Sometimes it takes a while to find your musical calling. Music is a constantly changing organism within a developing artist’s mind. The key is to take some influence from all the good music you create along the way and build it into something that is truly you in the end. Our recent find Sound Strider has put this theory into practice to get to where he is today.
Sam Waks is the man behind the esoteric electronica that is Sound Strider. He was raised on a diet of classical music touring with his father who was the principal cellist of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Sam moved on to playing drums in high school for both jazz groups and garage rock bands. He later discovered the sounds made possible by electronics and became a prominent member in the Nu Skool Breaks scene of Sydney. He even performed with his own rap group Hostile Wax and experimented with psychedelic sounds. Putting all these influences together now is the result of Sound Strider. Sound Strider describes himself as the culmination of this eclectic voyage across the electronic seas. Producing a unique melange of haute sonique from only the finest waveforms, hand picked from the data forests and lovingly blended with precision and flair. Couldn’t say it better myself.
Last month Sound Strider released the Intrepid Travels EP. The 5 track record is an expeience in sound. The 115 BPM pace throughout allows the listener to stay in the exotic trance from start to finish. Right from the opening track “The Stakes” you know you are in for something different. Sonic waves come at you from all directions knocking down any barriers into your mind. “Menlo Park” continues the sonic assault with a beat that will drag you along into the darkness before “Childhood’s End” brings the fear with its open space feel. There is a slightly creepy feel here within the cold dark sound. There is no letting up throughout “Limit?” and “Betoniere” as Sound Strider turns your mind to a nice distorted soup. More than a record this album is a journey that should be experienced by all lovers of music that creates a sonic landscape to enjoy. Go enter the Sound Strider world at: http://soundstrider.bandcamp.com/
The Indie Band Guru is always on the search for bands who set themselves apart by doing it differently. We recently came across Stalin, a very interesting band from San Francisco that has no desire to fit into the tiny little box that the mainstream music industry has for them. The best way we could describe their sound would be an experimental prog-metal vibe without any rules or cliche’s holding them back. The boys actually sat down with us recently to give us the answers to some questions we had. Enjoy the interview below:
How is that going? Explain the direction you are going for?
area. Is the music scene open to innovative and esoteric bands there?
I will never be a big fan of cover bands. Granted the mainstream masses love to go to a bar and drink while a band plays the same tired hits that they have been hearing on the radio for years. Respect goes out to the bands that try to make the songs their own with different arrangements and textures but talented musicians should strive to write their own material and share that with audiences. Our latest find Kava, started as a cover band but has now made the turn to innovative music of their own.
The Chicago threesome originally met while forming AfroZep, a national touring act that fuses African influences into Led Zeppelin covers. The chemistry was there immediately and the men knew there was more music inside of them. They took a weekend trip to a secluded cabin together to experiment with new sounds. The result was 20 hours of recordings and a new band being formed that has come to be known as Kava.
After numerous shows (often completely improvised) and a few studio EPs, this past summer Kava released their first full length album entitled Shikaakwa. The seven track record explores some odd time signatures, evil grooves, and mind melting drones. The opener “Keep It Alive” begins with a sound I find hard to explain other than comparing it to Alien speak. It quickly evolves into a full on progressive rock song with elements taken from all over the musical map. This makes for a good introduction to what the listener is about to experience. The trippy “While You Were, We Decided Not To” is a throwback to the esoteric sounds of 70’s psych rock with its dark and spacey feel. Your brain will enter a state of warped relaxation here. The minimalist jam of “Mila Vs. Milos” leaves plenty of air between the sounds for the mind to add its own texture. The sparse vocals will add to the meditation feel. Album closer “Staring Into Fire” acts as a wake up for the listener that has been lulled into a relaxed state. This is powerful blues rock music taken from the vein of their Led Zeppelin beginnings. The listener will leave refreshed and invigorated. When you are ready for a full on mind altering experience through music go enter the world of Kava at: http://kavatheband.com/
In the rap game an artist must continually be releasing new music to stay in front of their fans and build up more of one. The fans are fickle and can forget about their favorite rapper as soon as another good one comes out. This is not a problem DraMatiQue has as he releases his second full length mixtape of the year.
We covered the west coast rapper and his ‘Kill The Game’ Mixtape back in March. His talents are still growing as he last week put out the impressive ‘The Burn’ Mixtape. Tgis one is even better than the first as he hooks up with enigmatic host DJ Smoke and top-notch production by Ages Beats, Kajmir Royale, Narco Productions, & Beats Planet. The opener “FireBomb” lets you know right away that you are in for a powerful performance. The wobbly beat seeps into your head as DraMatiQue spits fire at all the pretenders that can’t keep up with his talent. He continues the bragging on tracks like “Jealousy” and “Da Illest”. He does happen to back it up though with rolling lyrics that burn everything in their path while still staying in a fun beat. The mixes are unique and will make you stand up and take notice on tracks like “Oh No” and “Do It Up”. He has teamed up with beatmakers that are perfect for his strong style.
Let your ears experience the “new” west coast at: http://www.datpiff.com/DraMatiQue-The-Burn-Mixtape.552002.html
Keep tabs on all DraMatiQue’s social media at: www.itsmyurls.com/dramatique
While listening to Shangri La one really senses the overwhelming pleasure. No doubt, Bugg has given his full rushy and pushy efforts to bring out a full length album once again. But unfortunately or should I say, this “URGENTLY RELEASED ALBUM” might not be able to hit the hearts of all Jake lovers as expected. The 12 tracks were not able to hit the mark of the glorious indie pop crown. Tracks like “You and Me” are counted near the line of average music and they are as white as the description on any paint tin. You cannot call it dreadful exactly, but yes it is passable, which is in reality the same crime for music lovers.
The singles released up till now seem like they were worked under a tight schedule and Bugg is also enhancing his acoustic set with electric. While listening to the song “What Doesn’t Kill You”, one can feel that Bugg’s vocals were under a huge strain and the song was pretty fast paced; the tempo was far behind the vocals. “Slumville Sunrise” is not a complete success, no doubt vocals were under the same strain but a chorus made things a lot better, hooky chorus lifted up things. “Messed up Kids” is a heart winning song, the subject of the song is far better than others. The song is very confident, vocals were free, the arrangement was solid, and the track was very aspiring as compared to other tracks. This track shows that Jake really has a huge talent hidden somewhere in that young spirit. It also shows that, if he is given better lyrics and some good music, the boy can hit the ground running and he will fight to be heard in huge albums and big concerts.
Jake made a statement that where one can go when the storm passes away. It’s clear from his statement; he is going to learn from his mistakes.
Well Shangri La won’t be giving Jake a better lesson resembling as he did on his last album. Jake is a confident young talent but sadly Shangri La made listeners flee. Every rise gets a strike and it falls at some point. Jake was holding a high position in indie pop but it seems that this album is going to give him a tough time and might result in a mark on his career; Sooner or later this shall become a good lesson for Jake and he might learn from his mistakes; giving some rest to his strained vocals for some time.
Learn more about Jake Bugg at: http://jakebugg.com
Music is a constantly changing environment and getting to the top and staying there requires an artist to constantly be changing and adapting to an industry in flux. The days of writing the same song over and over and having a long career are gone. Gaining knowledge is the best way to stay ahead. One guy who seems to know this is our latest find Radikl.
Gabriel “Radikl” Orengo is a musician, music producer, singer, and songwriter. His quest for musical knowledge began at the age of 5 when he began taking piano, drums, and singing lessons. The Jersey City, NJ native is now based in Orlando, Florida where he continues gaining the necessary skills studying at Full Sail University on the path to get his bachelors degree in Recording Arts. He also keeps his mind open to learning by constantly collaborating with others who may have knowledge to share. This is an artist that knows what he wants and is willing to do what it takes to go after it.
Radikl has recently released a mixtape on datpiff.com to share his talents with the world. There are some impressive covers scattered throughout the record to show off Radikl’s well groomed voice including Frank Ocean’s “Thinking About You” and Usher tracks “Can You Help Me” and “Climax”. The standout cover for me though was Radikl’s take on “Let Me Love You” by Ne-yo. The slowed down version sounds heartfelt and romantic as he makes it his own. On the original “Work It Out” the collage of sounds creates a pop song that will remain in the listeners memory way after the end of the track. The vocals here are again the highlight. Radikal slows it down with the last full track “Reckless Love”. The piano ballad brings back that warm cozy feeling of a romantic heart. Go get yourself a taste of Radikl’s skills and download the mixtape for free at http://www.datpiff.com/Radikl-The-Radikl-Playlist-mixtape.506651.html