Posts Tagged ‘dance’

Kai Altair is a classically-trained singer-songwriter who has spent time performing with and belonging to several groups who have helped to shape Altair’s writing style. In addition to those years spent with other people, other elements also helped to shape Altair’s way of composing music. Elements like dance culture, myth, storytelling and dreams all add to the way Altair’s music sounds. The resulting music from Kai Altair is equal parts New Age and Folk music with just a little bit of Electronica thrown in. Altair’s music can be compared to groups like Secret Garden who also create New Age music with a dreamlike quality to their songs.

Kai Altair is currently celebrating the release of her first full-length release entitled Dreamwalker. The songs included on the release feature words and music from Altair and features production from Dave Sharma & Dhruva Ganesan that brings Altair’s music to life.The new album from Kai Altair begins with the track “Draw Down the Moon”. The track begins with a slow pace with a spiritual feeling that surrounds the listener’s senses. The gentle feeling of the song soon builds to include some electronic elements that help add a strong, yet easy beat to the song. The vocals from Altair on the track will remind people of someone like Sarah McLachlan. The gentle feel of that delivery goes well with the visual feeling of the track.

Dreamwalker continues with the track “Shadow Dance”. The track takes the feeling of the first track and adds a lot more power to it. The track still features an underlying New Age spirit to the lyrics of the track but finds Altair adding a dance beat to the song. The energetic feel of the song helps to separate the two tracks from each other.

The track “Change” is one of the most infectious of the tracks on the Dreamwalker release from Kai Altair. The gentle feeling of the song, mixed with the electronic sounds from the keyboards, creates a track that features a New Age-meets-Folk feel. The addition of the effects in the background of the track adds a lot of body to the track, as well. “Change” could easily be one of the strongest tracks on the album.

With the track “Ancient Future,” Kai Altair creates another track that combines several different elements together which end up making a song that is as much about the fun feel of the music as it is about the lyrics. The dance element of the track’s music is combined with a strong cosmically spiritual feeling. The track’s lyrics about how time changes a person mix well with an easy dance beat that seem to transport the listener to some strange time period that is yet to come. “Ancient Future” is probably the track with the deepest meaning in its lyrics.

At the opposite extreme is the track “Inside a Dream”. The song features a minimal amount of lyrics as the track is more about the visuals created by the slightly psychedelic music. When listening to the track, the listener could easily get caught up in a dreamstate because of the music.

With the track of “She Holds Me,” Kai Altair adds a slightly Celtic feel to her release. The reason for the Celtic feeling is because of the inclusion of the musician named HÄANA, a musician who plays the fiddle and takes the same approach to life as Kai Altair. The Celtic feeling added to the New Age-meets- Folk feel from Altair creates a track that brings to mind the music of the New Age band Secret Garden.

Kai Altair’s music feels very relaxing and the listener will be drawn in as soon as they put the Dreamwalker album from Altair on. While this is the type of release that could be played as background music, the songs contained within the release are strong enough to keep the listener’s attention from the first track until the last note. Put on a pair of headphones and find yourself becoming one with the music of Kai Altair.

Reviewer: Matheson Kamin

Rating: ***** (five stars)

To check out Kai Altair’s video “Change,” click on the link.

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Existing somewhere between Dance music and R&B, the musician known simply as The ConSoulTant is currently creating music that will have you running onto the dance floor and having fun. The ConSoulTant (who is also known as Selita) is an Atlanta-based artist who is in the middle of creating her first release. In the meantime, she has released her first single of “New Year, New You”. Released just in time for 2013 to turn into 2014, “New Year, New You” by The ConSoulTant is a very appropriate song for the time of year. The track features upbeat lyrics that go along with the idea of starting fresh with a new year. While the song does seem to lack variety in the lyrics as they are repeated throughout the track, the beat makes up for that as the track features a very strong bass line with enough bounce to the beat to have the listener craving more. The one thing that would be a disappointing aspect of the track “New Year, New You” by The ConSoulTant is the fact that it comes in at under 3 minutes. But that might be a good thing, as it guarantees that the listener will not get tired of the song. Another drawback is that with the song having the type of subject matter that it does, the track seems to have a short shelf life as the track will be pushed to the side once the second month of the New Year is upon us. But with that being said, “New Year, New You” by The ConSoulTant is a strong track and should be enjoyed now while the time is right. And besides, there is more to come from this up-and-coming artist, so enjoy the energy of this track now and stay tuned to hear what comes next.

Reviewer: Matheson Kamin

 Rating: ***** (five stars)

David E Johnston is an artist who works between performance, motion graphics, and original music who creates electro-percussive music under the moniker of Gift of Tongues. To help bring his music to life, Johnston called upon several musicians who added their talents to the project. The rest of the group consists of Steve Elliot, Brian Wolfe, Craig Levy, Emiliano Valerio, Mike Shobe and Tom Swafford. With each member of the band having a different background, the resulting band of Gift of Tongues contains many different styles coming together to add depth to the music of David E Johnston. The new album from Gift of Tongues is entitled Songs of My People.

Songs of My People from Gift of Tongues begins with the “Preamble”. While “Preamble” is mostly vocals, the sound and feel of the piece brings to mind the track “If I Had a Rock Launcher” from Bruce Cockburn; the helicopter sound effects on the track matched with the angry vocal quality of the narrator while the words on the track themselves have a slightly humorous feel to them.

Once the “Preamble” is over, the real album of Songs of My People from Gift of Tongues begins. The second track, “The Universe,” features a techno feel to the music while also incorporating the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem The Song of Hiawatha into the track. The combination of the two ideas creates a very unique (and unusual) track. The music of the track takes on a stronger dance feel a little later in the track while the lyrics of the song seem to say that you need to speak up if you have something to say.

David E Johnston and the rest of the group prove they have plenty of talent to go around as the album continues. The track “Home” takes on a country/jazz feel while also containing some of the techno approach from “The Universe”. The dobro-meets-techno feel of the track creates another very unique sound on the Songs of My People release. The resulting song has many different aspects to it and stays interesting throughout the three-and-a-half minute play time.

While the music of the tracks is the first thing that catches your attention when listening to the new album from Gift of Tongues, it is hard to ignore the lyrical quality of the songs, as well. The track “Big Bad Wolf” is the perfect example of the quality of the lyrics on the album: The track seems to take a fairytale approach to the words and makes them appeal more to the adult section of the listening audience; it’s like listening to the original text to the Brothers Grimm stories- dark and unforgiving. The music of the track brings to mind the dark quality of a band like Nine Inch Nails. The combination of the dark quality to the lyrics and the music creates a track that will appeal to fans of Goth-like music and those bands that make that style of music.

The off-kilter sense of humor that permeates through nearly every track on Songs of My People from Gift of Tongues adds a lot of substance to the album. One of the tracks that are helped from the sense of humor is the song “I Am a Large Man”. While the words of the song may contain a little darkness to them, the humor seems to decrease the sting a bit. Ultimately, “I Am a Large Man” is a track that is very reminiscent of the style of the music that was created by Michael Nealy and Jock Blaney who were known as a band called 2nu back in the nineties. As “I Am a Large Man” brings to mind visions of songs like “This is Ponderous” from that band “I Am a Large Man” from Gift of Tongues would have fit with 2nu’s music very easily.

Every so often, there comes a band that feels the need to create something just a little different. If you are the type who likes something unique from time to time, Songs of My People from David E Johnston and the rest of Gift of Tongues is just the album for you.

Check out some of the music from Gift of Tongues at their Reverbnation profile.