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In The Garden by Seay
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 7/18/2016
A rare, special and quite brilliant album
If ever an album deserved to be heard by every single member of the human race, this is it, Seay’s charm and vocal expertise and her passion for world peace is just what this planet needs right now and In The Garden is the vehicle with which to drive it home.
The album is full of rich tapestries of musical genius, listen to the opening piece and see for yourself, it’s called Beautiful Earth. As a song, you would have to say that if there were any taste left in the current music business, a track like this would find its way to number one with the ease of a new sunrise. There are going to be comparisons to AO Music and Enya, but that’s no bad thing and adding the talents of both Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman was a superb move and one that worked to the extent of bringing us one of the best album openers for many a year.
When you get an album like this dear reader and listener, you start to realise just how lucky you are to be doing the job I do, and today I get to bathe in the sonic heaven of Seay, where the gardens are a lush green and one can simply Dream, ok, a slightly tenuous and obvious link to the track of the same name, but the composition Dream contains sweeping vocals and a classic new age styled 2002 symphonic majesty. This is one of those tracks you could listen to for hours and still have tears of peace and love falling from your eyes.
From a dream, to the world of Oceanus, the wave’s crash upon the rocks, whales cry, and we are transported to a world of water, where life is abundant and in total balance with its environment. Seay’s vocalisations are simply gorgeous and perfectly delivered and create for us a whole new realm. Yes, we can indeed bathe in the dimension of Oceanus together, in a moment of symbiotic musical bliss.
Now for the title track, I always love this moment, now we get to see the birthing point of the concept and as the picture is unveiled we can witness the magic, power and intensity of the artist and my goodness can we, on this quite amazing arrangement called In the Garden. This dear reader is one of those rare tracks that has just about everything, a driving and emotive percussion , a constant and dancing piano, the harmonies and vocals are just perfect in every way, for me it was like opening the gate to the garden and finding heaven, simply stunning.
There is always going to be a favourite and this is it, it’s called We Are One, this one made the hairs on my arms stand to attention, made my heart fill with happiness and love and convinced me that this is our new official anthem on One World Music Radio. Seay’s passion in this outstanding track is so deeply felt, the symphonic nature, the driving and immense emotional musical genius here is without equal, and as Seay sings, we are one life, one stream, one tide, we are one hope, one tribe, one Earth, we are one, for, that says it all really.
It’s time to relax now and rest in the arms of Seay’s angelic vocals. Her soft and calming tones here are just another fine example of what this album is all about, peace, beauty, love and understanding and the track Hearts Afire is another stepping stone of rhythmic musical class that will help us along the way.
The eastern feel on Anima Mundi is so gentle and so well sung that it carries us with a caring hand into a really beautiful track, one that features Wouter Kellerman on flute and of course the skills of Ricky Kej, who must be one of the busiest artists in the business today. The vocals here seem to float along with us, as if we are drifting along a stream on a boat, in full summer.
The fluency of this release is simply outstanding, take the composition called The Golden Spiral for example, a peace filled moment of harmonious music that reverberates with a special energy, the piano is ever present and our foundation, but please pay special attention to the delicate and very respectful Cello of Hitoshi Yamaguchi, it adds a soft form of movement to a delightful arrangement.
We now move deeper into the latter half of the album and come across a really moving song called I Will Love You Still. I felt something a little Celtic here in the composition of the song; this ballad contains some sensuous vocals from Seay, but there is also a real sense of endless time and through truth and honesty, unconditional love never dies. The slow, but careful progression here made this a very easy piece to listen to.
Seraphim (Breath Of The Angels) is up next and we are back in classic new age music terority, pay close attention dear listener to the piano on this track, it seems to grow and expand its melody as the composition moves ever onward, this is one very clever track indeed. The sense of harmony and peace here is obvious and the added energy of the angelic realms will bring a feeling of safety and love to each musical step you take, Seay’s drifting vocalisations must surely be a representation of the Seraphim themselves.
Our penultimate stop on this most beautiful sojourn with Seay is called Full Moon Sonata, although the track is only just over three minutes long, Seay’s charm and sheer skill at composition is always going to win you over and here on this track, one could imagine the singer, sitting at her piano and playing as the sun sets and the moon rises, and once more for your delectation and delight, there is a fabulous melody waiting to gently step forth.
So lastly we come to a reprise of Oceanus, Into the Blue, a really loving way for us to leave this release. The whales are calling us home to turquoise blue seas and light blue skies and into a dimension free from strife, need and fear. Dear reader and listener, you will be very happy to end your journey with Seay with this last piece, it’s the perfect parting musical gift.
I have listened to many albums, but this is and will always be one of those that I will remember for ever, the production is top notch, the arrangements incredibly laced together with such skill and professionalism; musically the listener will want to jump into the ocean of peace and love that Seay has created with this release.
This album has come at a perfect time for the planet, we all need to look at each other and be grateful for our world and its through artists like Seay and albums like In the Garden, that this can be achieved. Im not going to just recommend this album, Im going to state on record that this has to be one of the best releases of its kind for ages and what’s more its albums of this elk, that give us hope and a reason to believe, you really need to get this one, this is a rare, special and a quite brilliant offering.
Rating: Excellent
Isodope by Kylmyys
- posted by Candice Michelle on 7/18/2016
Isodope by Kylmyys
Kylmyys is Jason Chamberlain and Brian Kidd, two Seattle-based musicians who have jointly released a number of electronic and experimental recordings. Perhaps to retain an element of anonymity and obscurity, the duo often presents with bird-like masks that were commonly worn by medieval plague doctors. The mask is depicted in the cover-art of their half-hour EP “Isodope”, a fascinating album that includes six compositions of darkly beautiful ambient-industrial soundscapes.

“Glacial Transmissions” opens with whirling eerie signals that seemingly mimic ghostly voices transmitting into the ether. Digital pulses and shimmering synths soon follow, before a heavy bassline and glitchy, slow-tempo rhythm kicks-in. Painting a picture of a desolate urban setting, the composition is slightly unsettling yet strangely inviting, as it shifts and morphs along a foreboding path. Following in the footsteps of its cryptic shadows is “In the Shadow of the Raven”, a title that aptly brings to mind the gothic literature of Edgar Allan Poe. Easily my favorite piece on the album, I absolutely love the foggy nightscape it evokes along with its darkly sexy and dancy atmosphere, in which neon lights seem to shoot across the blackness. This composition, especially, bears similarities to both Skinny Puppy and Nine Inch Nails with its processed and dimly-lit male voices, as well as its crunchy industrial beat. The bemusing “Melatonin Motion” features a rhythmically-odd time signature enhanced by its grinding bassline, along with echoing effects and minimalist textures that wouldn’t seem a bit out-of-place on an Aphex Twin album. “City Sunsets” jazzes things up a bit with an interspersed saxophone riff and underground appeal; the smoky atmosphere of this composition alludes to a late-night lounge tucked away somewhere along an urban alley. Swirling muffled tones, distorted synthesizer and quasi-organ sounds define “Best of a Bad Situation”, which seems to make its way through a creepy, bewildering funhouse. Finally, a ray of light pours through on “Polar Bear Blackfloat”, another favorite characterized by a looped electric guitar melody and dreamy chord progressions. Glistening textures which season this composition further offset its glitchy staccato beat, before a brief duration of static appropriately concludes the album.

Highlighting many aspects of dark-ambient, electro-industrial and IDM (‘intelligent dance music’), these innovatively-crafted and nonconformist song arrangements are beautifully surreal, like that of a Salvador Dali painting. The album is sure to have more niche appeal, particularly among those who enjoy some of the aforementioned artists and concurrent styles of music. As a listener who immediately took to it with much enthusiasm, “Isodope” deliciously serves up some of the best that the darker side of electronica has to offer! ~Candice Michelle (
Rating: Excellent
Relaxation and Action by KevOz
- posted by Candice Michelle on 7/15/2016
Relaxation and Action by KevOz
“Relaxation and Action” is the fourteenth album by electronic keyboardist and Chicago-area resident, Kevin Osborn, who releases his works under the name KevOz. Having composed music for over thirty years, he’s been profiled in Keyboard magazine and his Christmas music has been featured in Tokyo Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. Comprised of fourteen songs spanning fifty-seven minutes, “Relaxation and Action” is his first release in seven years of electronic instrumental music.

“Victory at Hand” is a buoyant and vibrant opener that moves at a traveling pace, with prominent bells providing the lead melody over an infectious rhythm and bassline. Bearing hallmarks of both Jean Michel Jarre and Mannheim Steamroller, one senses they’ve traveled back in time to the set of a 1980’s fantasy-adventure movie. Continuing in this vintage electronica motif is the aptly-named “Waves of Nostalgia”, which enters the stage with groovy tapping percussion, cinematic bells and a sprinkling of chimes. This piece reminds me of winter time, with its whimsical wonder bringing to mind a magical toy land. “Bongos in Flight” is one of my favorite tracks on the album, where spacey chords, airy piano notes and gentle tribal percussion exude a dreamily drifting essence. One particularly amusing track is “Epic Space Cola”, possessing a curious title that was likely inspired by Ray Lynch’s popular 80’s piece, “Celestial Soda Pop”. Beginning in a similar mode to the Lynch tune with its digital bleeps and blips, the song eventually gives way to a space-age motif full of rhythm and energy. Kevin seems to have injected a bit of quirky humor into this arrangement, which he undoubtedly had much fun composing. “Just You and Me” is another highlight, where dreamy piano and violin amidst a leisurely bass-laden tempo convey the carefree relaxation of swaying in a hammock on a summer afternoon. I’m also especially fond of “Magic Wand”, another atmospheric and spacey piece characterized by synthesized flutes and windy gusts with a wonderfully vintage appeal. “Zentronica” is another honorable mention for its East Asian nuances and distinctive techno flavor. This bouncy and colorful, faster-paced tune reminds me somewhat of a Cirque du Soleil performance. “Yoga Worship on Mars” is another favorite, albeit its title was probably intended to be taken in jest. Encroaching synthesizers and spacey chords slowly gain momentum on this exploratory composition, as if moving towards a sci-fi destination. “Purple Hearts” rounds-out the album in a spacey electronic-rock motif, making for an overall celebratory and cinematic conclusion.

While perhaps offering-up a bit more ‘action’ than ‘relaxation’, the compositions on “Relaxation and Action” could be best described as resembling 80’s and 90’s-era electronic new age music. This album infectiously grew on me with repeated listens, with it bearing notable comparisons to the works of Jean Michel Jarre, Ray Lynch, Mannheim Steamroller and even Richard Bone’s “Coxa” and “Electropica” albums. Those, especially, who may find themselves nostalgic for the style of many new age synthesizer albums released during those periods, by the aforementioned artists and others, are sure to enjoy this album immensely. ~Candice Michelle (
Rating: Very Good +
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