In this issue:
• BeatHive Free Loops
• iCompositions Radio
• Instrument Search
• Criminally Overlooked
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New Royalty-Free Loops Package from BeatHive
In their second package on iCompositions, online loop marketplace BeatHive is offering iCompositions users 101 royalty-free Apple Loops to celebrate the 10,000th loop uploaded to their site.
Download in Members Only section » Now Playing on iCompositions Radio
Are you listening to iCompositions Radio? Chances are, you're missing out on a great way to explore iCompositions' vast music library without having to actively browse the site.
In addition to playing iCompositions music 24/7, iCompositions Radio features weekly shows that include jdwyer05's Criminally Overlooked, which showcases music from iCompositions artists. You can listen to the show's previous episodes in the Criminally Overlooked podcast.
Also, henessjon will make his world premier this week as iCompositions Radio's resident Rock n' Blues DJ.
Listen to iCompositions Radio » Introducing Instrument Search
Collaborating with other members is a fundamental aspect of the iCompositions experience. Today, we're making finding collaborators easier with the ability to search for instruments as part as Artists Advanced Search. Need a guitar track for your next song? Use the new field to search for guitar players.
Users will need to fill in the instruments they play in Backstage » Preferences to be searchable.
Search for Collaborators » "Criminally Overlooked" Music Recommendations
Yes, it's all about the drums and bass this week people! Sometimes the rhythm is everything! This week's selections are heavy on the bass and rhythms.
I've been busy listening to a lot of new music recently and sometimes get so caught up with mentioning new tunes and new artists, I totally forget to mention artists that I have on my little notepad that really do deserve some serious kudos.
One of these artists is Scott Lyons, otherwise known as naz_drummr. Scott's been on the site for awhile and he has done a ton of stuff. Recently Scott's released two albums independently--the only way to do it: . One's a jazz/rock/electronica/fusion piece entitled "Strange Groove" and the other's a Rock/Inspirational piece entitled "Standing in the Light", and they are 2 fine albums indeed.
I've been following the development of "Strange Groove" for some time now and am glad that it's finally done! It is a very cool trip indeed. Some of it's a little trippy, like the totally hypnotic "Head Noise", which is a foray into electronic using real drums.
The title track incorporates loops and real drums (although the track description says only loops- Scott's description mentions laying down real drum tracks). This funky little ditty uses some familiar loops but he incorporates them very very well into this really neat, very original piece of music. It's a really cool, funky little jam.
It's actually a really cool and appropriate intro to the next track, "Drums In Ivory". Although there is plenty of guitar in there, the drums and bass line are the real stars here, keeping the flow to the groove oriented tune.
To me, the real star of the album is the excellent "Tea Bag Regatta" featuring some standout performances by pancake on organ, Korg mini-moog and Electric Piano and the always brilliant bass work of plexaura.
Now it should not be a surprise to anyone who's read my comments on tunes that frequent complaint for tunes is that (say it with now people) there's not enough bass! I love the bass and I love a good clean bass-y mix. "Tea Bag Regatta" has some fantastic bass. It's a great groove tune and all three hold it together nicely. So check of Scott's music. There's something for everyone there.
Now of course in mentioning plexaura I have to refer you to some of his awesome music. Now, the aforementioned "Tea Bag Regatta" originally started out as a jam between plexaura and pancake until Scott stepped in and did his thing and also edited it down from its original 12-minute plus length. It you like to hear how a song evolves, this is a great example. If you wanted to hear a great extended groove-alicious track, this one's for you. There is also another fantastic version of this one too with foxs241 adding some tasty little guitar to it.
The tune that got me hooked on plexaura is the amazing "Soup & Sandwich". This is just one hell of a feel good tune! Great structure, great playing, great funky feel reminiscent of some of the great Jimmy Smith numbers from the good old Verve days.
Two of Plex's biggest influences are Medesky Martin and Wood who are really one of the more exciting jazz outfits out there right now, and the bassist's bassist , the legendary Jaco Pastorius.
"Chimmy Chang" shows the MMW influence right there but at the same time, it's so wonderfully original and fresh that you just keep bopping right along to the jam.
Now Jaco was a genius, and he really did change how the bass instrument was thought of in music. When his debut album, the eponymous "Jaco Pastorius" came out in 1976 he changed everything about bass. Plex's wonderful tribute to him is a charm. The honest and intimate "Portrait of Tracy" is a gem of a performance by him.
Another stellar showcase of plex's ability is his excellent work with iCompositions legend Ed Nicholson, a.k.a. enicholsIC with "Junk Funk".
A cool example of the power of iCompositions is listening to how songs evolve. "Junk Funk" evolved into a great vocal number with the always awesome rinca turning in a wonderful performance. Check out "Selfish Act".
His most recent piece is the contemplative "Sum of Squares". It's amazing what he's making that bass do. I beautiful and complex piece for sure, and well worth your time. You know sometimes when I plan the column, I have a general idea about what I want to write about and then let it flow from there. Sometimes it takes a turn and something totally different happens. Sum of Squares is like that.
"Rhizome" is quintessential plexaura. In the same vein as "Soup & Sandwich", it features plexaura performing some slick slide guitar work along with his wonderful bassmanship.
Jamo is another artist here at iCompositons that's been making some stellar music. Jamo has teamed up with jamesrjones make some great music. Their "Machu Picchu" is magical, with James' vocals meshing perfectly with the great music. I love this song!
I've played "Blackbird" on Criminally Overlooked on iCompositions Radio and I have been meaning to write about it since then. When I first saw the title, I was sure it was going to be a cover of one of my all-time favorite McCartney/Beatles tunes. I wasn't disappointed when I clicked on play and realized it wasn't though. This is a great, great tune. It has the flavor of classic Electric Light Orchestra, but it's also totally unique.
"Serenity" is also another fantastic piece. It's an instrumental, and a great groovy funky little number too...
As with the power of collaborations, this instrumental took on new life with vocals by James. Listen to great evolution with their new take on Serenity".
"Stars fill me with a sense of wonder
The heavens there, so plain to see
But the path's not paved with good intentions
On the road to serenity
Wrath and pride and envy
Lust and greed and jealousy
Temptation's just around the bend
On the road to serenity"
Jamo has done a couple of wonderful collaborations with brnPetra. The lovely love song to his girlfriend, "Tunnel" but sung by another woman in Swedish is simply great. And what a great story too!
Another great tune by this formidable duo is the moving "Love".
Obviously Jamo's deeply in love with his girlfriend. She must really be something, because he and Petra have made some magic with these two songs!!!
Yesterday, Jamo released the wonderful "Chill Breeze". It's a perfect song for today. It's a chilly day here in Florida. A perfect, crisp fall day. And this song is the perfect soundtrack to the day.
Now Scott Hunter, aka scottydude is another bassist with phenomenal skill. His wonderful "Ronnie D's Guitar Cllinic" is a perfect example of understated elegance. It's an excellent contemporary jazz tune.
Same goes the great, exciting "HYPERDIVE" featuring the formidable talents of SoulSurvivor and SELES, it is a great fusion trip of the highest order.
Scotty's not afrid to venture out too. Llisten to his excllent slap bass with JacobWasher on the very creative and groovin' "Here Comes the Hunger".
And the incredibly upbeat, verging into Dance music territoty is the awesome "Joyful Dance (with Piano)" featuring some amazing guitar from SELES, and some nice piano work from Scott's pal Darrell.
Scott's also part of great rock band called Missing Piece. They have an incedible debut CD called "Nine Twelve"out now and it's on sale at iTunes, Rhapsody, eMusic and Napster.
"Don't Look Down", "Something's In the Way" and the totally butt-kicking "Babylon" are sure to get you hooked on them and also show the breadth of their music, from pop to rock to inspirational. It's all there.
Finally, there is no way I can mention bass without mentioning the talent of PlusUltra. I've been meaning to write about Ron for a while, and kept getting sidetracked. I recently had the pleasure of working with him on a track and it just reiterated why I need to mention him to you. Plus is a great bassist who's made some great music!
Listening to the hard rockin' "Headboard Concussion" and you'll get a feel of Plus' style when doing rock stuff. I love his slap style and "Blade of Grass" is a great example of him doing it in a rock format.
But I love funk. And PlusUltra has some great funk numbers. The way too short "Geisha Funk" shows Plus showing off and it's great. Just way too short.
Same goes for the all too cool "Fairy Dog Funk".
But the Larry Graham-esque in yo face slap is tearing down the house in the excellent D:FUNK. What an awesome funky number. The sheer joy he's having when he's playing can be felt in the music.
"Sock It To Me Too Too" is a great collaboration featuring some awesome guitar by DonovanFraser and some great backing tracks by DeputyDoofy. There is some serious fun being felt here folks!
But PlusUltra's an incredible versatile musician, and his lovely "Bounce" featuring JodyG and DonovanFraser is a great example of his versatility as is his moving "W.S.P. Piano&Bass" featuring SoulSurvivor, or the artist formerly known as LeonaLeva.
Well that's it for this week.