Jess and the Ancient Ones – The Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes [Album Review]

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Clocking in at just over an hour long, The Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes is one hell of a trip.  Jess and the Ancient Ones, hailing from Finland, somehow manage to blend occult, psychedelic, surf, rock, blues, and folk into a cohesive signature sound. As a big fan of their previous songs like Astral Sabbat and Castaneda I was very interested in the idea of them doing another full-length album. I was not disappointed. The Aquarius Tapes delivers on every promise this band sets out to make, whether it’s the groovy occult-surf-rock heard in the opening track Samhain, or the whimsical psychedelic blues found in the closing track Goodbye to Virgin Grounds Forever (the album’s longest track at just over 22 minutes).

Though all the tracks are separate beings, they blend in together so well that I often find it hard for me to not finish the album once I start listening. The vocals are the obvious standout on the album for me, evoking the raw spirit of female powerhouse rock and roll singers of the 70’s. The one aspect that I feel really ties everything together so well is the fantastic keyboard work. It really gives the album it’s smokey/gritty atmosphere. All efforts come together for a modern/throwback sound that resonates fantastically. If I had to choose a track that sums up their entire sound on this album (a bit of a hard thing to do) I’d have to go with Goetia of Love.

Miguel – Waves Feat. Travis Scott

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Miguel releases a brand new track featuring Travis Scott, god damn is it a banger! If you like hype hip-hip tracks this is the freshest you will find! Constant and unwavering the track screams the classic trap, I have to admit i’m not tired of the trap faze quite yet.

 

Tesseract – Polaris [Album Review]

tesseract-polarisPolaris pulled me in many different directions, and usually that’s a good thing. Being a long time fan of everything Tesseract has done since their formation in 2007, my hopes were quite high for this effort. Unfortunately Polaris left me wanting a bit more from the group. Their previous album, Altered State, was a supernova of an album. It’s great, heavy hooks and spacey soundscapes came together to create one of my favourite albums of 2013. Their signature mix of ambient/progressive/djent is still very present, if perhaps a little more on the experimental or ambient side. Polaris, however, is lacking the interesting, and heavy riffs that Tesseract had become known for. With that being said, it does have some moments that really catch the ear.  The climax in Hexes being the stand out moment in this album for me.

Polaris ended up needing a little too many listens than I usually warrant. While a great piece to put on while studying or cleaning, I don’t think Tesseract wrote this album with the term background noise in mind. It is 100% worth a listen or a few, with Hexes and Survival being the stand out tracks for me. Overall, Polaris is a good album though it’s missing key pieces to what made their previous efforts so memorable.

Anderson Paak – Malibu [Album Review]

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Anderson Paak has been dropping systematic singles the past 4 months, each of which have been huge in itself. Including Am I Wrong featuring ScHool Boy Q, and the Room in Her Featuring The Game and Sonyae Elise. Seemingly uncharacteristic features for a very heavily R&B and electronic inspired Anderson Paak. The album Malibu is a modern nuance, new in its format and style, following in the wake of Frank Ocean, Malibu is its own genre bending soiree bringing together both Paak’s original style of R&B with unique musical mannerisms.

Overall, Anderson Paak’s debut album Malibu is a standout for the beginning of 2016, and surely will stand the tests of time far beyond. If you’re a fan of R&B in any sense, you will greatly enjoy Malibu.

Best of 2015 Electronic

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It’s that time of the year where yearly wrap-up playlists reign supreme, and SoS is here to chime in. Here is our first playlist of our favourite Electronic tracks of 2015, in no particular order. Enjoy these upcoming playlists as you soak up those ephemeral holiday rays!

 

 

Maudlin Strangers – Sunny Day Rain

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This time of the year the music scene is about as dry as the Mojave, so for people like me it’s a time to reflect and search every corner for songs missed. Maudlin Strangers released this track just over a month ago, and it’s tagged as Dark Disco, which may just be the perfect way to sum this one up.