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.
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
Check out ‘Lamba’, the latest single from afrobeat/dancehall/house fusion artist Bimbi Philips! Well worth wrapping your ears around if you’re looking for something to throw some shapes too!
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.
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.
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.
If you think techno and electro has nowhere else to go, you’re very much mistaken. The latest release from Nej!Las, a two-track EP featuring Washout and Fini, threatens to be a major crossover release. Featuring elephantine throbbing beats, this is an almost shockingly dark, seething crawl through a modern metropolis to the very heart of some gigantic robotic mastermind.
As well as soaking up the more obvious influences you might expect a producer and artist who has spent time in Detroit and Chicago to have in their arsenal, there are other more unusual angles: the organised, futuristic worlds of Flying Lotus; the ever-shifting soundscapes of Boards of Canada, as well as the noir-esque soundtrack work of Thomas Bangalter, John Carpenter and tomandandy.
Nej!Las is no ordinary artist, having founded a charity which has already delivered $2.5 million aid across the crisis-stricken areas of the Middle East, as well as creating her music in eight different cities across two countries. Like her ever-present black hoodie (which also serves as her logo) what may at first glance seem familiar hides a genuinely thrilling hit of cutting-edge dark-wave electro brilliance.