Friday, October 30, 2015

Detroit rapper Aye Em releases new EP 'I'm Listening'

The rapper from Detroit known as Aye Em is releasing his latest extended-play album, “I'm Listening.” It contains 14 tracks for a total listening time of nearly 40 minutes, making the album closer to a full-length, in fact, than it is to a typical EP. It is being proudly published on the SUNHI Entertainment independent record label without the support of the corporate music industry. Booming with bass, filled with rat-a-tat and bringing the lines and rhymes of one of hip hop's most promising modern MCs, “I'm Listening” from Aye Em is one of the most creative works of urban poetry to emerge in 2015.

Aye Em cites as main artistic influences Big Joe, Eminem, Nas, Tupac Shakur, the Notorious BIG, Mob Deep, Hans Zimmer, Mike Shinoda, Fort Minor, Rakim, Linkin Park, Mos Def, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, T.I., the Wu-Tang Clan, the Isley Brothers, Funkadelic, and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. His own sound takes some of the most striking characteristics of many of these, Tupac and Big Joe in particular, and stirs them in new ways to arrive at a polished, lyrically based style that is all his own.

In terms of tone and overall groove, “I'm Listening” is the work of a man with as much meaning in his music as there is feeling, and both exist on the EP in great amounts.

“I respect all forms of art,” writes Aye Em. “Dancing, culinary, painting, poetry, photography, etc.”

This open-minded appreciation of art in general shows in his attention to lyric detail, mood, and effect. His rap is evocative and earnest. His writing shows much deliberation. The powerful record has a surprising amount of texture and is far more than a rehashing of the same-old, same-old hip-hop stereotypes.

Asked to describe his EP's overarching message, Aye Em writes: “The meaning is that I've heard all of the criticism, the praise, the disbelief, the faith that people I've encountered have in me. I've sat and listened and watched a lot of changes in hip-hop music – some good, some terrible. So I decided to create a response to all of it, what's real to me, where I feel hip hop should be and where I feel it should go.”

The album isn't just music criticism, however. It's largely a courageous autobiography.

“The tracks are journeys into my world, my head and what goes on in it,” Aye Em writes. “I'm crazy and I'm proud to admit it. On this project you have tracks that'll have you thinking and vibin', some will have you dancing and turnin' up, some will have you on the edge of your seat and some will make you reminisce about how it used to be. I wanted to make an album that plays like a story and sounds like a classic.”

The rapper and the writer coalesce in this effort, the rapper having been recording for six years and counting, the writer doing so with pen and paper for more than 14.

“All of it is me, my life, what God has done, the lessons I learned and good music,” writes Aye Em.

In addition to the considerable talents of Aye Em, “I'm Listening” also includes the skills of producer/engineer Justin “Killa Smuv” Merritt, manager/executive producer Jamal “Gino” Carey, artist Andrew “Drewskizzle” Garrett, poet Darron “MC Lyricz” Baston, artist Stephen “GP” Fair, and artist Jai'laye.

The “I'm Listening” EP from Aye Em is available online worldwide beginning 6 November 2015.

The following is a written statement from the artist, faithfully reprinted here.

“Never judge a book by it's cover. People see me and never expect me to do music but it's who I am and what I chose. My past made me and I wouldn't change nothin about it. To all my supporters and fans, I promise to give you me anytime you hear me rap or talk or when you see me in the street. Hear my pain and vision and learn from it, my brothers and sisters, keep your faith up and grind it out. Music is life. S.H.E. or nothin'! A!.. Y!.. E!.. Waaa!”

-S. McCauley
Lead Press Release Writer

Website –

Rapper M Dot Pitts releases titanic LP 'Broken Hearts and Shattered Dreams'

The rapper and songwriter known as M Dot Pitts has released his cornerstone full-length album, “Broken Hearts and Shattered Dreams.” The flagship record includes no fewer than 18 original tracks for an approximate total listening time approaching two hours, making it the most comprehensive collection of M Dot Pitts music to date. It has been proudly published on the Warset Entertainment independent music label. Thumping and rolling with plenty of bass and boom-bap and showcasing the top-notch writing and rapping skills of M Dot Pitts, “Broken Hearts and Shattered Dreams” is an LP rap fans everywhere should hear.

M Dot Pitts cites as main artistic influences Tupac Shakur (especially his Makaveli-era work), Scarface, Devin the Dude, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Eminem, 50 Cent, Tech N9ne, Yukmouth, and Snoop Dogg. Observant rap fans will note that these MCs come from every part of the US, and that's a big part of the overall style of “Broken Hearts and Shattered Dreams.”

Born in Los Angeles, having spent years in Florida and living now in the Maryland, Wash. DC area, M Dot Pitts makes rap music with something for everybody. His music has been described as “the perfect blend of West Coast style, East Coast lyricism, Midwest flow and Dirty South melodies.” Appropriately, the songs on his new LP have qualities from every major hip-hop scene in the nation.

In addition to the considerable talents of M Dot Pitts, himself, “Broken Hearts and Shattered Dreams” also features Ms. Toi, Boo Kapone, Eastwood, Young Lano, Hot 16, D. Hella Fresh, and live guitar by Los Angeles musician Levi Mitchell.

Yet the main event at “Broken Hearts...” is the driving force behind Pitts' music, that of unmitigated, unhesitating and often brutal honesty.

“I wanted to create a body of work that was a true, accurate depiction of my real day-to-day life,” writes M Dot Pitts. “Everything I rap about about is things that I do, go through, live and see. I've got songs about hustling, hitting the club, relationships, sex, love, going through hard times, etc. If it's a part of my life, it's incorporated into my music, whether good or bad. And I think I have a pretty interesting life, LOL.”

Regardless of whether the hip-hop fan is into dance tracks or urban poetry, this dedication to earnestness is refreshing in a scene full of braggadocio and endless posturing.

“I feel like waaaay too many rappers rap about things that they know they're not really about,” Pitts writes. “Too much of it is fake. When it comes to me and my music, everything is real and it's a true portrait of my real life. For that fact alone I feel it's what makes my music/lyrics different from what a lot of my peers put out. I'll show you my pain, my love, my rage, my happiness, my failures, my successes and everything in between. Simply because – I'm real.”

M Dot Pitts is an actor, rapper, lyricist, published writer, and accomplished performer. He has appeared both on the stage and on national television as an actor, and in prominent newspapers as an author. His “Broken Hearts and Shattered Dreams” is preceded by two mixtapes, “WARSET” and “Moments of Glory,” published in 2012 and '13 respectively. They remain available today on

“Broken Hearts and Shattered Dreams” by M Dot Pitts is available online worldwide beginning 31 October 2015 (Halloween).

-S. McCauley
Lead Press Release Writer

Broken Hearts and Shattered Dreams” by M Dot Pitts –

Website –

Los Angeles electronica band Tremble release debut single 'Illumination'

The L.A.-based electronica trio called Tremble have released their much talked-about debut single, “Illumination.” The track is expected to drop on 31 October (Halloween). It is being published as an independent release without the influence of the corporate music industry. Sultry, stylish, sleek and writhing with groove, “Illumination” proves that Tremble is a modern music project to watch closely.

The sound of “Illumination” is shadowy, pulsing, ultra-cool and more than a little beautiful. It's classy nightclub music, music to enjoy behind wraparound shades. It's music to hack computers to. It's sexy music, with a subtle undercurrent of masculine verve beneath the crystalline, silky singing of front-woman Kelly Sweet. Tremble's female and male traits blend rather than contrast, not unlike the electronica of Depeche Mode or Bowie's “Earthling” collaboration with Trent Reznor.

“We are inspired by old and new,” writes Tremble. “We particularly love the '90s trip-hop sound of artists like Massive Attack, Portishead and bands that combine real instruments and electronics from that era, like Garbage. We also love electro-pop artists of today, like James Blake, and Banks.”

This live-instrument aspect is chief to the feel of Tremble's music. Every sound is played by a musician, not an iProgram. That's a real Fender Rhodes you're hearing. That's a guitar with a pedal effect on it. Those are live drums. The natural acoustics of the music coalesce in ways the most sophisticated software can't emulate. In this way Tremble are closer to Slowdive than they are to Sneaker Pimps.

Behind Kelly Sweet are instrumentalists Haywire and Ajax. Each of the three are originally from Massachusetts but have lived in Los Angeles for some time now, writing, playing and producing both together and in numerous side projects, a number of which have received widespread radio circulation. Each has been playing music virtually from birth. Each is startlingly skilled in balancing excellent performance with just the right amount of restraint.

The result is that Tremble's songs exhibit good taste in every respect: lyrics, creativity, execution, studio production – name it, they got it right. Passion without melodrama, solid beats without monotony, exceptional singing without ostentation, “Illumination” from Tremble is music you can hear on repeat many, many times and continue to find new perspectives from which to thrill. calls Tremble “like quickly taking a shot of neon blue hypnotic hard liquor. In slow motion.” Yeah. It's like that.

For fans of great songwriting, too, Kelly Sweet's talent is refreshing in a modern era that has all but tossed out poetry in music altogether.

“'Illumination' is about escaping from a bad relationship,” Sweet writes. “You realize that your partner is not whom he says he is. You have that sense of clarity, that moment of 'illumination' where you are finally living your truth, being free.”

Her lyrics, like her singing, are natural and intuitive. Each phrase belongs where it is, exactly so, and the chanteuse brings them to life with tones that are sensuous and warm, yet delivered with a scalpel's precision that implies an unwavering power. The music fan gets the impression Sweet could belt out an Ave Maria that would call angels if she wanted to – but that would be far too obvious.

Neither Sweet nor Tremble are in the spectacle business. They're not a towering wave. They're the undertow.

“Illumination” by Tremble is available online worldwide 31 October 2015. Get in early, music fans. Very early.

-S. McCauley
Lead Press Release Writer

Website –

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Rock crew TFP release new album 'Evolution'

The hard-rock group known as TFP have released their new EP record, “Evolution.” The album consists of five original tracks for an approximate listening time of 20 minutes. It has been proudly published as an independent release without the influence of the corporate music industry. Heavy, charged, evocative and aggressive, “Evolution” is a hard-rock record for fans in need of some real sonic adrenaline.

TFP are Chaos (vocals, rhythm guitar), Kevin Lawson (vocals, lead guitar), Aaron Moody (vocals, bass guitar) and Kronik (drums). They cite as main artistic influences a wide range of inspirations including Foo Fighters, Jim Morrison, Dave Matthews, Slipknot, Nirvana, Tool, Dimebag Darrell, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Zakk Wylde, Tupac Shakur, Carder Beauford and Buddy Rich.

Imagining what music might spring from a mix like this may seem difficult, but the commonality in all the above is that of creativity beyond the status quo. TFP play their own way. In terms of style, tone and individuality, “Evolution” is reminiscent of Faith No More or a less ostentatious Korn. There's a grunge sensibility backed by the original metal sound, and made particularly unique by a dash of hip hop between the grooves.

Speaking of their new album, TFP write, “The inspiration for the release of 'Evolution' is to give our fans a taste of what is to come. We are finally a complete fused entity and we want to give everyone something to chew on while we continue on our full-length album which we are hoping to release around May of 2016.”

TFP were formed as the Factor Project in the Newark, OH area. Their debut, self-titled record appeared in 2013 and is now much sought by fans of the group.

“The goal is for a sustainable musical career” bassist Moody has said. “Fame would be awesome, but honestly we don’t care as long as we get to write and share our music.”

Ohio has come to know TFP as one of the hardest-working bands in rock. 2014 saw them performing live 28 times, with nine shows in August alone.

“Prepare your minds, your ears and eyes for what is to happen next,” the band writes. “We are after one thing and one thing alone: to be heard. So sit back and enjoy the ride! This story is just beginning. Let’s fill some ears and souls with music and maybe even a little inspiration.”

“Evolution” by TFP is available online worldwide.

The band also extends “A very special thanks to our families! Without your patience and understanding we wouldn’t be able to pursue our dreams. And to all of our fans: Thank you for always being there to support us, whether we are on stage, online, or in studio… we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you.”

-S. McCauley
Lead Press Release Writer

Evolution” by TFP –

Website –

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Electronica crew ZibraZibra release previously unpublished 'Mercury' LP

The Minnesota gang of electro-pop rockers known as ZibraZibra have released their latest full-length record, “Mercury.” It is comprised of previously unpublished music from their 2010 LP of the same name. The album has been proudly published on their independent music label, Minneapolis-based Royalty, Etc. Records. Exploding with energy, bouncing with rhythm and showcasing some of the most colorful and ingenious compositions from the band yet, “Mercury” is definitive proof that ZibraZibra can provoke dance from coast to coast and truly anywhere in the world.

Listeners ready to pass judgment without further ado are encouraged to sample the record's single, “Marie Antoinette,” at their earliest convenience.

“Mercury” is technically the fourth ZibraZibra album, first recorded in 2010. It is preceded by 2006's “The End of the Lion,” 2007's “777,” and 2009's “Supplemental Material.” It was followed by their most recent LP, “Mr. Synthetic,” which turned heads internationally and introduced ZibraZibra (and Royalty, Etc. Records) to a whole new generation of listeners in 2013, almost a whole decade after the band's formation.

The sound of ZibraZibra can range from the ambitious to the audacious and from the impertinent to the downright silly. Asked to cite some main artistic influences, the band writes:

“Moonlight walks on the beach, fruit smoothies, and horseback riding!”

In ZibraZibra's repertoire audiophiles can expect to be reminded of eighties and early-nineties synth-pop bands and electro-pop groups like Echo and the Bunnymen and the Human League. In the band's more sober moments, they can even invoke a more disco-minded Depeche Mode.

Commenting on their selections on “Mercury,” they write, “This was actually recorded during a dark time in the band's history. The majority contributions were from Neil Z and Vanilla (shredding on guitar).” Whether the band say this tongue-in-cheek or in earnest is impossible to discern.

Upon being asked to divulge where they began playing and where they're based now, they state, “We have been digitally copied to the internet and live there.”

ZibraZibra's representation say of “Mercury,” “This album was almost lost to the sands of time, but Royalty, Etc. shook the ZibraZibra tree and this ripe fruit (shaped like a pair of testicles) fell right down into our mouths – and now it's being issued to all.”

“Mercury” from ZibraZibra on Royalty, Etc. Records is available online worldwide now. Get in early, electro-pop fans. Very early.

-S. McCauley
Lead Press Release Writer

Link to Music –

Website –

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ms. Sunshine releases debut EP record 'Homage, African Soul Rebel'

The Kenya-born singer and songwriter known as Ms. Sunshine has released her highly awaited debut EP album, “Homage, African Soul Rebel.” The EP contains five original tracks for an approximate total listening time of 25 minutes. It has been proudly published on the Sunny Music Records independent music label. A jubilant, funky and foot-stomping example of the neo-Afro soul style of music, “Homage, African Soul Rebel” is undeniable fun and proof that Ms. Sunshine is a singer with something to offer fans of all great music.

Ms. Sunshine has cited as main artistic inspirations Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, the Doors and Pink Floyd, Nina Simone and Miriam Makeba, Etta James and Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and Bob Marley, and even Sting. Many of the best qualities of these are clearly audible in “Homage, African Soul Rebel,” which Ms. Sunshine has called “my way to give my allegiance to all the artists that were before me and have heavily influenced my song writing now.”

Still, her debut EP cannot be called derivative. On the contrary, much of its sound is a new hybrid of genres which blend together to great and delightful effect. A particularly striking example exists in “Arabic Dub,” which features Mustapha Baidou and applies Arabic instrumentation and chord progressions to the dub style of music. Elements of such genres as dancehall, soul, R 'n' B, hip-hop, and reggae may be heard also, and the EP as a whole is as catchy and radio-friendly as modern pop music.

In addition to the appearance of Mustapha Baidou, “Homage, African Soul Rebel” also features the talents of Metaphysics Gandanga, Katrin Eggert, and executive producer Wayne Smith.

Asked to describe the themes of her debut record, Ms. Sunshine writes: “The songs I have recorded so far exemplify my personal take on life. My philosophy features ideologies from my African influences, with fusions from African-centered and Five Percent theologies, the complex views of diverse African cultural theologies and its complex interpretation of such strong cultural beliefs in our modern and evolving African culture. The majority of Ms. Sunshine music is greatly influenced by my beliefs of the Nation of Gods and Earths and my African roots and heritage.”

Living now in Belgium, Ms. Sunshine has made it her goal to translate the tone of some of the most influential music of the 1960s into music for today's listeners, music which carries a message that speaks to today's issues, as well.

“My mission was to bring that which was magnificently created during the 'flower power' movement and translate that same feeling, energy, music composition, and performances into our modern take on music production,” writes Ms. Sunshine. “My question always was, 'How would they sound now, in this day and age?' I wanted to keep the production to live recording by working with great musicians in the studio and also by writing music that can cause change or transformation. Music that touches one's soul. Music that lingers on.”

“Homage, African Soul Rebel” is preceded by Ms. Sunshine's popular singles, “Let It Shine,” “Red Umbrella” and “Mama Africa,” all of which may be heard and purchased online. An official music video has also been made available for “Mama Africa” which has nearly 100,000 views to date.

“Homage, African Soul Rebel” by Ms. Sunshine is available online worldwide. Get in early, neo-Afro soul fans. Very, very early.

-S. McCauley
Lead Press Release Writer

Homage, African Soul Rebel” by Ms. Sunshine –



Rock project Movie Theater releases new LP 'Love Letter'

The Russian musician known as Movie Theater has released his latest full-length album, “Love Letter.” It contains five tracks for an approximate total listening time of 40 minutes. The record has been proudly published on the Movie Theater independent record label without the influence of the corporate music industry. Touching, evocative and entirely instrumental, “Love Letter” from Movie Theater is a progressive-rock album with the heart of a lover and the soul of a composer.

Movie Theater cites as main artistic inspirations Pink Floyd, Mono, and Explosions in the Sky, though the overarching theme of “Love Letter” is arguably more important to the album's resulting sound. With tracks titled “Anger,” “Sadness,” “Fear,” “Regret” and “Love,” the LP is a literal working through of psychologist John Gray's “Feeling Letter” technique.

This may not sound like a typical source of rock, but the power of “Love Letter” by Movie Theater is undeniable. It climbs and dives, soars and charges. It pummels with rapid strikes and at times feels like being belted in the gut. The record is one of the most visceral rock compositions in recent memory. That it comes from the feelings and sonic creativity of a single artist in rural Russia is testament to the human capacity to feel, as well as to Movie Theater's particularly remarkable scope of emotional perception.

Asked to comment on his goals for “Love Letter,” Movie Theater writes, “I put love and a part of my soul into each of my records.”

Movie Theater is not the artist's only music project and it is far from his only release. To date, he has published three records under the moniker, et_, and one as VYVCH. Additionally, “Love Letter” is preceded by his “Evil Twin” LP, which appeared in 2013 from 'The' Movie Theater.

Also adding unique spice to an already very unique album is Movie Theater's knack for using unusual and self-made percussion instruments, as well as instruments made for children and other innovative implements which help to make his songs so full of his character.

“Love Letter” from Movie Theater is available online worldwide. Get in early, fans of progressive and alternative rock. This one hits hard.

-S. McCauley
Lead Press Release Writer

Love Letter” from Movie Theater –

Website –

Friday, October 9, 2015

Texas-based Indie duo The Disappearing Act release new album “Born to Say Goodbye.”

The independent alternative music duo known as The Disappearing Act have released their latest record, “Born to Say Goodbye.” The LP is proudly released by independent label HIT Records (Dallas, TX) and published by Houdini Escape Music (El Paso, TX). Genuine, natural, full of harmony and acoustic grace, “Born to Say Goodbye” from The Disappearing Act is real music by real people for fans of good things everywhere.

The Disappearing Act consists of the music partnership of Salim Nourallah and Bob Blumenfeld, who cite among their many artistic influences the Beatles and Wilco. The resulting music produced by the duo offers a complimentary blend of acoustic and electronic sounds. Like sonic novelists, Nourallah and Blumenfeld use their unique tone as paper on which they write a true and melancholy tale. This story has been called “a painfully personal masterpiece, with an almost ear-to-the-wall intimate atmosphere that permeates the ten-song collection, each chronicling the dissolution of Nourallah's marriage.”

In “Born to Say Goodbye” the Disappearing Act utilize a combination of production, instrumental, and compositional genius to arrive at artistic purity surpassing what the most critical audiophiles would come to expect, left alone from an independent act from Texas. Much of this is due to the unassuming cleverness in Blumenfeld's chord progressions, with much also to Nourallah's unabashed self-expression.

“I'd come out to my studio, when I was feeling emotionally beat-up from what I was going through and just sit down with the tracks,” Nourallah writes. “I never put pen to paper to write the words; basically it was all free association.”

Not unlike the famous poetry method of William S. Burroughs, Nourallah cut-and-pasted sections of his song to make a working narrative. “If we'd been in the ‘60s trying to write songs like this, we'd have been cutting up pieces of recording tape and taping them together, but in essence that's what I was using the computer to do.”

The Disappearing Act's “Born to Say Goodbye” LP is the second official album from the group. It is preceded by their self-titled debut record which hit digital shelves in 2010 on Tortilla Records.

And as for the band name?

“One reason we call it the Disappearing Act is that we never had any intention of being a performing band,” writes Nourallah. “We never had any intention of performing live, or making it into something more than a songwriting project. So, it seemed like an amusing and fitting name for the group because in essence the act has disappeared before it ever existed.”

“Born to Say Goodbye” by the Disappearing Act is available online worldwide. Fans of indie music everywhere should get in early.

“Born to Say Goodbye” by the Disappearing Act –

The Disappearing Act official website –

Born to Say Goodbye” by The Disappearing Act on Bandcamp –

Nicholas Altobelli – Press and Publicity -

Bob Blumenfeld - Other inquiries –

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Honky-tonk beach band the BeachBilly's release new single 'Sassafrass Angel.'

The honky-tonk beach band known as the Beachbilly's have released their latest single, “Sassafrass Angel.” The track is the first official single from their upcoming self-titled debut album. Like the upcoming record, “Sassafrass Angel” has been proudly published on the Key Mark Records independent label and distributed by Music Mill Entertainment. It has been released as a double A-side in “LP Cut” and “Remix” editions featuring slide guitar and fiddle with piano, respectively. Sincere, unpretentious, warm and lightheartedly uplifting, “Sassafrass Angel” is a country song that can make fans of any music genre smile.

Sassafrass Angel” showcases the talents of BeachBilly's collaborators Tony “T-Bone” Montgomery on vocals and acoustic guitar, Jo Billups on vocals, and Anthony Crawford on fiddle and other instrumentation. They also boast co-founding member Mark Sherrill, nephew of the late, great Nashville producer, Billy Sherrill.

BeachBilly's T-Bone Montgomery cites as main artistic influences Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Hank Williams. He started playing music as a teenager in Muscle Shoals, AL, where he was born and raised. He played in several bands on the Gulf Coast before forming the BeachBilly's with Mark Sherrill in 2013. The band has been in high gear ever since, bringing their inimitable honky-tonk sound to the Gulf of Mexico beach town of Perdido Key near the Florida/Alabama border. The BeachBilly's are regular performers at the world-famous Flora Bama, as well as at the Perdido Key Sports Bar.

Jo Billups usually plays in her duo, Sassafrass, with Karen Harvill. Tireless country composers, their “Hurricane” and “Vengeance” singles were published as recently as August of 2015. Billups has named Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Heart, and the Southern rock library of music as her chief inspirations. Fans of Sassafrass eagerly await their upcoming “Meltdown” project. Often appearing onstage with the group as a guest singer, Billups has been named an honorary BeachBilly.

Mark Sherrill has written many hit country songs since the late 1970s, including “Ol' Red” for Blake Shelton's self-titled debut record in 2002. The single was also covered by legendary country stars such as George Jones, Kenny Rogers, and even Johnny Cash in an as-yet unreleased studio cut.

In addition to playing fiddle and several other instruments on “Sassafrass Angel,” Anthony Crawford is also responsible for the top-shelf studio production of the song. Also a much-demanded musician, he splits his performance time between the BeachBilly's and as a solo act performing in Gulf Shores, FL and Nashville, TN.

Sassafrass Angel” by the BeachBilly's is available online worldwide. Cowboy hats and sandals are welcome.

-S. McCauley
Lead Press Release Writer

Sassafrass Angel” by the BeachBilly's

Website –

South African rapper RAS releases new single 'Cake Up'

The rapper from South Africa known as RAS has dropped his latest official single, “Cake Up.” The track has been proudly published on the DIVI Entertainment independent music label. Full of boom-bap, explosive lines and rhymes and coming with a sexy, stylish official music video, “Cake Up” from RAS is the latest reason for hip-hop fans to pay close attention to the rap underground of South Africa today.

RAS is shorthand for Real African Seed, the stage name of this popular rapper and songwriter from Pretoria in the Gauteng Province, South Africa. A die-hard indie musician, he has published three music projects and three official music videos on minimum, homegrown budgets. One of these was even shot on-location on the white sands of Mozambique, across the channel from Madagascar. His videos have aired on Channel O, SABC 1’s Music Lounge, and even MTV Base. Each video has garnered thousands of views at their various locations online.

South Africa's RAS has appeared on hip-hop television programs such as eTV's Shiz Niz and Channel O’s Head Rush. He has been discussed in S.A.’s first hip-hop magazine as an editorial feature and likewise featured on the magazine’s official compilation CD. RAS was voted by Hype Magazine as one of the top-five best unsigned artists in South Africa. His music can be heard on the radio on Metro FM’s Rhyme and Reason show, the Bridge on Yfm, and on college radio hip-hop programs internationally.

“Cake Up” is the most prominent release from RAS since 2012's “Everything I do” and 2013's “Nzela Monene.” These tracks have circulated on a startling number of music programs, including (but not limited to) Sizwe’s Hot 99 and DJ Sabby’s Live and Rewire on Yfm; DJ C-Live’s Hip-Hop Power Night on 5fm’s; Vow fm; Bush fm; Capricorn fm; Eldo fm; Kovsie fm; Lentswe fm; Mdantsane fm; Motheo fm; Mungana Lonene fm; Naledi fm; NWU Radio; Planet Radio; Radio Turf; Rhodes Music Radio; Tru fm; Tshwane fm; and UCT Radio.

Always friendly to the stage as well as to the music studio, RAS and his live band can be seen performing at StageNights events at the popular States Theatre in Pretoria.

“Cake Up” from RAS is available online worldwide. His official music video

-S. McCauley
Lead Press Release Writer

Cake Up” from RAS –

“Cake Up” official music video from DIVI Ent. –

Friday, October 2, 2015

Melodic hard-rock band Z-Sides release debut LP 'Via Negativa'

The melodic hard-rock group known as Z-Sides have released their debut LP record, “Via Negativa.” The album contains no fewer than 12 original tracks for an approximate total listening time of a full hour, making “Via Negativa” a comprehensive Z-Sides experience. It has been proudly published an an independent release outside the financial and managerial influence of the corporate music industry. Charging, soaring, pounding and at times even beautiful, “Via Negativa” from Z-Sides is clearly one of the most intriguing rock releases of 2015.

Z-Sides are a collection of music aficionados from Redwood City, CA. “We come from different backgrounds and different interests,” the band writes. “All of us have been playing since childhood, but our band has only been in existence since 2013.”

They cite as main artistic influences the Clash, Rush, Queens of The Stone Age, Yo La Tengo, Chavez, U2, REM, the Beatles, and Pink Floyd. Their own sound contains audible qualities similar to each of these (some more than others) but the result is a unique blend that cannot be called derivative. In fact, their overall effect is perhaps most reminiscent of the wildly creative, original independent labels like Dischord Records, Revelation Records and New Age Records in the late '90s and early 2000s.

Music on “Via Negativa” is aggressive without sounding macho, evocative without feeling melodramatic, violent without being destructive. Vocals and lyrics form an integral part of their songs but never become the focus of the music at the expense of instrumentation.

Asked to comment on the themes of their debut album, Z-Sides write that their record is “Exploring difficult emotions honestly and with a sense of criticism that is as searing on the self as it is on society or anyone else. We seek to express the depth of true heartache, the elation of true joy and the chaotic beauty of living life.”

The band goes on to note that “the music on this album was written collaboratively and reflects a range of influences larger than any one member of the band.”

As of the time of this writing, reports “Via Negativa” entering the alternative music charts at #3, a startling accomplishment for any record less than 12 hours into its first day on the market. The title of the record itself translates from Latin to 'by way of negation.'

Z-Sides have publicly stated that their second full-length record is already underway, implying that music fans have a real rock dynamo on their hands in this arresting group of musicians from California's Bay Area.

“Via Negativa” by Z-Sides is available online at over 600 stores worldwide. Get in early, rock fans. Very early.

-S. McCauley
Lead Press Release Writer

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IID Empire releases new rock LP 'Kast of Modern Empire'

The rock artist known as IID Empire has released his debut full-length album, “Kast of Modern Empire.” The LP contains 11 original tracks for an approximate total listening time of a full hour, making for a round treatment of IID Empire's repertoire. It has been published as an independent release without the influence of the corporate music industry. Grooving, sex-charged, and sharpened with balanced doses of audio aggression, “Kast of Modern Empire” is easily one of the best independent rock releases of 2015.

IID Empire (pronounced 2-D after the artist's initials) cites as main music influences Noel Gallagher, Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys, Jack White and Richie Sambora. The resultant sound is steeped in the Brit-pop subculture that stretches from the 1960s to the year 2000 and beyond. Fans of groups such as Pulp, Oasis and the Verve will be particularly enthusiastic about “Kast of Modern Empire,” though the record has more than enough meat for listeners with a penchant for classic British rock like that of the Jam, the Who, or even the Animals as well.

The lush, expansive tones on “Kast of Modern Empire” are all the more impressive because the LP has been orchestrated by a single musician, IID Empire, wholly without creative collaboration.

“I am a solo artist first and foremost,” IID Empire writes. “I created the album entirely on my own, playing every instrument on each track as well as adding vocals.”

The achievement this represents doesn't manifest until one hears the music. The impact is immediate and real. It's hard to keep from seeing a live group behind the wall of sound that is “Kast of Modern Empire.”

In fact, IID Empire is currently at work assembling a live show. Fans will be duly excited to hear this, but not surprised. The music practically leaps onstage every time the music fan hits 'play' as it is. IID Empire describes the crew as a four piece with himself playing guitar and performing lead vocals.

IID Empire writes and plays music in his home city of Glasgow, Scotland.

“Kast of Modern Empire” by IID Empire is available online worldwide at hundreds of locations. Get in early, rock fans. Very early.

-S. McCauley
Lead Press Release Writer

“Kast of Modern Empire” by IID Empire at iTunes –

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Rock crew Bugs Skully releases debut EP 'Rabbit'

The heavy metal project called Bugs Skully have released their debut EP album, “Rabbit.” The record contains five original Bugs Skully songs with an approximate total listening time of over 20 minutes, making for a comprehensive introduction to this explosive, dynamic, and creatively nostalgic rock group. A time bridge connecting the hardest music of the 1980s with the hardest lifestyle of the 1930s, “Rabbit” stands as proof that Bugs Skully can bring harder metal than prohibition would ever have allowed.

Asked to describe their artistic goals, Bugs Skully is clear and concise: “[We're] bringing back guitar-driven '80s metal tracks.”

And brought them they have.

Citing musical influences such as Guns N' Roses, Motley Crue, Aerosmith, AC / DC, Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big, Racer X) and Yngwie Malmsteen, Bugs Skully are what fans of these titans of rock have been waiting for. What is more, they've brought in a clutch of musicians who aren't afraid to work with the shady likes of Bugs beyond the long arm of Johnny law. Such featured artists include Guns N' Roses alum Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal on two tracks, Warlord's Mark Zonder, the Steve Vai Band's Philip Bynoe, YouTube sensation Juan “The Beast” C. Rodriguez, and popular performer/songwriter Chris Hodges.

“Rabbit” is the most prominent official release from Bugs Skully to date, the first glimpse coming in the form of summer 2013's “Cheap Regret” single, which garnered a fair following for the band and prepared them for the achievement that is the “Rabbit” EP. The single remains significant in the wake of “Rabbit” as it remains available but is not included on the newer record.

Thematically, “Rabbit” plays with common (and uncommon) heavy metal elements such as journeys beneath haunting full moons, the “enchantment” of witches, the interplay of hunter and hunted, the dangers of solitude, and “Halloween,” a closing track which the band calls “an ode to the things that go bump in the night.”

“Rabbit” from Bugs Skully is available online worldwide. Get in early, heavy metal fans.

Bugs Skully is a Dave Polites music project.

-S. McCauley
Lead Press Release Writer

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