Posts Tagged ‘electronica’

disco moonDuring his youth, Mark DiLillo took some music lessons that helped to instill a love for Classical music. With that Classical foundation, he also developed a love for Electronica which became part of this music. Mark DiLillo’s part Classical/part Electronica music is matched up with lyrics that have a realistic feel to them as DiLillo incorporates elements from life into them. Taking those various elements and putting them to use with the help of some computer software, DiLillo has created a style that can be found on his music that he has released under the moniker of Welsh Avenue. With that name, he released the four-song EP entitled “The Great Exchange”. Now, only a little bit later, DiLillo returns under the moniker of Welsh Avenue with his newest single. The new track from Welsh Avenue is called “Disco Moon”. Right from the beginning, you notice something different about this track when compared is that “Disco Moon” contains a lot more of an Electronica influence than the EP that had been released last year. Along with the danceable beat that comes from the Electronica music making up the beginning of the track, the intro of the song comes complete with a few Space Program sound bites that add to the ambiance of the track. Eventually, DiLillo takes the track with the danceable feel and expands upon the Space theme that was set into place with the help of the sound bites. Throughout the four and-a-half minutes that make up the track, the Space-related lyrics and the Outer Space sound effects that are present within the song give the track a slightly unique flavor when comparing it to much of the music being released today. While the beat on the track isn’t one of the hardest out there, the gentle feel of the song still contains a nice, gentle feel for those times when you want to slow things down just a little. For his most recent release, Mark DiLillo under the moniker of Walsh Avenue has taken his music and given it a bit of a different feel to set it apart from, not only his last EP, but from the majority of the stuff out there right now.

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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.

Painted on Water is a new rock outfit made up of composer/guitarist/producer Demir Demirkan and vocalist Sertab Erener, both of Turkish descent. Based in Chicago, the two musicians bring together many different musical influences to create a sound that is very eclectic. The band’s sound incorporates rock, electronica, funk and several other styles to make something unique and fresh. While having already put out a few releases, the duo has just recently created a new release entitled Chicago Issue.

The band’s EP begins with the track “I Need You Most”. The beginning track incorporates a lot of rock feel, some blues and a lot of electronic sound into one musical package.  “I Need You Most” comes to life with the inclusion of a strong guitar part that helps to drive the music of the track. The use of the Talk Box on the track by Painted on Water’s Demir Demirkan helps to add some really interesting rock feel to the song, as well. The various different genres of music come together in the track to help create a song that features many different facets and has plenty of energy. The strong track gives the listener a strong reason to continue on and see what else the duo has to offer.

After “I Need You Most,” Chicago Issue from Painted on Water continues with the track “A New Me”. While the song “I Need You Most” features a strong blues-based feel to the music, “A New Me” has a very strong funk vibe to it. It’s that Funk vibe that truly takes over the feel of the duo’s music on this song. The funk of the song mixes well with the rock feel of the duo’s music. That combination creates a track that is as funky as it is catchy. If it wasn’t for the energy the music gives off, you would almost classify the song under “pop”. But calling the sound of “A New Me” as “pop” is definitely not the right description for the song; especially since the song has as much rock feel to it as it has the funk feel to it. Together, the rock, funk and pop influences ultimately come together to create the EP’s strongest track.

While “A New Me” is probably the strongest track on Chicago Issue from Painted on Water, the song “Hating You Loving You” is the track with the most emotion to its lyrics. The lyrics deal with a woman caught in a relationship that may not be the best for her but she doesn’t want to give it up. The music of the song has a slightly slower pace to it than the first two tracks. However, that slower pace does not take any of the energy away from the music of the song. The energetic music and the emotional lyrics create a song that can only be described as a “power ballad”. The resulting track’s music and the powerful lyrics create a track that is very catchy and memorable; you’ll easily find yourself singing along with the lyrics before the end of the track.

On the next track on the release, “Why Do You Love Me,” the duo of Demir Demirkan and Sertab Erener remove the ballad part of the “Power Ballad” and create a song that finds the singer once again questioning her relationship. While “Hating You Loving Me” contains some beauty in the music of the track, the song “Why Do You Love Me” is a straight-out rocker. The track starts off with Sertab Erener singing about the use of words instead of using actions to show the love for someone. The energy in the music helps add power to the words of the singer who demands proof of her lover’s affection. What ends up being created is one of the least affectionate tracks but the track is still one of the strongest songs on the release.

Chicago Issue from Painted on Water comes to an end with the song “Despite Ourselves”. The vocals from Sertab Erener are matched with a quiet, easy keyboard sound that helps the track begin with an easy pace. Soon, however, the song takes on a sound and style that will immediately remind the listener of something that would have come from the band Evanescence. The Alternative Rock song proves that composer/guitarist/producer Demir Demirkan and vocalist Sertab Erener are very versatile as the final track of Chicago Issue sounds nothing like the rest of the release.

Chicago Issue from Painted on Water is a very strong five-song EP from two musicians of Turkish descent who now make their homes in Chicago. The EP changes sounds and styles throughout the five tracks and keeps the listener wanting more. If this is just a hint of what the duo can do, here’s to more.


Reviewer: Matheson Kamin
Rating: **** (four stars)

Click HERE for the music of Painted on Water.