Music Interviews: A Chat with Romeo, Lead Singer/Guitarist of Reaven.

Would you guys please introduce yourselves and explain your role in the band?

“I am Romeo (lead singer & guitarist of Reaven). At the drums & back vocals you will find Vince. At the bass & back vocals, it’s Rudy. And François is playing the keyboards and do the back vocals as well.”

Where did you guys meet and how did you form this band?

“It’s a long story of love ahah, but to cut it short, we started to make music together at school, years ago. It began with concerts in our hometown (a city called Troyes) for Vince (drummer of the band) and I (Lead-singer / Guitarist of the band).”

What kind of music do you make or would like to make in the future?

“We’re playing pop/rock music with a touch of electro sounds. And I think we will keep playing it for a long time ahah!”

What do you enjoy the most about the process of making music together?

“The feelings and vibes you get while doing it. You know, there is always this moment when you don’t need to say anything, you just look at each other while playing, and you know that this is good. You feel satisfied and unstoppable.”

What are some of your favourite themes to explore through your music?

“I really don’t have special themes actually. I can write about anything. The most important to me is to always try to give a sincere message in my lyrics.”

Who are some artists that you love or who you’d say has had a huge influence on your work?

“We do have a very large panel of influences. Musically, from the Woodstock years, The Beatles etc… to more recent bands like Kings of Leon, Muse etc…
We also have Rhythm’n’blues, classical and jazz influences…”

Where can someone looking for your music, find it?

“Everywhere? ahah. We are on all digital platforms (Spotify, Deezer, Itunes etc…) and Youtube of course. So I guess it won’t be too hard to find us normally!!”

What’s your favourite part about touring/ doing live performances?

“Living an experience. Touring, like being on stage is something unique. Each time it’s different. Different people you meet, different audience each night. It’s a wonderful adventure, and a very special one.”

What kind of message would you like to give your fans, through your music?

“I think I would like to give a positive message. A message of benevolence. We need that more than ever in our world today…”

Where do you guys see yourselves in the future, or what are you future plans for the band?

“On the road, touring worldwide I hope!! We will release soon our new album called “For Tomorrow” and we try to reschedule our tours for 2021.”

Instagram / Twitter: @reavenmusic

Youtube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/reavenmusic

Facebook Official Page:
http://www.facebook.com/reavenmusic/

Press Book Online:
http://reavenmusicworld.blogspot.fr/

Album Review: Folklore – The Quarantine Has Allowed Taylor Swift to Put Out Her Most Mature And Personal Work Yet.

Folklore; Taylor Swift

Rating – /Must listen if you’re a fan./

Taylor Swift – cardigan (Official Music Video)

Folklore hit like a surprise, both in how it was released and the contents inside it. The 16-song album was announced with little fanfare just a day before its release. “Most of the things I had planned for the summer didn’t happen,” she wrote in a statement, “but there is something I hadn’t planned on that DID happen.” The way Taylor Swift tells it, folklore arrived in a rush of inspiration. “It started with imagery,” she wrote on Instagram. “Visuals that popped into my mind and piqued my curiosity.” Less than a year after 2019’s Lover, it marks a departure from the sharp, radio-friendly pop music that Swift spent the past decade-and-a-half building toward.

And this truly album is truly unlike anything Taylor has put out in the past. It is quiet, somber, introspective and very moody. There are no headbangers here, designed to make white girls go crazy in a party, these songs are way more personal and packs a much bigger punch. Her usual collaborators like Jack Antonoff and recording engineer Laura Sisk return in album, but she has also ventured out in look for other more intriguing and indie Collaborators.

There is the song exile, with Justin Vernon from Bon Iver co-writing and lending vocals, which one of my favorite songs Taylor Swift has ever produced. The National: drummer Bryan Devendorf and multi-instrumentalists Bryce and Aaron Dessner, with the latter co-writing or producing 11 songs. As a result, this is the most raw Taylor Swift has ever sounded, and blunt and subtle delivery on the lyrics and songs that are very much indie-folk.

Now, I’m not gonna do a deep dive into the lyrics on each song, trying to decipher every little detail about Taylor’s personal life. To be honest, I don’t really know much about her personal life and don’t really care, and also there are so many entertainment sites doing just that. So if that’s what you want, maybe you should check them out. But, this the most mature lyrics Taylor Swift has ever written, analyzing themes without her heavy pop filter. Don’t get me wrong, these are still songs of white girl problems, Americana, and nostalgia for the past and it has also the style and flair we associate with Taylor, only now, with more weight to them.

I have feeling that without quarantine we wouldn’t have gotten this album out of Taylor. The sort of isolation from the industry and fact she will not have tour with these songs or do numbers on charts, allowed Taylor to take a risk, and put out something has was immensely personal to her. For all the bad things corona virus has brought to us this year, Folklore surely isn’t one. I highly recommend this album, even if you aren’t really a fan of Taylor.

Fav tracks: //the 1/ cardigan/ the last great american dynasty/ exile/ my tears ricochet/ epiphany/ hoax//

Least fav track: //betty//

Blade Runner 2049: What It Means To Be Human.

Alan Turing once said, “Machines can never think as humans do. but just because something thinks differently, doesn’t mean it’s not thinking at all.”
Well, it’s a really pretty quote, except Alan Turing never said that. This quote is from the 2014 movie, Imitation games starring Benedict Cumberbatch. You’ve probably heard of it, it was in the Oscars and got a lot of recognition. But what about the man the movie is based on? Well, not quite. Much like any other person to ever walk the surface of the earth, Alan Turing, the father of Artificial intelligence himself, has been lost in time… you know, like tears in rain.

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But what it is about science fiction is particular that is so keen on exploring the idea of AI, dating back to the original Blade Runner in 1982, that it keeps raising questions like, “Can machines think?” or “Are machines human?”, over and over in the central theme of the story. Maybe, it’s because only by examining the abstract, we can understand the real. We explore the intelligence in machines, to delve deep into the notion of what makes us human.
But to me, the Blade Runner films have never been about whether machines are human, I mean for one, the artificial beings inhabiting the Blade Runner universe are not very machine-like. They always seem to hide a deeper question underneath.


“What does it even Mean to be human?”


The blade runner universe comprises of replicants and humans. The replicants look like humans, talk like humans and probably even feel like humans do, except they are made by humans themselves. So they are denied the right to be considered equal to the humans. Which is evident from how the Blade Runners are hired to “retire” them once they cross their expiration date or are of no use to their creators. The replicants are not killed or murdered, they are retired like an old piece of junk.
Blade Runner 2049 begins with Ryan Gosling’s Detective K, retiring an old replicant. Living in the almost uninhabitable dystopian version of Los Angeles, K is a replicant himself, working for the LAPD as a Blade Runner, following the orders of his human superiors and being mocked and bullied in and out of work. The humans hate him because he’s a replicant and the replicants hate him because he works for the humans, they call him a “skinjob” – probably the the n-word equivalent of blade runner universe, but K seems to have made peace with all the constraints put on him. He’s accepted his position as an inferior being in front of the more superior homo sapiens, and has build his own small world for him, with his partner Joi, a digital AI, yet another type of man-made consciousness. We’ll get to her later.


THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS

Cogito ergo sum.
I think, therefore I am. It is believed only humans are capable of critical thinking, all other animals lack the ability to think rationally. But, the replicants are more than capable of critical thinking. K is shown to be the most intuitive detective in LAPD, and also trusted with the important case of finding out the lost child of Deckard. And K, doesn’t just investigate because he is ordered to, he is intrigued by the the idea of a replicant giving birth. He says…
“It means they have a soul.”
Throughout the movie K is actively searching for the truth, digging deeper to resolve the mystery. He understand the importance of truth, and actively questions his place in this world just like any human being. He believes in the notion of something bigger than himself, he thinks the truth is what will set him free.
Replicants throughout the Blade Runner films are highly sophisticated and empathetic creatures. Take Roy batty for instance, spilling out poetry in the face of death, reconciling with his whole life, going back to his memories. Even K, though played by a very wooden Ryan Gosling, shows a range of emotions. He is in love with his AI assistant, aspires to be something more, feels emotions like sadness, anger and hopelessness, all key to the identity of humans.
One could argue that those emotions aren’t real, they are programmed responses to situations that are installed in the replicant’s software. But how do we know, our emotions aren’t programmed biological responses to the sensory information picked up by our brain. For all we know, love is just a chemical reaction in our brain, how is that different from a computer generated prompt.

MEMORIES

Our memories make us who we are at present. It dictates our beliefs, choices and decisions in life. We grow and build experiences to help us survive in this world, each experience has it’s own importance in our memory, we learn from our mistakes and derive our understandings from our failures. We base our choices on our memories, bright happy memories gives us the pleasure of joy, and we are often reminiscing about them or trying to recreate similar moments in life only to feel again. On the other hand negative experiences, drive us away and fill our heads with dark thoughts, whenever we think of them it pushes us towards depression and anxiety, and we are very unlikely to do things, meet people, or go places, we associate with particularly bad memory.
So an artificial being can be given memories in such a way that dictate their personality, depending on the skills required of them. K’s memory of the wooden horse is a big influence to his rough and tough personality that makes him a detective, fighting to keep what’s his own. Albeit, all these memories are real, they are somebody else’s but to a replicant they are as real as they can get and they don’t even realise they are not real, like K convinces himself that he is the son of Deckard based on his memories. And sometimes they don’t even realise they are replicants, if they aren’t told that there memories aren’t real real, like rachel, or heck, possibly even Deckard. Their memories make them real, even if they aren’t real themselves.


LOVE

Humans by nature are the most capable of love among any other species known in this world. It might be hard to believe that, considering the amount of hate going on around the world right now, but it is true. Human beings nurture and take care of their off-springs like no other, participate in social activities and gatherings, build and break new relationships continuously, and hopelessly fall in love over and over again. Love is the purest of emotions felt by us, and at the end of the day everything a person is fighting for. Can’t the love between two machines be pure? I want to think so. I mean Rachel and Deckard’s love was so pure, it created a miracle – baby given birth by a replicant.
Blade Runner 2049 takes this idea a little further, by adding the character of Joi to the mix. Joi is an artificial being too, but she has no body. She’s like a more advanced, Holographic  version Alex or Siri, a digital assistant that can be a little more than assistant. I’ll be honest, Ryan Gosling’s relationship with Joi in the beginning seemed to be like a real red flag for me. And Villeneuve is such a smart filmmaker, that every time K and Joi share a romantic moment, he cuts back to a scene of Joi being advertised as a sex object, and it fills your brain with doubt and questions. But then it develops into one of the sweetest relationships in cinema history, and the fact that they are not humans or one of them doesn’t have a body never crossed my mind.


SEX AND REPRODUCTION

The Replicants more often than not, are portrayed as objects of sexual fantasy in the Blade Runner films, they either shown as prostitutes or sold off as slaves. Joi is practically marketed like a virtual girlfriend that will do anything you want, like a rpg game. But still, K and Joi overcome all the prejudices of thier society.
The scene where Joi invites a hooker, as host so she can get physically intimate with K, is without a doubt one of the best sex scenes ever put on film, a scene that is by the way very reminiscent of a similar scene from the movie Her. The way the three broken individuals come together to complete what each one them lack, is such a beautiful moment to witness. They are truly whole in this moment, maybe not in the way we understand it, but the feeling cannot be denied.
Sex and reproduction are an undeniable part of the human life, or life of any living organism for that matter. Our entire biology is designed a certain way to facilitate reproduction in an attempt to keep our species alive. It is our way of immortality, if you think of it, passing on the knowledge of our ancestors through our DNA to the progeny. And maybe that is life, passing on, from generation to generation. And that’s why the replicants think the biggest way for them to prove their equality to the humans is finding the child of Deckard and Rachel – a child born out of love, a miracle.


PURPOSE

For Aristotle, writing in the 4th century B.C., being human meant having a telos — an appropriate end or goal.
It is startling that such philosophical ideas were discussed centuries ago, I guess it just goes to show that man is a naturally curious creature, always questioning it’s purpose or place in this world. It is interesting how many actual living and breathing creatures roam around us, without ever actually finding their purpose in life, will they be considered human? I wonder.

K doesn’t have any purpose at the beginning of the film, he’s a puppet to the humans. He just quietly does his work and spends his days aimlessly until he finds himself engrossed in the mystery of Deckard’s child. He believes it is him and assumes his purpose in life. That’s why when he learns that he is not Deckard’s son, all his hopes come falling down. He feels lost in the world all of sudden, like he doesn’t know who he really is. He walks around the streets of LA aimlessly again, as be stands face to face with an hologram of Joi. He’s reminded of her death, and all he has lost to get to this postion. He suddenly finds a new purpose in life,  purpose that he is aware will mostly likely get him him killed, but he chooses has telos, an appropriate end. K might not be born naturally, he might not be a human, but at the end he evolves into something more.

Blade Runner 2049 is masterpiece of the cyberpunk genre, from Deakins’ gorgeous cinematography, to Vileneuve’s sharp driecting and Hans Zimmer’s moody music, it is sensory and visual overload, that can only be felt to be to be believed. It is a film that is not afraid to to take it’s time and meditate on it’s characters and aesthetics, and in the process exploring big questions about existence and life.

At the end does it even matter if something is human, or what it means to be one, as long as we are alive and living happily? There was a time when women weren’t considered human, who knows maybe one day machines will be more human than us. Soon, all of this will be gone and lost forever, only our memories of all that is happening right now will remain. So, sit back, relax and enjoy it all in bliss, while it lasts.

Music Interviews: Fox Violet On Exploring The Subconcious Mind Through Her Music.

Would you please introduce yourself to the readers?


Hi! My name is Thea, my project is called Fox Violet, and I am the principle songwriter and singer.

What kind of music do you make or would like to make in the future?

This project is a blend between indie rock and dark rock pop with dreamscape elements.

What do you enjoy the most about the process of making music?

I really feel fulfilled by writing words that end up as music it truly gives my soul a big drink of sunshine. I love it and it keeps me going during this dark time in the world. The sharing is another core aspect that just makes everything worthwhile..

What are some of your favourite themes to explore through your music?

I love to explore the subconscious mind and subliminal messaging. I am fascinated by subtext and body language by what is not said, by those moments that really go un-noticed; the subtle parts of life that actually when held up under a mirror show us who we really are. I want honestly to create in a way that is not just about me though it may be influenced by my personal experience I want to shine a light out into the world..I hope to create more and more direct music as the goes on.

Who are some artists that you love or who you’d say has had a huge influence on your work?

Radiohead, Radiohead, Radiohead, and Radiohead!

Where can someone looking for your music, find it?
I am on all streaming platforms, so Spotify is the big one, and everywhere else.

What’s your favourite part about touring/ doing live performances?

I love to truly talk with people after a show to get their experience on it, it makes me the happiest in the world when a complete stranger comes up to me afterwards and genuinely seems to connect with what I am making.

What kind of message would you like to give your fans, through your music?

That is 1000000% ok to be weird, embrace your own weird, embrace your differences. It is the differences that will make you and create your own voice, one you should never alter or give up no matter what people expect of you, no matter what is cool or not. Be yourself, the people who don’t like it will fall away, the people who do will come to the front.

Where do you see yourself in the future, or what are you future plans ?

It is hard to answer that question right now with the state of the world being what it is. I just want to keep challenging myself and write music that keeps my integrity alive. Thank you.

Thanks, it was a pleasure talking to you. I’m really looking forward any future projects from you, and will be really excited for them.