it, but it wasn’t. It was, yet again, proof that Glover really is one of the most forward thinking artists working today. It’s undeniable that whatever he does next, in whatever field, is sure to be unlike anything else.

 

The Numbers:

Record – 10/10

Booklet – 8/10

VR – 5/10

 

Check out the VR video for Me And Your Mama here –

From supporting Scouting For Girls to working with Razorlight, Big Lenny Bunn returns with cover ‘Blueberry Hill’

From sharing a stage with Razorlight, Noah And The Whale and Feeder, to supporting Scouting For Girls and Wilkinson, Big Lenny Bunn has dedicated his life to the industry. Returning with a classic cover of ‘Blueberry Hill’, Lenny has collaborated with major musicians to create a track in dedication to his adopted father who sadly passed away last year.

‘Blueberry Hill’ was Lenny’s adopted father Lyddon Thompson’s favourite track. Being Jamaican, Thompson opened Lenny’s eyes to another way of life and thinking, inspiring his music massively. The loss of Thompson made Lenny want to record ‘Blueberry Hill’, whereby each instrument is recorded in different studios around the world. Collated at Lenny’s studio, mixed with the help of Martin Smith and mastered by Jon Astley, the single according to Lenny is “more beautiful than ever imagined”.

The popular rock ‘n’ roll cover features talented musician Ibo from the Jamaican reggae band Third World and singer-songwriter Melissa James.

Links:

https://soundcloud.com/lennybunn/blueberry-hill

htps://facebook.com/biglennyb

https://twitter.com/BigLennyB

www.lennybunn.uk

Suit of Lights’ the genre defying band

Having dedicated his life to music since an early age, Joe Darone, pursued a career as a drummer and then in 2003 he decided to focus on songwriting allowing for Suit of Lights to be born.

“Even the greatest musical elitists will find something to love on this album”- RAG Magazine

Pushing the boundaries of modern music, “Break Open the Head” has the energy of punk, the immediacy of pop, the innovation of progressive rock and the timeless beauty of “serious” composers. This makes the band, and their music, distinct and innovative whilst cutting edge and acknowledging of songwriting tradition. Ultimately the band is fearless when it comes to creating music.

 

Links:

http://www.suitoflights.com

 

https://vimeo.com/166666227

https://soundcloud.com/visiting-hours

https://www.facebook.com/suitoflights1

https://twitter.com/JoeDarone1

Daniel William Daidone delivers kooky and creative new-wave/indie/rock cocktail ‘On a Holiday’

 

Gearing up for the release of his new album Shapeless Things, alternative rock artist Daniel William Daidone takes his listeners on a wild adventure with this new track ‘On a Holiday’.

Influenced by an eclectic mix of artists including Talking Heads, The Cars and Weezer, Dan’s sound is a creative cocktail of modern rock, indie pop and New Wave.

Listen to ‘On a Holiday’ here:

https://soundcloud.com/code3records-1/on-a-holiday

A man with music in his blood, Dan is the grandson of violin virtuoso Adolfo Daidone (aka Al Duffy), who performed with the likes of The Tommy Dorsey Band, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Gene Krupa.

Dan has already received past exposure for his musical talents, four of his songs appearing in the US Showtime series, Shameless. Two of his tracks were also used in the animation short Bumble Beeing, which was accepted into the Sundance Film Festival.

Having toured extensively in a number of bands including Philadelphia pop-rock group Officer Roseland, Dan has played in locations including the UK, the US and Puerto Rico. Revered venues that he has played at include The Legendary Dobbs in Philadelphia and CBGBs in New York.

In 2008, Dan also took part in a marketing campaign for Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. He was able to raise over one thousand pounds in music sales for the charity.

On top of music, Dan has also lent his creative talents to writing and is the author of a children’s book What Was Our Teacher Doing At The Mall?

Clearly an exciting character, Dan seems certain to spice up today’s rock landscape with his unique sound and persona.

 

‘On a Holiday’ is out June 15th

 

Links:

https://soundcloud.com/code3records-1

https://www.facebook.com/dan.daidone

https://twitter.com/fontsolo