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False ME221 TOP ARTISTS Argentina is best known in the music world for its beautiful tango, yet at the hands of this multi talented artist, Fer Isella, tango only seems to be one of the many colors in his pallet. A Fulbright Scholarship recipient and a Berklee College of Music graduate, Isella proves to be more than your average musician by taking his talents as a pianist/ composer/ producer and creating art that pushes the limits. As a renowned producer in his own right, Isella is no stranger to success, yet in his own work Isella breaks away from the conventional and ventures into the deep and sacred realms of jazz and folklore. To call his music experimental is quite the understatement; this, however, does not mean it can’t be enjoyed by the less adventurous, since Isella never looses his focus on melody and taste. On his most recent production, Doña Furia Gaucha, released under Isella’s own independent label ( Limbo Music), Fer Isella anchors his compositions around an equally amazing group of musicians christened the “ Makanudos”. At a moment’s notice, songs that play out like a beautiful serenade will surprise you with strength and drama. The enchanting song “ Turn Over” is a prime example of how Isella blends Argentinean folklore and jazz with a seamless beauty that captivates the senses and keeps you wanting more. These are songs that can grace any major motion picture soundtrack or the halls of Radio City Music Hall. A gem for any music zealot, Fer Isella’s music is much more than meets the ears. Fer Isella by TJ Stafford

False ME222 TOP ARTISTS Today’s music genre boundaries have been greatly blurred, which I believe is a very healthy state… it just makes my dewey decimal- esque mind a little uneasy. Matt and Isom is a group that blurs those lines and defies any classification one might throw at it. They’re rock, like Radiohead’s ‘ Kid A’ is a rock, and electronic like, well, Radiohead’s ‘ Amnesiac’ is electronic. You seein’ where I’m going with this? It’s not subtle. Their new album “ AugustJesusDepression” beautifully combines the elements of a great singer songwriter album ( think vocals, acoustic guitar, melody), with the very best that electronic production has to offer. Great ambient soundscapes, loops, beats, etc., dance with the vocals, live drums, and acoustic guitars in a symbiotic movement that is hard to pull off successfully. Many groups have tried only to sound like what Madonna sounds like trying to rap… forced and completely contrived. Matt and Isom are not riding a trend. They are what others try to emulate. The album’s opening track sets up this dichotomy of organic vs. produced from the get go. An acoustic guitar and vocal lead the way, only to be joined by a thick, aggressive keyboard pad and quick, light electronic loop down the road from whence they walk hand in hand down the yellow brick road that is this album. Listen to it and you may not end up in Oz, but you’ll end up in a very satisfied place, a place where music genres don’t exist and the only classification is ‘ good’ or ‘ not so much.’ Matt and Isom definitely land in the former. Matt & Isom by TJ Stafford