Monthly Archives: December 2012

Sinkane – Mars

The multi-dimensional music project from Ahmad Gallab released its debut album this month. Sinkane has released Mars – an electronic mix of smooth, jazz inspired world beats with a twist.

Sinkane triumphs in bringing forward the idea that we now all live in a world where music is becoming as globalised as our cultures. Mars is a fantastic blend of influences from around the world. With Gallab originating from Sudan, Sinkane manages to capture the essence of the Sudanese culture with a mix of different musical styles from around the world such as jazz, folk and electro.

Mars isn’t something you can easily slip into; it takes a few listens to become immersed in how wonderful this musical journey is. Gallab is known in the music industry for having been the touring multi-instrumentalist for Of Montreal, Caribou, Born Ruffians and Eleanor Friedberger but this wasn’t the start of his music career. Gallab’s family left Sudan when he was young, immigrated to the US and moved all over the country. He found his first musical community in Kent’s (Ohio) low-key post-hardcore scene.

Sinkane Mars

Album artwork for Mars

Gallab called his project Sinkane after mishearing the name Joseph Cinqué, the man who led the Amistad Rebellion. During J. Ivy’s verse on Kanye West’s ‘Never Let Me Down’ Gallab misheard “Cinqué” as “Sinkane”. Gallab said: “I always figured it was some monolithic African god like Shaka Zulu or something.”  He soon realised he was wrong but the name stuck anyway.

The Sudanese multi-instrumentalist plays at least four instruments on every track on the album which fully showcases his abilities as a composer and a performer. He also enlists the help of some top musicians including a screaming guitar solo from George Lewis Jr. of Twin Shadow as well as contributions from Ira Wolf Tuton (Yeasayer), Oliver Chapoy (Shai Halud), Roberto Lange (Savath & Savathas, Helado Negro), members of Afrobeat band Nomo, and saxophonist/flautist Casey Benjamin aka stutzmcgee.

The live band consists of Gallab on guitar, keys and vocals, Jason “Jaytram” Trammell on drums and vocals, Mikey Freedom Hart on guitar, keys and vocals, and Mike Montgomery on bass and vocals so there’s a fair old mix of musicians contributing to the musical project that is Sinkane.

Mars has some fabulous sounds on it which help to produce a relaxed and at other times party record. Lovesick is a favourite. The flute in the background and the trumpet towards the end bring forward the folk and jazz influences while lending themselves perfectly to the Arabic sounds and rhythms heard faintly behind. It’s a combination that could fail to work but somehow sounds more than perfect in this track. Another superb track is the weird and wonderful Mars. It’s an instrumental track that has every odd sound in it, no real rhythm or melody yet it works well. It’s the most experimental piece on the album.

The first half of the album feels more like the electro party tracks you would want playing at a house party while the second half of the record lends itself to a more relaxed atmosphere. Warm Spell is a lovely, easy to listen to song and Caparundi is a great track to finish on. It makes it feel like the record concludes peacefully.

Sinkane is something you will either love or hate, a bit like marmite. But also like marmite, you have to give it a go just to find out.

Mars is out now.

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Wild Combination to Release ‘Pulses’ EP

The Indie/Electronic/Pop trio, Wild Combination, are set to release their nine track EP, Pulses. The Pulses EP is the debut full length release from the band and includes some favourite tracks from previous EP’s and five brand new tracks.

Wild Combinaton artwork, EP

Artwork for Pulses EP

Wild Combination stem from Essex and have been compared to bands like Two Door Cinema Club, Postal Service and Phoenix. If you like Two Door Cinema Club but are becoming a little tired of them, you’ll love Wild Combination. The video for their recent single Great Expectations can be watched below.

Wild Combination has received praise from Guardian journalist Paul Lester and BBC6 Music with plays from Steve Lamacq and Chris Hawkins. Their EP is being released through Pledge Music. Click here to find out more.

Releasing their EP through Pledge Music means they will be selling some exclusive things to their fans from guitar lessons with Dan, drum lessons with Terry or production lessons with Christian (who works at Abbey Road) to limited vinyl’s of the EP which come with a free download of the nine track EP. For more information, head to their Pledge Music page.

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Arc & Stones EP Release

Blues rock outfit Arc & Stones is set to release their debut EP in February 2013. Originating from Brooklyn, New York, Arc & Stones has been compared to bands like the Black Keys, Incubus and Kings of Leon so if you’re looking for something refreshing in the blues genre, Arc & Stones might be for you.

Arc & Stones

NY blues band, Arc & Stones

Arc & Stones is officially Dan Pellarin (lead vocals/rhythm guitar and keys) and Ben Cramer (lead guitar and vocals) but they do receive support from Eddy Bayes (bass and vocals) and Joe Doino (drums). With Pellarin and Cramer both only being in their early 20s, they are still eager to build a name for themselves on the NYC circuit as well as the international stage.

Their EP contains five tracks which are all totally different to one another. It is a perfect blend of blues, rock and ballads which is bound to please those of you who are into blues rock. Let Me Down has some extraordinarily passionate and emotional vocals while She’s Mine is probably the best track to perform live with its anthemic nature.

If you like the Black Keys, you’ll love Arc & Stones that’s the simplest way of describing this EP. The video for track one, Silence, is below and will give you an idea of what this band is about.

Arc & Stones debut EP will be released on February 12 2013.

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Among Brothers – I Am Certain/I Do Not Believe Single Release

Cardiff based chamber pop sextet Among Brothers have released their double A-side single I Am Certain/I Do Not Believe.

Among Brothers unleashed their debut EP Homes back in 2011 through their own label, Barely Regal Records, and have since gained more and more attention in the music scene especially from the likes of BBC Introducing. They followed their debut with single release Keep which was released through Kissability and released digitally through Young & Lost club.

Among Brothers

Chamber pop sextet, Among Brothers

I Am Certain was premiered online a couple of months ago on Soundcloud but the video for the track has just been unveiled and can be watched below. I Am Certain is a full bodied, punchy track with great sing-a-long melodic lyrics such as “Part the skin/touch the blade” and “Pursed your lips/kissed the wound/took the pain into your form”. It’s a track you can instantly fall in love with.

The titles to both songs were drawn from the novel ‘We’ by Zamyatin. With this in mind, the band have embarked upon a ‘concept single’ with a narrative theme running through the lyrics of both songs. Following the story of a boy falling in love with a cult member, the lyrics reveal his descent into her world in order to get closer to her.

‘I Am Certain’/‘I Do Not Believe’ was released physically on the 26 November 2012 through Too Pure Singles Club. The limited edition 7” vinyl will be available on the tour and can also be ordered from the following web sites:

Rough Trade

Jumbo Records

Piccadilly Records

See Among Brothers live on the following dates:

15th Dec London Assembly Hall, Islington (supporting Los Campesinos!)

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Mario Nardi – This Music is Organic EP

Sardinian born singer songwriter Mario Nardi has recently released his first EP which will leave you wanting to hear more.

Having been based in the UK since 2007, Mario Nardi is now signed to Gary Powell’s record label, 25 Hour Convenience Store. Originally a drummer, Mario decided to swap his drumsticks for a guitar and microphone which seems to have worked in his favour. Keeping a voice like his hidden is a sin.

Mario Nardi

Upcoming blues artist Mario Nardi

This Music is Organic is Mario Nardi’s first studio EP release. With husky vocals that sound like a blend of Kurt Cobain, Chad Kroeger and Brandon Boyd, Mario Nardi has produced five fantastic acoustic  blues tracks where every emotion can be felt through the notes he holds.

The Stranger Revenge is the best song on the EP. It’s a breath-taking song which will have you transfixed on the first listen. Nardi’s vocals are inspiring and refreshing. It’s great to hear a voice that has something original and unique in it. Although he can be easily compared to Cobain and Boyd, Nardi’s vocals still feel brand new. The song showcases Nardi’s vocals. It highlights his powerful voice as the most important instrument with only a faint guitar heard being played in the background. It takes a great singer to be able to pull off singing acoustically.

The Stranger Revenge is more folk than blues especially due to the storytelling nature of the lyrics. The last part of the track contains all the emotion with the best lyrics, “Should I quit you, baby? Should I lie or should I just keep waiting for it to come?” The whole song is very lyrical proving that Nardi isn’t just a good singer. His talent spreads much wider than just being a good vocalist.

Mario Nardi’s EP This Music is Organic is out now and can be downloaded through iTunes.

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