Zmei3 is a group of Romanians whose music emanates from a mixture of traditional Romanian musical forms, including gypsy music from the region which is so integral to the overall sounds of Eastern European music. However, Zmei3 is anything but a traditional group as they tackle the realities of life in Romania post-communism in their lyrics. The group’s new album Rough Romanian Soul is a gorgeous record with passion and, indeed, soul running through it. Classically trained singer Paula Turcas is something special with her stunning voice, capable of soaring high and low with subtle inflections adding meaning and feeling to every word. Zmei3‘s Grammy-winning producer Ian Brennan says that “Turcas is poised to take her place amongst rarified vocalists like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Umm Kulthum, and Yma Sumac, singers whose virtuosic gifts transcend language to such a degree that they even become symbols of an entire culture or region.”
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Pryor Stroud: Touched with cinematic grandeur and lush instrumentation, “pH” is an ambient prog-rock dreamscape that is empty of words but replete with images—subliminal 8mm fantasy-projections, semi-conscious mind wanderings—that flash by in sweeps of intersecting synth nodes. Parc En Ciel, the moniker for Glasgow-based Mathieu Thomas, works in strange amalgams of highly disparate genres, including post-rock, throwback new wave, and contemporary electronica, but he still manages to engineer a coherent and discernibly well-studied sound all his own. In the end, “pH” sounds like Random Access Memories-era Daft Punk got their hands on the synthesizers and sidelined sonic material of Bowie’s Low period and, after some heavy substance use, laid down a real-time representation of their brainstorming process. [8/10]
Nine episodes into her new TBS show Full Frontal, Samantha Bee has quickly risen to the top of the late night game. In aptitude, her only rival may be HBO’s John Oliver with Last Week Tonight. Even before the show aired, the organizers of the Tribeca Film Festival recruited Bee and her showrunner Jo Miller to discuss her show with them, fully trusting Bee’s abilities to produce an excellent television program. Bee’s new network home also held the same confidence in her. After years of being a correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Bee proved her worthiness and value as a comedian and as a political satirist. At the Tribeca talk, Bee said TBS, who had already been working with her husband Jason Jones, “just trusted us because we had already been working with them. They put a lot of faith in Jason and they put a lot of faith in me. I’m very thankful for them.”
The attitude of Full Frontal is apparent right from the intro where Peaches’ “Boys Want to Be Her” plays over the credits. Bee knew right away she wanted Peaches, “almost from the moment of knowing we were gonna be doing a show it came to me in a moment where I went, ‘Well, Peaches will do the song.’ Because, Peaches.” before reaching out to Peaches, another edgy Canadian female, via Twitter. Peaches, ever so generously provided additional cues, cuts and backing bits for the show to supplement her song.
As we mentioned back in March with the premiere of “Fire Makes”, Brooklyn indie rock band the Loom is releasing the sophomore album, Here in the Deadlights, on April 22nd via Crossbill/Stereocilia. It was a long hard road getting to this point for the band as frontman John Fanning went through an emotional storm in his personal life that had him examining everything, including his music, as he rebuilt his life. While that process was painful and difficult, it afforded Fanning the opportunity of a rebirth, something he channeled into the Loom’s new music. The Loom has always been interested in repetition and grooves, things that are the primary concern of electronic music and it’s interesting how Fanning and the Loom are able to borrow dance music aesthetic elements and make them seem completely organic to indie rock. Here in the Deadlights is the first of two records that the band has ready to release as they have found so much creative inspiration drawing from the drama inherent in every day life.
At a time when little shocks or surprises comes Rïcïnn and the track “Uma” from the forthcoming LP Lïan. There could be no better track to introduce the world to this artist’s astonishingly beautiful album, a record destined to become one of 2016’s best. As a child Rïcïnn created her own language, believing that her musical utterances possessed healing properties. Perhaps it does. Standing on the outside of this nomenclature one can only feel the power of Rïcïnn’s expression and it is never less than deeply moving.