It's been so long since a fresh salsa release has been this good, that I got emotional listening to this album.

I felt pride and joy that people from my heritage residing in New York were able to make something this good. This is quality music from people who get what they're doing.


To get a clear idea of what the album's about, you can listen to the title track/lead single/first song on the album, Bambulaye. It's easy going, a relaxed single to ease into the listener, but it's not the best they have to offer. I found concentrated flavor on Tumbalaye and Descarga Para Abe.

I started really pouring my heart into the effort on the second album listen. I began to realize they took all the genres and components that build salsa to begin with, dissected it to an essence, and displayed their findings on Bambulaye.

http://www.d4am.net/2016/02/los-hacheros-bambulaye.html
Buy @ iTunes | Chulo Records
This basically means they took an easy route. Instead of trying to incorporate it all at once, somethinglot of salsa bands and artists have been getting wrong lately, they merely incorporated the parts that worked in fun, energy-building chunks.

There's songs that wouldn't fit into the genre mold on their own on this album, but the combination of all those ingredients (you know, songs) makes amazing salsa.

Stream the album. Even if you only kinda like the Bambulaye single, there's more. I could only find it on Spotify, but it's well worth looking into if you have the time. It shows a variety of sounds that newcomers and connoisseurs of Afro-Latin music alike will enjoy.

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What a pleasant surprise.

For some reason I was expecting something more commercial, but these Kiwi trip-hoppers made something much darker. We're talking gritty, real, oddly futuristic music with a modern psychedelic trip. Think of sped up ambient with sci-fi intentions, or beautifully eerie vocals over tranquil sounds of the future, and you might imagine something similar to Doprah's Wasting.


The singles had a lot to do with my expectations, and I'm not sure if they're actually the better tracks on the album or if I've just gotten attached because I've listened to them for longer. One thing I did notice was that San Pedro actually sounds better to me on the album. There's something about the way the track list sets the mood that really increased that particular track's potential.

And if we're talking about the track list, we're also talking about art. The ride the album sets you on is perfect for their sound, the full stream is beautiful to experience. The first two tracks, Will I Be A Figure Eight and Subaeruginusa, show how perfectly the rest of the album will be laid out. The first track will show a slow and melancholy melody with beautiful vocal details, and the second much more difficult to pronounce track has a way of forcing the listener to wake its ears up.

http://www.d4am.net/2016/02/doprah-wasting.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
Don't bother trying to fight it, you'll hear what I mean.

If you're in a hurry to see if they suit you, you might wanna skip to the singles. Aside from San Pedro, the songs are Lucid Visions and Stranger People. Those will be right next to each other quite near the end, which is gonna build up for the finale. I won't spoil it for you too much, but I will say it's a slow and well composed fade into suspension.

If you love what you hear, you should definitely check out their self titled debut EP which has two tracks (or two and a half if you like a good remix) not featured on Wasting.

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I spent the weekend listening to classically trained cellist Nick Ogawa, aka Takénobu. I was baffled at the concept of pop influenced classical music, and with some of the songs presented I also felt alienated. Reversal, however, is more of a modern take.

I was sent tracks 2 and 3, Reversal and Curtain Call, as if this was the kind of album that worked in singles. The best way to appreciate the effort is in full, accepting the changes in mood and melodic dynamic and letting it roll. Listening to its development is most of the fun.


I took the time to listen to prior albums, I heard Momotaro, Exposition and Introduction (which can all be heard here or on Spotify) and realized Reversal was my favorite release. It inclines towards folk when it parts from the stronger classical influences, but it never lets go of what's important to the sound.

It's consistent without boring you.
http://www.d4am.net/2016/02/takenobu-reversal.html
Stream/Buy

There's also a well-set soundtrack sound to this one that prior albums couldn't capture as sucessfully as Reversal, and I think that has a lot to do with the lack of empty spaces on the effort. This is just a pretty way of saying it was well thought out and composed. You'll notice with the details.

I don't think I felt a track drag on for too long, and the album itself fits perfectly for the kind of listen it is. Streaming it in full requires no effort, and hitting replay is the best way to ensure you continue the mood. That, or continuing the listen with his other efforts, all of which can be found here together with the album for a very reasonable price.

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This is what a single should be. A release and a tease of what's to come, or a taste for the audience to see, in this case, that you're supporting the quality rock and roll you were hoping for.

Just in case you were confused, that's a vinyl single release, with one track per side and a digital download card included with your purchase. This is all impressive on its own, but we haven't even gotten to why this is music of quality yet.



I think their sound fits within the next evolutionary step for traditional rock. It's hard to deny once you're hearing it. That "indie" vibe so many bands are pushing out of their systems, the proper use of guitars and general backing instruments to further the experience, even the lyrics and vocals.

There's enough of the modern drive, and a lot of classic ideas to spin their sound with.

http://www.d4am.net/2016/02/dead-heavens-feel-low-im-so-green-7.html
Digital | Physical
Both tracks carry very different moods. Feel Low is a grunge-y track with psychedelic guitar twists and a very out-of-place poetic vocal shift. I'm So Green carries a late blues/psychedelia influence, adding curves to the sounds and making the vocals appear more monotone than they really are.

As far as the vinyl is involved, the 7" release comes with details for everybody. If you're a traditional kind of person, or are watching your budget, the classic black vinyl is the cheapest option. If you're willing to spend a little bit extra, Milky Clear and Grimace Purple are other vinyl options you might want to explore.

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Supersmall creates a hip kind of music that is clearly influenced but even more clearly an independent work of skill that appeals to the part of you that wishes you didn't live in a city.

This album is not entirely acoustic but it uses acoustic guitars and drums to mellow out the other part of the album that is undeniably pop rock. 




It feels like an excursion to summer cloud watching, no matter the actual environment you're in while listening to it.

Effortless is the most important adjective I would use to describe these tracks. The instruments, including the fluid guitar and well-timed drums, paired with a pleasant vocal track, never once seem forced.

http://www.d4am.net/2016/02/supersmall-silent-moon.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
This is ease is evident in all tracks but especially notable in my favorite track "Riot."

It opens with a bit complicated guitar and lyrics written by a musician who has either been writing poetry for a while or has a natural knack for it. Effortless. And it is evident that hard work led to the escape of a 'try hard' sound.

This is the first thing Supersmall has put out since their 2013 EP. If giving this group a few years between releases give them the opportunity to create well-inspired music that is always this good, then I hope they keep making music this way.

— Courtney Shelton

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This post was written by Courtney Shelton
As a student at Northern Arizona University, Susan studies Creative Media and Film with an emphasis in documentary studies and a minor in English. She writes poetry and short stories and uses her film expertise to create clay animated shorts and poetry compilations. In addition to making documentaries, Susan also enjoys working her blue-collar fast food job, keeping up to date on the climate crisis, and planning her imaginary life outside of the state of Arizona.
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Roxy Coss plays the kind of melodious fluidity you want when you're listening to sax based jazz.

This album is a show off. You get to hear the chemistry between the band, the talent the quintet have as a whole, and individual talents in sections. The sounds often flirt with each other, making it a real shame that only one of the songs is freely available for stream. It's Don't Cross the Coss, and you can stream it below.



It's also the opening track, which is great because it's a stunning display of individual talents. You'll hear excellence in the sax, drums, bass, and piano. Other songs also feature a lot more of some great guitar and trumpet. The line-up for the quintet is:
Jeremy Pelt on trumpet
Alex Wintz on guitar
Chris Pattishall on piano
Dezron Douglas on bass
and Willie Jones III on some of the best jazz drums I've heard in years
http://www.d4am.net/2016/02/roxy-coss-restless-idealism.html
iTunes | Amazon
I wasn't expecting it, but honestly, Restless Idealism is one of the better modern jazz albums I've heard in a while. It's a little cluttered at times, they jam-pack excellence into small bodies of time and sometimes that results in a little more than the average set of ears can handle, but it's never bad. Quite the contrary, and while they're at it they'll expand your jazz-taste.

There's a little bit of every era on there, kind of like an homage to the best jazz has offered us.

She'll be playing tenor and soprano saxophones, too, so expect versatility when you stream or buy. If you're interested in the album, I'd recommend the Spotify stream, but if you enjoyed the single you probably wouldn't be dissatisfied if you dive right in to the purchase. It might be a bit much for some on a single listen, but overall it's flawless.

You might also want to keep up with Roxy via socials.

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You have to be hesitant with bands like Old Man Canyon when you're in that psych-pop mood. But don't even worry, these guys know what they're doing.

All it takes to deviate the average indie-pop band is a little too much comfort with their own sound, you'll notice when they start making the soundtrack to your favorite giant clothing chain. It's not like OMC don't have their moments, but for the most part they've made an album with fresh ideas and vision.


The sound is psych-pop in the way you'd expect for this era, it's a cookie cut idea at base, but their details bring them up a few notches.

The vocals aren't your typical indie-rock monotone, and the vibe for each track works just as well on its own as it does song by song on the track list.

My first listen was their live performance for Hollow Tree at SoFar Sounds, New York, and to be honest, it has its pros and cons. What's important here is the first impression. Consider it's live, take a good listen at how well the band are able to perform together, and then compare it with the studio version below.



I prefer the studio production, but I couldn't help but appreciate the way they work live.

Maybe the rest of the album has some live magic, too, because it definitely had moments I couldn't fully appreciate just by hearing them.

If we're gonna talk about advantages, you have the fact that you can stream the entire album and not hate anything. Given, of course, that light psychedelics and dream-pop are to your liking.

http://www.d4am.net/2016/01/old-man-canyon-delirium.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp | iTunes
I guess maybe they play it a little safe sometimes, but if you go by the track list you can also hear leaps of talent and creativity. They do the album the favor of opening with Learn to Forget, an excellent track overall, and that's shortly followed by Hollow Tree in case you were in need of diversity.

The end of the album was a little standard. A slow stop started when Chasing Smoke started, which was followed by the much more elaborate Sugar City.

That outro might not be my favorite track on the album, but only because the album gives you a wide selection of quality psych-pop.

In fact, the more I complain about a few details here and there, the more I realize just how well everything else has been done. It might never be my favorite modern psych-rock album, but it's a great mentor for artists to come. This effort feels like a well defined checkpoint in the genre's evolution.

If you'd like to see where the band goes from here, I recommend tagging along on socials.

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