4.19.2018

DOG DAY :: N'to - The Hound

N'to - The Hound
N'to - The Hound
It should be no secret that N'to is one of my favorite producers today. His music can only be described as minimal house / tech / whatever with a hint of French Touch. At least that is the feeling I get when I hear it.

The Hound is a dark and stormy night ... but that dog has the scent. He's closing in, as you run into the void trying to evade him. It's inevitable, you can't escape from the Hound.

-No Boats



4.18.2018

RIOT ACT :: Nihilist Cheerleader - Riot, Right? (Album Review)

Nihilist Cheerleader - Riot, Right?
Nihilist Cheerleader - Riot, Right?
Album reviews are typically out of the norm here at Barrel-dEM, but when one of my favorite bands released their new album - Riot, Right? I knew I had to. I've been a fan of Nihilist Cheerleader since I saw them back in 2016 in Atlanta. I had the pleasure of interviewing lead singer Flynne Collins at the time.

The band is from Athens, GA and they've been touring the southeast for a few years, so make sure you check them out in a town near you.

Their newest album is simply a pleasure to listen to again and again. It contains the perfect combination of politics, angst, sex, memorable melodies and punk rock. The track Drenched In is one of my favorites. The opening guitars are reminiscent of New Order creating a pleasing sound before the chorus breaks down into a crunchier sound. The lyrics seem to tell the story of loss and regret - repeating never look back.

Who's Gonna Hear You is another great track. The tempo is stepped up on this one compared to Drenched In. Basically, it's a song about moving forward, stop throwing a pity party and take charge of your life.



The song Miss You Forever is another stand out track. Like many of their songs, there are tempo changes throughout. A lost relationship is the main theme here.

Finally, & She Takes It, the last song on the album is a wonderful feminist anthem. It's a perfect closing song to an incredible album.

Pick it up from Bandcamp below. - No Boats

4.15.2018

SOUTHERN HIP HOP BREAKING RANK :: SkyBlew - Nefelibata

SkyBlew - Nefelibata
SkyBlew - Nefelibata
I hear it all the time ... Hip Hop is dead. Trap killed it. Without digging it's easy to accept - with artists like Lil Xan, and all those face tattoo mumble rappers who aren't worth mentioning. Post Malone at least tries to pay homage to the past. But if you just dig beneath the surface, you will find artists like Skyblew. This guy is positive like Raury, walking tall like Camp Lo and doesn't need autotune to sound good. His production is on point.

Skyblew is a bit of a mystery. He grew up in Alabama but currently resides in Chapel Hill, NC. Not much else is known about him other than his influences are Common, A Tribe Called Quest, Lupe Fiasco, Nujabes, 2Pac, De La Soul, Scapegoat Wax, Blue Scholars, New Radicals, Common Market, Michael Jackson, Arrested Development, Sade, and Amy Winehouse. He's the kind of artist that get's me excited to hear everything he's put out.

4.06.2018

ECSTATIC DANCE :: Brian Eno & Laraaji - The Dance #2

Brian Eno & Laraaji - The Dance #2
Brian Eno & Laraaji - The Dance #2
This song brings me incredible joy. Played primarily on the dulcimer by Laraaji, The Dance #2 is from the album Ambient 3: Day of Radiance. The album was produced by Brian Eno with Laraaji playing instruments. It's the third in Brian Eno's Ambient series which includes Music for Airports (highly-recommended).

This one is equally great for quiet meditation or crank it for some overpowering chords and energy.

4.02.2018

BASE :: Public Enemy - Night of the Living Baseheads

Public Enemy - Night of the Living Baseheads
Public Enemy - Night of the Living Baseheads
OMG, yes Public Enemy ... keeping it real. For those who don't know, there was a group that sprang up in the late 80's - they were everything controversial, had the best samples, and bridled the passion of the black struggle. Public Enemy had it all, a leader in Chuck D who was the messenger and delivered a message from the heart that people could believe in, a hype man - Flavor Flav who kept it fun and knew what his role was and a production crew - who knew how to sample and create the freshest jams time and time again.

Public Enemy as a group wore many hats but always stayed true to their cause. They were one of the first who collaborated with Heavy Metal bands like Anthrax to remake their songs. They had internal strife, with Flavor Flav and Professor Griff, about Flavor's drug use and antics. Professor Griff went on to say anti-Semitic things in accordance with his Nation of Islam stance and was distanced from the group.

Nevertheless, Public Enemy prevailed. They were inducted into Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame. They still continue to produce music to this day.

Public Enemy never had to shy away from controversy, they embraced it, but at their core they wanted to make hype music to hype people up.




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