The Music Mag: Unsigned UK Music News, Reviews & Promotion
Last month, the nominees were named for this year’s prestigious Mercury Music Prize. As well as established acts who have had years at the top of the music industry, a few artists have managed to come out of leftfield. One of them is East India Youth, a solo electronic artist whose debut album received a nomination.
What’s particularly interesting about this nominee is that their album was recorded from home in its entirety. Home recording has been around for decades, but anything which isn’t crafted in a studio still seems like something of a novelty. However, anyone starting out usually has little choice but to opt for home recording, but some of the best songs and albums of all time were recorded this way.
As mentioned in this infographic, home recording can be just as good as studio recording, but which albums were the best to be laid down in this manner? Here are some great examples:
Nebraska – Bruce Springsteen
The Boss has had a long and successful career, but Nebraska helped to get him on the right track. This album was recorded onto cassettes from his own home and still manages to stand the test of time.
Original Pirate Material – The Streets
The Streets aka Mike Skinner exploded onto the scene over a decade ago with his debut album, drawing on personal experiences while being unique within his genre. Having hung up his mic recently, Skinner recorded a lot of his work from his home studio, something which has given up-and-coming acts plenty of encouragement.
Panic Prevention – Jamie T
Released in 2007, Jamie T’s career has been stop-start since, but Panic Prevention helped launch the London singer into the mainstream. His new album, which came out this year, was also recorded from his home studio.
Exile on Main Street – The Rolling Stones
After struggling to find a studio that suited their needs, The Stones found a mansion in southern France to record this classic. They managed to utilise this mansion by running cables from a van to connect all their studio equipment.
As you might remember, The Music Mag featured Mayhem Deranged back at the end of 2012. The punk rock band hailing from the English capital have gone from strength to strength and are due to release their new single ’50 Megaton Love’.
Think The Cult meets Billy Idol, as lead singer Ray Mayhew and long time bassist Robert Godfrey are joined by James Stevenson (current touring guitarist for The Cult) and Craig Adams (bassist for The Mission, formerly of the Sisters Of Mercy). Rounding it off, mixing duties were by one Steve Brown who had mixed The Cult’s – She Sells Sanctuary. We didn’t intend it to have so many nods to the Cult, but there you are!
Whilst the single is catchy and easy to listen to, if you give in too quickly you might find your face blown off by the shear passion and aggression behind the vocals. ’50 Megaton Love’ is one of the finest releases from Mayhem Deranged so far, the track can easily
With ’50 Megaton Love’ being mixed and mastered to perfection, it’s exciting times for the band and fans alike. The new single will be sure to garner a lot of well deserved attention and we can’t wait to hear their next track. Follow Mayhem Deranged on their website and Facebook.
Incredibly forthright, powerful and a little bit busty are 3 ways to describe the country-rock pop duo A&L.
Made up of two seasoned industry professionals, A&L consists of Anthony Casuccio and Lana Marie. Anthony is a 20 year music veteran whose production work has been nominated for three Grammy awards, been featured in major music publications and topped the music charts. Lana is an award winning vocalist who has been a long-time force on the East Coast music scene and voice to many jingles on radio and television.
Get Me a Drink is a hard hitting, super-catchy, party song that makes light of the fact that we often want a drink after a long week of work. Casuccio says the inspiration for the song came from being in an overly long meeting. “I was stuck in a meeting and thought; wow, I could really use a nice adult beverage right now.” He wrote the song during that meeting. With a vocal style that sounds like The Pretty Reckless meets P!nk and Gretchen Wilson, Lana delivers a vocal performance that demands your attention and gets the listener singing along to the hyper-hooky melody. Get Me A Drink is one of those songs that you won’t be able to get out of your head.
Vin Deca is a positive ardent electronic and dance music composer, producer and artist with an unmistakable afro-latin influence currently recording dance, pop, Afro-, latin-, deep-, electro-, and progressive house.
Working as a songwriter, composer, producer and mix engineer in Germany since 2002, confining only to one genre or style of music has been out of question for the Cameroonian born keyboardist and bass guitarist.
Even though four on the floor has always been default for his musical programming, it was not until 2013 that he decided to make his ancient love affair with dance music public with the release of a dance album.
It all began as one of those delightful accidents. He received an order from a client to compose dance music, which was his first creative exposure to the genre in years. Long before finishing the project, the dance bug had bitten him so badly that he has never stopped crafting dance tracks ever since.
Vin Deca celebrates his colossal passion for people and especially dancing people in the album “Electro Positive plus”. Carrying two decades in the studio on his clock as a musician, producer and engineer; in Africa and in Europe, Vin Deca blends in “Electro Positive” the unmistakable Afro – Latin signature with elements of Swedish and Progressive and deep House.
DAMN GLAD is headed up by singer/guitarist/songwriter Matt Kurzban, Jeff Baker on drums and Gio Giovanni on bass. Their energy and style of soulful power rock keeps you humming for hours while succinct, lyrical content will help you get out of bed in the morning.
DG released their 3rd album “It’s Always Something” and have 2 previous albums “Not For Nothing” and “And That’s That!” DG has shared the stage with national acts while pounding the NYC/Brooklyn rock scene. Having appeared on network tv, their music has been featured in indie films, reality shows and on various cable channels such as MTV & VH1.
Watch Damn Glad – Crawl Back below:
High energy and personality is DG’s formula for putting on a show worth mention. The driving guitars, infectious grooves and memorable melodies/harmonies distinguish their sound as a power trio keeping it real. No gimmicks. Just catchy, driving rock with attitude! Their power and honesty shine through with songs ranging from tough grooving toe tappers, soulful ballads to dark melodic rockers.
Created by the union of a Dominican mother and a Martiniquan father, The Warchild’s upbringing was filled with music of every genre; classical, opera, reggae, or country music. Douglas, his older brother was a 90’s music enthusiast and D.J. during family gatherings; which included small events as well as recorded mix-tapes that would be passed around among friends. Watching his brother mixing records and CD’s in awe sparked something inside the young child. Thus the music addiction began and The Warchild was born!
Growing up The Warchild was inspired by a plethora of artist stemming from many different musical denominations and backgrounds. This includes Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Kassav, Francky Vincent, Sizzla, Bounty Killer, Mavado, Vybz Kartel, Snoop Dogg, 2Pac, 50 Cent, Snap, Paul Oakenfold, Kyau & Albert, Swedish House Mafia, Kenny Rogers and more… (Not in any particular order). Influenced by a myriad of talented artists, The Warchild’s musical aspirations began with writing intricate sociological lyrics that are not only catchy in tune, but relatable as well. As the years progressed the artist began using his cultural vernacular to express his thoughts by assimilating them into his musical stylings.
His multi-ethnic heritage being a key component, The Warchild displays this fundamental aspect of his identity through his sound. “MY LIFE IN HIGH DEFINITION” is the product of these countless life experiences. The album was developed during a challenging period in his life. It was a rather dark period in The Warchild’s journey which entailed more downs than ups!
Despite the tumult, out of this darkness came a positive outcome; MLIHD became a reality. With the contribution of ARES- a long time friend since the formative years of high school with an uncanny aptitude to spit out amazing lyrics; the gifted DJ/Producer Nemoz from Barcelona, and the invaluable contribution of musical genius De Elusive and M.A. whom not only produced this latest project; but was instrumental as a comrade in arms who stood fast beside his friend through his difficult moments; so that the world can now know THE WARCHILD!
LINA FOURO is a singer/songwriter from Toronto, Canada, who has just released her new single BOOM off her Debut Album “The Love Cycle” which will drop in November 2014. The Album is mainly produced by Juno-Award Winning Producer LONNIE SZOKE.
Lina Fouro’s debut Album The Love Cycle will be released late November under Label 3 SP. 3 SP will also be releasing another Dance-able catchy tune for Lina (L40) before the release of her debut Album.
On top of her debut album, Lina is in the process of shooting an interview for SUB TV Network which covers 88 Universities in the UK, SUB TV will air both her Interview and Music Video to over 1.7 million Students.
LINA’s Video BOOM has been approved for airing on MTVU and MTV.com & VH1 for Broadcasting and you can watch it below:
Introducing Timeless Journey, a small independent musical collaboration project in the electronic/dance genre. Residing in Sheffield, UK, Timeless Journey have been together since 2011, initially beginning as a one man project but going on to gain more members in the last few years. With the addition of more members the collaboration’s aim has changed from instrumental and ambience to more of a dance vibe.
TJ released their first album titled ‘The Voyager’s Saga’ back in 2012, featuring a worldly influence and a chilled vibe. This year brings bigger and even better things with the release of their double album ‘Drawing a Line’. The new album contains their most recent singles ‘Vododeo’, ‘Alive’, ‘Castaway’ and ‘Dispstick’. Take a listen to ‘Dipstick’ below:
Timeless Journey take influences from a wide range of musical talents, including Phillip Glass, Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel, right through to Moby, Mylo, FSOL and Underworld. The wide range of influences from dance, chillout, and electronica really come through to create an intoxicating mix in their music.
Didi Benami finished American Idol’s ninth season as a top-ten finalist. After several years refining her craft she’s due to release her debut album entitled ‘Reverie’ on September 30th, 2014. Didi draws emotion and inspiration from the likes of Joni Mitchell and Stevie Nicks, gracefully fusing folk, soul and rock to form her sound.
The Tennessee based 27 year old singer songwriter’s troubled childhood and the tragic loss of her best friend drove Didi forward in forming this record resulting in powerful melodies, hypnotic guitars and stunning vocals.
When questioned on her difficult upbringing Didi Benami said “Throughout my life I’ve always turned to music to help me get from moment to moment, and so I try to write songs that will inspire or empower others that way.” Her gripping delivery of ‘Terrified’ was what drew in and captivated audiences all around the world.
Released independently and made in collaboration with Billy Mohler, Reverie achieves that stirring spirit thanks both to Benami’s poetic and boldly personal lyrics and a masterful voice that’s at turns sweet and soulfully dusky.
Born in New York and raised in Knoxville, Benami began honing her vocals by singing in school events and in church choirs. However at age 14, she had to move away from tension at home and live with a relative, and even took on minimum wage jobs to save up for college. Flash forward a decade and a half and Didi is a great example of perseverance and hard work paying off.
Reverie is the start of a much brighter future for Didi Benami. From the opening track titled ‘Trouble’, right through to ‘Hummingbird’, Didi displays magnificent control over her vocals and the hauntingly powerful tracks will remain with you long after you’ve finished listening.
Her songs on the album communicate hope and beauty through pain and dissolution. As Didi says “My dream for this album is to somehow communicate the battle of both darkness and the light that exists inside as well as outside ourselves.”
Shid Latta is an up and coming rap artist from Baltimore, Maryland. Having been featured on The Music Mag before, with his single ‘Bet That’, he returns with the release of his third album ‘Love + Other Drugs’.
Shid Latta says Love + Other Drugs is “about my life over the past few years and the ups and downs/pleasure and pain that comes with being in love and the use and distribution of drugs. They are both very similar and can create and/or destroy lives.”
With the help of executive producer Al Steed of P. Star Productions, L+ODs will be a mix of Rap, Hip Hop, Rock and Electronic/Pop. It features the acclaimed single Bet That (produced by Sibling Jointz). It will also feature a rap/rock cover of ‘Tainted Love’ (based on the Marilyn Manson version), a rap cover of ‘Separate Ways’ by Journey, as well as skits featuring clips from the movie Love and Other Drugs. As a true modern entrepreneur, Shid will also be launching IV.II.O. Clothing Company (pronounced EYE-VEE-OH) this fall.
Powerful, energetic, sick and real: Shid Latta’s 3rd album ‘Love + Other Drugs’ certainly delivers. You can listen to his new single from the album titled ‘How it is’, produced by Belgium Dj and producer Evolution MS / @EVOLUTIONMS here.