February 2, 2017

B Dvine & Various Artists - Dvine Intervention Review

Dvine Intervention, the hotly anticipated mixtape by Long Island resident and beat conductor, B Dvine, is an extraordinary collection of collaborations for hip-hop heads everywhere. Dvine's first exclusively produced hip-hop mixtape is hosted by mixtape curator J-Love, and features collaborators such as Prolifik, Vital, Meyhem Lauren, D-Rugz, and J-Love himself. It’s been a long time coming for listeners and fans to be graced with something as completely Dvine as this mixtape package B has put together. From D-Rugz and Timbo King’s jazzy “The Message” to J-Love’s badass “Fan The Fire” to Vital’s “Smoke Good” with Dvine’s lo-fi guerilla beat, there are sure to be a number of favorites for any listener.

Despite featuring such an eclectic mixture of guest artists, the real star on this mixtape is B Dvine, with all the production flair culminating from his many years in the field of hip-hop. The Wu / J Dilla inspired freshness takes off right from the start, and leaves the listener with multiple irresistible headbangers. Dvine’s natural skill at composing masterful blends of bass, strings, drums, vocals and more is impeccable. There is no instrument Dvine can’t touch and turn to gold.

The only thing that Dvine Intervention could use more of is B Dvine himself in terms of verses. There is a nice self feature in his hit single with Tragedy Khadafi, “Divine Revolution”, where Dvine and Khadafi let loose a fury of lyrical talent that is unmatched and absent from any corner of mainstream hip-hop. Dvine Intervention is a pure form performance of the underground hip-hop movement, and B Dvine is at the head of the wave of emcees and producers that are making an impact. Perhaps one of B Dvine’s greatest strengths is his natural tendency to bring so many talented artists together under one roof. His drive to push beyond the mediocrity and create a fully realized movement through his mixtapes can be felt strongly, as Dvine Intervention certainly radiates an aura of togetherness in a genre that is sometimes divisive and at odds with other artists.

This recent release, paired with the hip-hop mixtape series Rhyme Regulators, makes B Dvine a definitive force in hip-hop to watch out for. After witnessing the track record he has laid down so far over the past few years, it is clear that he is only rising higher in the midst of hip-hop prolificacy.

Dvine Intervention - 9/10

August 24, 2016

Jahan Nostra - ESP Review

When it comes to intelligent, forward-thinking and eclectic hip-hop, the name Jahan Nostra as one of the more prominent emcees with this title becomes a no-brainer. Jahan, having been writing verses and slaying beats since he was a teenager, has already made a name for himself with a number of professional grade albums and releases. From releasing 2012's Bedtime Street album, and after releasing 2013's Sleepwalking LP, Jahan has made moves in directions both up and down the East Coast, touring in locations such as Newport and Providence Rhode Island, Brooklyn and New York City, and Greenville and Columbia in South Carolina. Now in 2016, ESP marks one of Jahan's greatest achievements in hip-hop storytelling and songwriting.

A modern "real hip hop" masterpiece, ESP by Jahan Nostra reminds us the most important thing in the game of hip hop is a love for the art and for each other. ESP, which stands for "extra sensory perception", is probably what we all need now more than ever, as we are thrust into a world full of social networking, smartphones, and news feeds. In only the past decade, society has drastically changed, and the argument for better or worse is yet to be determined, and with the full range of emotions expressed through ESP's mesmerizing 16 tracks, they help remind us that we are all humans beings feeling the common struggle no matter how diverse or intense the experience, and the immediacy of Jahan's lyrics reach straight for the heart and soul.

The albums opening intro track wraps up the mood and tone, and describes the feeling of ESP as a basic summary of life. The first few opening numbers is the true essence of Jahan, with "Welcome Home", a classic new and improved comeback track after the 3 year break from Sleepwalking, "Embrace the Rain" featuring Puma Simone, a reminder to take what life gives and work with what you have, and the change-up mantra of "Vitamin D", which mocks the materialistic nature of our society and puts the essentials of life first and foremost.

"Whole Life (Cruisin')", produced by one of my good friends B. Dvine, and featuring Tone Trump, takes the tempo down a notch to illustrate Jahan's smooth flow, describing life as a ride and a call to go with it in the chase for greatness. However, when "Living Your Life" featuring Omar Wilson comes on, you can't help but feel the chills as this godly track makes an impact on your mind and heart. How many hip-hop tracks are as or more uplifting than the gushing positivity of these men who are no doubt living their lives in humbled bliss? The rarity of Jahan and Omar's sincerity is one of the true standouts of ESP.

The next few tracks also start up another insanely eclectic flow from song-to-song as well, with the anthem of living day to day in "One of Them Days" featuring Rey Vega, a shoutout and tribute to past jazz legends in "No Stress" featuring the prominent Smif n Wessun, the freedom chant of the shiny, synthy "El Chapo" feauring Ceschi, and the will to prevail and survive in this f'd up world that we live in, in "Time" featuring Kyro and Wednesday Atoms. The cerebral moments go on and on with real meaning and no fluff on Extra Sensory Perception.

Jahan is an amazing hip hop artist because he for the most part keeps it positive and clean, which is what this genre needs. It's a rare quality that has the ability to uplift people, and paired with amazing production and lyrics, there couldn't be a better feeling while listening to ESP, which is essentially one of the most human albums in the hip-hop genre. As technology accelerates and forces us to change at an alarming pace, ESP will stand in the years to come as a true testament to the human potential and our shared desire to feel loved and connected to one another.

ESP - 10/10

May 14, 2014

Lots of Changes and Content - Blog Updates!!!

What's up drifters!!? There have been so many changes to DJ Dark Flow and "Adrift In The Airwaves" since my last post on Airdrift Signals a year and a half ago. (:

Since slowing down posting music reviews after securing a full time job in 2012 (all my music reviews for Surviving The Golden Age can be viewed here), I have made myself a weekly 4 hour time slot on WPKN 89.5FM in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Every week, I feature independent and local artists, either through their music, or as live in-studio guests or callers, mixing experimental electronic music, dance music, hip-hop, and psychedelic rock infused with abstract reggae and world styles. 

My guests have multiplied and my phone callers have consistently joined in these late-night ventures through music and commentary. There is a great community group page on facebook where artists and fans can network and share music for submittal to be played or featured on the show!!

Keep your eyes peeled on the WPKN archives for recorded through the weeks (My show is always the first link under Wednesdays, or personally message me to get any recorded show if I featured you or your art in some way. (:

In addition to all of this, I have begun collaborating more with graphic designers, musical artists themselves, over the visual conceptions I have had for DJ Dark Flow and the show. The end results have started to print on my first pressings of posters, stickers and t-shirts!!! You can visit the DJ Dark Flow / Radio store to support my artistic endeavors in music and art as I move forward with my vision. 

As if that wasn't enough, I finally built a custom website for DJ Dark Flow!!! Visit my personal website for everything DJ Dark Flow and "Adrift In The Airwaves"!! Everything is connected through this center point here and branches off from there.... Listen to any one of my many electronic mixes on the home page or read in my about section my influences or extensive biography that chronicles my history of becoming DJ Dark Flow (; Contact me directly through there or visit the online store, or this blog, or the facebook pages!! 

Finally, I have released recorded shows from the past 5 years of the show in its 6 year span in a special internet torrent!!! You can download the torrent containing all of the 146 recorded shows through Mid-March of 2014, plus extras featuring interview clips, guest mixes, and my long missed original radio intro collages through my first few years of the show!! 

Please take your time to check out all of my artistic content, and consider supporting my musical movement of bringing local and independent people and their fans together for a truly remarkable radio experience!! You can either support my Podfund campaign or by purchasing a piece of merchandise that I have worked hard to create (: 

Peace for now, stay in the flow, and until the next blog post (because I am going to start posting more), keep on drifting~

September 10, 2012

The Nomad - Perilous Times Review

For years, Daimon Schwalger, aka The Nomad, has been producing electronic sounds, masterfully mixing elements of dubstep, reggae, drum and bass and electronic music. His unique sounds continue on his sixth LP, Perilous Times, which features a foray of electronic beats spanning many genres that all feel related, and a multitude of singers to give every song a fresh face. The Nomad proves to listeners that they should not expect to hear the same thing twice, as his tracks all bring something new to the table. The dark funky lull of the opening track, “Give Some Love,” resonates with a neo-disco soul similar to electronic dance artist TV On The Radio. The reggae melody that races through “Run Through These Streets” takes surprising twists and turns as Vida-Sunshyne sings, “These are really perilous times.”

After listening through the first few tracks of Perilous Times, it becomes apparent that The Nomad has reached a very impressive level of electronic musicianship, mixing sonic echoes with furious drumbeats and reggae keys; all of this under the strong foundation of the different styled vocalists featured on each track. As Rajah45, who offers his vocals on the opening and title track, spits his funky flow over The Nomad’s soulful buzz, a new era of dubstep seems to be just over the horizon. Blending the reggae vocals with the fuzz of the bass, we hear all these sounds from separate genres of hip-hop, reggae and dubstep, coming together in a brilliant exhibition of future dub.

“We got to be conscious,” sings Jornick off of “Free.” The gentle vibes from Jornick’s voice and the steady electronic beat that The Nomad provides speak a message as universal as the love that makes us all one. It is all very familiar territory for any fan of reggae or dub music, but the duo still makes “Free” a very enjoyable listen that is new for where future dub music is heading.

All in all, Perilous Times covers a load of themes, ranging from the ominous presence of troubled times, the need to run from those troubles, and the freedom that we all share, that lives within us, all the while The Nomad’s reggae-fused sounds, which go from hip-hop to heavy dubstep, all blend from one genre to the other. Perilous Times is an astonishing experience, and a true testament to all lovers of reggae, hip-hop and electronic music.

Rating: 8.2/10.0

Recommended Tracks: Give Some Love, Run Through These Streets, Perilous Times

August 22, 2012

Georgia Anne Muldrow - Seeds Review

From here on out, music reviews that I post on my blog will be a combination of reviews I have written for Surviving The Golden Age and reviews I have commissioned on my own time. For now we have Georgia Anne Muldrow.

In r&b and soul music, nothing has made a bigger splash in recent years than Georgia Anne Muldrow’s new full-length album, Seeds. Produced by hip-hop beat wizard Madlib, Muldrow channels her inner soul and life purpose for the psychedelic array of samples and textures that pass through each track.

Muldrow has been a prominent singer in neo psychedelia and soul music since 2006. Seeds, her 7th full LP proves that she is only gaining momentum. “Seeds” as the opening track keeps Muldrow’s statement direct and full of purpose. “Who is on the lookout for the seeds / We took more than we really need / Protect de seeds,” sings Muldrow with vast, emotional depth. It is easy to detect the fiery passion that rages inside of Muldrow, for her themes in Seeds range from humanitarian efforts to spiritual and transcendental contemplations.

Each song is a testament to both Muldrow’s talent as a singer and Madlib’s talent as a producer, and for anyone who is a fan of both, it is truly a thrill to hear the two of them come together so effortlessly. “Calabash,” the 3rd song on the album, opens with a colorful Motown intro, which quickly cuts to the soft funky jazz samples as Muldrow soars over the beat with her captivating vocal melodies. Even when it sounds like she is improvising with her melodies, she pulls it off with such a natural quality that one cannot ignore the beautiful music that is a part of this woman. “Why do we kill each other / when we’re all the same,” she asks in a hypnotizing loop.

Muldrow’s music and lyrics are full of love, and Seeds contains a very encouraging and enlightening tone throughout. As for the producer side of Seeds, Madlib seems to be the best fit for Muldrow’s vocal style. His bright and melodic samples, ranging from funk, r&b, hip-hop, and soul help elevate the overall musicianship of the album to a very high standard that seems like it would be very difficult to top. “Don’t wait / Been thinking about it too long / We got to elevate and be strong,” sings Muldrow on “Seeds.”

Rating: 8.4/10

Recommended Tracks: Seeds, Calabash, Kali Yuga

January 2, 2012

Music reviews, and writing for Surviving The Golden Age!

It's been a few months since my last review was posted for Avey Tare's melancholy, rhythm induced, watery solo debut, Down There. Since then, I have been active in my efforts to keep the music alive in the absence of my radio show, Adrift In The Airwaves. I have been producing dubstep mixes and mashups and have been trying to DJ in areas around CT where the underground electronic scene has been blossoming.
Very recently, I have been hired for a writing internship to write music reviews for Surviving The Golden Age, an eclectic music blog that specializes in DJ mixes, mashups, as well as hip-hop and electronic music. I decided that I will be posting my reviews for Surviving The Golden Age on Airdrift||Signals as well, and will be including a link to the original post. My first review covers The Nomad's sixth LP Perilous Times, a fantastic tribute to reggae, hip-hop, and dub music. The review goes live on Friday, so stay tuned, and keep on drifting.
DJ Dark Flow~