Album Review (Rushay Booysen – PE)

posted in: The Journey, The Music | 0

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a review. I’m back with some more Summer 196 love. The last review was by Nadia from New York, this time we move back to SA with Rushay Booysen. I don’t change these reviews in any way. I copy and paste them as I receive them. So here is Rushay’s review —->

I’ve been graced with a long overdue taste of your debut album
“Invincible Summer” ,A delightful twelve track album that delivers on a
lot of highs. I’ve got to say this about your album its simplistically
graceful and delivers a musical punch.The album also manages to strike
a balance between production and vocals.I was extremely awed by the
slick production and how you maintained a message when the music could
easily have overshadowed your vocals and ultimately your message.Black
Porcelain manages to create an album that is musically and visually
appealing

Correct me if im wrong but this is a musical diary,written,compiled
and delivered by Black Porcelain! I can title this album jazz,soul,pop
but i would rather label it music cos it appeals to any person that
appreciates good music.There’s a number of standout tracks that caught
my ear but i will focus on “Hot Pink” a banger that could lace any
dance floor at Ministry of Sound or Pacha.I love how you able to
navigate through emotions and how well the tracks balance each
other.My favorite track on the album is  “Johnny” this piano laden
track also exposes Black Porcelain’s vocal range,while expressing some
heartfelt emotion over this “Johnny”.Without saying too much,purchase
the album and put on your Skullcandy’s

-Rushay Booysen

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Look at those eyes. Are those they eyes of a liar? NO! Rushay is no liar, so you better get yourself a copy of Invincible Summer
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That hat is EVERYTHING!!

The album is available from iTunes or you can get it from me and I will post it to you.

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Album Review (Nadia Neophytou – New York)

posted in: The Music | 0

And we continue with the reviews… This time it’s a review from Miss Ntertainment herself all the way from New York. I’m expecting a review from Scotland and Tasmania soon. Yay Summer 196!

Black Porcelain’s debut album Invincible Summer is a mix of all the things that make a woman – tears, laughter, confidence, doubt, and so much more. Carol Mashigo has taken advantage of the times we live in, taking her music career into her own hands. She recorded the album herself, is sending it out across the world and isn’t taking no from radio stations for an answer. Her tenacity can be experienced in her music too. Opening track ‘Today is the Day’ is a melodic intro into the kind of woman and singer Black Porcelain is. Yes, her voice may be sweet but to the man who wronged her, ‘you’re no good, so it’s time to ship out.’ Her vocals may be honey-like, but the message is clear: there’s no beating about the bush, no matter how good it looks. And so it is for the rest of the album. As Black Porcelain makes her way through a variety of genres – smooth jazz, a bit of Afo-soul, pop – she lets you know exactly how she’s feeling. And that through it all, there’s a time for everything: ‘Aching Head’ let’s you know it’s not going to happen tonight, while ‘Hot Pink’ is a call to just give it all up to the beat, no matter how you’re feeling. 
‘Johnny’ is a stand-out track – surely one to move even the hardest of hurt hearts. Kudos to Black Porcelain – long may she sing!
- Nadia Neophytou – (New York)
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Nadia is an entertainment journalist who has interviewed some of the world’s biggest stars. I am completely envious of her. Check out her interviews etc over at Miss Ntertainment.
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Album is available via iTunes, at The African Music Store and you can buy it HERE for me to send to you via post. Whatever works for you :)

Album Review (Anouschka Slager – Haarlem)

posted in: The Music | 0

I do apologise for the silence. I had to deal with some things that could not be avoided. But I’m back with a brand new review from summer 196. Quick recap: Summer 196 is my crazy idea to get at least one review from all the countries in the world this year. So far, so good. Check out the other reviews HERE.

The first time I met Black Porcelain (Carol Mashigo) we where working on a project called Golden Arrow Magazine circa 2009. I could quickly tell this lady means business and her album Invincible Summer takes you on a journey filled with Afro Nu-Jazz, soul melodies and lets not forget that healthy helping of no nonsense lyrics.

What Black Porcelain managed to include are all of her self-motivated influences, which gave the album depth and a bird’s eye view into the past three years of her life. Due to this true-life aspect most of the songs where melancholy of timbre but after reading the CD sleeve it put things quickly into perspective. 

“Slip” featuring Richard the Third was a brave metamorphosis and one she pulled of successfully. This is my favorite track and shortlisted on my iTunes Library.

Miss B P continues to voice the things we wish to say. Much love. A

-Anouschka Slager (Haarlem, the Netherlands)

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Anouschka is originally from Cape Town but is now living and studying in the Netherlands. She is an awesome musician and lover of the music industry. One of these good days she is going to join Team Black Porcelain for reals ;)

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You can buy the album via PayPal and it will be delivered to you or can get it on iTunes. More info HERE.

Album Review (Chris Born – Maputo)

posted in: Fun and Games, The Music | 0

Summer 196 continues. What is Summer 196? Its me trying to get at least one review from all 196 countries. So far, so good. We’ve done South Africa and Switzerland. This time, we have someone from Mozambique. And that someone is Chris Born :)

A few years ago, I worked with Black Porcelain on ‘Green’, a bedroom collection of eclectic, breezy pop songs – the kind of fuzzy feelgood music that doesn’t take itself too seriously.  I use ‘bedroom’ quite literally here; it was a home studio affair plagued by barking dogs and a series of freak equipment failures that I prefer not to revisit.  I do look back at this early work with great fondness but have often wondered, as any self-loathing producer would, what Black Porcelain’s compositions would sound like in the splendor of a professional studio. Fortunately for me, this album looks to be just that:  A polished, well-produced pop album that gives us Black Porcelain as she deserves to be heard.

On the surface, “Invincible Summer” plays through like a greatest hits compilation with each song imparting a unique feel, in some cases even sounding like they’re from different eras or countries. Genre bouncing is a challenging proposition for any artist, but where many albums come unglued, Invincible Summer finds its bonding agent in Black Porcelain’s smooth, buttery vocals, teasing harmonies and lyrical pique.  Pairing up with producer Mark Goliath pays dividends here – his arrangements are articulate, well-structured and sensitive to her playful phrasing. With his prolific session background, I’m not surprised to find the instrumentation richly layered and sweet on the ears; an ideal bed for Black Porcelain’s soulful musings to toss and turn in.

Of course I have my preferences, one or two that didn’t really do it for me, and a good number growing on me with each listen. “Hot Pink” is an immediate favorite, a clubland romp lamenting the misery of day-to-day life before leading into an opulent chorus a la “We Are Family”. The lyrics are suggestive, Minoguesque (if I may, an ugly word for something youthful and joyously seductive) with soaring disco synths and superb harmony work. I’ll admit the song lured my imagination through the doors of an exclusive gay club. If I do finally attend such an event, I’ll be very surprised if this song isn’t playing.

“Perfect Lie” follows suit with an unapologetically synth-laden, uptempo pop epic. In some ways, this track emerges truest to the album’s title. I felt privy to love-struck girl chat here; it’s cheeky, brimming with pride, and like a tip of the hat to the divas before her, makes sure to mention how long Mr. Perfect can last between his kitchen and cleaning duties. With my personal allegiances to pre-1976 blues, funk and soul, I couldn’t help feeling really guilty for loving this one!

Other notable tracks include “It’s not News” a piano-driven R&B ballad I could have sworn was released in the early nineties – a good thing when you consider the gems of that era: early Mariah, Tony! Toni! Tone!, Ms. Braxton, Boyz II Men, Mary J., SWV, Badu, Janet and so on – without question a golden era. Black Porcelain captures this sultry urban vibe beautifully and had me reminiscing right away. “Time for Heartbreak” also rises from the pack, for completely different reasons – a lilting, brassy jazz number with classic double bass and piano performances. The velvety, luxurious features of her voice seem more prominent here, a fitting performance with all the accoutrements of a great jazz standard.

Beyond these personal favorites, the album is full of unexpected delights. She confidently interprets a number of pop angles – Ragga, dub-step, rock and hip-hop all feature in some form. Invincible Summer’s variety lends a worldly feel to the album, reinforced by Black Porcelain’s uncanny ability to veil any obvious accent – I really like this feature of her work; it’s receptive, free from the restrictions of any niche market, and hard to place geographically. I’m sure she’ll appreciate my use of “international mystique” here.

Invincible Summer shows Black Porcelain exploring her options; while it is undoubtedly ambitious in scope, the album shines brightest when she focuses on two of her many fronts: First, her sun-drenched mega-pop sound (“Perfect Lie”, “Scandalize March”, “Hot Pink”) and second her more vintage-voiced jazz/neo-soul vibe (“Time for Heartache”, “Johnny” and “Today is the Day”). At times Lauryn Hill, at times Nina Simone, and at times Kylie Minogue, Invincible Summer is the release of a confident, versatile singer. Black Porcelain has delivered a rich, creative pop album that is implicitly feminine, fun & seductive, occasionally romantic, and filled with all the ooohs, aaaahs and laaaaas you could possibly need for a drop-top cruise with the femfam. 

Overall, an impressive radio friendly debut that will appeal to anyone with an itch for unadulterated summer pop. I can see young listeners devouring this as they navigate puberty, Generation Y-ers appreciating the clever 90’s references and a more mature audience enjoying it for her voice’s vintage appeal. For me, it’s been the perfect guilty pleasure for my aging taste, and while it is a massive first step in her promising career, I have no doubt her best is yet to come.

– Chris Born (Maputo Mozambique)

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Chris lives in Maputo with his wife and many pets. As you can see, he enjoys sipping on espresso on idyllic beaches. I can’t say I’m mad at that AT ALL :)

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You’ve read the reviews, now get the album. Its available on iTunes. You can also buy it HERE via PayPal or using an EFT and we will send it to you… Whatever works for you :)

Album Review (Jennifer Neves – Geneva)

posted in: The Music | 1

On Saturday I introduced Summer 196. Its my crazy idea to get reviews of Invincible Summer from all 196 countries. The first review was written by Nomsa Mdhluli (from Cape Town, South Africa). The next album review is from Geneva (Switzerland) and it is written by Jennifer Neves:

So I got my copy of Invincible Summer as soon as it listed on iTunes . It sat alongside several other similarly titled albums… most of them compilations of the club and rave music you would find on every self respecting Ibiza playlist!!! Lol If that is what you were hoping for when you picked up Black Porcelain’s Invincible Summer, then I suggest you put down the album sleeve and step away from the grown people’s section!! This album is mature and as regal as the queen on its cover.

It is eclectic in that it balances really feel good tracks like DON’T FROWN and HOT PINK with melancholic tunes like IT’S NOT NEWS and my personal favourite, JOHNNY….this song has magnificent runs and puts on display the artist’s captivating vocal ability accompanied only by a piano, simple in its arrangement and powerful in its delivery.

Love, love, love it….just one small observation, SLIP would make a sick dance tune….have you offered to sleep with David Guetta yet madam? If you haven’t, I suggest you get right on it….world dance hits don’t just make themselves you know :-))))))

– Jennifer Neves (Geneva, Switzerland)

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Jennifer was born in Swaziland but now lives and works in Geneva… As a model. I’m kidding, but she is just gorgeous and funny.

CoverInvincible Summer is on iTunes. You can also buy it HERE using PayPal or EFT and we will post it you. If you want to review the album, leave a comment below :)

Album Review (Nomsa Mdhluli)

posted in: Fun and Games, The Music | 2

Being a D.I.Y artist means I get to have fun with this release. A few days ago I came up with an idea that I’m calling Summer 196. I want to see if I can get at least one review of my album (Invincible Summer) from all 196 countries in the world. So far I have about 10 lined up. The first one is by Nomsa Mdhluli.

Smooth, laid-back, sophistcated, a vaguely Jazzy sounds: aptly
describes the album: Invincible.

The track ‘Today is the Day’ best displays Black Porcelain’s alluring
and smooth voice, the music arrangement on the song is world class.
It’s no surprise that it’s attracting International attention.

Another of my favourite tracks on the album: Aching Head- offers a
giddy and catchy tune and is instantly memorable with clever lyrics.

This album will definitely be accompanying me on my next road trip!

- Nomsa Mdhluli (Cape Town South Africa)

nomsa 1Nomsa 2Nomsa currently lives in Cape Town and she works in radio as a producer and presenter. If you would like to be a part of Summer 196, leave a comment below and we’ll talk. I would like the next review not to be from South Africa though.

CoverThe album is out. Yay!! It is available on iTunes and you can buy it via PayPal or make  an EFT, we contact you and post it. So many options. Go HERE to choose one that works for you.