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Album review

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Moda Black Compilation

Image shows the album in an itunes window

Photo: Moda Black

This week, Moda Black was awarded the title “Dance album of the year by Itunes”, which is pretty good for two lads from Lincoln, DJs Jaymo and Andy George. The album beat such favorites as Ministry of Sound to the top, who have been releasing similar compilations for nearly two decades.

Lincoln Music Scene recently covered a Moda night which featured internationally renound DJ Justin Martin and Rinse FM DJ Doorly, which went down a storm. But it’s not just events, the company also has been producing records for a few years by artists such as Tom Starr and Toy Tigers.

Moda Black is an extension of the Moda Label, focusing on the deeper side of Dance music, and the Moda Black compilation album is a showcase of this style.

The CD is a continuous DJ mix of some of the biggest releases, featuring such artists as Disclosure, The 2 Bears and Mia Dora.

Image shows album art, it depicts black graphics in the shape of a woman's head

Photo: Moda

Though I am not usually a fan of continuous mix CDs, the album successfully carries out the purpose of providing a snapshot into the label. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a good introduction into deep house music, which seems to be blowing up around the country as we speak.

There are no fancy tricks with the mixing necessarily, but to be honest there isn’t any need for it in this context. The mixing is simple and flawless, which allows each track to breathe.

Probably the stand out track for me is Disclosure-My Intention is War, the track made appearances throughout the sets of DJs across the summer festival circuit, and It is refusing to go away, as the UK garage reminiscent rhythm its just as settled in a nightclub as it is on a sunny afternoon in a field.

Other highlights for me were personal favorite Shadow Child, with his track So High. I feel as a producer he has provided a consistency of good quality tracks since the release of his first EP release earlier this year.

So If your looking for an album with an eclectic choice of UK dance music tracks from this year, Id say this compilation is definatley worth a download. If your looking to use any of these tracks to mix I would recomend purchasing them individually, as mixing songs that are already mixed will not fare you well.

Here’s a taster from the album, enjoy.

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Imagine Dragons

Imagine Dragons

Photo: billboard.com

A relatively new band, from Las Vegas, established in 2008, Imagine Dragons have had one of the best receptions after releasing their debut album Night Visions.

That is not all the band have been doing this year, throwing themselves head first into the music scene with a tour that sold out in all but two venues. The album itself has reached record sales, selling over 84,000 copies within the first week of release.

The song ‘Time’ has been featured on several TV adverts, Glee, during Wimbledon and in the newly released film commercial; ‘The Perks of being a Wallflower’.

Night Visions has been described as one of the slickest, glossies-sounding albums of the year with Time winning song, record and single of the year in almost every award ceremony.

Most of the songs have a dubstep tone to them, meddling in hip-hop and joy-core, each song individually a masterpiece. Songs such as Amsterdam, Underdog and Working man, sending out a happy go lucky feeling to the listener. As if to say “you only live once, make the most of it”.

The songs are catchy and a great inspiration, reassurance that big music companies can create beautiful pieces of art and not just the mundane drivel that is currently in the charts.

2013 is predicted to be as big of a year as 2012 has proven to be for the band, with plans for a Europe tour and visits in American with tickets already on sale.

http://www.imaginedragonsmusic.com

Mumford and Sons, Babel.

An image of the band Mumford and Sons

Photo: last.fm

After the great success of their debut album Sigh No More the expectations of Mumford and Sons’ second album were very high. The exceedingly anticipated Babel was released earlier this year. Back in 2006, no one would have predicted that this banjo playing band would give rise to artists such as Laura Marling and Noah and the Whale. Six years later and the band have managed to sell a staggering 5 million copies of their debut album, grabbed a Brit and become one of UK’s must-have new musical exports.

Unsurprisingly, the second album has held great expectations for this folksy foursome, and they have no intentions of stepping out of their original style to broaden their success. Babel represents everything we love about Mumford and Sons, with beautiful lyrics and their acoustic talent, the album is dibbed for equal if not greater success than the first.

Many of the songs such as Lover of the Light and Whispers in the Dark are live loves for fans.  Mumford and Sons have rarely been off tour, there is such a high demand for their live music and they are definitely a festival favourite. Similarly to the first album, the lyrics concentrate on love and heartbreak. Alternatively the band have included some big tracks, with huge choruses, take ‘Lover of the Light’ for example, the build-up to the chorus creates a huge frenzy amongst fans when performed live.  Broken Crown shows a darker side to the band, with Marcus Mumford howling in hindrance. The album shows great variety, sticking to that folk style we’ve all fallen in love with. Mumford and Sons still have a lot more to give and I anticipate more great albums and hits for this band in the future.

Ben Howard – The Burgh Island EP Review

UK acoustic sensation Ben Howard has released a new EP on iTunes.

A black and white close up shot of Ben Howard on stage

Ben Howard playing at The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh. Photo: The Queen’s Hall

The Burgh Island EP is a follow-up to hit album Every Kingdom, released in 2010, which featured such hits as Keep Your Head Up, Only Love and Old Pine.

The new EP resonates Ben’s unique acoustic sound, combining soft, husky melodies alongside soulful guitar riffs. This 4 track release is a perfect wintery soundtrack, with an intimate feel to it,

First track on the record, Esmarelda, is a slow downbeat tune, with the conventional deep-hitting lyrics that Ben always produces

Oats in the Water is a little more upbeat and up-tempo by comparison. However, Ben still sticks to his roots, and does what he knows best, packing a punch in his lyrics.

Third on the album is To Be Alone, has a very eerie vibe to it, with sounds of echoes and wails seeming to start the track. However, it soon cheers up into an upbeat track, worthy of a place in the charts.

Burgh Island, is the 8 minute finale to the 4-track EP. However, it is vintage Ben Howard, mixing his melodic voice with his pure skill on guitar. The accompaniment of Monica Hendal adds another dimension to the song, as their voices complement each other so well.

Overall this EP is well worth its price [£3.96 – iTunes] and a listen to over these winter months.

Aiden Grimshaw

Aiden Grimshaw @ the Cockpit, Leeds.
Photo: Lucie Henson

I’m sure many people wonder what happens to artists who don’t make it very far in the competition of X-Factor, according to sources Aiden Grimshaw finished 9th, which apparently isn’t very good.

However, whether it’s his quirkiness or his ‘weird’ genre of music, I fell in love with his debut album ‘Misty Eye’. In a way he reminded me of Natasha Khan ‘Bat for Lashes’, who I think is incredible. Aiden appeared in Leeds at The Cockpit on the 28th of September, and I was lucky enough to acquire tickets for myself and a friend.

The only other gigs I have ever been to have been rock and heavy metal, so this was quite an experience, no mosh pits to speak of and many fan girls. Despite this, I have to say it was a very good experience. The passion Aiden puts into his performance is great to see, I feel sometimes artists lose this as they get more successful in the industry.

He had two support acts, Daniel – his guitarist, and Seye – An upcoming Jamaican singer from London; both very good and a nice build up to the main act. I’m glad to say Aiden didn’t disappoint, singing his whole album, incredibly well I must say. Aiden wrote and co-wrote all of his songs and I could tell they meant something to him, which is exciting to see live.

He started the set list with ‘Hold on’ and closed the gig off with ‘Curtain Call’, the first released song on the album. After what we all thought was the end, Aiden came back out to complete an encore, singing a song that did not appear on the album “Chokehold”.

It’s great to see the quick ending of his X-Factor career did not dampen his enthusiasm for what he loves and I for one am very excited to see what else Aiden has in store for the future!

http://www.aidengrimshaw.com/

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