Music without Labels XXXIII. Van Halen, Black Toska, James & Black | Revista independiente de música

Indie music magazine in:

More poplacara:

Music without Labels XXXIII. Van Halen, Black Toska, James & Black

Music without Labels XXXIII

Van Halen heavy metal circus

Black Toska´s vital anguish

Southern soul by James & Black

Heavy metal IX: Van Halen

Van Halen is Eddie van Halen’s band. He is a North American guitarist of Dutch origins. Vocalist David Lee Roth stands out. He is a rocker, exhibitionist and provocateur that plays the role of a hard and vain diva.

Together they star in a group that represents the circus-like dimension of rock. They acquired a massive following with their image, colour and dynamism, technical mastery, facility to be spectacular and a bad reputation.

Van Halen - Jump (1984)

This is a track that was composed by Eddie van Halen and was released on his album 1984. It’s a mainstream pop song that introduces synthesisers and other stylistic liberties that are forbidden in their field.

David Lee Roth is a singer with a great sense of humour and imprudence that was impressed when he met the van Halen brothers Eddie and Alex in Pasadena City College (California). Both had a background education in classical music and showed a great versatility in composing. In a style that they called big rock, their first LPs came out: Van Halen, II, Fair Warning, Diver Down, and 1984, which sold numerous copies. After Roth’s departure, in 1985, the band lost the interest of a big chunk of the public.

National: Black Toska

Black Toska is an alternative rock quartet from Madrid. The band is named after a Russian word that was used to define a concept in Vladimir Nabokov’s writing, which meant “a state of spiritual distress that does not have a specific cause”.

Their music can be defined as a mix of garage, punk, blues and post punk with a strong lo-fi sound. Their lyrics fuse the real with the imaginary and they send the message that there is always light in the darkness.

Black Toska - Someone's Nightmare Blues (2019)

This is a track that was credited to the whole band and was release in the album of the same name. Its cover art is a work by James Johnson, best known as Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds and PJ Harvey.

The band Black Toska formed in 2016. After a series of intermittent rehearsals, in 2018, they recorded and produced their first work, No Songs for a Father’s Death, five songs in which they determine the concept and the sound of the band. In September 2019, their second record came out, Someone’s Nightmare Blues, an album with six songs which confirmed their personal stamp: rhythmic tension and atmospheres reminiscent of swamp rock, which include an organic voice and dirty guitar incisions.

International: James & Black

James & Black is an independent duo formed in Austin, Texas. They define their style as an upgraded hybrid that originates from classic hip hop and from the roots of the southern soul of Texas, New Orleans and Memphis.

Their music which stands out for the quality of the voices and the history that they tell in their songs, is much more than notes and rhythm. There is a constant search for the authenticity found in masters like Otis Redding.

James & Black - Nothing Left to Do (2017)

This is a track written by both members of the duo that was released on their second studio album This Time. It shows a funk air given by the Brussel producer Jean-Pol Van Ham.

Pianist and vocalist Bruce James and singer Bella Black joined their musical forces in 2011. Shortly thereafter, in the summer of 2012, they moved to Europe and established in Belgium. With their high-quality live shows, they toured in countries like Holland, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Bulgaria, United Kingdom, Slovakia and China. Among their discography we can find Live at the N9 (with DJ Phil Ross, 2014), How Long is Now (2015), Live at La Chapelle (Paris, 2016) and This Time (2017).