Archive for the 'artist/album reviews' Category

Kid Koala Releases New Album As Mini Gramophone

Time and time again we stress the importance of getting your fans involved with your music. Whether you host a remix contest, make an iPhone app or generally think out of the box when promoting your music. Here is a great example of a creative way that Canadian DJ, Kid Koala, released his music with his fans. He made the CD packaging for his recent record “12 Bit Blues” into a DIY mini record player with a mini record inside the CD box. Extremely creative, innovative, and a memorable event for any casual fan. Beyond this particular record, Kid Koala has made his past concert experiences interactive as well.

More power to you Kid Koala! Share your creative ways of interacting with your fans below!!

Album Review: 22º Beatitude (Tarun Nayar)

Vancouver-based DJ/producer Tarun Nayar is a member and producer of Delhi 2 Dublin, which we wrote about a couple years ago. While D2D gives us a unique brand of Indian and Celtic fusion, Tarun’s musical endeavors reach far beyond welding together two rich genres.

His creative outpourings are driven by a humanitarian need to cross cultural boundaries and bring people together. As a founding member of Beats Without Borders, it’s no surprise that his music ranges from Angolan Kuduro to Punjabi Bhangra to Jamaican Dancehall to UK bass music.

On March 1, 2011 Tarun released his first solo album, 22º Beatitude, which is comprised of 10 years worth of material collected from travels and recordings around the world. On the album, which he describes as his most personal work, Tarun eschews the use of sample libraries and instead includes a plethora of live sounds (ocean, voices, etc) blended in with traditional indian and other asian instruments and upbeat dance beats.

One of the more intriguing aspects of the album is that each song is based on a chapter of his life. The listener is not simply left to use their imagination, however, as the album comes with archival photos and videos providing them with a dynamic audiovisual experience.

World music inhabits an interesting part of the musical spectrum, especially those subgenres that combine traditional cultural sounds with more contemporary electronic beats. The results are not always as seamless and complementary as they were perhaps intended to be. However, when done well these kinds of songs can be incredibly powerful.

On 22º Beatitude, a few of the songs pass through your ears without leaving much of an impression.  The majority of the songs, however, manage to find that sweet spot. Beats, bass, and culture come together to create something that both pleases the ears and stirs the heart.

Songs not to miss: “Rising Up,” “Turkish Spice,” “Mamaji,” and “Water.” Definitely check those out. Overall, the live samples of sounds like cars honking, people talking and kids laughing give the album a very human and very global feel.

Tarun Nayar seems to be accomplishing what he’s setting out to do and will certainly continue to be a force to be reckoned with on the global fusion scene.

DJ Neekola, New MobBase Artist with New Music

Check out one of the newer artists on the MobBase scene, DJ Neekola from Washington, DC…. she’s hot!

Born in New York and educated in Virginia, Neekola currently resides in Washington DC where she works as a full time international DJ. Inspired by her parents musical talents, Neekola has been involved in music since childhood. The early years were spent in rock bands as a lead singer, keyboard player and songwriter. However, upon moving to Germany in 1997, Neekola was introduced to her soulmate, electronic dance music. She spent so much of her time dancing in the nightclubs within Europe. It was during this time she was inspired to pursue music production. After having a bit of trouble, she was advised by her mentors in the industry that she should first learn to DJ, and then her production skills would come naturally soon after. So she headed on out to NYC’s Scratch Academy, learned the basic skills, acquired her own turntable setup, and then her life changed forever…

Check out Neekola’s app and new song, “Don’t Live for the Moment.”

Don’t Live for the Moment – ORIGINAL by Neekola
Don’t Live for the Moment – ORIGINAL by Neekola

Neekola built her app using MixMatchMusic’s new DIY app building platform, MobBase, which makes it easy for musicians, music companies and music blogs to build a mobile app for as little as $0.50 a day. And because MobBase enables us to update the app’s content and design whenever we want, be sure to check the app often because we’ll be keeping things fresh. Ya dig?

Dave Holland Uses Topspin To Bring You Some Silly Dope Jazz

It’s big no secret that artists need to focus on web and mobile initiatives to promote, market and distribute their music in a dramatically changed music industry. Even the major labels now understand that you need to embrace, and not fight, technology in order to successfully engage the modern music fan. But, it’s particularly refreshing to see a legendary jazz musician embrace this concept.
Jazz master Dave Holland has enlisted the help of music technology platform, Topspin, to launch a new digital marketing campaign that includes a solid new website, an array of  widgets, and direct-to-fan distribution of creative bundles and premium offerings. For those of you unfamiliar with Topspin, the  platform helps artists generate direct-to-fan demand using three channels: viral marketing, target marketing, and direct marketing, as well as, providing data-driven feedback.
To kick things off, Holland is releasing a new downloadable Archive Series of  live performances. The first installment is an hour-long, four-song recording from a 2007 European tour with his water-tight quintet. If you’re into moderately acidic, yet organic modern jazz, you absolutely need to check this out! The concert is a nice amuse-bouche for the Dave Holland Octet’s upcoming live release “Pathways,” which is also available for pre-order on Holland’s site. What a great way to give fans some very special content and to build up interest prior to a new release. And, the best part? The 320 kbps MP3 download costs only a buck, and you can stream it for free!
What’s particularly interesting here is that Dave Holland is 1) legendary and 2) a jazz musician. Generally speaking, legendary musicians and jazz musicians think that they are in a special category of artists, where for marketing, promoting and distributing their music, they can just do what they’ve been doing for years — put out records and tour. They tend to think that because they’ve already built a fanbase over the years, that they’re immune from the effects that take place if you avoid using technology to engage with fans. Some even say that their fans aren’t using the web and mobile devices to discover and enjoy music.
But this can’t be further from the truth, and these artists are missing out on a massive opportunity to not only develop stronger bonds with current fans, but to also expand their fanbase. And the longer they hold out, the more irrelevant they will become with the modern music fan. So, Dave Holland, we salute you!

Remix Inspired Flight


Inspired Flight. This band has a sound that is hard to describe. And yet, looking at the artists they list as influences on their MySpace page, their sound just makes sense. They’ve really learned how to incorporate some of the subtle and intangible things that make those musicians great musicians.

Their bio says it well. “Rooted in hip-hop and dipping into elements of indie rock, downtempo, dub and dance, Inspired Flight is taking your pre-conceived notion of what a band and DJ are and merging them into something new and quite hypnotizing.” Though their sound clearly incorporates a myriad of different elements, including vocals, keyboards, other exotic instruments, and laptops, this band is made up of just two people –  master turntablist, OpenOptics, and accomplished guitarist/songwriter, Chavez. To learn a little more about their respective musical backgrounds and inspiration, click here.

The duo wants you to join their remix contest, powered by MixMatchMusic. Go on. Have a long hard listen to their song, “It Always Takes,” feel it, breath it, internalize it. (This, by the way, is easy to do because the song is beautiful. It has a haunting melody and something generally mesmerizing about it.) Then, take it apart and re-envision it as your own. Add, subtract, multiply, magnify, simplify, or otherwise modify the song to your liking.

To do so, you can download the stems (for free) and use your own software to remix them, OR if you want to keep things even simpler, click on the MixMaker button and make your mix online. Most importantly, UPLOAD your remix so that you can get credit for your masterpiece! Other people can listen to it, vote on it and share it.

This remix contest runs until January 31st, 2010 and Inspired Flight will choose their favorite submission. The lucky winner will be the featured bonus track on their album, coming in March 2010. Nice! Oh ya, and you’ll also get a limited edition T-shirt and poster, as well as an Eyeball HD Webcam from Blue Microphones. Read the complete contest rules here.

Go. Be inspired!