April 23, 2015

Music Industry Veteran Launches New Music Pre-Production Service For Indie Artists

Boston, MA-April 23, 2015-Long time music industry journalist and webmaster Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck has launched a service to help Indie Artists in the early stages of recording their music.

To date Hannaleck has been involved in three projects with more lining up, from beginning to end in helping artists to create their albums. Tracks are evaluated in their most rudimentary form for the artists. The input is invaluable at the beginning stages all the way to the final mastering and sequencing. 

The process goes through four stages and can last anywhere from 1 to 3 months or longer.

Russ Suereth Commented:  Keith was patient during the initial creation process. I must say that the initial drafts were not great, because I was still trying to find my place within this new space. Keith was there to help guide my focus to an area that listeners were expecting to hear, and once I got on track I was able to take off on my own. Keith helped with a few final thoughts at the end, and also provided thoughtful and detailed descriptions of the tracks. They were very helpful in marketing my music to other people in the industry.

Any artist would benefit from Keith’s insights, experience, and deep knowledge of music and the greater music industry.

Hannaleck currently runs 4 different blogs that concentrate on music, Write A Music Review, Prog Rock Music Talk, New Age Music Reviews and Rate The Tracks. He has been in the music industry for over 16 years and is the founder of the website MuzikReviews.com which went offline last year due to an ownership change. That did not deter the man from carrying on and he continued to be a relevant part of the online music industry contributing music reviews with his staff and posting streaming media and news.

Regarding The Pre-Production Service Hannaleck States-The goal is to provide each artist with an honest assessment of each individual track. A further recommendation for additional instruments or removal of the same helps to make the tracks better in sound and overall texture and presentation. After several iterations of evaluations and short reviews of each track the end result should be a complete album ready for final mastering. My knowledge and connections in the music industry will assist the artist in taking their music to the next level and making recommendations for mastering and publicity.

This Pre-Production service is one that is greatly needed in the highly competitive and at times confusing music industry. Experience, honesty and a straightforward approach is something that is an invaluable resource that any artist seeks. Hannaleck hopes to make this service an integral part of the industry for years to come. All of the sites, social networks and services are available to access on one page at www.muzikman.net

Contact: Keith Hannaleck

April 13, 2015

New Age/Jazz Review: Jeff Oster-Next

Release Date: April 14, 2015
Label: Retso Records

Ever think of what it would sound like if Pink Floyd joined forces with Miles Davis? Well that is the sound of Jeff Oster as people described him over the years. Personally I love both of those artists, they were building blocks to our musical legacy and idolized by generations of listeners. Jeff Oster is an acclaimed trumpet and flugelhorn player that has been bestowed many honors over his career. After giving his new release Next a good listen I can understand why. Somehow he has been able to take jazz, funk, ambient and new age and make it a unique and compelling sound all his own.

As the curtain opens with the title track Oster starts things off in the right way giving the music the direction it needs to capture a listener. Nile Rodgers (Chic) adds his smooth and funky guitar lines to the soothing sounds produced by Jeff’s horn. It just could not have started any better.

As the man says-“If you want to know truly who I am, listen to my horn.” I think that sums it up in one statement and trust me it plays out just like that on Next. Jeff’s flugelhorn and trumpet are brought to the forefront of the music by the talented production hands of Will Ackerman from Imaginary Road Studios. It was mixed by the capable hands of Tom Eaton and then mastered by Bob Ludwig.

The combination of smooth jazz and new age is a compatible marriage of sound and without sounding cliché; it’s like chicken soup for the soul, musically speaking. It’s quite beautiful and picturesque. This music allows you to shape and mold the pictures in your mind’s eye and I can guarantee it will be the most pleasant journey.

“Gardens of Varanasi” invokes a spiritual atmosphere, like an invite to heaven this track leads you down the path to enlightenment. With purpose and direction the music sets you at ease and gives you comfort. What I found interesting was the fact that you don’t have to necessarily be a fan of new age or jazz to find enjoyment with this release. I think the overall presentation has something to offer every one. It was a challenge to choose three key standout tracks because each one was impressive in its own right. My personal tastes were a perfect fit for getting into this album; I love jazz, all kinds and new age as well so it was like putting on my pants every day, it fit.

“I Can’t Make You Love Me” is a delicate and beautiful outreach to that special someone, an invitation to see the other party as they truly are and decide if choosing to be by their side would feel right. If the music has anything to do with that, I am sure the answer would be yes. Everything about the track, the piano, horn, drums and bass invite you in and make you feel right at home, like you belong. In essence all of Jeff Oster’s music is special like that. He has created a masterpiece of instrumental bliss.

Next slides down into your soul like your favorite ice cream on a hot summer day. You feel satisfaction and complete joy. This is relaxation and satisfaction taken to the next level. I am certain this recording will receive its share of attention before the year is through.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Next, Gardens of Varanasi, I Can’t Make You Love Me

Tracks: 
01. Next (feat. Nile Rodgers)  
02. Night Train to Sofia      
03. Gardens of Varanasi      
04. Turn Left At San Pancho      
05. I Can't Make You Love Me      
06. On Mother's Day      
07. Half a Cookie      
08. Ibiza Sunrise      
09. Avenue D  
10. The Mystery of B      
11. Heroes (feat. Jeff Taboloff)      
12. And We Dance

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder

April 13, 2015

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

April 6, 2015

New Age/World Review: Russell Suereth-Spiritual Haven

Release Date: March 14, 2015
Label: Haven Tone Records

Russell Suereth is a keyboardist with a focus on New Age and world music. His new album Spiritual Haven is a combination of classic Western instruments blended with some more exotic instruments such as a duduk, guzheng, grand marimba, koto, oud, krin and ethnic frame drums. These sounds are accentuated by the hang drum and woodwind instruments as well as many others. Original compositions range from spiritual reflection to observation of nature in all of its forms.

“Glitter of Light” is a song based on hope in difficult times. Sometimes I think we are led to things when we need them most and after losing a family pet of fourteen years and dealing with the illness of another pet this past week I believe it. “Glimmer” breathes life via percussive elements, woodwinds, synth and keyboard action that was peaceful and reflective. The rhythms and soft vocalizations were both soothing and uplifting, and a nice trip out of my head for a time.

“Notions Astir” begins with a mellow synth experience blended with clanging that reminded me of banging silverware and frenzied housework on a weekday night. It made me smile and be joyful in the basic things of life.

“Red Moon Rising” compelled me with the title of the song and I was not disappointed. Electronic keyboards and synth bring to mind a large red moon rising over the big night sky. Percussive elements add to the anticipation, along with clanging sounds that reminded me of going sky watching with my husband at the cemetery in Yorktown, Virginia. The big dark sky, picnic laid out (clanging silverware sounds again) and a telescope so you don’t miss a thing.

“The Village Breathes” is the last song on the album. Sounds of water, birds in flight, people speaking and a lovely piano sequence make it one of my favorite tracks on the album. This piece has a more distinct sound that brought to mind the movie The Medicine Man and the villagers working and laughing together as they worked. Exotic world music blends with modern sound to create a visual impression of the South American jungle.

Russell Suereth has captured moments in nature and the human psyche with his album Spiritual Haven. The album moves from one song to the next weaving a spell of modern musical design interspersed with exotic elements and textures. This was an enjoyable album for both its rhythms and sentiment.    

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Glimmer of Light, Notions Astir, Red Moon Rising, The Village Breathes

Tracks:
 

01. A Magic Flight
02. Distant Voices
03. Glimmer of Light
04. Night Dances
05. Swirling Spice
06. Nightingale Rushes
07. Notions Astir
08. Sudden Awareness
09. Red Moon Calling
10. Red Moon Rising
11. Realization
12. The Village Breathes

Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer
April 4, 2015                         
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews


March 28, 2015

New Age Instrumental/Meditation Review: Peter Kater & Michael Brant DeMaria-Heart of Silence

Release Date: March 31, 2015
Label: Sounds True

This is the first collaboration between renowned new age recording artists Peter Kater and Michael Brant DeMaria. Both men have carved out their own niche and are well respected in the genre. The combination of piano and flute coexist with a purpose and meaning on the new release titled Heart of Silence.

The duo refers to the eight tracks as sound poems. Kater’s elegant piano coupled with DeMaria’s Native American flutes is a step into solace and grace found beyond daily life and our surroundings. The tracks invite your soul to find the peace waiting to be discovered, it’s yours for the taking if you let this music look inward. Just relax and let it take you over. This is excellent meditation music however I found it quite enjoyable to listen to without any particular focus, I just took it all in with the realization that I could enjoy it for no other reason than letting the vibrations and sounds soothe my weary mind and give my soul a sense of calm and peace.

DeMaria was inspired to go in this direction after his mother nearly died in his arms. While that is a very sad event in a person’s life I am sure he saw the beauty and acceptance of moving on for his beloved mother and also how blessed he was to be there for her. Life and death is a process we all go through but it is our choice which road we take and how we either embrace each phase of our existence or turn away and refuse to acknowledge the spirit within us all. Most certainly the love a child has for a mother is something special and a connection like no other for all living creatures. I think DeMaria opening himself to that experience allowed this amazing music to be created and has prepared him for when that day arrives when his mother decides to move on. He decided to use a deep base flute that provided a drone like sound comparable to a didgeridoo. That sound projects beautifully and provides a foundation for the rest of the music to gently float over the top like clouds moving across the sky or a hot spring bubbling beneath the surface. It was a choice that was initiated by DeMaria’s experience while his mother was going between the spirit world and her existence her on the physical plane. When he closed his eyes while holding his mother he could see a light and a deep oooommmm sound, a drone if you will. That is how this all came about. He is blessed with the comfort of knowing that his loved one will indeed pass on to another beautiful existence.

I found “Tender Heart” as the most exceptional track. It is moving and spacious as a clear night glittering with thousands of stars. The music is pure like the earth and sky above and the sounds and textures in the track made me feel closer to Mother Earth. We are all here to honor our place on this great planet. All eight tracks are beautiful and serve a higher purpose and all you have to do is listen and find out where it will take you. Each track blends into the next making it a complete and satisfying journey of sounds and atmospheres.

This is the kind of music that is for relaxation, meditation, reflection, recharging yourself and realigning your purpose and meaning. Life holds many gifts for us all but at times we are pulled away from what is right in front of us with our busy lives and pressures of work and all the noise and chatter that can swallow us up if we let it. I choose to survive the day and then let music from CDs like Heart of Silence remind me of who I am and what is really important. Without words music can carry a very powerful message and I am thankful I was able to hear it and grateful for some insight into the lessons presented to one man.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: ALL

Tracks:
 1. Heart of Silence
2. Radiant Dawn
3. First Breath
4. Holding Space
5. Tender Heart
6. Timeless Echoes
7. Midnight Dreaming
8. Awakening

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder

March 28, 2015

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

March 24, 2015

New Age Instrumental Review: Ryan Stewart-One Journey

Release Date: October 1, 2014
Label: Ryan Stewart Music

Ryan Stewart was given the gift of music by his mother. At the age of thirteen, she passed away from breast cancer and the event has forever left a mark on his soul. In One Journey, Stewart’s third album, he explores the continuity of human relationships. Not the type you find online where everyone is so focused on technology, but the kind of real connection you get with the people that make an impact on our lives. This songwriter and composer has a gift of emotional resonance that fluttered through me with every song. Guest artists on the album include: Monte Belknap (violin) and Nicole Pinnell (cello). Stewart has composed works for documentaries and many others.

“Under the Willow” is a meaningful piece for Stewart for multiple reasons. It was inspired by his childhood memories at the ages of twelve and thirteen. He would lie underneath a very particular willow tree and dream. Soft and melodic, the song drifts in like a cloud, swiftly changing to the poignant tones of a violin. The Celtic overtones in the piece bring harp and the beautiful vocals of Stewart’s daughter Aysia. His daughter was the same age as he was when he first found the willow tree so getting her involved in the project was especially meaningful. Wind instruments flex and merge into a composition that is truly breathtaking. Buoyant and full of wonderment, this piece is for all the dreamers out there reaching out to find the deeper things in life.

“Winding Road” begins as a piano sequence and continues as such. The imagery invoked is walking along a well-trod path, as your mind works out the troubles of the day. A steady melody, the piece keeps time as you make your way. With anything, you do not walk your path alone. There are loved ones that fall into step beside you and though the way may wind and at times be unclear, the journey is part of the process.

“Coming Home” is a joyous composition. A cornucopia of sound, this piece encapsulates the joy you feel as you stride across the doorstep of the place you call home. Violins, percussion and multiple instruments swirl together to create an uplifting feeling that is truly infectious. It is bending down to enfold your puppy in your arms after a long day at work. It is the twinkling eyes of your daughter as she meets your gaze or the unconditional love of your spouse. But most of all, it is musical symmetry and the artistry of Ryan Stewart and the gifted musicians that helped to create this piece.

Our life journey is one filled with opportunity and people who make a difference by word and deed. Ryan Stewart found such a person in his gifted mother, a musician who instilled in him a love for the craft. Today he spends time with his family and is thrilled to compose and perform music for multiple outlets. Each song on One Journey is like a vanilla cupcake and a cup of your favorite tea. It just goes down smooth and you never want it to end.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Under the Willow, Winding Road, Coming Home

Tracks: 
01.When We Met
02.Here and Now   
03. Brighter
04.Under the Willow
05.Innocence
06.Old Friend
07.The Portrait
08.Happy People
09.One Step Closer
10.Windows of Time
11.Winding Road
12.Our Story
13.Coming Home

 
Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer
March 24, 2015          
    
Review Provided By New Age Music Review

March 20, 2015

Instrumental New Age/Classical Review: Christine Brown-Souvenirs

Release Date: August 21, 2014
Label: Key Image Music

Christine Brown’s releases go back to 1997. Souvenirs is her tenth proper album.
Right from the first track “Rhythm of the Rain” I could tell that her music would evoke a strong sense of emotions and deep feelings. Although this can be positive or indifferent depending on whom you are, I can honestly say that I believe it will heal you regardless of what emerges while listening. The rhythm she captures is life itself, a heartbeat, a breath of fresh air, or morning dew dripping off a leaf. It is so quiet and delicate yet if you listen very carefully those sounds will surround you in the great outdoors. This album touches upon the beauty and wonder of nature and more.

Christine’s love for the piano started at a very early age and it’s obvious that her love has blossomed into something very special. Her gift is evident on every track of Souvenirs. The combination of classical and new age sets the stage from the outset and what the artist presents is a literal open canvas of life set to music. You are the canvas and her piano paints the broad strokes across the vast horizon of life and emotions.

“Prelude to Sunrise” is as beautiful as the event itself. Christine’s fingers glide across the keys effortlessly as she ushers in a new day full of warmth and light from one of God’s greatest gifts, the giver of life our sun.

“Aqua Abyss” has a dark and pensive side yet it allows the beauty of the music to peak around the corner and invite you in. It is a surprise turn of events on this album and actually sounds like something that could be part of a dramatic stage play like “Phantom of the Opera” or something of that nature. As the track moves on towards the end the abyss turns into a pool of freshly fallen rain. It is one of my favorite tracks because I did not expect that particular pace or harder emotional charge to come forth. The ending was perfect and it brought everything back into balance. Certainly it must have been difficult to play and then the transition towards the end was such a change it really keeps you on your toes!

Every time I hear this type of music it heals me. I was in much need of healing when I listened to this, fighting off a flu that would not go away. It made me focus on the beauty of the music and the powers that are evident in my inner soul. That is not something I think about when I am not well. Healer heal thy self indeed. Thank you for the push in the right direction Chris.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Rhythm of the Rain, Prelude to Sunrise, Aqua Abyss

Tracks:
 

01.Rhythm of the Rain
02.Souvenirs
03.Shiver
04.Prelude to Sunrise
05.Chasing the Moon
06.Aqua Abyss
07.Silver Lining
08.Silhouette
09.Traveling Dreams
10.The Hour Glass
11.Morning Grace
12.Stepping Stones
13.Guardian Angel
14.Cashmere Clouds
 
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
March 20, 2015

March 18, 2015

Featured Track: Fiona Joy-Invisible Train

Fiona Joy has enjoyed tremendous success as a pianist and producer. She joins forces with renowned  producer/engineer Cookie Marenco for her first solo piano album, Signature – Solo, originally recorded in hi-resolution for the audiophile market and one track is presented here in MP3 format for the masses to enjoy.

"Invisible Train" is one of the tracks on the new release. The piano dances and swirls around you and it becomes easy to picture a sleek train rolling down the tracks of your mind. The key is that it's visible only to you, it is what the music can create for only you.

Fiona's fingers bring joy, wonder and the mystery of heaven all at the same time. One listen to "Invisible Train" and you know that she has once again created some magic!

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck Rating 5/5


More About Fiona Joy:

http://www.fionajoy.com

About the Album: Signature – Solo

With this new album, Fiona Joy explores the idea of maintaining magic in our lives, even when life itself gets in the way. Her wistful vocals and passionate piano sing to that small place in everyone’s heart, the place where fairytales linger, and where we find the strength to meet reality with grace. From the delicacy of “Little Star”, the complex rhythms of “'Ceremony”, the sophistication of the title track “Signature” to the deeply emotive solo version of “Grace”, Fiona's writing has been called a cross between George Winston's simple melodies and Ludovico Einaudi's musical sophistication. A solo piano album for the discerning listener, performed on an impeccably-refurbished Steinway from the 1800s and produced by Cookie Marenco for Tiny Island Music (a division of the Blue Coast Music Group).