Striking A Balance — Jupiter String Quartet In Concert

It has not been a normal season for the world’s orchestras, chamber ensembles, and soloists. With empty concert halls and virtual productions, livestreaming has become a beacon — allowing musicians to practice their craft even without audiences present. Prerecorded concerts are the new normal, gathering people from near and far to bond over art. 

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Everything Will BE Okay, Because Life Goes On

As the first Korean group to top the Global and U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Charts, the boyband BTS (방탄소년단) have taken the world by storm. Remaining true to their humble reputation when they became the first K-Pop group to secure a Grammy nomination, they credited it all to their fans, who are nicknamed The ARMY. With songs that tackle difficult social topics, it’s no surprise the septet has grown into one of the most impactful groups to date. 

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Ferocious, Visceral Performance Commands Camerata Bern’s “Plaisirs illuminés”

If you want to hear a modern revamp of your favorite intense string music by composers like Bartók, look no further. The Switzerland-based string chamber orchestra Camerata Bern delivers yet again on an hour and fourteen minutes worth of vivacious, temperamental, beautifully executed performance. Featuring six different composers across the 20th and 21st centuries, their newest CD Plaisirs illuminés released in early January to high critical acclaim, and rightfully so. 

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J.I the Prince of New York Concert Review – Live From National Sawdust Streamed via Happin

By Milend Kolbet

J.I performed a concert via the Happin app on March 27, 2021. ‘The Prince of New York’ started making a name for himself in 2016 at the age of 14, when he appeared on the rap battle reality show The Rap Game. His popularity rose in 2019 with the release of Need Me, which to date has over 100 million plays on Spotify. The song so electrified his native New York City, that he became the first artist to sell out Greenwich Village’s SOBs club on three consecutive nights in December 2019.

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Genre-Bending Music Makers Genghis Tron Return with Dream Weapon

For most artists whose last release was thirteen years ago, fans would likely not want to wait around that long in anticipation of anything worthwhile. Genghis Tron is not that artist. After a lengthy hiatus, the four-piece experimental electronic metal band returned with a captivating new album released on Friday, March 26th. Compared to their previous releases, Genghis Tron’s Dream Weapon showcases a refreshing, atmospheric sound, while still maintaining their defining characteristics.

The album opens with “Exit Perfect Mind”, a short and simple ambient synth piece setting the tone of all that follows. Both “Pyrocene” and “Dream Weapon”  feature a thick and heavy drum beat and instrumentals inspired by pop and psychedelic rock traditions. The latter especially drives home the pensive feel central to the work as a whole.

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Zoomin* With Real Estate (*not actually on Zoom)

Photo by Jake Michaels

On March 26th, indie rock group Real Estate put out their new EP, Half a Human, just over a year since their last album. However, those who kept tabs on the band’s pursuits were able to get a sneak preview of the new tracks on Wednesday, March 24th at 7pm ET. The event, Zoomin With Real Estate, was streamed for free on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch — though the musicians were accepting donations via their “tip jar” in the bottom right corner of the screen.

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88bit Proves Video Game Music Belongs on the Concert Hall Stage

Image courtesy of 88bitmusic.com

Pianist Rob Kovacs is a musical chameleon. Both a composer and performer, his past projects have included everything from scoring short films and virtual reality games to playing in an indie rock trio. But arguably the most interesting facet of Kovacs’ career is his alter ego, 88bit, a moniker he uses to create arrangements of his favorite video game music. A Cleveland native, Kovacs stayed close to home for his March 7 concert at Case Western Reserve University, which was presented as part of the Silver Hall Concert Series. Live-streamed from the Maltz Performing Arts Center, the performance was a fascinating exploration of all that both Kovacs’ playing and his arrangements have to offer.

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2021: How Did We Get Here?

When you listen to music, what is the first thing you listen for? Sure, we all try to listen from a macro perspective — yet everyone’s ear is drawn to something different. For some, it’s the lyrics. For others, it’s guitar riffs. But if your ear is naturally drawn to bass lines, Blu DeTiger’s debut album How Did We Get Here? is for you.

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“Proud of Me Now” – Sheff G Album Review

By Milend Kolbet

When it comes to Brooklyn Drill music there are few artists as synonymous with the genre as the massively popular Sheff G. In 2017 he broke onto the scene with his diss track No Suburban, a response to 22Gz’s then recently released track Suburban. Following this initial popularity the hype died down when Sheff G spent some time in jail and other rappers on the scene began to steal the spotlight. However with the release of his debut album The Unluccy Luccy Kid in 2019, followed by One and Only the next year, Sheff G solidified his position as one of the most prominent figures in Brooklyn Drill.

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Confessions without Mercy: Julien Baker Little Oblivions Review

Julien Baker isn’t one to be afraid of her own shadow. After nearly a four year hiatus, her newest album Little Oblivions released February 26 2021 stares right into the darkest parts of herself, each lyric revealing a self-inflicted wound. Baker’s previous albums, Sprained Ankle (2015) and Turn Out the Lights (2017) have mostly layered woodwinds, strings, and vocals on top of her guitar and loop pedal. But this self-produced and self-proclaimed “post rock” album is a new step for the Tennessee singer-songwriter.

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