Matthew and Me – Starpoint EP [TMN PREMIERE]

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Amongst the long list of things that influence music, location is arguably one of the most prominent. Your inner circle of friends is where you first started to discover your own musical taste, eagerly trying to introduce each other to something the other hadn’t heard. From there, you could analyze trends from the actual city that surrounds you. Punk in Salt Lake City. Techno in Detroit. Hip-Hop in the Twin Cities. Beyond that, though, even the actual geographical surroundings play a role in shaping musical tastes. The sandy beaches of California inspire surf rock acts regularly, while the jetting Red Rocks of Morrison, Colorado give way to jam bands and electro funk acts by the droves.

Matthew & Me certainly have a dog in the fight with the aforementioned argument, finding themselves musically inspired by the expansive landscape of South Devon. Far away from the mainstream offerings of cultural centers like Leeds and London, vocalist/songwriter Matthew Board and drummer Lucy Fawcett were able to craft their own sound. And, it’s one that more and more are falling head-over-heels for.

Today, we’re bringing you the first, full look at their debut EP, Starpoint. Since “Silver,” “Figure,” and “Joy,” are already floating around the blogoshpere, we’ll give the spotlight to the only unreleased tune in the bunch. “Cravings” follows suit with what fans have come to know and love from this inventive duo. There’s a strong focus on Board’s hauntingly beautiful vocals, per usual, which call on associations of other iconic leads, like Alex Trimble from Two Door Cinema Club. Differing from the other selections, the instrumentals in “Cravings” are more subdued, for the most part, slowly building with light percussion, soaring strings, and calming guitars. Emotively crafted, it evokes an intense experience, keeping you locked in throughout the entire five-minute ride.

This collection officially drops on November 18th via Beatnik Creative. If you’re a vinyl enthusiast, we strongly recommend adding this to your personal collection.

’Silver’
’Figure’
’Cravings’
’Joy’
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[Album Review] Uyama Hiroto – Freeform Jazz

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Sometimes an album catches you off guard, rising from nowhere and roaring into your ears with new sounds and ideas. Such an album grows on you over time, and eventually can reorient what music and sounds you thought you liked. Freeform Jazz, released on November 1 by Japanese producer and multi-instrumentalist Uyama Hiroto for Roph Recordings, is such an album. Emotionally rich, culturally diverse, and technically brilliant, it’s the artist’s third full-length release, his first since 2014’s Freedom of the Son, and it appeared with little to no fanfare or publicity in the United States.

Little information exists about Uyama Hiroto online, but he could first be heard playing the saxophone and clarinet in the music of deceased Japanese beat legend Nujabes, whose blend of jazz and hip hop was known for its technical precision, immaculate sampling, diversity of influence and melancholic vibe. Though Nujabes, real name Seba Jun, passed away in 2010, Uyama Hiroto has been driving forward the Japanese jazz/hip-hop sound and style, which itself has roots far deeper than Nujabes. Hiroto’s prior releases are excellent, but they don’t stray too far from Nujabes’ work. Now, high artistic risk pays off with a high reward on Freeform Jazz, which elevates his own sound and the Japanese jazz style to even higher ground.

The beautiful artwork on the album’s cover is representative of the musical elements which make the album so magical. First, like the painting, the music is rooted (although not exclusively) in prior Japanese musical tradition. Pentatonic scales and warm, emotive piano phrasing saturate the record, and recalls the work of 1970’s-1980’s jazz piano player Ryo Fukui. Constant melodies from the xylophone mix with the piano to establish a backdrop which sounds the way a Japanese maple garden looks in the autumn. This wash of colorful sound can be most clearly heard on “Yamato Damasii”.

’Yamato Damasii’

The album’s cover has a certain liquidity to it, a fluid rearrangement of the traditional horseman image which looks as if it’s being reflected in water. Similarly, Hiroto filters his acoustic material ever so delicately, resulting in music which sometimes sounds like its being played in a glass of water. Listen to “Skipper” for that effect exemplified.
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Get Ready For Launch With Jetset [TMN Interview]

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JETSET
FLIGHT

If you are a gamer, you may recognize the name Mr. James Geary. What you’ll soon recognize instead is Jetset. They are actually one in the same, however the latter is the name for a new venture by the gaming icon. Soon, we’ll be getting a full EP entitled Flight from him, but for now we have his lead single.

Of course, the lead single shares the same name as the EP. With Jetset, you can be sure you’ll get your fair dose of bass, which is just what “Flight” has onboard. So does the rest of the EP, but we can’t share that with you just yet. In its stead, we sat down with Jetset to answer a few questions we had to get the scope of this new project and what made him want to get this started. Enjoy the song – it’s a free download by the way – and read up on what is likely to be a momentous journey forward for Jetset.

TMN: What got you started in music?

J: I’ve been listening to music and playing instruments my whole life. It was as I dug deeper into the rabbit hole that I realized the true value behind the ability to express myself through art. I really love creating through as many outlets as possible and want to work through other outlets in the future too! It’s like, why limit myself to just making music?

TMN: You previously had a gaming channel on Youtube, is your music influenced by anything from the games you’ve played?

J: Inspiration works in weird ways and I’ve found that from games, it comes in a more emotional form for me. For some people, it may be a cool sample, but I’m more inspired by certain moods and scenes. I really tend to take more of a general mood or energy and write to that.

TMN: Why did you decide on “Flight” for the EP name?

I’ve always loved aviation and even wanted to be a pilot for a small portion of my childhood. For the first song, I was trying to find some announcer voice to start the EP but instead came across this cockpit recording. Things just kinda clicked with the name, and the EP had a theme over night!

TMN: If you could collaborate with three producers next year, who would they be?

J: I mean, I could hit you with some obvious ones like Skrillex but I’ll try and get a little more creative here. In the world of bass music I’d love to do something with Getter or Tisoki. Outside of that, I’d love to work with Thundercat one day. That dude is amazing!! Or break out my saxophone and do something with Kamasi Washington. I think that’s 5 total but oh well.

TMN: Speaking of next year, have anything planned already?

J: Not too much I can openly discuss. But I really want to step outside of the box more and just create whatever comes to mind. This EP is mostly dubstep but I really bounce between a lot of things and I want to showcase that. Fun fact, at the end of the final song there’s a melody that was supposed to be a seamless transition to a 5th tune. It was a super relaxing garage song that ended up getting cut. Who knows, maybe I’ll finally find a vocalist and it will see the light of day in a remix EP along with some VIPs and remixes from friends down the road completing it all finally. I do have a lot of music i’m sitting on that will be coming out throughout December and next year so I’m super excited for that!

Thanks for having me, I really appreciate all the support!

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[Indie Dance] Nyxen – Running EP

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I feel like Australia just has an infinite supply of talented artists. In the middle of that vast harbor of talent, you will find a Sydney treasure that goes by the name Nyxen. Recently, this Aussie put out a two track EP called Running that will have you sprinting to the nearest Nyxen show.

We can only imagine how fun a set by her would be, and part of why we can imagine that is because of these two singles. First, the title track is a masterful gem. Starting from a simple guitar riff, Nyxen was inspired and built out this entire single herself, even including her own vocal recordings. Secondly, we have “Monster” which has a similar style to the first, but takes slightly different path to give the EP a hint of variety. We’re going to be keeping a sharp eye on Nyxen in the future and we urge you to do the same.

’Nyxen – Running’
’Nyxen – Monster’
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[Moombahton] Strobe! – Good Vibe (feat. Nyla)

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Strobe!
Good Vibe (feat. Nyla)

Anytime I hear moombahton, I’m happy. The genre’s been on the backburner, except for a few big time hits by mainstream acts, but Strobe! just came in with Nyla to blow everyone out of the water.

“Good Vibe” is the duo’s newest single released by Warner Music. It’s got everything you look for in an exceptional song. This pop meets moombahton style really resonates with people, and “Good Vibe” has potential to do more than just resonate. It’s a standout record that could really do some damage on the radio, especially with passed singles like “Lean On” doing record-breakingly well. Only time will tell just how successful this one will be. No matter what happens though, the fact that Strobe! and Nyla put together a kick-ass tune can’t be taken away from them.

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[Future] Kicks N Licks – Tribal feat. Adara

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Premiere: Kicks N Licks
Tribal feat. Adara

The partnership between the acts Kicks N Licks and Adara has been a fruitful one. We’ve gotten a remix, as well as a couple collaborations, but now that couple has turned into a few with the release of “Tribal.”

Since Kicks N Licks has moved down a new road, they’ve been doing nothing but destroying the game. They’ve always had noticeable talent, but they’ve begun to not only find their sound, but excel at creating powerful, engaging music. “Tribal” is just that, a raw portrayal of feelings in song form. We get the magnificent melodic work from Kicks N Licks on top of another impressive performance from Adara. 2016 has been a kick ass year for the duo and 2017 is looking even brighter. Get your copy of what may be their last single of the year. It’s not for sure, but never know what’s coming from KnL.

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[Rock] Shiny Wet Machine – Stun Gun

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Shiny Wet Machine
Stun Gun

First off, f*** yes. Now that we got that out of the way, we get to tell you about something special that is just beginning: Shiny Wet Machine. Comprised of punk’s glitter princess Sizzy Rocket and TheKickdrums, this new venture is something that should not be taken lightly.

Not only are they a new band, but they have a new single, released on Sizzy’s new label Diet Punk. All of this has been launched via “Stun Gun” and it is stunning. From the very start we’re thrown into a guitar riff that is about as catchy as it gets. From their Sizzy jumps in with her sultry voice. “Stun Gun” is straight punk rock; it has that intimate, local feel to it, but this is no garage rock crap. Shiny Wet Machine is all legit and they’re here to let you know that punk isn’t dead. “Stun Gun” is currently available on iTunes if you want to get it for yourself. Before you do, all we can say is: get ready to rock.

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