Tag Archive: HorizonVU Music

The Willowz
Thrill Me

Visit The Willowz at Facebook and iTunes

California-based garage punk rock band, The Willowz, is back with more of their trademark fusion of punkrock and blues. The trio of Richie James Follin (Vocals and Guitar), Jessica Anne Reynoza (Bass Guitar and Vocals) and Loren Shane Humphrey (drums) haven’t lost their edge and in comparison to previous work, Follin has done a most sound-worthy job of getting the mix to the next level. The album takes off with melodious and catching “Don’t Let Them See” and “Never Let You Go” at just under two minutes offers up a brilliant adrenaline rush. The final track “Lily” is an achievement of richness bolstered by instrumental (string) embellishment. Not to take away from the sheer enjoyment of listening to the album, but you might want to put on a set of high-end earphones and pay attention to the technical work on this contribution.

Black Honey is a forcible indie rock band fronted by Izzy Baxter whose powerful, yet dreamy vocals captivate audiences. The Brighton-based band’s members are Izzy Baxter, guitarist Chris Ostler, bass player Tommy Taylor, and drummer Tom Dewhurst. HorizonVU first got to know Black Honey at their Paris performance in January and the band’s videos have been repeated posted on our social media pages. Black Honey performs Tuesday, 19 September at Paris’ Supersonic. We’re fortunate to have caught up with Izzy prior to the 19th show.

HVUM: Hey, first off, thanks for your time. Let‘s start by talking about one of the band’s power songs that resonates with fans. What can you tell us about “Corrine”? How did it come together?

IB: Corrine is about honouring both friendship and fuck ups equally.

HVUM: We know Black Honey is a Brighton-based band and that you, Chris Ostler, Tommy Taylor and Tom Dewhurst have known each other for a fairly long time. We don’t know very much about you apart from the band. What’s a side of you that most people don’t know about? Give us a run-down on Izzy.

IB: I am a creative so I love to paint and draw. In my free time I give my friends stick and poke tattoos or go around charity shops looking for cool weird things and cult movies. I’m writing a poetry book too, though I think that’s something very typical of me.

HVUM: Did you deliberately point your life’s compass toward music or was it more happenstance?

IB: It was kind of both, I had to work really hard to learn the more technical side of music. I am a slow learner, dyslexic and pretty much have no rhythm. But was completely mesmerised with the emotional draw it had on people and I have always been a very determined person.
It was really no other way for me.

HVUM: There’s a photo of you on Facebook in a jacket with “Problem Child” on the back. Are you really a problem child? How so?

IB: yeah, I’m fucked up. I think that’s ok though, I think everyone is a little fucked up really.

HVUM: Generally, what motivates or inspires you?

IB: I guess it’s all about figuring out the world around me by exploring myself and my surroundings. Artistically I love Andy Warhol, cult movies, seeing the world with my band. I like weird things like guitar tones that conjure memory or beats that feel fierce or twisted.

HVUM: When you perform, what do you want your audience to feel?

IB: I want them to forget all of their worries for a moment.

HVUM: Let’s have a listen to another Black Honey power song, “Headspin”.

HVUM: Critics have praised the song and framing it as Lynchian, meaning something like an uncomfortable sense that you’re in someone else’s dream; the familiar becomes elusive and dark in a weird sort of way. Your view on the song?

IB: yeah that’s pretty spot on, I guess through exploring this weird dark swaying romance I find the colours and the lights in a more honest but complicated way.

HVUM: Technical question…As far as gear is concerned, we see you with the Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster. What do you like about it?

IB: I like that it sounds great, has a tremelo arm, really nice tones on both ends of the pick up switch, it’s light, cheap and sturdy so I can throw it across the stage as much as I want.

HVUM: Finally, if you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?

IB: I think it would be quite fun to push Trump down the stairs or maybe pull his trousers down during his next rally.

Izzy, thanks very much for meeting us. We look forward to seeing you, Chris, Tommy,and Tom on 19 September. We’ll be there in force and for our Paris followers know that Black Honey will be back in Paris 31 October opening for Royal Blood. Well done!


Visit INHEAVEN at Facebook and iTunes

INHEAVEN are a four-piece alternative rock band from South London with members Chloe Little (bass, vocals), James Taylor (vocals, guitar), Joe Lazarus (drums) and Jake Lucas (guitar). There’s just no other way to say it, but this debut album rocks big time! Yes, there’s some shoegaze, but it’s artfully blended with dominant rock and grunge, so it’s certainly not more dream pop and you won’t get sucked into dreamblends of undifferentiated sounds (of which the market offers plenty). The opening track, “Baby’s Alright” offers up an excellent up to now/then statement on American culture which is surely enough to get Mr. Trump raging away on Twitter. Politics aside (not possible, really), it’s a rocker brought to accentuated heights by Joe’s drums, Chole’s bassline, and buzzed guitars. And while there’s been a lot said about the tracks “Bitter Town” and “Regeneration” (neither should be ignored), there’s still a preference here for the uncontrolled agitation of the band’s debut single, “Bitter Town”. Add the album to your collection for it’s social sensitivity and fanfuckingtastic alt-rock.

A must read…Joe Coscarelli, New York Times…
“Rock’s Not Dead, It’s Ruled By Women: The Round-Table Conversation”

“…as we’ve spoken among ourselves about the music that most excites us, we have consistently marveled at how much outstanding rock music is being made by female and non-binary performers who work just below the surface of the mainstream.”

A special multimedia presentation of this story will appear online Tuesday at nytimes.com/music.

The Lovely Bad Things
Teenage Grown Ups
Burger Records

Visit The Lovely Bad Things at Facebook and iTunes

The Lovely Bad Things have released their second album, “Teenage Grownups”, so brace yourself for exceptionally energetic rock-punk-garage. The Lovely Bad Things is brothers Camron (guitar, vocals) and Brayden Ward (drums, vocals), Lauren Curtius (guitar, vocals), Tim Hatch (guitar) and Wesley Baxter (bass). The album opens with a frantic “I’ll Listen” that’s sure to wake you up and keep you listening. The album’s title track “Teenage Grown Ups” is next up and if you’re young and anxious for the future or if you’ve already joined the masses of disillusioned adult office workers, this song has to resonate. But either way join the band in keeping your sense of humour (check out the video). You can slow down a bit with “Cartoon Food”. You gotta love the “woo-woos”! “I Just Want You To Go Away” shows that while the songs are often quite amusing and melodious, the band can also slap you…

“I’m not gonna hide
But honey, you better
Get on a bus go downtown
Get a life

And the boys that hear you sobbing– don’t give a shit
I don’t know what I’m searching for– but I know that you’re not it
Where have you been all my life?– so I know where you can stay
I don’t know what I want anymore– I just want you to go away”

Go ahead and download “Teenage Grown Ups” and enjoy. If it doesn’t make your day better, well sorry, “Get a life”!

Behind the Console: 10 Women Sound Engineers Changing The Game
Guest post by Leticia Trandifir of Landr

When it comes to technical jobs in audio, women often need to work twice as hard.

Not because they’re less capable. Rather, the boys’ club of audio production often doubts their talent to begin with.

Historically, girls have been denied or discouraged from pursuing technical jobs in STEM fields—science, technology, engineering and mathematics. When they do, they’re often held to a much higher standard and expected to continually prove their worth.

But the tables are now turning. How do we keep changing the imbalance—and give credit where credit is due?

Get to know the women who are doing exceptional work—they exist and they’re killing it across genres. Give credit to the work of women working both in front and behind the scenes in audio production. Treat your females colleagues in the audio industry with respect—create a collegial environment. This will inspire a new generation of girls to enroll in audio engineering programs and make tomorrow’s hits.

Meet the visionary women behind the sound of Jay-Z, Prince, Aphex Twin, Brian Eno, Jamie xx, Pearl Jam, Sia, Timbaland and more.

1. WondaGurl

WundaGirl showcasing her Roli sample pack for NOISE & BLOCKS

Ebony Oshunrinde a.k.a WondaGurl is a beatmaker and producer from Brampton, Ontario.

A video of Timbaland in the studio inspired nine year old Ebony to teach herself how to produce. After winning Battle of the Beat Makers at 16, she sent a beat to Travis Scott. Next thing she knew, the rapper was calling to let her know her production was going on Jay–Z’s record next record. WonderGurl became one of the youngest women to have production credits on a platinum hip-hop record— Jay-Z’s Magna Carta:Holy Grail.

Since then she hasn’t been resting on her laurels. She’s part of the crew who made Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money,” one of the Best Tracks of 2015. She produced two Travis Scott records: Rodeo and Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight. She also made SonReal’s “Money Money” and Jahkoy’s “Odd Future.”

2. Susan Rogers

Credit: Larry Crane for TapeOp

Susan Rogers’ first sound engineering gig was with none other than Prince in 1983. After he came back from tour, Rodgers repaired Prince’s tape machine and got his studio up and running. The rest is history. She went on to work on Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day, Sign’O’The Times, The Black Album and others.

Rodgers worked as an engineer, mixer and producer for other artists like the Jacksons, Barenaked Ladies, Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, Violent Femmes and many more.

Recently, she pursued her dream of becoming a scientist. Rodgers got her PhD in music cognition and psychoacoustics from McGill University, exploring the subject of auditory memory. She now teaches at Berklee College of Music, where she runs the Berklee Music Perception and Cognition Laboratory.

3. Mandy Parnell

Credit: Black Saloon Studios

Mandy Parnell is a British mastering engineer who gets visits from the Chemical Brothers, Max Richter and Brian Eno when they want to get that finishing touch on their records.

Parnell hasn’t had an easy time getting there. After running away from home at a young age, she lived on the streets for a while. One day, her friend took her to his workplace: Richard Branson’s Oxford studio The Manor. It clicked instantly, she wanted to be behind the console for the rest of her life.

Her credit list is nothing short of impressive: Syro by Aphex Twin, In Colour by Jamie xx, Vulnicura by Björk, Love Streams by Tim Hecker, Metals by Feist, Drums Between the Bells by Brian Eno, Coexist by The xx, and a whole lot more. Parnell runs her own mastering studio called Black Saloon Studios.

4. Shani Gandhi

Credit: Lacy Atkins for The Tennessean

Shani Gandhi was born in Singapore and raised in Australia. When she found out about sound engineering as a field, it all clicked. “I can take my hobby and my scientific background and put that together” she told The Tennessean. She graduated from the Performance and Sound Recording Technology from Ithaca College.

Look into engineering credits of current bluegrass and Americana artists, and you’ll likely find Shandi Gandhi. Those include artists such as Alison Krauss and Parker Millsap, along with several Sarah Jarosz records. She also mixed Kelsea Ballerini’s hit single “Peter Pan.”

Gandhi’s work was nominated for ‘Best Engineered Album’ at the 2017 Grammys for Sarah Jarosz’s album Undercurrent. David Bowie’s Blackstar and Prince’s Hit N Run Phase Two were also nominated in the same category.

5. Karrie Keyes

Credit: Jill Meniketti

Karrie Keyes has been Pearl Jam’s monitor engineer for two and a half decades. What’s a monitor engineer? The person who adjusts the sound in the band’s monitors for live performances.

Over the years, Keyes’ adapted the design of the monitoring system to make sure the band hears exactly what they want.

As a teenager, Keyes was a punk fan who went to lots of shows. It was at a Black Flag show that she met a sound engineer who hooked her up with a gig.

The constant travelling and her passion for sound is what keeps her going. Her takeaway? “Everyone’s had a mentor, a teacher, a guide” she told NPR. Keyes recently co-founded Sound Girls, an organization that helps train and support women in audio production.

6. Melbeatz

Credit: Franziska Sinn

German producer Melanie Wilhelm a.k.a. Melbeatz came of age in the Berlin graffiti scene of 80’s and 90’s. Her love for music grew out of listening to Grandmaster Flash mixtapes and crate digging on her trips to the United States. Upon meeting rapper Kool Savas, she started getting the hang of hardware samplers.

Her beats ended up on Shadow, Fuat and Kool Savas’ records—all German rap classics. In 2004, she made the album Rapper’s Delight. It featured a mix of German and American rappers like Mobb Deep, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and Tha Liks. It also included the track “Oh Oh” where a young Kanye West raps on her beats.

Her advice? “All you can do is produce, produce, produce. If you really want to be part of the scene, then you’ll make it at some point.” she told Broadly.

7. Crystal Caines

Credit: Crystal Caines

Crystal Caines is the Harlem producer behind A$AP Ferg’s early hits. Both connected on a deep level, and reversed the usual female singer/male producer dynamic. She engineered “Work” from A$AP Mob’s Lords Never Worry mixtape and “Shabba” from Ferg’s Trap Lord.

Caines produced tracks for T.I, Wale, B.O.B, and Maino with her production trio The Understudy.

Crystal Caines is now working on her own tracks, putting out records and collaborating with colleagues like Trakgirl and WondaGurl.

Her vision? “I focus on creating the new and not creating the old… I want to move the culture forward by being who I am” she told HipHopDX.

8. Marcella Araica

Credit: MS Lago

Marcella Araica is part of the select crew of producers, mixers and engineers that Timbaland works with on the regular.

She’s worked on Missy Elliott, The Notorious B.I.G., the Pussycat Dolls, Nelly Furtado, Britney Spears and so many more.

Acraica studied Audio Engineering in Florida, before interning at the Hit Factory in Miami and working her way up to Assistant Engineer. Meeting Missy Elliott and Timbaland was her big break. Engineer and mixer Demacio ‘Demo’ Castelleon took Araica under his wing and became her mentor.

Araica told Sound on Sound: “Recording is an art in its own right, but mixing is where it’s at for me. When I was an intern I would sneak into the studios when they weren’t used and I’d put up anything I could bring in, and I’d just practise and practise and practise. Then I’d go back to my car and listen and I’d learn from that.” Take note!

9. Trina Shoemaker

Credit: Kelly Davidson for Berklee College of Music

Trina Shoemaker is a sound engineer, record producer and mixing engineer with three Grammy Awards already on her resume.

After becoming Daniel Lanois’ apprentice (think U2 and Brian Eno), she got her first Grammy in 1998 for Best Engineered Album on Sheryl Crow’s The Globe Sessions.

From then on, Shoemaker worked very closely with Sheryl Crow, mixing and engineering practically all of her discography.

She also produced and engineered many Queens of the Stone Age records, as well as Shakira, Joe Cocker, Nanci Griffith and countless more.

10. Emily Lazar

Credit: Becky Yee / Around Digital Media

When it comes to Grammys, Lazar has been paving the way for women in mastering. She was the first female mastering engineer nominated for:

Album of the Year in 2012 for Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light
Record of Year in 2015 for Sia’s Chandelier
Best Engineered Album in 2016 for The Bird And The Bee’s Recreational Love
Lazar owns and runs a mastering studio in New York City called The Lodge. She’s worked on more than 2000 albums, with names such as David Bowie, Sonic Youth, Coldplay, Madonna, Lou Reed, Sia and many more.

When she’s not busy making top records sound amazing, she regularly speaks at colleges to inspire more young people, especially women, to pursue a career in the technical side of music.

The Tables Are Turning
It’s pretty obvious that there are tons of women in music who are crushing it on stage. But we hear less about the women doing the technical work behind the scenes.

Changing the male dominated world of audio production and sound engineering starts by highlighting the amazing work that women do in those fields everyday. These women gives examples to look up to for the next generation of girls. It shows them that this can also be you.

The message is clear: women have contributed to this field both in front of and behind the mixing consoles. We want to hear more of them!

Leticia Trandafir
Leticia is a DJ and music maker with a love for 303 basslines. Writer and Community Manager at LANDR.

The Accidentals

Visit The Accidentals at Facebook and iTunes

The Michigan-based trio comprised of singer/songwriter/multi-intstrumentalists Savannah Buist and Katie Larson along with drummer Michael Dause, has released a strong folk-rock album. The songs certainly make for great listening, but it’s important to recognize the technical achievements of the group. Without advocating study of music theory, it’s enough to say that a lot of effort has gone into the construction and delivery of the songs perhaps most evident in “Memorial Day” and “Cut Me Down”. Yes, the end of summer is upon us, but you can extend your holidays at least one more day by downloading “Odyssey” and taking some time to enjoy this LP.

Amy O

Indiana-based Amy O’s (Amy Oelsner) “Elastic” is justly titled owing to the artist’s penchant for out of the ordinary song structures, changes in pace (moving from opening track “Lavender” to “Soft Skin” or “History Walking to “Sunday Meal”, for example) and melodies. The twelve track album is a quick listen with only two tracks (“Cherry Blossom” and “Spill”) running over three minutes. But, the briskness of the album along with the changes in tension and mobility moving track-to-track and the melodic relationships are what makes this debut album work. Oh, it’s a fair bet that there’s a hook or two that will stick in your head. “Elastic” is a worthy debut.

Visit Amy O at Facebook and iTunes

Guantanamo Baywatch
Desert Center
Suicide Squeeze

Visit Guantanamo Baywatch at Facebook and iTunes

Hey dudes and dudettes…Yet another great act in the Suicide Squeeze portfolio, this Portland-based band , Guantanamo Baywatch, really knows how to dish out the surf punk. If you have any doubts just check out “Conquistador” the lead track on the band’s new release, “Desert Center”. ” Jason Powell continues to lead on guitar along with new member Jordan Owen. Yeah, can’t help but think Dick Dale and the Del-Tones and the The Barracudas gone punk. Guantanamo Baywatch does it all, and man, there’s no messing around. Want rhythm? You got it! Chris Scott is together on drums and there is no overlooking Chevelle Wiseman. Ride the wild surf on her bassline. Check out “Area 69”, for example. Go for it – “Cowabunga”!

Double Worshipper
Majestic Litter

Visit Umm at Facebook and Amazon.com

Seasoned musicians Stefanie Drootin and her husband, Chris Senseney, have released “Double Worshipper” offering up an irresistible eight-track indie rock journey. The album opens up with “Black Summer”; a driving rock guitar intro to the duo’s congruous vocals. Experientially, there’s a lulling psych thread that really works in the sense that it’s difficult not to feel contented. That’s not to say the album is in anyway gooey as it most certainly kicks with tracks such as the fuzzy “I’m In Love” and the fast, upbeat “Idiot Child”. In short, “Double Worshipper” stands up lyrically and compositionally making it an exceptional debut for Umm.

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