Dan Caine is ambient/post-rock musician from Merseyside, England. A pioneer in the movement, Caine uses powerful, layered guitar melodies to create an atmosphere of an intense range of thought and emotion as he explores the depths of the human psyche. His music is a free-flow of subconscious urge and instinct; a deep dive into the unhindered world of the Id. Much like a fine wine, these meditative works expose more and more of their depth with each listen, and like a mood ring, they morph and change to reflect the state of the listener perceiving them. Caine’s music is also richly melodic and is layered with vibrant textures, created primarily from his collection of guitars, producing brooding atmospheres and serene sonic landscapes.
The Jackson Pollock of ambient post-rock, Caine is a master of breaking music down to its most basic elements and arranging them in a work of abstract purity. This enables the listener to explore their own connections to the sound and engage with the piece less as a listener, and more as an observer of aural art. His music is broad and guiding, yet flexible and undemanding, allowing the observer space with which to process their own humanity within it.
Dan Caine, born in 1988 in Wirral, England, first picked up the guitar at age 15, inspired by a lot of alternative music, as well as his own father who played the classical guitar. He has had no formal musical training or tutoring, save for being taught a few basic chords from his father. He realized early on that making music was a great way of expressing himself and began recording his experimentations as a hobby. Eventually, in 2013, he published his first album, “Ephemeris”, which was a collection of some of his best ambient pieces that he had made of over the previous years. Since then, his music has evolved and has primarily drawn on influences from ambient, post-rock and new-age music.
The Brothers Moore are brothers Bobby and Billy Moore from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The brothers just released their debut EP, Careless, this month. In 2013, the brothers moved to California to record their first album with a previous band, but due to a family tragedy during the middle of the recording process (both of their parents passed from health issues) they chose to move back home. In 2016, The brotherly duo then cultivated a new sound and acquired partnered musicians Troy Smith (guitar) and Jake White (drums) to form The Brothers Moore. After a series of sold out shows, The Brothers Moore have released their debut EP, Careless. Rising from acoustical side-gigs to a full-on studio band, The Brothers Moore have evolved into a fierce act.
Independent singer/songwriter Kev Minney began his musical career at the age of 30. Battling with a stutter, Kev had to overcome severe stage fright to get performing. Fueled with drive he spent the first two years practicing 6 hours a day before going to work as a guitar teacher in the evenings.
"I have an obsessive nature, when I want to achieve something, I think of little else, everything around me relates to what I'm focused on," he explains.
In 2015, when NASA's New Horizons was broadcasting photographs of Pluto, Kev was hooked. "I was in awe at how science could take us as far as 322 light minutes to the most distant planet in our solar system. At that point it felt like that's how far I was travelling to achieve my artistic ambitions.”
Now in 2017 Kev is announcing his astronomically inspired debut album, ‘Stories of the Sky’ and beautiful video-single "Like I Always", produced by the Mercury-nominated Jag Jago.
"Like I Always" documents the anxiety that affects a person trying to beyond his/her horizons. Minney explores this state of mind and the challenges it poses. He takes a sensitive but positive stance, showing how to tackle fear: resilience and determination get highlighted and their importance is driven home through the chorus.
The accompanying video (filmed by Kenny McCracken) is a visual tour-de-force. Beautifully shot in black and white, the video vividly illustrates the song’s message. Shadow, light leaks and dreamlike blurring evoke the emotions, whilst time-lapsed shots of unfurling flowers show that life finds a way.
The process of creating the album has proved a rollercoaster of excitement, involving collaboration with an impressive array of musicians, video teams, artists and so forth. Without the backing of a record label, Kev worked hard to pitch his project to the Arts Council who granted him an award in 2016, enabling him to make the album independently.
“My whole record is based around space themes,” Kev told Acoustic Presents Mag. "Even though not all of the songs are about a specific physical event in space, I intentionally used the language of science to present an emotional landscape. It's imperative, that our generation finds a way of emotionally connecting with what’s going on scientifically in and around our planet. Emotion is what inspires change."
While the music is important, Kev also believes strong visuals enhance the songs. “The visual has a double impact when folks first listen to the songs. If they can see and hear it, they’ll probably feel it a little more too.”
Tafari Anthony's new single "To The End" was created according to him for anyone pushing to accomplish their dream while working through their own self-sabotage.
"Over the course of my childhood and adolescence, I realized I was gay. I felt pressured by my family and the industry to accept that I would have to become what was expected of a young black man. With the expectation of fitting into the status quo, I focused on a more urban R&B sound, where I began to find some local success.
However, that success came at a price and I found out quickly that hiding my true self from those I loved was taking its toll on my personal life and inevitably my music. I found some relief when I started to meet writers and producers who didn't feel the need to force me into one specific genre but instead encouraged me to discover and explore many forms of musical expression. It was during this time I started to become more comfortable with myself musically, which ultimately lead to becoming more confident in my personal life.
I attribute my recent accomplishments to overcoming those expectations placed upon me by others and I’m grateful for those who helped support me to find the courage and confidence to live honestly with my convictions."
"Leave Behind" is the first single out of Sarah Cripps' new record.
"During the making of this album, I was going through a turbulent transition in my life. I was struggling with the perception of who I thought I was supposed to be, and who I truly am. It left me feeling pretty dark at times. It was making this record that helped me decide I would embrace the darkness and the weirdness. I pulled myself out of the perfect box I thought I had to fit into. I found a way to create my own narrative and not subscribe to the one that is often forced on young women. Although ‘Leave Behind’ is a reflection of losing myself and some of my lowest moments, ultimately, it’s the turning point that gave me the guts to just embrace the weirdness."
Crafting a concept album is an incredibly difficult task. Tying together a cohesive narrative across a record’s worth of songs isn’t just daunting, it’s an endeavour that even some of the industry’s finest have failed to do memorably. This task, however, becomes notably more difficult when you’re dealing in the abstract via instrumental soundscapes. That is what Chronotope Project, the moniker of composer Jeffrey Ericson Allen, attempts to do with his latest project, ‘Ovum.’
NAAL is an eclectic music project led by Chicago composer Dave Mantel. This talented musician has a true passion for great melodies and haunting musical textures. His blend of ambient, shoegaze and experimental drone music feels personal and unique, echoing the work of artists such as Slowdive, Boards of Canada or Sigur Ros, just to mention a few.