Category Archives: Spotlight

Artists of all varieties that I know and work with.

Screen Gem :: ‘I AM TX’ Prepares To Make Waves

I am so happy to announce that I AM TX is wrapped and ready to make a festival run.  Ryan Darbonne worked hard to bring his vision to life, and with a strong crew to back him, Audrey CampbellJonathan K. Horstmann and myself came with our A-games.  As a result, we are getting festival placements, and hopefully, we can make bigger and better opportunities happen!  The premier of the film will be at The Method Fest in Los Angeles, with screenings to follow at several more festivals (which will be announced over the upcoming weeks/months).  If you’re not following I AM TX on Facebook, be sure to do so as soon as possible, and keep yourself in the loop!

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-chief

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Lo-Fi Displacement :: Virgil Wolfe Gets Raw With ‘Temporary Residence’

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Hip-hop can be quite the bittersweet discipline.  For all of the beauty and raw emotion it harnesses and unleashes, beneath that initial layer lays this ability to peel away all layers of lies and falsification in order to hit true nerves and address issues directly.  It can be a jarring process, but ultimately quite the therapeutic one for both listener and MC.  Exhibit A : Virgil Wolfe and his latest single, Temporary Residence.  While I don’t know what has gone on in his personal life, as a friend of his, I do know that he’s been on the same rocky road that many of us have been on recently, and with a recent laptop crash, that can leave a songwriter and recording artist feeling constrained and restricted.  Wolfe, however, is one of the more resourceful creators out there, and after a bit of time with a SP404sx, he was able to record Temporary Residence, vocals and all.  You can hear the emotional release that the process gave him in his performance, and it bolsters the track greatly.  Definitely a diamond produced from the pressure that is life.

-chief

World Music :: Salvasquared Releases ‘The Overseas Instrumentals’

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Nothing rejuvenates and uplifts the human spirit like traveling, especially traveling to locations that are considered ‘exotic’, for lack of a better word.  Austin-based producer Salvasquared recently got to experience this via a stay in South Korea while traveling through Asia.  I am sure that his life changed in many ways, but one tangible bit of proof that the trip had an influence on him is The Overseas Instrumentals, a group of beats with Salvasquared‘s foundation used to build towers of sound influenced by other parts of the world.  The Asian influence is clearly there, but aspects of Latin and African music also find their way into the mix as well.  This is definitely eye-opening and mind-expanding music, even in instrumental form, as it shows how all of our worldly textures can be weaved together into coherent and moving compositions.  Definitely check this one out, and encourage others to do the same.

-chief

Righteous Noise :: Muenster Makes A Statement With ‘Chances Are’

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Denton-based MC Muenster has decided to hit us with the summer vibes early by embracing the reggae sound on his rapid fire call to action that is Chances Are.  The track comes on light and uplifting, with a message of forward momentum via unity, and that point is hammered home by the machine-gun-esque darts that Muenster drops on the verses.  This one sounds completely fresh and unique, within the realm of Texas hip-hop or otherwise, in the way that it mixes pure reggae and hip-hop elements together while allowing each to stand alone.  Definitely one that’s gonna get some spins from me.

-chief

Reflection Session :: The Elephant In The Room Stops By ‘Rappers Playing Games (RPG)’

Protextor and the Baby Lion collective are doing great things with Rappers Playing Games (RPG), with each episode getting sharper and sharper in terms of both presentation and interviews.  The latest guest, The Elephant in the Room, stopped by to do some sparring via Sega‘s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers fighting game, while simultaneously speaking about the songwriting and production process, influences, their favorite aspects of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and more.  This is one of the most natural and organic conversations yet, as the mutual respect between Protextor and The Elephant in the Room is clear and obvious.  Keep supporting this channel, and hopefully we can see things grow!

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BluMoon Rising :: ‘Slow Burn’ By BluMoon Now Available

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There are times when referring to a band as ‘local’ feels slightly like undermining their quality and potential, and in the case of BluMoon, I often feel that way.  True, the band is based out of San Marcos, but if you throw their music in the mix with any current pop/soul/R&B/jazz band, you’d be hard pressed to point them out and peg them as simply a ‘local’ band.  Case in point?  Slow Burn, their latest release, sounds like a million bucks, with its dynamic range of sounds and energy that it encompasses musically, courtesy of Taylor LouisAndrew Harkey and Isaac Pulido.  Add to this the fact that vocalist Kendra Sells effortlessly balances deeply introspective and thought-provoking lyrics with lyrics that shine a spotlight on injustice and the ever-changing highs and lows of human interaction, and you’ve got a project that puts an early flag in the ground as a key 2019 release.  You can find this one most anywhere you find your music, so do yourself a favor and get hip, quick.

-chief

Spirit Lift :: Dr. Ew (Indubes) Drops ‘Salt [Beat Tape]’

Quite often, I take deep dives into the abyss that is YouTube, and one of my favorite discoveries is the lo-fi beat scene emergence, complete with looped anime clips to seal the deal on aesthetic.  That’s what makes it so great when a peer pops up in that realm, sort of like when I stumbled across Austin-based producer Indubes and a video titled Salt [Beat Tape].  The thirteen-ish minute beat tape consists of familiar piano and guitar samples, solid drum loops and programming, vocal samples, and a wonderful clip from Spirited Away that gets more and more delightful with each loop.  This is the kind of music that sets a mood, and that mood is one I won’t mind revisiting.  Quality work, and work that deserves sharing, commenting and liking.

-chief