29 Sep 2020
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Articles By Ben Ruegg

The RVMES - Single Review: Big Bam Boom
14 Sep 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
The RVMES newest track Big Bam Boom is a good time that deserves your attention.The rawness and realness of this track cannot be denied.
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Troy Kingi - Album Review: The Ghost of Freddie Cesar
10 Sep 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
Genius. Honestly.
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Dub Boys - EP Review: Fortune Favours The Bold
10 Sep 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
The newest EP from the Dub Boys is fantastic. As someone who appreciates all styles of music, Hip-Hop continues to be one I stay fascinated with due to the current climate and success of certain artists.
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The Settlers - Single Review: Love
06 Sep 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
Driven by a catchy guitar loop and backed up with a beat that ebbs and flows, the new track Love from The Settlers really puts its focus on its lyrics and delivery.Keeping the vocal effects to the minimum here allows the verses to sound authentic and real.
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Ekko Park - Album Review: Horizon
24 Aug 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
The latest album from Ekko Park is an absolute blast of a time to listen to from beginning to end.All Eyes On Me sets the scene by just giving it everything.
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Investigator - Single Review: Bad Luck Shoebox
17 Aug 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
Classic rock vibes crossed with modern rock sound drives this new track from Investigator. Driven by Adrian Drew, Investigator has a sound that is clear and defined and Bad Luck Shoebox adds another track to an ever-growing catalogue that showcases his ideas and sounds that make up Investigator.
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Will McClean - Album Review: Can't Sleep I'm Dreaming
07 Aug 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
The new album from Will McClean takes a lot of well-produced beats and combines them with his flow and lyrics. It's a smooth ride most of the time as is demonstrated in the opening track Front Desk featuring JClean.
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TheOpHilus - Single Review: My Little Rugrat
02 Aug 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
Authentic and real; that’s the best way to describe the new track My Little Rugrat from TheOpHilus. True Hip-Hop has always been, in my mind, sampling and talking about how things are where you are right now.
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InDuna - Single Review: Black Man Running
30 Jul 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
Black Man Running is the new single from InDuna. It is a personal illustration of InDuna's racial experiences both here in New Zealand and South Africa.
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Steffany Beck - Single Review: I Have A Dream
13 Jul 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
The new track I Have a Dream from Steffany Beck is a wonderfully uplifting song that feels authentic and honest. The mix and overall sound of the track allow for the recording to feel natural and heart-warming.
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Lauren Gin - EP Review: Supernova
13 Jul 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
The EP Supernova from Lauren Gin is subtle and done so elegantly. The opening track Need To Know showcases a more thoughtful and relaxed, almost conversational like vocal that bucks the trend for the big vocal you would typically expect from a track like this.
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The Beths - Gig Review: The Beths @ The Powerstation, Auckland - 11/07/2020
12 Jul 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
The Beths truly showcased why they are so beloved by so many people. The way Elizabeth Stokes and her band, made up of Jonathan Pearce, Benjamin Sinclair and Tristan Deck, commanded the stage so effortlessly was refreshing.
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And$um - Album Review: Volume 1
26 Jun 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
And$um's album entitled Volume 1 is a trip through a whole range of ideas and concepts.Armed with an idea, a sound and a vision, And$um takes ownership of his sound and runs with it.
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Ekko Park - Single Review: All On Eyes On Me
24 Jun 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
Wow! Hit repeat.
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Darryl Baser - EP Review: #SecondSelfie
11 Jun 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
The room sound really comes through in the opening track of the new EP, #SecondSelfie, from Darryl Baser. It brings a real sense of honesty to recordings.
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She Loves You - Single Review: Devout
28 May 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
Devout is the latest single from She Loves You, a 4-piece Auckland-based fast-talking all-action girl group.The track starts off quietly but quickly builds in a dance-rock song in the chorus.
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Mazbou Q - EP Review: Afroternity
20 May 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
The debut EP from Mazbou Q is a powerful statement. Not only musically in the world of the now trap dominated rap and hip-hop scene, but also through the lyrical ideas that make up the 6-tracks of Afroternity.
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Outside In - Album Review: Karmatrain
17 May 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
The debut release from Outside In is incredible, and it's currently up there as of the greatest debuts from a New Zealand band. Ok, let me explain.
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Dharma Dan - EP Review: Sotapatti
12 May 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
On the latest release, Sotapatti, from Dharma Dan, the artist finds himself with a set of beats reminiscent of the early New York hip-hop scene. Over the top, Dharma Dan lays down cool, chilled and thoughtful lyrics; "Just a drop of h2o just trying to find its way home to the ocean".
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Demons of Noon - EP Review: The Summoning
30 Apr 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
Doom rock, metal or whatever you want to call it has been a fascination of mine since hearing it on a Guitar Hero game a while ago as a young lad. There was something about that wall of sound guitar and bass sludge sound that was almost hypnotic.
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Chris Bates - Single Review: Focus
22 Apr 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
Focus is a stunning track showcasing the combined efforts of Luan and Chris Bates. The production quality here from Luan is outstanding.
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General Vibe - EP Review: California Rocket Fuel
22 Apr 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
From the low-fi sound that kicks off with the opening track Secondhand, the jazzy elements are right there interwoven amongst beat and pulsing beat. And then, so subtly the vocals transition out of the low-fi realm into crystal clear, as does the rest of the band.
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Apollo SteamTrain - Single Review: Nothing Stupid
10 Apr 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
Starting an acoustic guitar and then adding texture through melodic lead guitar and powerful drums and bass, the new track from Apollo SteamTrain, Nothing Stupid, starts off strong and solid. And from there it only builds and gets stronger.
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DRXNES - Video Review: Zero
02 Apr 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
Wow. This video is an incredible insight into the life of DRXNES.
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Enter Venus - EP Review: Enter Venus
26 Mar 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
The explosive start of Throw It Away is hard to ignore. Right away, the guitar and bass smashes you in the face with a killer riff, accentuated further by the pounding drums.
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Column of Sand - EP Review: Head Damage
18 Mar 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
Wide-open space greets the ear from the opening track Head Damage. In the modern world of music, sometimes I forget just how much has changed so it is so nice to hear reverb-soaked guitar lead lines over the top of a driving rhythm section.
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Kong Fooey - Single Review: Charade
13 Mar 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
The new single from Kong Fooey, Charade, has got a lot going for it. Full of detail and a mash-up of genres I am blown away by how authentic this track is, coupled with its catchy melodies and tasty lead lines sprinkled all over the place.
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The Wake Up - Single Review: Dark Horse
06 Mar 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
This new single from The Wake Up is a solid pop rock/pop punk track with a fantastic chorus. From the moment Dark Horse starts, you can tell you are about to have a rocking good time and I certainly wasn't disappointed.
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Arrays - Single Review: Too Late
03 Mar 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
Array's newest single Too Late is a solid track that continues the rock sound that JP Carroll is exploring through this solo studio project.From the chugging guitar part that sets up the verse, the focus here is on the lyric with a mantra like 'over and over' repeated after each line.
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The Settlers - Single Review: Swimming
25 Feb 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
New Zealand hip-hop is a thriving collection of artists who bring who we are and present it in musical form. The latest track Swimming from The Settlers is a fine example of what NZ can do.
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Six60 - Gig Review: Six60 @ Western Springs, Auckland - 22/02/2020
24 Feb 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
"We are the mighty, mighty Six60", proclaims Maitu Walters, lead singer of Six60. And he is in right to say so.
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Domes - Single Review: Time and Relative Dimension in Space
22 Feb 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
Domes newest release, Time And Relative Dimension in Space, is an incredibly deep track that offers so much to the listener. It interweaves soaring melodies and harmonies into what you would be forgiven in thinking was a thrash metal song from the explosive introduction.
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And$um - Single Review: Look At Me
10 Feb 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
The beginning of Look At Me confused me at first. The vocal delivery seemed dull and with low energy, but by the time the raps kick in, it has definitely picked up and raised the level.
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Sam V - Single Review: Shawty
10 Feb 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
The production is very slick on Shawty, the new track from Sam V. The vibe and the melodic idea captures you right from the get-go; and there's a real middle eastern vibe to it.
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Robbie Scott - Single Review: Gaze
10 Feb 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
One of the most inspiring things about songwriting is it allows for the listener to hear into the world of another artist. Such is the experience of new song Gaze from Robbie Scott.
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Tony Lee - Single Review: Man On Mars
24 Jan 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
Man On Mars is the latest single from Tony Lee.A mix between a sort of country vibe and rock, this song is well written, recorded and arranged.
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Fat Freddy's Drop - Fat Freddy's Drop @ Western Springs, Auckland - 18/01/2020
24 Jan 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
If you haven't seen Fat Freddy's Drop before, like I had not, you need to get out and see them.Walking around the crowd it was awesome to see so many parents bring their kids along to it.
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Saurian - Single Review: Tyre Tracks In The Sky
01 Jan 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
“You left this world with tyre tracks in the sky.” The new single from Saurian opens with this line and it sets the tone for the song, a story about living life with no regrets.
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Lizard Prom - EP Review: Lizard Prom
01 Jan 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
Lizard Prom is visceral. Really.
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Marina Bloom and Moving Stuff - Album Review: Back Where We Started
01 Jan 2020 // review by Ben Ruegg
Marina Bloom’s newest album, Back Where We Started is a rock solid modern contemporary record.Starting with the title track, the upbeat pop rock creates an upbeat feel with a catch melody, driving electric guitars and a very catchy chorus.
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Dillastrate - Album Review: Dillastrate
31 Dec 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Smooth is a perfect way to describe the feel of Dillastrate's new album. It has a Kiwi vibe to it while being drenched in a collection of synth sounds that helps to bring an almost 80's feel to this Summer jam collection.
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The Feelers - Gig Review: The Feelers @ Manurewa Cosmopolitan Club, Auckland - 19/12/2019
19 Dec 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
The Feelers performed tonight to a small but passionate crowd of fans at the Manurewa Cosmopolitan Club. And I was one of them.
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Scizzorhands - EP Review: The Introduction
18 Dec 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Fresh. Like music to my ears (hold on a second.
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Grace Duncan - Single Review: Come, We Must Go
03 Dec 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Grace Duncan's new track Come, We Must Go takes sounds from our lands and combines them into a cinematic experience that breathes with dynamics, taking us on a journey that begs to heard again. Te Reo is interwoven into the track, and transitions between languages is smooth and seamless.
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Young Gho$t - Single Review: Weed In My Lungs
29 Nov 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
"I got this weed in my lungs. I got this weed in my lungs.
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The Lite Works - EP Review: 11:11
29 Nov 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
The Lite Works newest EP, 11:11, is a prime example of quality rock music that I personally grew up on. It’s like they have taken some of my favourite rock acts from the 90's and early 2000's and captured it in a bottle.
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Viices - Single Review: Heresy
20 Nov 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
The new single from Viices, Heresy, feels like a mix between low key ska and EDM. It’s a very cool mix.
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Dr.Reknaw - Single Review: Kereru
15 Nov 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
New Zealand dub music is something I feel is rather a special thing to New Zealand. That Reggae sound, shaped into our music, is synonymous for a sunny day on the deck with your mates having a BBQ, or hanging out at the beach.
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Chris Bates - Single Review: Chasing Kites
15 Nov 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Chasing Kites from Chris Bates is song that pulls a lot of different influences and takes the listener on a smooth ride through turbulent times.One thing that is evident from the first vocal lines are how smooth and silky they are.
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Empire To Ashes - Album Review: Sequence Two: Our Secret, Silent Storms
11 Nov 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
I remember it vividly. I woke up on the ground, face down, looking directly under my dresser.
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Screw Jack - EP Review: Screw Jack III
04 Nov 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Yes. Christmas is coming.
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Miss Used - Gig Review: Miss Used @ Ophir Street, Auckland - 26/10/2019
26 Oct 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Miss Used is a group that you should take notice of. Powerful, driving rhythms are just one part of their blues rock influenced sound.
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Devilskin - Gig Review: Devilskin @ Powerstation, Auckland - 19/10/2019
20 Oct 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Rock is alive in well. The sea of black was ready for rock at the Powerstation tonight.
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The Response - Single Review: Picture Undefined
17 Oct 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
The Response’s new song Picture Undefined is a blend of pop, alt rock and electronic music that works brilliantly. The guitar tone, the way it’s played and how the effects are layered help build an atmosphere which is wonderfully captured in the video shot by Johnny Knopp.
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Corduroy. - EP Review: Good Intentions
03 Oct 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Corduroy.’s new EP is a journey through that demonstrates the bands ability to write catchy songs that are also deep and entertaining.
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Arrays - Single Review: The Enemy
03 Oct 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
The Enemy is the new track from Arrays, the studio project headed up by JP Carroll. One of the most important elements of rock is to have a riff that stands out and cuts clear through the mix so you get a feel for the song.
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Violet Highway - Single Review: Shake My Head
03 Oct 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Violet Highway’s new song Shake My Head had me smiling. It’s nice and exciting to hear a band having fun and giving a nod to some of my favourite artists (which will remain anonymous).
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Paige - Single Review: Bloom
03 Oct 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Paige’s new song Bloom is like a throwback to some of the best RnB songs from the 2000's while still maintaining a modern feel to it thanks to its slick production. Tight vocals are front and centre here, but do not let that get in way to hear the exceptional instrumental track in the back.
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Medusa Glare - Single Review: A Mind Reborn
26 Sep 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Medusa Glare. Note that down.
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The Echo Ohs - EP Review: Wild Weeds
11 Sep 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Man, I love music. I love how it can take me back to different memories, times in my life and past experiences.
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Marina Bloom and Moving Stuff - Single Review: Greetings from Sydney
11 Sep 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
In her latest track, Greetings From Sydney, Marina Bloom paints a delicate picture about the feelings of longing to spending time with another. It is an instant classic that ebbs and flows with dynamic.
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The RVMES - Single Review: Callin' My Name
31 Aug 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Context. It is everything.
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Kings - Gig Review: Kings @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 24/08/2019
25 Aug 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
If you had told me that the ‘sold out’ Kings show at the Tuning Fork in Auckland was the last date on his very first tour, I would have probably slapped you. Why?
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Geoff Ong - Single Review: All The Hours
23 Aug 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Geoff Ong's new single and video is a flashback to so much great 80's sounds, but yet it still sounds fresh like it's from Geoff. His unique approach to pop music is commendable.
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Corduroy. - Single Review: Good Intentions
23 Aug 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Corduroy. are releasing their newest single Good Intentions from their upcoming EP.
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Hybrid Rose - EP Review: Awkwardly Eccentric
13 Aug 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Hybrid Rose’s EP, Awkwardly Eccentric, is an enjoyable ride through different emotions. On the opening track Pearl, featuring Jahleel, the passionate lyrics and delivery take this song through different waves of emotion.
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Louis Baker - Gig Review: Louis Baker @ Tuning Fork, Auckland - 9/08/2019
09 Aug 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Tight. That would be one of the simplest and most effective ways to describe Louis Baker's sound.
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BENEE - EP Review: Fire On Marzz
17 Jul 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Fire On Marzz. This EP is actually on fire.
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Stan Walker - Single Review: Give
11 Jul 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Stan Walker’s new single Give is a concrete example of how diverse and powerful his vocal ability is. I can feel him, feel his passion for change in our world, and his message about needing to be better yourself in order to see the change that you want to see.
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Kings - Single Review: Flex
09 Jul 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Flex is the new single from one of New Zealand's foremost hip-hop star, Kings. The Don't Worry 'Bout It hitmaker continues to prove that he is not just a one-hit wonder and his momentum does not seem to be stopping.
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BENEE - Gig Review: Benee @ The Powerstation, Auckland - 28/06/2019
28 Jun 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Benee knows how to own the stage. Tonight, playing at a sold-out Powerstation, she commands the stage in baggy pants and a light blue t-shirt.
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Ahjay Stelino - EP Review: Makes Me Smile
25 Jun 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Ahjay Stelino has written some fantastic songs that require to chill, find a comfy couch and listen to the way the music tells a story in each song. The is a lot of space, dynamically and instrumentally to allow for each song to breath.
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Randa - Single/Video Review: Rock Bottom
14 Jun 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Randa is back! The new track Rock Bottom is a funky track that will catch you off guard with its catchy hook in the chorus.
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Missy - EP Review: Strange
13 Jun 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
At 25, Missy is someone that you must keep on your radar. From the moment the EP starts, it is evident that Missy means business.
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Bailey Wiley - EP Review: Bailey Wiley
03 Jun 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
The Bailey Wiley EP is a fresh sound my ears needed to hear. To me, it feels totally inspired by the 90's soul and funk music of New Zealand.
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SHAYNA - Single Review: I Know
03 Jun 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
There is something about modern pop music that seems to resonate with so many people. I'm not entirely sure if it is to do with the general similarity between each pop hit that fills the airwaves that gives the listener that sense of 'having heard it before', or if it the lyrical content that, in most cases, is about getting drunk, regretting it and then singing about it.
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Hunt The Witch - Album Review: Strange Gods
16 May 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Stop what you are doing. Put down those headphones.
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Will Saunders - EP Review: Oh It's A Sound
09 May 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Will Saunders EP Oh, It's A Sound is an experience from start to finish.Beginning with the title track, machine-like drums reverberate and create a landscape in which guitars start to play all over.
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Geoff Ong - Single Review: Save Me The Weekend
19 Apr 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
Geoff Ong returns with a new pop banger, Save Me The Weekend. From the moment the track starts you are welcomed with all sorts of goodies for your ear if you choose to pay attention to the little details.
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*JOY* - Album Review: Moonboy
18 Apr 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
The opening track A Hard Blow Kiss sounds lo-fi and telephony at first. But it quickly opens up to become a sonic landscape of all sorts of frequency.
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Hybrid Rose - Single Review: Solitude Featuring Fanfickk
14 Apr 2019 // review by Ben Ruegg
From the moment this track builds, the imagery matches the synth sound. A familiar chord progression catches my ear.
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NZ Top 10 Singles

  • WAP
    Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion
  • MOOD
    24kGoldn feat. Iann Dior
  • HOLY
    Justin Bieber feat. Chance The Rapper
  • SAVAGE LOVE (LAXED - SIREN BEAT)
    Jawsh 685 x Jason DeRulo
  • LEMONADE
    Internet Money And Gunna feat. Don Toliver And NAV
  • HEAD & HEART
    Joel Corry feat. MNEK
  • IN THE AIR
    L.A.B.
  • GO CRAZY
    Chris Brown And Young Thug
  • MOOD SWINGS
    Pop Smoke feat. Lil Tjay
  • LAUGH NOW CRY LATER
    Drake feat. Lil Durk
View the Full NZ Top 40...
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