Review- Short Sharp Scratch

Soul

 

Jak Chantler, the former guitar player of alt-grunge outfit Kingskin, who won the accolade of Kerrang’s ‘Best Unsigned Band’, is looking to move away from his rock roots into a more soulful sound with his debut solo release, ‘Shell Suit’, under the new guise of Short Sharp Scratch.

‘Shell Suit’ exudes distinct funky-vibes, akin to the sounds of Chic and Chaka Khan, yet with a more contemporary edge that draws on the dreamy indie-pop of girl band, Haim. This is all amalgamated by producer George Shilling who conforms to Chantler’s goal of creating era-defying, positive tunes.

 

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The Lost Art of Bass Playing with Lawrence Preston

Funk, RnB, Soul

Even more than the drummer of the band, bassists really get a bad rap. Or, more to the point, no rap at all. Routinely at the back of the stage with their microphone turned down, they might get the odd co-writing credit at a push. There are exceptions but this is very much the rule. Fortunately, it’s a rule artists like Lawrence Preston are happy to break.

https://www.vevo.com/watch/lawrence-preston/something-for-you/TIVEV1725150

Having rejected playing the trombone (good move, we reckon), he moved onto bass guitar, not just taking to its charms but studying the styles of the best, one of whom spotted his talent and inspired him yet further. The chap in question was Freddie Stone, founder of Sly & the Family Stone; and it was through his contacts that his career began to gain traction, spending much of the 1980s working in Dorothy Morrison’s band.

Having honed his skills, he has taken the step to release under his own name. Not before time, this is sumptuous lazy summer soul-jazz punctuated by his bass playing which has all the hallmarks of such greats as Marcus Miller and Stanley Clarke. His emergence may have taken some time but it’s been worth the wait.

It’s All Greek to Us! Lessons in Soul from Adonis

Disco/Techno, Pop, Soul

Living up to his name, shared with the Greek God, Adonis is really something spectacular. Not settling for just musician; the writer, producer, arranger, and singer has perfected his skills over a number of years, working with some of the most legendary names in music. Leagues ahead of many of his soul and pop contemporaries in terms of song-writing and performance, he is now striking out alone with his infectious sound.

His first single “My Different Lover” from the eagerly awaited album, “The Genies’ Out the Bottle” builds up the tension, making it harder and harder to wait for the release. Showcasing his spiritual philosophy as well as his musical skills. Moving away from the mainstream sex, scandals and break-ups, “My Different Lover” focuses on the deeply spiritual connection between two people. Taking influence from classic motown and soul and r&b from both 70s and 80s, the upbeat track is heightened even further by Adonis’ bass playing and multi-layered keyboards and vocals, giving a contemporary feel whilst still openly celebrating his influences.

Listen to “My Different Lover” here: https://www.reverbnation.com/adonis83

Piano-Shredder, Antonio Domingos, Plans Further Super-Human Feats

Classical

Recently we’ve learned that pianist, Antonio Domingos, has broken the world record for number of times two piano keys are hit in a minute – 824…which looks a bit like this:

He’s also made videos of him playing some of the world’s most challenging piano works at outrageous speeds, with more planned. In honour of Antonio, here are some more examples of record-breaking musicianship

Somehow, rather less impressive, the world’s fastest guitar player:

…the world’s fastest drummer:

…the world’s fastest violinist (or, alternatively, a novel way to make fire)

This is possibly barrel-scraping:

Roger Rudenstein’s Take on the World of Politics and Art

Classical

If anything has the casual music fan running for the hills, it’s opera. Long, difficult to follow, in an unfamiliar language, any excuse is given to avoid it. Thankfully, New Hampshire’s Roger Rudenstein has fused both satire and classic literature into his works, making them appealing to a far broader audience than ever before.

 Having already completed a major musical work based on the aftermath of the 9/11 bombings in America and being part-way through a four-part examination of the current Donald Trump administration, he managed to produce a two-and-a-half hour epic taking its inspiration from the classic James Joyce novel, Ulysses. As you do.

https://www.youtube.com/user/rudenste

Sung in English and using excerpts of Joyce’s own text from the novel, his creation is a brilliant introduction to opera for the uninitiated, or a superb shot in the arm for those opera fans who have become jaded with the familiar formula. Having received rave reviews in America, including the New York Time, Roger is now hoping to welcome a legion of European fans to his never predictable world.

https://www.rogerrudensteinmusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Roger-Rudenstein-754779384708156

 

Luna Blue – Nightjar EP Reviewed

Funk, Indie, Rock

Cementing Brighton as one of the hubs of the most inventive, exciting music being made by new artists in the UK are LUNA BLUE whose new EP, Nightjar, is released on 25/8/2017. Bucking the trend for releasing an EP which only actually consists of two tracks (seriously, I don’t care how long the tracks are, that’s a single, guys!), Nightjar is a brilliant introduction to the world of LUNA BLUE, the six tracks showcasing their rich and varied style which flows effortlessly through rock, indie funk and even jazz.

Nick photo.jpg

Opener, Borrowed Words, sets the scene perfectly – it has all the carefree confidence and stylings of classic funk/r&b outfits like The O’Jays but marries them effortlessly with an almost disgracefully artistic indie attack which immediately brings to mind artists like Two Door Cinema Club and Bloc Party. What really hits you (and what lingers long after the EP has finished) is the rhythm section. Drooling, fret-troubling bass guitar winds around intoxicating, complex rhythms which seem too good for a band who have only just announced themselves on the live circuit.

Ryan Guitar photo.jpg

Other highlights include the soaring, Float Away, an anthemic, chiming epic which sounds like intergalactic whale-song, and the EPs closer, Welcome Home, a haunting showcase for singer Tom High, whose dramatic Jeff Buckley-esque delivery thrills throughout. With a live show which promises to see the band as likely to be amongst the audience as on the stage, LUNA BLUE is definitely one to watch.
Tom Photo.jpg