Operator – Telegram

 

After a few catchy singles and a long delay of gratification, Telegram has finally debuted their record. Operator is charged with phasers in a Brian Eno inspired fashion. With such a long delay on this release, anticipation has built up and there has been a lot to be expected. The two singles, “Rule Number One” and “Follow”, also the two opening tracks, were released in 2013 and immediately got blogs talking about them. However, upon the album’s release, it now is a bit underwhelming. Telegram was praised for taking their time with the record – not quickly releasing material, but rather, taking their time to work it out – but now it might be the case that they waited too long. Going through the tracks they appear to be a little too thought out and maybe the sound engineers put too big of a spin on them. This is most recognized when you compare the single to the studio release of “Aeons.” As a single in 2015, it was a blare of sound that had a captivating, fast and exciting energy, but on the album it takes a step back and becomes more stylistic. Pauses on the track become more methodical and the added reverb on the vocals is considerably noticeable.

However, that stands as a single aspect on the record. “Rule Number One” flares with distortion and moves with the threatening notion of a mosh pit. It’s a great opening track that invites you into the record to sit down and experience punk music like never before. “Follow” follows with just as much excitement pushing the record with a chorus that is as catchy as it is powerful; “Today, today. There’s no time to delay.” From there the record unfortunately doesn’t get much more inviting. Again, it’s unique and interesting, but the following tracks have a hard time keeping up with the two openers. “Aeons” as we know has been slowed and dumbed down, and tracks like “Under The Night Time” can’t overcome the singles’ high peak. It isn’t until “Taffy Come Home” that your ears start to perk up again. It blasts high-energy choruses but with a more melodramatic mood. It’s fun and exciting but there is something in this song that is a little less ferocious than the others. Maybe it has something to do with the embodiment of the avant-garde style of rock brought to us by Roxy Music. It doesn’t attack as much as other tracks on the record and mainly relies on its uniquely spread song structure to do its work.

The last particularly noticeable track is “Regatta.” Having also been an early single, it’s a quick energy song that helped to build the records hype. It’s in this song where Telegram blends their early avant-garde influences and punk swagger so well. It’s quirky yet memorable and revives your faith in the record where other less inviting tracks had let it down. The record comes to an end with “Folly,” which encompasses the Eno/punk fusion, however, feels a bit empty. It’s not an abrupt end – the record is 50 minutes long – but rather, again, a bit underwhelming. It has a lot of vigor but you can’t help the feeling that there was another edge the band could have jumped over. There is a lot of genre fusion on the record and it seems like the band could have discovered something more; they could have dived deeper into their exploration and come back up with something more fulfilling. With that, Operator is everything you could have expected, but possibly, not everything you could have hoped for.

Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings The Blues

If Sam Cooke’s voice wrote the founding document that joined gospel to popular music then Otis Redding’s voice was that of a foot soldier defending his legacy at the crossroads of soul and blues music. Cooke’s voice testified from the pulpit while Redding’s was a supplication, brother-to-brother, at times full of pain and raw power, at other times love and tenderness. Often his songs covered this range in a matter of a few minutes with relative ease. Listen to Otis’ cover of his idol Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” and you can hear him pleading for understanding, his voice imbued with the tragedy that accompanied the everyday lives of baby boomer African-Americans. His pleading in the “I go to my brother” bridge is an exquisite rendering of a soul lost in translation among his fellow men.

Redding’s remarkable talent was his inspiring ability to interpret the texts given him; he covers two more Cooke songs on Otis Blue, “Shake” and “Wonderful World,” both of which he turns on their respective heads. “Shake” is sped up to a mid-60s discotheque-bouncing groove while “Wonderful World” is inspired by the very Cha-Cha rhythms that Cooke made popular.

Redding covers Solomon Burke (“Down In The Valley”), The Temptations (“My Girl”), B.B. King (“Rock Me Baby”), and the Rolling Stones (“Satisfaction”), proving the breadth of the influences that he stamped with his own powerful style. “My Girl” sashays with the ease of a man who sings happily early in the morning as his love lies asleep while “Rock Me Baby” swings with a bluesy swagger worthy of King’s original licks. He sang “Satisfaction” so well that the Rolling Stones were accused of having stolen the song from Redding, ironic, considering that his own original song, “Respect,” was transformed into the immortal crossover hit by Aretha Franklin. Redding would later joke at the Monterey Pop Festival that it was a song “that a girl took away from me, a friend of mine, a girl she just took this song.”

The other Redding compositions, “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” and “Ole Man Trouble,” are wonderful, highlighting Redding’s own compositional talent. “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” is a painful love song, where man and woman would be better off without each other but can’t seem to figure out how to break away. It has been used in countless movies and T.V. shows, as though each producer knows that with just Redding’s one note at the beginning, he/she can get a viewer hooked not only on the scene but also on a feeling. “Ole Man Trouble” is a meditation on the relationship between the singer and blues he/she sings, dark and mysterious.

Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul is Redding’s first masterwork, a painterly description of soul music that vacillates between plaintive ballads and up-tempo stomps that illustrate what soul is, from A to Z. What remains after listening to Otis Blue is the immortal power of Otis’ voice, how it invites and informs you with pain and tenderness, wit and bravura, to stand witness to his testimony of soul music.

No Wonder Oh Wonder is Amazing

Oh Wonder released their debut album, Oh Wonder, on September 4th in 2015. Immediately upon release, critics were raving, fans were screaming, and Oh Wonder embarked on a worldwide tour which only increased their ever-growing popularity. Oh Wonder is an upcoming indie-pop band based in London that is grabbing attention everywhere. The band is a duo, Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West. This album was made in a very non-traditional way. The two members wrote, produced and mixed each song in their home studio, and then released one song per month, beginning in September 2014. The official album was then released, along with two extra songs. Despite the majority of the songs being available before the album release, it still did extremely well in the charts across several countries including the UK, US, and Canada.
The album begins with Livewire, is a song about love that has passion within every word. The lyrics in the chorus “make me feel like I’m set on fire” is not dark or creepy, but rather entrancing. Technicolor Beat is a chill, electro-pop song that makes you feel calm with its simple piano and synth sounds, mixed with the pair’s vocals. Drive is exactly the song you would want to listen to on a drive as the sun sets with its nice backbeat and smooth strings. Lose It is a simple piano song with a basic beat and snaps, but the unique rhythm and lyrics such as “You got to give yourself a moment, let your body breathe” will make you want to just take a step back from life, and just dance for a moment. The Rain has melody that is reminiscent of old music while seamlessly combining it with newer synth melodies, and makes for a perfect song to listen to on a rainy day. Midnight Moon has a nice melody, some claps, and lyrics that will cheer you up. The album closes with Plans, which talks about times being tough, but yet it still conveys a feeling that everything will be alright and that the journey is worth it. Oh Wonder has a unique style, a unique approach to the music industry, and has a great future for them. If you are looking for a calming album that will make you feel happy, give this album a try. It’ll be worth it.

Dr. Cassells Pharma of the Week: Cam’ron – Purple Haze – 2004

Cam’ron – Purple Haze – 2004

 

Purple Haze is the fourth studio album by Harlem rapper Cam’ron, member of the Diplomats. Listening to the album envelopes you in Cam’s mindset. The self proclaimed king of harlem guides you effortlessly through a world of drugs and misogyny with his infectious self assured tone. All Cam’ron knows is this life, and he shares both his experiences and views unashamedly. His callous regard of women is inescapable and while ugly, is just another reality of his world.

 

“Any girl I get, I totally open ’em

Brain and they legs,

cokin’ and dopin’ ’em”

Even scenes of violence are described with his characteristically bored attitude.

 

“Observe, cock, and spray

We hit you from a block away

Drinking saki on a Suzuki in Osaka Bay”

Cam’s cocky attitude knows no bounds. The man uses an opera singer to sing a hook that is little more than his name repeated over and over without a hint of irony and it works as delivered by his self described “1970’s Heron Flow.”.

 

“So I parked in a tow-away zone,

Chrome I don’t care;

that car a throwaway holmes.”

camron-killa-cam-purple-haze

The features compliment Camron from the get go. Following the introduction brings Santana as the hype man whose energy on “More Gangster Music” acts as a appetizer that sets the stage for Cams smooth flow to take control.

“They say I walk around like I got a S on my chest
Tech on my left, gangstaz wit me ready to step.
I like a chick wit big breasts on her chest
Not flat lookin like somebody stepped on her chest”

Jim Jones on the west coast influenced track  “The Dope Man” holds his own dropping killer lines and setting the tracks vibe with his unconventional hook.

 

“My momma always told me aim for the sky
So I, came out bangin and aiming at guys
It was, mainly slangin that ‘caine by the pies
And the, fiends was payin for dangerous high”

Down and out brings one of the only rappers able to go toe-to toe with Cam’s arrogance as Kanye backs up Cam’s claims of excellence. Unfortunately Kanye is only standing in to deliver the hook, essentially bowing down and allowing Cam to steal the show.

 

You got pets? Me too: mine are dead
Fox, minks, gators that’s necessary
Accessories, my closet’s a “Pet Sematary”
I get approached by animal activists

 

Each of the skits act as evidence to back up Cam’s grandiose claims as he deals with an angry rasta, a jealous chicken head, crackheads, and a mother with questionable decision making skills. In each instance an unfazed Cam handles the situation with the cool judgment of a machiavellian.

 

[Cam’ron:] Hey Yo Shorty Wuts Going On Wuts Popin’
[Girl:] oh shit wuts up killa wuts going on
[Cam’ron:] Hey Yo I’m trying to go out of town U tryin’ to go wit me
[Girl:] how long U goin’ 4
[Cam’ron:] look man that shit dont mader, wut U gonna do comin’ or not
[Girl:] well I got my kids killa wuts up wut about my kids
[Cam’ron:] Man fuck ur kids man U comin’ or not
[Girl:] Yea I’m comin’
[Cam’ron:] K get in bitch
[Girl:] Yeah they grandma can watch them

 

Purple Haze delivers a shot of testosterone that is sure to get your life on track. As a doctor, it is my professional opinion that all fans of Hip-hop give it a listen with the caveat that you be prepared for the side effects.

Label try again

More Gangsta Music  –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcLoksXpgps&list=PLEiAmwqJFfxAxrHloG0BAPQo0BsHD__h5&index=2

 

Down and Out –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTIrsl4C8gk

 

Review: untitled unmastered by Kendrick Lamar

On March 4th, 2016, Kendrick Lamar astounded the hip hop industry and fans with his EP called untitled unmastered. Winning the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, To Pimp A Butterfly lived up to great standards, and as residuals from that album, the tracks on untitled unmastered are filled with jazz and soulful sounds.

On “untitled 03,” intellectuals from different minority groups counsel Kendrick on the essentials of life, but the person taking advantage of and in many ways monetizing Kendrick is the white man. For example, Kendrick says, “A piece of mine’s, that’s what the white man wanted when I rhyme, telling me that he selling me just for $10.99, if I go platinum from rapping, I do the company fine.” This is also alluding to the period of slavery when the white owner placed a certain value on the black slave based on his skill and/or work ethic. In “untitled 05,” which features singer Anna Wise, Punch, and fellow Black Hippy member Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar explains the detrimental, “screw society” type of behavior induced by blacks and other minorities due to them being trapped in this system of social incongruence and utter oppression. Here are several lines that validate Kendrick’s disappointment in American society: “I’m passin’ lives on a daily, maybe I’m losing faith, genocism and capitalism just made me hate, correctionals and these private prisons gave me a date, professional dream killers reason why I’m awake.” Lamar really shines light on corruption and exploitation in untitled unmastered; these themes constitute his substantive, meaningful lyrics.

Furthermore, “untitled 07” is an eight minute track highlighting high-level feelings, his Compton roots, his place in the game, and funny, sexual rap-talk. In the first part of the song, he chants, “levitate, levitate, levitate, levitate,” and then the song epically transitions to glorifying reverberations and a boy singing, “Compton is where I’m from, is where I’m from, where is I’m from.” You can tell how much the city of Compton means to Kendrick and that his viewpoint and purpose originates from his experiences there. This is evident in many of his songs and songs in which he is a featured artist, notably on the track “The City” by The Game ft. Kendrick Lamar. On the latter part of “untitled 07,” he sings in an R&B-like-fashion to a lascivious female, “Said you just make me wanna Drake you down, to the ground, to the ground, like bam, bam, bam, bam, bam.” He cleverly uses Drake as a verb, and you all know what he’s talking about. The more playful and humorous facet of Kendrick is exemplified on this kinky verse. The untitled unmastered EP is filled with stories of the past, valuable insight on the American political and social system, and soulfulness.

The EP can be streamed on the music service Spotify, and it is also available for purchase on iTunes.

[The Midday Mixes #1] Featured Artist Mix: Karma Fields

Since their debut on Monstercat in mid-2015, Karma Fields has been one of the most hyped artists of the label, boasting several more teaser videos than some of Monstercat’s founders. Why? Well, concepts. Karma Fields is really good at concepts. That and one more thing, Karma Fields has some of the COOLEST videos in the history of EDM. The best one?

The mix starts with the teased song from their newest LP: Edge of the World. With one of the catchiest glitched-out melodies I’ve ever heard, this song made the mix on pure bounciness alone. The track starts with calm choral music, which is definitely odd, to say the least. A good odd of course.

The mix then slowly starts into Stickup. This song is genius! Take somebody’s story of a robbery and put it to music. Again, their concepts are amazing. The original is explicit, but the mix has been censored. That’s what the extra weird voice glitches are.

My favorite of the mix is actually the acoustic mix of Skyline. As a light version of Skyline (the music video posted above), the track has been featured on multiple shows on K-UTE.

Check out the mix here:

Mixes are posted a week after they air live on our SoundCloud, and two weeks after they air live here. Tune in live Friday nights, 7-11pm

[The EDM Underground] Featured GENRE Mix: Video Game Remixes

The following article contains references to Undertale, but no spoilers. Still, you’ve been warned.

Video games, or ‘Nintendo’ as collectively referred to by those over the age of 30, are one of my passions. I’d never list on anything, or answer with it if you were to ask me, but it’s most definitely there. I figured it’d be fine if I mixed that passion with my passion for music. The resulting mix ended up rather long, clocking it at over an hour and 20 minutes, and contains ALOT from my latest game obsession: Undertale.

The mix starts off with one of those remixes: Megalovania from Undertale. The artist, VideoGameRemixes (such creativity, much wow), is one of the artists I kept returning to in the mix (In fact, his music makes up 19% of the mix), and for good reason. For being remixes in only the lightest sense of the word, this artist managed to transform the 8-bit songs from Undertale into something a little more mix friendly. And by a little, I mean…just give it a listen.

Another artist of note: DJ Jo. As an artist I’d found my Junior Year of High School, I’d written him off since he started delving into more Japanese styles (think Hatsune Miku Remixes), and that’s just not my cup of tea. Upon making this mix, I almost completely forgot about him, but he’s now the most prominent artist in the mix. Boasting an incredible 28% of the mix, his music definitely shaped the style of most of the mix.

Here the whole mix here:

Mixes are posted a week after they air live on our SoundCloud, and two weeks after they air live here. Tune in live Friday nights, 7-11pm

[The EDM Underground] Featured Artist Mix: Montee

Montee is a special kind of house artist: niche. If you’re into glorious synth melodies, wonderful harmony, and vibrant, bouncy, festival music, he’s the man for you. I couldn’t find his real name anywhere, but the Ukrainian based artist has been turning heads with his music for years. If you want something you can really jam to, get out those headphones. You’ll want them.

The mix starts with one of his softer songs (don’t want to jump straight into partying) entitled Sirius. The song, true to its name, sounds as if you’re floating around the sky like a cloud. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share this one. The melody is clearly present in the first drop, and though the melody is amazing, that’s not the best part of the song. The melody only slightly lingers in the second drop, enough to remind you of it, but not enough to actually be there.

The middle of the mix contains a song that I was excited to hear in its entirety. Having never been posted to SoundCloud, I’d never heard the full version of Royal Taste until I was doing this mix. The melody! The melody is the best part. Give it a listen. It starts at 8:40-ish. That’s all I can say. Go listen to it.

I cheated. There’s a song in the mix that isn’t by Montee. It’s a remix of Royal Taste. I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader/listener to find it.

The mix ends with my all time favorite: Quasar Journey. This drumstep song features EVERYTHING that makes Montee, well, Montee: vibrant, bouncy, fast, and full of more energy than even Rob Gasser has managed to create. That’s saying something.

Check out the mix here:

Mixes are uploaded to SoundCloud one week after they air live. Tune into the EDM Underground Fridays from 7-11pm (MDT) (mixes typically play at 8:30 and 10:30.)