Those Shadow People – ‘Light Siphon’

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

Last September here on the Independent Spotlight, I lauded the Denver-based outfit, Those Shadow People, for their incredibly inventive music. Their creation, an album entitled ‘When the Lights Go Out,’ not only melded influences in a remarkable way, but incorporated new artistic elements into the equation of an album release, most notably, a comic book. Now, they’re back with a new EP. Let’s talk about ‘Light Siphon.’

The band was kind enough to provide me with a download of their new record even though it’s not yet available. I also got my hands on the new comic included with it, which is issue three. Fortunately for Those Shadow People, I adore comics. So, I’ll touch on the booklet in this review a bit as well. First, though, let’s talk about the new music. The record opens with ‘Balance is Restored,’ a calming, lovely little overture that sets a nice sonic stage for the first real track, ‘Hard Deal.’

In the past, what I loved about Those Shadow People was their impressively experimental nature. They were playing with jazz and indie influence alongside folk, rock, and electronic musings. They are, I’d argue, one of the very few wholly original acts in the independent music scene. That’s a high compliment. ‘Hard Deal’ continues this legacy, I think, though it does so in a different way. The track, which is instrumental aside from some incoherent ramblings echoing about, is rather subdued. Tonally, it’s a start contrast to the intense nature of ‘When the Lights Go Out.’

The second full-length track, ‘Prism Glow,’ introduces the band bombastically with waterfall-like synthesizers and some wondrously catchy hooks. Instrumentally, there is a lot at play here. I’d argue there’s an undercurrent of funk that’s layered upon nicely by electronic themes. ‘Can you feel that prism glow?’ the lead vocalist ponders through a soundscape that’s rather well-produced. I love the synthesizer solos on the latter half of the tune. They’re meaty, intense, and you can tell they’re performed on a real synthesizer, not a virtual instrument.

That authenticity may be worth touching on, too. As an independent critic, I get inundated with bad music. That’s just the nature of things. Often I get fantastic music, too. It’s not often I get music that clicks on the levels that Those Shadow People’s music does, though. Their compositions are intricate, but so comfortable in themselves that they seem simple. I love that. The chemistry is very real and it’s conveyed over the albums. That’s immeasurably important.

‘A Plan Comes Together’ steps outside of the realm established on prior tracks, hitting you in the face with an urgent two-minute cymbal slam before the track ultimately erupts into a cacophony of terrific noise. When the build-up subsides, however, you’re met with one of the most stunning instrumental landscapes you’ll hear in independent music today. Goodness, ‘A Plan Comes Together’ is gorgeous in its second half.

The album closes with ‘Beyond Those Walls,’ a tune that harnesses hints of soul and R&B to craft an excellent composition. The vocal mix of this EP is quite interesting, I think. It isn’t pushed as much to the front as it probably should be, and as a result, the vocals often blend into the instrumentation. I think this is intentional, and I actually also think it’s beneficial. It allows the lyricism and instrumentation to transcend and compliment one another in a most unique way. Typically, I’d have some quips about a vocal mix gone awry, but I believe the one on ‘Light Siphon’ is perfect for what it’s supposed to be.

Now, onto the comic. It’s a hefty offering, clocking in at twenty-three pages in PDF form. (It would be amazing if they did physical copies. They’d be worth getting.) The comic book articulates a story about a portal between worlds that actively creates problems for both of them. (Think ‘Fringe,’ if you ever saw the hit Fox show.) ‘Those Shadow People’ are actually a group of titans of sorts, acting as a pseudo Justice League or Avengers type outfit.

If I was to align Those Shadow People’s comics with comics the public is more familiar with, I’d argue they probably have stronger ties to DC or Dark Horse than they do Marvel. I love the grittiness of some of the characters. Face-painted dudes wielding scythes and pistols, a buff construction worker who fights with an auger, and so on. Those darker themes probably align less with Marvel, the main comic powerhouse people are familiar with nowadays. (Though I’ll concede that ‘Deadpool’ made a strong argument this month for their ability to get outside of their comfort zone.)

The illustrations are lush and beautiful, the story has depth, and the entire comic book is a must-have companion to the new EP. As I expected, Those Shadow People properly blew me away with their new endeavor. Check it out when it drops!

Facebook: http://www.fb.com/ThoseShadowPeople

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ThoseShdowPeeps

Tumblr: http://thoseshadowpeoplescomics.tumblr.com

Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/ThoseShadowPeople

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/nematoderecords

Bandcamp: http://thoseshadowpeople.bandcamp.com

Soundcloud: http://www.soundcloud.com/nematoderecords

AamityMae – ‘Unlove Me’

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In this morning’s Independent Spotlight, we’re shining our gaze on AamityMae, a rising pop artist hailing from Los Angeles. The moniker is that of Katrina Stone, a woman with a simple, but noble endeavor – to create retro pop music with that unique flair and ‘magic’ that’s lost in so much current content within the genre. Her new eponymous record is slated for March 25, but the single, ‘Unlove You,’ is available now. Let’s dig into it.

Pop music is a difficult landscape to occupy. One must walk a thin line between trope-driven monotony and creative ingenuity. Often critics and fans don’t realize the difficulty of penning a good pop song. There’s an art to it. AamityMae has mastered that art nicely, and ‘Unlove You’ is a superb excursion through the potential of her new album. (It’s also worth mentioning this is her pop debut; she’s worked before under her real name and as part of a folk duo, ‘The Likes Of Us.’)

Right off the bat, the track is very well produced. The composition backing her isn’t terribly original, but it’s also elegant in its brevity. It isn’t overproduced or ostentatious. It’s atmospheric and complimentary of AamityMae’s presence. Her hooks are infectiously catchy, the lyrics are quite tactful, and the vocals are worth writing home about, too. AamityMae isn’t bombastic. She has a perfect mix of softness, rawness, and personality.

AamityMae has definitely achieved her retro endeavor, but I’d argue the song is also freshly contemporary as well. There is a balance there, something that’s even showcased in her official music video – a psychedelic 80s-esque romp through heavy overuse of video effects. Surprisingly, the video doesn’t feel kitschy or forced. AamityMae has a comfort in her own sound, and that comes across.

‘Unlove You’ is quite a good pop song. It walks that aforementioned line well, and ultimately lands itself on the more creative side of it. It’s a simplistic song, but it does have its distinct flair. If it’s indicative of the Californian’s entire record, it’ll be a pursuit worth checking out when it drops this coming month. Spin the music below and follow AamityMae online.

https://www.facebook.com/aamitymae/videos/198862393804773
www.aamitymae.com

www.facebook.com/aamitymae

www.instagram.com/aamitymae

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/aamitymae/id1086744648

King Saylee – Three Of His New Tunes

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In this evening’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on a promising independent hip hop artist, King Saylee. Saylee describes himself as an “infinite artist,” meaning he isn’t constrained by labels or limits. He started work as a producer for several independent endeavors last year, and now in 2016, he’s going hard with his own solo work. He’s the vocalist, the songwriter, and the producer. So, let’s talk about a selection of his new tunes.

The first track we’re going to take a peek at is ‘Keep Going.’ It establishes Saylee’s style well – sharp production, sly lyricism and vocal delivery, and thick beats. For a guy who’s only been on the map for the last year or so, he’s one hell of a good producer. I thoroughly enjoy how he handles his vocal mix. He plays with autotune in a creative capacity, reminiscent of musings Kanye West pioneered back in 2008. He does this to great success, and I love the places his vocals ascend to on ‘Keep Going.’

‘No Regrets’ is a far superior track to ‘Keep Going,’ I think, showcasing King Saylee’s ability as a wordsmith and rapper. His fast-paced delivery elegantly dances with his R&B vocal stylings. The lyricism is surprisingly excellent despite covering rather stereotypical territory. (The whole ‘you only live once’ shtick is old hat, but King Saylee’s take on it is so fresh that’s fantastic.)

In some ways, the three tracks we’re covering of Saylee’s act as an artistic journey of sorts. The final track, ‘Groove Baby,’ fully executes a hip hop vocal delivery style that’s dabbled in on the previous two tracks. I love this for several reasons – ‘Keep Going’ introduces Saylee as a powerfully soulful vocalist that toys with autotune to great effect. ‘No Regrets’ hints at his ability to shine in several other facets of hip hop. Then, when you hit ‘Groove Baby,’ he bombards you with that talent.

The way King Saylee plays with his vocals and autotune, is again, very similar to Kanye West. ‘Groove Baby’ sounds like it could be a track off of ‘Life of Pablo,’ and I consider that a compliment despite how frustrating the release of that record has been. King Saylee is a natural and a wonderful talent. I’ll be first in line to hear a full record.

www.KingSaylee.com
www.Twitter.com/kingsaylee
www.Facebook.com/kingsaylee

Vince Adams – ‘Rain or Shine’

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

A little over a month ago, I reviewed a selection of tracks from ‘Rain or Shine,’ an upcoming studio endeavor from the independent singer songwriter, Vince Adams. Since then, he’s released the full album which includes eight more songs. We’re going to be digging right into it here on the Independent Spotlight. Does the full album stack up to the promise of the pre-release singles? Let’s find out.

The album opens with ‘Red Brick Lipstick,’ a single that I reviewed last month. I’d like to cite my original review below, because it still stands true….

‘Red Brick Lipstick’ exhibits a few intriguing things about Vince Adams. Namely, his production is quite exceptional. He’s got a very sharp band, they’re absolutely in step with him, and the entire mix is well organized. No instrumentation feels overpowering, the vocals are mixed at a proper level, and each performance is redeeming in itself. This is an impressive accomplishment worth lauding, because quite honestly, independent music has a penchant for shoddy production and sketchy mastering jobs. If Adams recorded in a studio, it sounds like it, and if he didn’t, it’s even more impressive.

I particularly like that Adams opened the album with this song. It’s upbeat, infectiously fun, catchy, and especially well produced. This sets a strong precedent for the collection. The following track is ‘Drinking About You,’ another tune I’ve previously critiqued. It’s equally as excellent as its predecessor, and does a fine job portraying difficult emotions in a relatable soundscape.

‘Higher,’ the third track on the album, is the first exhibition of new content from Adams I’m exploring. The track is well executed, but it does fall a bit short after the two songs it follows. Adams’ music is pop rock with a contemporary singer songwriter flair. The problem with that is that it can prove formulaic if an artist gets stuck in their comfort zone. ‘Higher’ doesn’t bring anything new to the table.

The idea of being formulaic is something I think Adams may struggle with in his endeavors. As I mentioned last month, he does market himself in the vein of a “top forty country artist.” That is, by nature, somewhat predictable. As I also said last month, though – there is a place for this kind of music. It’s pick-me-up music that’s perfect for blasting out of car stereos on hot summer nights. ‘Love Is Gone’ does a nice job separating itself from ‘Higher,’ digging even deeper into some harsher emotions.

‘Rain or Shine,’ the titular tune, is another solid example of Adams’ productional prowess. Even on tracks I’m more critical of, I do acknowledge that his productions are exceptional – they’re some of the cleanest, most organized events in independent music. In addition to that level of production, however, the lead single is wonderfully refreshing. Adams can write a hell of a pop song. ‘Rain or Shine’ is a showcase of that.

I’d like to share another segment of my previous interview that covers ‘Ain’t It Funny,’ the sixth track on the album. I still think it’s one of the better tunes on the record….

‘Ain’t It Funny’ feels like a spiritual successor to ‘Red Brick Lipstick’ aligning closely with that happy-go-lucky pop-ified country sound. I actually think ‘Ain’t It Funny’ is a much better track for a number of reasons. First of all, its chorus hook is absolutely fantastic. It’s still not exceptional writing, but it is good pop writing. There is an art to writing catchy, likable hooks. Seriously, it’s a very difficult thing to do. I’ll definitely give Adams credit where its due in that regard.

‘Trouble’ is a very weak lyrical effort. “The trouble with trouble is that I love trouble too much.” At this point in the album, Adams does get a bit set in his ways, too, which doesn’t do tracks like ‘Trouble’ any favors. It sounds exactly like the songs that came before it. Fortunately, ‘Stay’ offers a stark contrast immediately after. I remarked last month how I thought that Adams would be accented beautifully by a more minimalistic production. ‘Stay’ delivers nicely on this, though I wish it was even more barebones.

The final three songs on the effort, ‘Drink the Water,’ ‘While You’re Here,’ and ‘I’ll Be Alright’ are a bit of a drag. They’re very low substance and as a result, they all blend into one another. This is a classic case of an album being four or five songs too long. Adams had a strong EP offering here – four or five songs. Extending it to eleven makes the album ultimately feel like it’s running in circles around the same themes and sonic explorations.

Vince Adams has the potential to be a really interesting and inviting independent artist. Right now, he’s got some killer pop hooks, great production, and equally excellent presentation. The problem, though, is that he circles through the same ideas and sounds. Furthermore, some of the music is so commercialistic, that it doesn’t feel like an earnest offering of his talent. It feels like he’s cashing in to get spun on commercial stations. I hope in the future Adams weighs substance more heavily in his work. He has the talent to make that happen. As it stands, ‘Rain or Shine’ is a peek at potential significance with a few terrific tunes.

Rick Kraich – Five Of His New Tunes

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In this edition of the Independent Spotlight, we’re going to be shining our gaze on a selection of tracks from Rick Kraich. The independent artist hails from Colorado and will be releasing his latest studio work on March 12. His signature country pop style has aided him in becoming one of the more notable indie artists in his area. How do his new tunes stack up? Let’s find out.

Kraich’s music dabbles in country and rock musings, but at its core, I’d argue it’s primarily pop. This isn’t a bad thing. Kraich’s style is infectiously catchy and there’s a very special art to writing good pop music. Quite seriously – attempt to write a solid pop hook. It’s difficult! His lead single, ‘My I’m Sorry Song,’ exemplifies this talent of his. The track is anthemic in nature, and you’ll be humming it long after you first hear it.

The new tracks Kraich is promoting are primarily love-oriented. ‘I’ll Never Say Goodbye’ is a stark contrast to ‘My I’m Sorry Song,’ at least, contextually. It’s a beautiful little pop love song. I thoroughly enjoy the soft steel guitar musings in the backdrop of the track – that’s the sly country influence dabbled throughout these tunes.

‘Til The End Of Time’ isn’t quite as strong. It’s riddled in lyrical cliche, something that Kraich does struggle with throughout his music. The song does offer an entryway to discuss that, though. When you’re performing pop music, you walk a thin line between creative expression and predictable monotony. ‘Til The End Of Time’ is the latter. ‘My I’m Sorry Song’ walks alongside the former line. Kraich’s music does frequently occupy trope-laden territory. ‘Life Still Goes On’ does this, too.

Instrumentally, ‘Changes and Chances’ offers a few more layers than its predecessors. It’s worth noting that Kraich’s production is incredibly good. Everything is mixed perfectly; he’s well accented, and the backing band is exceptional. The composition of ‘Changes and Chances’ highlights this better than some of the other tracks, and the lyricism feels more dynamic than predictable songs like ‘Til The End Of Time.’

Rick Kraich is a very talented artist, I think. One chock-full of potential. I’d argue several of these tracks are forgettable romps through cliche, though. He needs to watch that line between his own creative direction and rehashing stereotypical lyricism and ideas. When he does reach outside of that comfort zone, however, he’s a strong artist. I’d be interested to see him experiment outside of that space more.

www.rickkraich.com

Mike Frahm – ‘Patterns’

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

As a professional critic, I delve into an immense variety of independent music from all around the world. In this review, however, I was met with a particularly intriguing musician – Mike Frahm. The multi-instrumentalist and lifelong drummer has been hard at work in recent years, touring very extensively and recording music of his own. (Along with some truly exceptional covers.) He’s a percussionist well-versed in nearly every genre thrown at him, so one should always bear in mind his availability as a potential session musician.

This Midwestern musician/workaholic’s new EP is ‘Patterns,’ a dynamic three song outing that delves into some compelling territory. The release is on the heels of Frahm’s endorsement deal with the Minneapolis based Risen Drums and his active tour throughout a few midwestern states. ‘Hypochondria’ dives into Frahm’s sound in a brash excursion through hard rock. The mix is interesting, because Frahm plays with the panning of his drum kit and the guitars. (In laymen terms – listen to this music with both earbuds in to enjoy the excellent production.) If anything, ‘Hypochondria’ proves Frahm a hard rocker that can superbly piece together a coherent sound that sounds a whole lot like an active band rather than a multi-instrumentalist.

The atmospheric ‘Bupropion’ boasts some mean electric guitar riffs along with some further pursuit of different production styles. I love the mid-section of the song when it drones out into oblivion before smashing its way through your speakers with some of the most infectious guitar riffs on the whole record. ‘Bupropion’ is arguably the best song of the three.

That isn’t to say ‘Mitochondria’ isn’t a killer effort, though. This song rocks harder than the other two combined, rising like a bat out of hell with attention demanding guitars, endless distortion, and explosive nature. The song is so intense, it doesn’t feel like it really finds its way as a cohesive piece – rather, it feels like an intense outro after digging through the first two tunes.

‘Patterns’ seems to be Frahm’s musical playground. It’s chock-full of experimentalism and I love that about it. All three of the tracks are lovable for their own reasons, and Frahm does an elegant job of harnessing a huge sound out of himself and himself alone. That’s an admirable effort, one that will no doubt expand into some crazy territory as he continues to experiment in the studio. ‘Patterns’ is worth the time of any rocker who enjoys some solid instrumental pieces mashed with hard rock, grunge, and prog influence.

Check out his music: http://mfrahm.com/

Space Taxi – Tour Update

Several months ago in December, I gave Space Taxi, an international group with remarkable versatility, a very positive review. The group, which is based out of Barcelona, is now preparing several more tour dates. This is an update for that tour and to read the original review of their record, ‘Cheeney Bear and the Spaceman, click here.

Upcoming tour dates:

March 12th, El Paraiguas – Barcelona, ES March 13th, Bodega La Riera – Barcelona, ES March 17th, Hard Rock Cafe Barcelona March 19th, BlackLab Brewhouse – Barcelona, ES March 31st, Bodego Salto – Barcelona, ES.

Curtis Lee Putman – The Man Indie Country Needs

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In this evening’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we’re going to shine our gaze on Curtis Lee Putman, a long-time indie music veteran with an extensive resume in the industry. Now residing in Montgomery, Alabama, the songman is fairly multifaceted. He’s a songwriter, performer, and owner of a label, CLP Music Productions. He’s currently raising awareness of his music to move forward with producing his debut studio album. Let’s dig into the tracks he’s put out thus far.

I must be blunt: I adore Putman’s Americana style. As readers of the Spotlight are very well aware, I have serious issues with contemporary Americana and country. It’s become pop music with a twang, entirely separate of its roots in the worst way possible. Putman’s music is a breath of fresh air within that space. His music is reminiscent of the strongest country performers of the twentieth century. He throws some other influences in there, too, making his act particularly delightful.

Take ‘Tall in the Saddle,’ one of his original tunes. It’s built around very bluesy musings. On top of them, Putman piles on heavy doses of Americana, country, and deep, baritone vocals. The man’s got one hell of a set a vocal chords. The lyrics are great, too, and they’re based on “an incredulous but true story about Putman fighting wrongful criminal charges.” (Note that in a previous publish of this story, it wasn’t clear that Putman was the one arguing the charges were not valid. The Independent Spotlight doesn’t have any official opinion on that. We review music here. Thank you!)

Putman must get it regularly, but I’d remiss if I didn’t equate tracks like ‘One More Dance’ to Johnny Cash. He’s not just vocally similar, but thematically he aligns with the Man in Black.

To put Cash aside, though, let’s move a few decades back: Hank Williams. The record that hooked Putman on his life’s ambition was ‘Lost Highway.’ He was five years old. That Williams influence is abundantly apparent all these years later. One of Putman’s more popular tracks, ‘It’s Over,’ is splendidly infused with Williams’ style. It’s good, traditional country that dabbles in contemporary stylings to remain surprisingly relevant in a modern scene. That’s very admirable.

I’ll make a bold statement, though. Even those well-performed tracks pale in comparison to ‘Curtis Lee’s Blues.’ When this man goes toward delta blues, he’s unstoppable. The track is so genuine, so raw, and so passionate. It’s truly exceptional. There aren’t enough artists taking a shot at those delta stylings nowadays. Goodness, the track is straight out of the Robert Johnson songbook. (It sounds like it, at least.)

Curtis Lee Putman is a very promising artist and it’s about time he got his due. I can’t wait to hear what kind of record he puts out. I do hope that he compliments tracks like ‘It’s Over’ with tracks like ‘Curtis Lee’s Blues.’ They can live in harmony nicely, and flesh him out as a very substantial performer.

www.curtisleeputmanmusic.com

www.curtisleeputman.com

www.clpmusicpromotions.com

www.facebook.com/cleeputman

Review – Jaime Villarreal

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In this evening’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, I’m going to be delving into a different type of review than I typically pen here. Jaime Villarreal, an incredibly talented guitar instructor, has quite the online presence. He has a modest YouTube following, several professional endorsements, and he offers his services via Skype – gone are the days of settling for the guitar teacher you found on Craigslist. So, let’s dig into Villarreal’s persona and his talent.

I wasn’t entirely sure where to start when critiquing an instructor. Then, I spent an hour on Villarreal’s YouTube channel. I want to touch primarily on the exhibitions of his talent over on that platform, because obviously, I can’t speak to his ability as an instructor. Donning a variety of Ibanez guitars, Villarreal shows off his chops through an array of metal covers. His production quality is fantastic, he plays with a solid backing track, and on occasion, includes multiple guitar performances and layers them.

Covers like Villarreal’s Whitesnake solo are excellent excursions into his talent, but they’re also very short lived. There’s a lot of that on his YouTube channel, and if I was to offer a critique, I’d argue he should spend more time covering longer pieces. Sixty second tidbits are fun, but lack the replayability or substance of a fuller cover. Villarreal, however, does do exactly that here and there. He has a nice Journey cover with the vocalist Addie Nicole. (Which is a heavy compliment. As Spotlight readers know, I really dislike Journey.) The cover is far too safe, though. The art of a good cover is taking the song in a place the original artist did not – Villarreal and Nicole don’t do that.

Moving forward, I’d love to see Villarreal delve into more creative musings. Right now, he’s showing off some excellent, very true-to-form covers. For example: a fifty second cover of the solo from ‘Jump’ is pretty cool. It would be ten times more compelling if Villarreal covered the whole song, or drastically changed it. He has the talent to take creative license – he should.

I was contemplating also arguing that Villarreal’s range is pretty set within hard rock and metal. I think that’s actually the point, though, and I don’t think you’d be hiring him for lessons if you were trying to learn something else. So in reality, abiding within these spaces may prove beneficial for him because he’s carving out a niche rather than spreading himself too thin.

Check him out on his website below where you can easily find all his other links or hire him!

http://www.jaimevillarrealguitar.com/

The Funky HomeBoyz – Press Release – February 16, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE – FEBRUARY 16, 2016

The Funky HomeBoyz To Release New Mixtape This Friday

The Funky HomeBoyz, a hip hop duo hailing from Queens, New York City, is preparing to drop their most recent studio endeavor this Friday, Feb. 19. The mixtape, entitled ‘That Funky Hip Hop,’ will be available on SoundCloud for download upon its release. The duo, which consists of two cousins, Lashaun and Sean, are often referred to as the “Rap Attack Cousins.”

The Funky HomeBoyz harness an old school freestyle rapping method in their work. They say what comes to their minds in a unique form of free expression akin to classic hip hop. Their music, one could say, is an elegant combination of old school freestyle and modern swagger. The producer of the project, SeanKev, was instrumental in crafting the wholly original, contemporary landscape of ‘That Funky Hip Hop.’

The Funky HomeBoyz come from an era of real hip hop where the fundamentals of freestyle are firmly rooted in spontaneous expression. (They don’t have to write anything down; their music flows naturally and freely.) Their beats, crafted by SeanKev, are created with that killer, much beloved ‘analog sound.’

The outfit embodies the modern ‘underground’ movement. They strive to be “ghost rappers unseen.” This means there aren’t any photos or videos of them. They’re behind the scenes rappers – a ghost story of sorts. The real experiences of the New York City streets infuse their influence into The Funky HomeBoyz’ style of rap, too. They’re a duo that brings that raw essence of freestyle rap to the forefront of their music with hard-hitting, intensely funky beats and production.

Within the mantra of their underground style, The Funky HomeBoyz are, in a way, “unexposed to society.” The levels of their art remain unaffected by it, contained only to themselves, and their vintage 80s hip hop style is masterfully melded with suave, contemporary musings to create a fresh experience unlike any other.

Fans can follow The Funky HomeBoyz on SoundCloud to keep tabs on the release of ‘That Funky Hip Hop.’ The album is slated for this Friday, Feb. 19.

Follow the duo on SoundCloud here.