Monday, 30 September 2013

London based Singer/Songwriter Bex releases her debut EP Transition

Talented singer/songwriter Bex has recently released her debut EP Transition.

Musically she comes from a gospel background and can therefore vocalise any genre.

Prior to the release of Transition, she took part in one of Grab The Mic's monthly events.

Transition is a 6 track EP, which showcases Bex's powerful vocals and Gospel roots, and also has first class production to it.

If this EP is anything to go by Bex will certainly be going places, she's certainly one to keep your eyes and ears on.

Fire is a lively number guaranteed to get you up and onto the dancefloor, its definitely got a club anthem feel to it and this is why it's my favourite track.

Post By - Boulent Mustafa

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Sunday, 29 September 2013

Recently formed El Born present us with more musical delights.

The newly formed El Born made up of the talented Hils Granger and Si Connelly reward us with two musical gems Kangaroo and Air, links included below.

Kangaroo is a catchy little number which showcases Si Connelly's powerful vocals and Air also does the same plus both tracks demonstrate El Born's musical prowess. With these two acoustically pleasing tunes, I await their forthcoming album with eager anticipation.

On the 16th I'll have the pleasure of seeing them perform live in their last UK show of the year at the prestigious Barfly in Camden. Tickets for which are available here - so look forward to a review of this gig in the not too distant future

Post By - Boulent Mustafa

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Friday, 27 September 2013

Presenting Kurdish Singer Çiğdem Aslan, a rising star in the revival of Rebetiko.

This talented Kurdish singer whose name is pronounced Cheedem is trying to revive the musical genre Rebetiko, once considered socially degenerative and as a result banned in Turkey and Greece.

For those of you not in the know this genre was the bitter-sweet songs of an exiled underclass, performed in dubious Greek and Turkish establishments with strong roots in Izmir. More than a genre it was a culture that united these two nations. It wasn't long till both countries outlawed it due to its underworld connections and as too oriental.

Çiğdem's album Mortissa (meaning a strong independent woman) features Smyrneika (Smyrna = Izmir) and Rebetiko songs in Greek and Turkish but also with musical roots in Anatolia.

Rebetiko, sometimes called the 'Blues of the Aegean' came into existence during the turbulent 1920s. It is the music of the alternative, the underground scene, the music of freedom-loving people and is therefore appropriate for the current situation in Istanbul. 2013 is not the first time that the beautiful city of Istanbul has been in turmoil.

As singer Çiğdem Aslan, who was born to Kurdish Alevi parents not far from Taksim Square, the focus for the pro-democracy protests, has felt concerned and deeply involved, even from a distance. 

Although there have been many recordings of Rebetiko over the years, Çiğdem Aslan presents a fresh take, an immigrant herself from her homeland, a person from a minority ethnic group, a female singer in a usually male genre. But above all she brings personality and a voice that communicates deeply, the kind of voice that can help unlock the riches and relevance of this “Blues of the Aegean” to new audiences. 

Having made her mark singing as front singer of award-winning She’Koyokh Klezmer Ensemble in which she has won plaudits for the “clear, natural ease” with which she sings (Songlines Magazine) and her “no-nonsense from the heart passion" (fRoots Magazine), and also having graced the stage at the Royal Albert Hall as opening act for Turkish diva Sezen
Aksu and for Yasmin Levy at London’s Cadogan Hall, with this debut album Çiğdem is ready to take the stage as a star in her own right.

Çiğdem has a sweet and delightful tone to her voice, which is effortlessly complemented by the fellow artists that feature on Mortissa. The fusion of Turkish and Greek music that is Rebetiko/Smyrneika can be felt especially the joyful instrumental melodies.

I loved the way in which the violin and woodwind instruments fit seamlessly into the somber tone of track 3 -  To Dervisaki. Track 8 - Nenni also deserves a special mention as Cigdem's vocals are in a class of their own, as the track features minimal backing but instead relies solely on raw lyrics.

Track 9 - Cakici sounds like it is backed by a full sized orchestra.

Generally all the songs featured on Mortissa were an absolute delight to my ears, so much so that I was hard pushed to choose a favourite track as they all appealed to me in their own special way.

Mortissa is on official release from Monday, September the 30th but can be pre-ordered from
Amazon by clicking here -

Çiğdem is also set to perform at Vortex on Friday the 11th, Saturday the 12th and Sunday the 13th of October, tickets for these gigs can be purchased through the events section of her Facebook page.

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Post By - Boulent Mustafa

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Saturday, 21 September 2013

Scottish singing sensation Holly Drummond is back with her latest EP

Following the success of her previous EP, this talented Scottish Singer/Songwriter has recently released her In The Dark EP, which features 6 tracks.

Available for purchase at

These Four Walls is a catchy little melody, even with its sad lyrics.

Cold Outside has a nice smooth instrumental backing track, which is complemented by Holly's gentle vocals.

In The Dark featuring Danny Shah, the combined vocals of Danny and Holly are a delight to the ears and the instrumental arrangement makes this a symphonic masterpiece.

Starting to believe is a lovely and upbeat tune and just as fun to listen to as In The Dark.

Stars is a Semi-haunting melody, this is thanks to Holly's trademark use of the Cello, which is used to positive effect on this EP.

The remixed version of These Four Walls showcases Holly's impressive EDM talents once again, as long term fans may know from her previous releases.

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Post By - Boulent Mustafa

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Andy May and the birth of Americana Music

Andy May and his amazing band pioneered Americana Music even before the term for this musical genre was coined.

By the age of 20 Andy had already performed the legendary Carnegie Hall and won the Grand Championship on Guitar at the equally notable Union Grove venue. His career has spanned over 4 decades and has resulted in him collaborating with numerous diverse artists such 
as Merle Haggard, Tom Paxton, Joan Osborne and Nancy Griffith and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

He founded and now runs the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) award-winning record label Swift River Music and he also performs and teaches at major music festivals such as MerleFest and Winfield.

Andy May's Retroflections set which contains 10 songs showcases smooth vocals and first class instrumental backing, which is bluesesque in places and features some excellent guitar playing skills.

Lake Champlain and The Queen wouldn't be out of place if you were sitting on a Hawaiian beach as the instruments conjure images of Luau girls.

Retroflections is full of upbeat songs all of which are a joy to listen to.

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Post By - Boulent Mustafa
Twitter - @OBsMusicUk