AMP

AMP
Music, Albums & Gigs Reviewed

Monday, 11 January 2016

GOODBYE STARMAN

 
As a child I grew up in a house full of music, my mother loved her LP collection and played them loud every weekend and my older sister had started her 7” collection which educated me in the sounds of the 70s.
 
It was this time I first heard the name David Bowie and saw his outragious posters and appearences on Top of the Pops. Since then David Bowie and his music has been in my life and in many ways closer than others. I remember the release of the ‘Let’s Dance’ album when I was working in a record store, David had come back all reinvented AGAIN and took over the charts and our store was mobbed with fans and merchandise. In fact I had to go with store owners to Brighton record fair to bid for more stock as that was the need for his music.
 
Later in my life David Bowie came back into it in a bigger way and I got closer than I could ever imagined to his music. It was discovering LG73 and who what must be said ‘the number one David Bowie fan’ Ramoana Stone. Her show ‘The Ramoana Experience’ was and still is all things Bowie with live concerts, interviews, interesting facts, fun and rare recordings. It was through Ramoana’s show that I had a go at presenting radio due to her kindness to give up one part of her air time. We had Bolan and Bowie together in the same show and even on David Bowie’s 65th birthday we did a massive birthday party with fans writing in messages and poems to the legend that was Bowie. It was through this radio show I met who is now my wife so thank you RaM and thank you David.

*The Ramoana Experience now on MaxRadio
http://www.MaxRadio.ca/
 

 
 
I also worked on a Bowie project with Pete Waller under his DeafboyOne banner in 2009 entitled 'Ground Control To DeafboyOne' in which I helped on it's design of the cover and recording of an album of David Bowie covers which are still close to our hearts as the album was made with love and respect.
 
 
 
Following this I also worked with EMI Venom on promoting that album in which an amazing video is still available to view on You Tube of 'Space Oddity'
 
I have also been lucky to meet another DJ, singer and all over one rocking entertainer and good friend Lady Starduzt name taken from a track of Mister Bowie’s. I produced only a few of her radio shows but got a friend for life
 
 
 
Waking up this morning and seeing his face on every post on Facebook was news I know we all dreaded to ever happen as David Bowie we fooled ourselves would always be here. He maybe gone but his music his various reinventions Ziggy & Alandin Sane as well as his ‘Heroes’, Tin Machine and many others will live on with us forever. I am just sad that future generations will only know this great singer, songwriter and entertainer in past tence.
 

 
The King is dead, long live the King

Thursday, 26 November 2015

DIY or Top Production by Ruth A-D

 
Who is Ruth A-D you may ask, well she is not only a singer with a voice that melts you and makes your hairs stand on end with goose pimples. She is a songwriter of outstanding big productions with ghostly vocal layers and orchestras with a very NOW sound.
Ruth admits she has learnt her way in the music business, from inside out as she even produces her own material. These two singles are so far apart in sound and production but much the same in quality.
'War On Dreams' is an outstanding big epic of a number with her vocals on the Beverley Craven touching on Kate Bush in sound. The layering of her vocals are chilling and the track builds & fades, then builds again. The orchestral arrangement gives the track life, emotions and of course that epic sound I have already mentioned.  
On her website it mentions her strong DIY ethics, producing dark, cinematic pop and stripped-down piano vocal tracks. Well I can say hand on heart there is no DIY sound in this as it's mind blowing fantastic.
https://soundcloud.com/ruthadmusic/war-on-dreams
 
'Just Another Scratch' is very Kate Bush 'Sat In Your Lap' in style and sound. The drumming following her vocal layers is part I just love as well as the smooth shouting whisper that if you could feel would be like the richest silk.
https://soundcloud.com/ruthadmusic/just-another-scratch
I truly recommend you checking out both tracks that are available on iTunes & CD Baby
Interesting links will be below
website
Facebook
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, 31 August 2015

 

Highland Home (Instrumental edit) by Dave Bremner


I may of already written a review on this track but that was on the charity release which includes very moving lyrics.
Now this is an instrumental and was originally recorded/mixed this way as Dave says "to be used for extrance music at seminar for my martial art classes". However once I played this MP3 it has so much atmosphere of the highlands, it almost sounds like you've gone back in time listening to some classic Gaelic composition or tuned into a movie as it so big in sound it is like straight off some soundtrack album of a blockbuster.
As I now live in Scotland maybe I feel a closer tie to the song but reading my older review I don't think so it's just the track is so good, full of feeling, emotion, power and yes the pipes.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

NEW BEGINNING - Luna Rekipse

Luna Reklipse is a rock, blues band that really surprised me, well to be honest not just me but many others in music who knows the frontman Dave Bremner.
I first heard of Dave when I was working for OK! Records and was presented with this epic traditional Scottish track 'Highland Home'.
See many in music got used to this soft voice filled with passion for his country and never even guessed burning within was this heavy sound of rock and blues waiting to burst out like something from an 'Alien' movie.
I was first sent just 3 tracks of this album when they were rough demos last year and could not believe what I was hearing. Dave Bremner.... THIS is Dave Bremner??? I asked myself, then where has he been hiding this?, where did this come from?
I sent the tracks to another artist who has been in the business almost all his life and he knew of Dave, wants to work with him and his reply to these demos were "WOW".
It isn't often artists get great praise from other fellow artists but the tracks on this debut album has really caused a stir.
What I love is this isn't just an album where Dave has written and composed the tracks, turned up and told the band what he wants. No this is an album where all the band have had a major input to the finished sound and quality.
OK yes it has a lot of Dave's rock influences but it has the bands too.
I mentioned the word BAND a few times, about time I told you who they are before I get into reviewing the tracks & telling you the backstories.



Luna Reklipse is -
 
Dave Bremner lead vocals, acoustic guitar, electric rhythm guitar, percussion
 
John Thomson (JT) bass guitar and backing vocals
 
Ryan Mathieson drums
Since the making of this album Ryan has left the Luna Reklipse to return to his previous band Priority Drive, and everyone wishes him well
The new drummer for all future recordings and live gigs is Steve Boylan 
 
Graeme King drums (Hey Jo)
 
Niall Mattheson lead guitar
(Niall has been the lead guitar player for Prog-rock band Pallas for more years than he would want to admit – but all parties are proud he took time to rock with LR)
 
Track One - Ex Girlfriends Ex Bestfriend

This was one of the first tracks I heard as a demo, now fully mastered it kicks off with the alternative rock power that leaves your ears buzzing for more. To me it gives you the feel of Oasis in sound with added screaming guitars that are so awesome you just want to get up and ROCK (air guitar). It has some lovely stripped down guitar sound bites midway also that lead into the final guitar solo.
I was stunned by Dave letting rip with some rock vocals & that scream. It has a true backstory to it too which may explain why it works so well as the best songs come from past memories & them told within a song. Dave says
 
 

"It was a real life situation from my teens – oh so many years ago. Going into a birthday party with the current girlfriend of the time – met her best friend – who became - my new girlfriend. Not something that happened all to often for anyone or to me – just got the idea driving past the house where L used to stay. It’s the opening track of our live set more times than not.


Wanted to have the new time pop rocker type of feel to the song – think we got there."

 

Track Two - Halfpenny Cornerstreetman Moneymaker

 

An amazing bass intro by JT with guitars having an early ZZ Top feel, this has a real rockin' boogie beat to get up and dance. In fact I defy anyone to try not to tap your foot through it as you just can't help yourself. Even the do, do, do, chants gets you singing. Everything about this song is so right the drums thrash all the way for the lovers who want to headbang. It is also based on Dave's past and the lyrics sort of tell you that once you've been told. Dave says 

 

 
"This is a song about the times I played on the streets in Glasgow, an experience. Bass player came up with the idea of “pinching” and adapting the blues brothers riff for the start of the song so we could have a bit more of a laid back build up to this boogie rocker. A real floor filler."
 
Track Three - Sinner Or A Saint
 
Just love the start of this as you hear the rain and the guitars give you the feel of 'Pulp fiction' with touch of 70s rock with a fantastic bluesy chug. This was the 2nd demo I received and hearing it now makes me smile as its moved on so much with heavy licks, deep bass and Dave's vocals go up to another level. 
the backstory was interesting to read as in life many artists hear one word or see one picture or a sentence by someone and a whole song is born, and this was exactly how this was written and composed. Hear it what Dave says
 
"While watching an episode of NCIS there was a comment by one of the stars about their latest case – was she a sinner or a saint – from there I wrote the basic version of this great song in about 15 minutes. I asked our bass player to start with a great riff as I was having real timing issues on the guitar riff – sorted."
 
Track Four - I Have You
 
Starting off with a beautiful acoustic guitar with the track building up to an epic rock ballad, this is a kind of song you can imagine all the lovers smooching too and the rockers waving the lighters in the air. How can I describe it best? Well it simply gives me goosebumps as its pure magic a must to listen to, a must to have in your collection. The backstory is all based on Dave's life now and what demons he faces and the support from the love of his life, hear is what Dave says
 
"Originally recorded and released as a solo Dave Bremner track – following on the blues theme. During a gig I decided to play a few acoustic solo numbers which included this song. The next practise session our drummer asked if we could try this song and it fell into place almost immediately. Originally I had sung two bars of oos but asked JT if he could replace these with a bass lead line – the resulting effect was stunning – after a few changes the bass line from my original oos is used through out the song.
The song is about my fight with depression and my trying to appreciate what I had – especially the love a concern of my beautiful wife"
 
Track Five - Lay Your Head On My Pillow
 
Now I know what your thinking, you read the title and think a slow, romantic number WRONG!!!
This has a fast beat, screaming lead wonderful harmonies. It reminds me of classic U2 in sound and just love it, works wonderful blaring out in car stereo.
When I heard that the song is based on Dave's relationship with his wife I thought why so fast? Why not a slow smooch? Dave explains his reasons
 
 
"another song about the relationship I have with Julie – my soul mate of 20 years+. I wanted this to have a feel of a title song from an American sit-come such as friends and the like. One of the best rock poems I have written and worked closely with Niall to get the right sound and feel to the guitar – he’s an artist, jealous of his ability but pleased he agreed to guest with us. A song for the American rock market"
 
Track Six - Looking For Love
 
Full of blues guitars with awesome riffs with some raw vocals from Dave with a chorus you feel forced to join in with. Who it reminded me of was in fact the very artist Dave was influenced by for this track. and this what Dave said
"Another re write / re record of a Dave Bremner solo track, driving Chris Rea type track and a crowd pleaser normally when playing live.
Was written at a time I was kinda low and felt I have lost the ability to love or be loved – out of the deep hole came this cracking rocker."
 
Track Seven - Dreams (I Wanna Play Rock n Roll)
 
This is a song with true feeling mainly because it comes from the heart as Dave really wants to perform, be heard, be seen and going by what I heard he should be. When you play this you get a Meatloaf feel as the epic story, the raw vocals coming from the very soul. I WANNA PLAY ROCK N ROLL it even has that epic screaming guitar that almost have a dark side just love it.
Dave says
"An auto biographical story of my desire to play my music to the masses. Was written years ago when I felt shafted by a major Record Company but had no proof. Updated this about 2 years ago. Listen to the words – it tells the story."
 
 
Track Eight - Mystic Woman
 
Now Dave and myself met through the love of Marc Bolan's music, poetry and his use of words that often took you places or talked of people you felt you knew. 'Mystic Woman' is a tip of the hat to Marc from Dave who's dream is to one day record a tribute album to the main man of T.Rex. This track has a '20th Century Boy' style of riff. It is raw with the most heaviest rocking backing Dave in conversation on Skype said he even adds influences of Deep Purple and Bon Jovi and now I know I can hear that too. If you love rock LOVE the AXE you be totally blown away by this track that so stands out on this album.
Dave says
"This song was written in the style of the 70s rock bands I used to (and still listen to) and although I don’t have a traditional rock god voice – we just had to record it and love the outcome. Based on my love of the mystic and heavily influenced by my love of Marc Bolan writings.  As heavy as we get but others of the same ilk on the way to compete against this."
 
Track Nine - Hey Jo
 
This song I will always feel part of as I was online and witnessed the full events. I remember Dave being in his car on his way home knowing this was taking place and wanting to get indoors, online & to help his friend. By the time he got home the song was written mentally in his head. The song proves Facebook can have a positive effect and when things are down you find your real friends. The guitars on this track are outstanding and I must point out when performed live Luna Reklipse do it a little different as JT steps up and adds a little 'Let it be' by The Beatles which works so well and does down with everyone. This is the last song of a totally awesome album which I highly recommend to buy once it goes on sale. I leave you with the words of Dave on this song & the album itself
"A song written about a Marc Bolan fan by a Marc Bolan fan who was one of a team who helped some one who put out on face book that she was struggling and needed help. The love of Bolan on facebook  helped a friend back on the path to recovery from dark days."
 
 
"OVERALL AS THE SONG WRITER I REALISE I AM BLESSED TO HAVE AND NEED TO HAVE SO MANY TALENTED MUSICIANS AROUND ME - AS LUNA REKLIPSE WE HAVE A GREAT SOUND BASED ON THE LOVE OF PLAYING ORIGINAL MATERIAL FROM MY SONG BOOK OF SO MANY – SO STEP ONE ON THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN AS WE WERE BORN TO BOOGIE IN THE GOLDEN AGE OF ROCK N ROLL  IN SO MANY DIFFERENT COLOURS.
 
Dave Bremner 2014
 Find Luna Reklipse on Reverbnation http://www.reverbnation.com/lunareklipse4

Find Dave Bremner on Reverbnation http://www.reverbnation.com/davebremner






Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Direksyons (The Etheric Level) - Jimi Starr


 
I have known Jimi for a while now as he appeared a couple of years ago on a radio show I once co-hosted featuring his debut album 'Black' in which the single from it 'Egyptian Love Song' was well received. 
His latest album 'Direksyons (The Etheric Level)' has a concept and full of deep meaning and amazing journey of sounds. He has clearly moved on from his album 'Black' and really experimented with sounds both vocally, musically & digitally. It to me has a real fresh sound placing it in a few genres. Jimi's vocals have always been this soft, smooth and to all the women SEXY over tones, in fact one female told me she was melting to his voice. On this new album their is no disappointment in that department.
Before I get into reviewing each track giving my option & the background story to each song hear are some words from Jimi himself on what the album touches on in all of us.
 
The album is a collection of songs that were written within the last three years with the exception of “Shine”, “L in Return”, “Legend”, and “Salute to the Sunrise”, which were written several years ago, but fit the theme of the album. As cynical as it seem, the system of the US and is synonymous with a circus in which most are given a role to play along with a ride, and/or a game to keep them distracted while being entertained. We have a ringmaster, clowns (sad/happy ect), and other characters, that operate the circus, but it’s up to us to be conscious beings (lions, tigers, bears) and not sheep merely sitting in the audience watching the show.

The album, refer to this as the New World Circus which is the physical or 3-D level of consciousness. However, the destination of our planet is 5-D level, or assention. There is also an etheric or spiritual level that subsists while we are simultaneously being testing, shaped, and molded. In this reality based on illusion, we will either strengthen or weaken depending on the direction (Direksyon) chosen by the individual. Metaphysics and psychology also play an integral role conceptually as we emit energy throughout the planet and universe, anticipating the effects (Dharma).

In light of this, I believe that as a collective consciousness we have reached a threshold for the greed, stupidity, fear, negative energy (Kharma), and the overall destruction. This is descriptive of the circus act in which the planet and universe is responding to, and overall will reject today’s 3-D being. The better option is to travel the path of enlightenment by knowing thyself which will consequentially raise your vibration and collectively raise the vibration of the planet and universe to accept the 13th etheric level.

Peace Jimi Starr 2014
 
Track One 'Direksyons (The Rides)'
To me this has a sci-fi feel to it with many layers of sound which sort of tunes you into the album and the experience your about to take. The album to me has been recorded for the age we live in where much music is listened to with headsets on. I played the album this way and the effects really soar around within your mind. The track takes us on the ride we have chosen in life some make you scream some make you laugh some rides like life itself you just love. Just imagine those in sound and you are there.
Track Two 'Direksyons II (Travelling Show)'
I really love this track as with the scratch effect throughout, travelling music theme & a almost epic piano & feel. The duo vocals become a real instrument within this song as partly electronic vocals with a Herbie Hancock style with also the added awesome Jimi's soft soulful tones. It has this electric guitar section which really screams midway through till fade which I love and played loud. To me it has all you need and more but again the headset gives you the full journey within this recording.
Track Three 'Freaky'
This song was co-written by the singer, song writer Jay Stones who also has releases under Humblekatz Productions. The song touches on our human frailties and hypocrisy, especially regarding religion. Many so-called Christians can be found in local clubs and hookahs and are real freakaaaaay. Now reading that you may think that's too heavy for me, well don't let the backstory fool you as this is one real seriously funky track. Counted in by a drum beat, slap bass and a beautiful feel of classic Earth, Wind & Fire who Jimi has influence from and has worked with. This makes you wanna get up and shake your bootie from start to end. If I had to pick one best track off this album it would be this one as you just want to play it again, in fact I loved it so much I asked if Jimi could extend it as I wanted more.
Track Four 'Shine'
Starting with the sound of thunder and some brass and that soft vocals added with some reverbed vocals of Jimi singing his emotions spell out his feelings of a break up and the wants and needs to sync it all back together. Jimi said his thoughts were of a long distance relationship that ended painfully and perhaps should not of happened. Whatever the case as all are thoughts are different in love this song is beautiful, soulful and I can picture someone somewhere relaxing on a sandy beach and smiling to its heavenly sound.
Track Five 'Salute To The Sunrise'
A purely magical start and the title sort of tells you all about the song, however Jimi says he wrote this many years ago when he was in the Navy. He added it has a impactful meaning now with the focus being on the inner Earth Sun "Global Warming". I find it amazing on this album how Jimi uses his vocals in so many different ways as the lyrics are approached differently to the others on this track. Again this has many hidden sound levels that come alive once you relax with your headset and it shouts to me once working in music that a lot of thought and love has gone into this whole project.
Track Six 'Fazion'
This track has a deep meaning much like all the album Jimi says

"The ones who are in “Know thy Self” mode and most willing to follow truth wherever it leads. This means protecting the planet and universe, understanding Yin & Yang, Kundalini meditation, and raising your vibrations. Earth Wind and Fire was saying this in the albums I AM, Raise, and Power light."

The track has trumpets which Jimi seems to love and heavenly vocal harmony

Track Seven 'Celebrate'

This goes straight in there CELEBRATE YOUR LIFE the vocals are not as I would of liked but after a few plays I understand Jimi is using the vocals as a character as he acts out what the story tells. It has a lovely midway guitar solo and some crazy vocals but again its all in the telling of the story. What is the story you may well ask? well Jimi says 

"Discussion of why we are lost as a people and the simple things we can do to get it together. This occurs by following the circus act (media), that tells us how to be, what to buy, when to celebrate ect. By appreciating what we have instead of what we don’t keeps us in a spell of confusion and makes us miss out on the moment."
I think you just got to listen to understand as this song is so well played out.
Track Eight 'L In Return'
Oh this is so a Jimi Starr classic if you know him from his past album, true love song utterly beautiful with mixture of harmonies. It was written based on a true story too and filled with so much emotion. Jimi wrote it was over 10 years ago after an on and off relationship. He said it was one of those that you are not sure that it's completely over and in the back of your mind expecting to resurface. They do say the best songs come from the heart, well this one sure does.
Track Nine 'Chips'
When I first played this I just knew some females would be melting as Jimi's deep sexy tones that females LOVE are included within this track, the harmonies which are multi layered are so smooth. The song itself is self explanatory as everyone has felt that THE CHIPS ARE DOWN, especially within a relationship and you feel your being tested for your shortcomings in times of hardship. 
Track Ten 'Legend'
When I first played this a sound you hardly hear stood out to me so I had to ask Jimi, he replied "yes you are correct you do hear a flute at the beginning of 'Legend' as I was paying tribute to my Sensei and mentor Master Julius Dorsey. The track has an almost Chinese feel to it and Jimi's vocals go to a haunting whisper with emotion filled passion. Listen out for guitar and bass hidden within the layers, I love the backing vocals too the back story may surprise you as it is again deep and meaningful. Jimi said
" Song written several years ago that highlights the experiences that manifested trough my spiritual walks with Sensei Julius (transitioned), and Buddhist Priests. I was on a path of destruction as this was an impacting time in my life because it gave me a better path and helped shape me into the enlightened being I am today".
I Love the line I AM GOING TO BE A LEGEND IN MY OWN TIME
Track 11 'Muu'
A haunting wind blows and a deep voice is spoken...
FEEL DOWN MY BODY OF SPIRIT OF LIGHT
COME THROUGH THE FLOWER THAT SHINES THROUGH THE DARKNESS
 This is how the album Direksyons concludes with the spoken words of Jimi leaving us with more meaningful words to the backgrounds of strings, keyboards. Jimi says
"It was his endeavour to encompass and convey the energy of the Sacred Emerald Tablets to help heal our world and experiences"
I found the journey of this album interesting, magical, deep, soulful with a colourful parade of sound and vocal talent. I have always had an interest to concept albums but I found this to be a new take on it as once you know what the message is you can change your own thoughts & life.
I really recommend this album and all those interested in Jimi Starr check him out at
 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Ace MegaRex Reviews are back

After a break from music for personal reasons I am back to write reviews on new releases.
I no longer work for OK! Records as the company is under a revamp with new name, artists and new website (I will update you all as it happens).

I have been sent a few new albums not yet released to review, both are totally different genre from each other, but it is that what makes reviewing music interesting.

First up will be an artist I have known for a while in fact I featured his last album 'Black' while I was still co hosting a radio show on LG73.



His single 'Egyptian Love Song' (taken from 'Black') was accepted well by listeners.

His name is Jimi Starr and his new album entitled 'Direksyons (The Etheric Level) has deep meanings, beautiful sound & lyrics will be reviewed with added quotes by the man himself.

http://www.humblekatzproductions.com/


The second is a band Luna Reklipse which features Dave Bremner on lead vocals.

Their new album is entitled 'New Beginning' and is pure raw rock.
I have known Dave for a while as I worked with him as a solo artist on OK! Records, Dave hopefully will also re-release those singles once released on the old label. Including the wonderful 'Highland Home'

Thursday, 16 May 2013

FIREFLY - Jo Mummery




Now available on iTunes is two stunning tracks by Jo Mummery, first is 'FIREFLY' which is a song Jo says she got influenced by watching a Marc Bolan video on You Tube. The video had effects to make it look old and it came to her that it looked like fireflies dancing in Marc's hair.
 
The second song is a rocking track entitled 'Fire Within' which I loved the very first time I heard it. The track gives you reminders of T.Rex with the use of bongos and drums. 
Infact Jo has had comments about other tracks recoreded by her by the man who produced much of T.Rex classic albums Tony Visconti, where he says.... QUOTE "Jo's songs 'Shining Star' and 'Blue Wizard' are gentle, innocent and heart felt". These two new songs are no exception, taken from her debut album 'Electric Angel'to be released in near future.

*Note 'Shining Star' is also on sale on iTunes

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Firefly-Jo-Mummery/dp/B00EQHG5MK/ref=sr_1_1?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1400085195&sr=1-1&keywords=jo+mummery


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shining-Star-Slyders-Jo-Mummery/dp/B005AQLHSI/ref=sr_1_2?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1400085195&sr=1-2&keywords=jo+mummery