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Music Review – Guido’s Lounge Cafe, Vol. 1 -“Kaleidoscope Of Colors” (2014)

Greetings dear reader,

One of the perks of being privileged to have a strong network of talented & creative people in my beloved world of music, is that I’m fortunate to occasionally get insights to pre- releases/draft tracks per invites from artists, labels & DJ’s etc. This could be ahead of a formal label release-date (in this case August 25th via the Ecstasy label) or other times, it could simply be from one music-soul to another for an informal ‘whaddaya think so far?’ on their current work-in-progress.  This particular piece was a double-pleasure to write and to make time for as it’s for a musical friend of mine Guido Van Der Meulen.  Guido is a fellow music-lover whom I met via music on the web (suffice to say here) so, it was wonderful to be asked to scribe some thoughts & views on this, Guido’s first mix via his collaboration with Manue & his label.  I only hope my words accompany the mix well & trigger reactions accordingly.

 Note for all readers, you may find that I jump around in tone as well as first or second person when writing. This is simply because I don’t write/listen in one-sitting.  Instead, I listen a few time’s whilst penning thoughts & notes. Then I draft, re-listen & draft again as well as until completion. This means that my ‘view-point’ can change depending on many factors per real-world, life, mood etc but I promise you this, it’s allllll from the heart! :D my method, my style, enjoy!

Finally, a big thank you to Manue Dawar (CEO of Ecstasy records) & Guido Van Der Meulen for the invitation to both listen & review this mix ahead of the official album release date. Even more on that last as this is the inaugural mix in your on-going collaboration. I remain both honoured & touched by your invite so I wish you lots of luck in your future-endeavours together although based on this first mix, I don’t think you need it. Track-selection & a journey in sound in any mix is all to this music-lover & clearly, you’ve got this covered, very well done.


Peace & Musica, Darren Pearson Oct’14

PS: You can find a sample of the mix here:


00:00 – 02:11   001    Jennifer Hannah-Murphy. ‘Tuesday afternoon’ (Original Mix)

Immediately made me want to listen to the full-track so I just HAD to search, find and share with my peeps straightaway so, I did so.  :D Great use of bass & flute (my beloved flute…) for these receptors. It’s a fine opening-track and, I like the way Guido dived straight-in. This is simply as I’m very accustomed & always interested in GLC mix-intro’s that ‘set the scene’ etc.  J But here, the sound is the opener so no words are necessary, bass then flute just grabbed my ears straight-away. I liked & was pleasantly surprised so very much enjoyed the change in this aspect, your flexing now clearly. :)


02:11 – 06:30   002    Marie Therese ‘Right Now’ (Original Mix)

Great transition into 1-to-2 and a great track coming-in, seamless Maestro. (Y)  I didn’t notice we were into this track until the voices began. Pleased as I really dig that aspect in a mix as I just prefer a seamless wall of Lounge and down-tempo when blended well, always enjoyed & sought-out such journeys in music so this is for my Prime selections. J

The beat-drop @ 2.35 was great, perfect combo of laidback lounge, effects and voice, throbbing-bass too then the electronic-bells @3.35…sublime moment and a great momentary-contrast from the rest of the track. The addition of street-life sounds next is a great, great touch too plus, I’ve always enjoyed a well-used echo “yeah”…. who doesn’t! :D

  1. bass n beats again, love that, head-nodding hard here.


06:30 – 10:38   003    Marga Sol ‘Goodbye’ (Original Mix)

Spanish style guitar work is very nice & works very well with the harmonies & main vocal.

I would like to see Marga Sol live in London one-day, a multi-faceted Lady.


10:38 – 16:33   004    Lemongrass, Jane Maximova ‘Deep River’ (Original Mix)

Biiiiiiiiiig track from the off, an immediate atmosphere is set here, majestic…deep and wide for sure, like that, vocal bleeding in really works well. Beats are dropped just right and digging the repeating big synth. theme. Like the Lemongrass label, frequently, so no surprise that this track comes from their stable, a quality-collective with business competent management.


16:33 – 20:06   005    Vono Box ‘La Planete’ (Original Mix)

Fantastic ATF track from the off, always loved the lazy beats & distant-sax on this track

I’d heard once before somewhere so was excited to hear it utilised* here. *You know, like the feeling you get when listening to a mix & you recognise the first moments of the next track coming thru? Time kind of stops in your head as you see how he/she has delivered & utilised it so essentially, a yes or no  moment that Musik-Hedz know well so, a BIG YES here on that aspect. (Y) (Y) J

Laaaaaaazy-sax to the max for me, reminded me of a Sven Han Hees track **‘Flowmotion’ in that regard, it’s the lazy, almost nonchalant (to me) style of the tinkling on the keys, same vein so this track triggered that very recollection & moment when listening here, big like. Bass just compliments so very well and with the beats, perfect laid-back vibes,

Lounge music to this guy does not mean horizontal ambient as I sometimes feel some (many?) in the ‘wider-world’ may perceive it to be. This track is a fine-example of lounge & beats which I love to the bone as it also speaks to my Klub-Hed too.  Excellent choice Guido and you merged it so very well,  that I got really excited when I recognised it coming in as mentioned, just love that about a good mix, it’s like meeting ‘old music-friends’ etc J love the neatly sealed-off ending in the full-version too after searching for after first hearing here, had to say, thx for the tip. J


**  ‘Flowmotion’ by Sven Van Hees



2 0:06 – 24:26   006    Arthur Rong ‘Snow Queen’ (Original Mix)

Niiiiice blend Guido, I missed the transition it was that flawless and unnoticeable amigo.

When the beat drops @20.47..niiice, good beats & vibe here, all elements really work-well together, head-nodding, like that bass-line underneath it all @23.00 grabbed my diaphragm as I’m writing this whilst listening alone, on speakers and very loud. J

Cool wind-down too, just bongos then all instruments bleed back-in @23.14, a most enjoyable & cool lounge track for sure. This is what I like to hear in a bar, not ‘in your face’ but enough to grab you and create the right ambience for the crowd ahead of their night out or event etc.

  1. @23.16 is sweet, like the use of effects. (Y)


24:26 – 28:35   007    Sannan ‘Bluetone’ (Original Mix)

This sounds good already, yep, digging this, creative opening, hooked my ear. Basssss.. sits well here, always enjoy the use of strings unexpectedly in EDM, good example with the harp. I could be at a beach-bar with a great view with this track spinning, hypnotic, melodic & (again) REALLY dig the wind-down at the end too.


28:35 – 33:45   008    Mia Lemar & Pier O ‘Red Sunset’ (Original Mix)

Pier O Chill…a maestro in the Lounge space, the key’s are a-tinkling and I like that combined with a dreamy trumpet sample (from a loop-sample package from Loopmasters apparently) The sound is laidback, smooth & the vocal adds to the atmosphere already created. Never heard this track before so most pleased to cross paths via this initial-mix for the Ecstasy label. Sax is sublime, music which always sounds a ‘cut-above’ from the rest and if you don’t know what I mean by that, I mean loungey, stylish (like an appropriate & deserving club, bar or beach-venue) exclusive & intimate, all the above plus. Watching Pier as I’m aware that he is currently working in collaborations with Marga Sol as well as producing remix’s for Marie Therese, Claudio Fiore and, Euphonic Traveller…wow, the future will be VERY interesting to hear, I’m sure!


33:45 – 36:14   009    Doc Luv Jones ‘Tomatoes That Kill’ (Original Mix)

Great title! chuckles! An immediate head-nodder for sure, nice choice Guido, beats are doing it for me & the ping @ 28.34 was crazy on my speakers, loud! :D


36:14 – 43:21   010 Florzinho, Euphonic Traveller ‘A la Luna’ (Euphonic Traveller Remix)

@36.37 love the switch into this, a great remix from Euphonic Traveller, wow, thanks for the intro!

Great atmosphere here, like that drum-work, subtle but meaningful, really digging this on lots of levels.  Sooooo many elements in-play here on the ear, the piano is haunting in its briefness & appearance over the main-wall of sound @ 43.36

This is a classy track & remix, how did I miss this! Coz it’s a daily-flood of music and I just don’t have

the time to listen as much as I would love to, sigh. A common problem for Musik-Hed’s, cie la vie but I’m still very pleased glad I crossed paths with this track regardless.

  1. would love to hear this on a night-out when the floor & audience are vibin at 3am, perfect time to drop this methinks. J


43:21 – 48:39   011    Gary Openhill ‘Cafe Balearic’ (Original Mix) – Can hear this track coming through & it makes me very curious, very world music I feel. I hear Chinese violin merged with female vocal, well and then, the Spanish guitar. An interesting track crossing regions in music clearly.


48:39 – 52:58   012    Michiko ‘Rock & Roll’ (Original Mix) – Like the main-verse vocal and the effect applied. It differs very much from the chorus. Distinctive as she sounds like she’s in the room next door but, it works for the overall effect, quirky & interesting.


52:58 – 55:05   013    Sean Byrd ’Dusk Lounge’ (Original Mix) – A common-theme in these tracks has been the bass underlining a lot of the main sound. I like that theme whether it was intentional or not by Guido so, another example of here, short & sweet.


55:05 – 59:59   014    Pat Lajoie ‘Native Dancer’ (Mix 2) – Yet another track that Guido introduces me to (and there are many :D) with a very ‘Jazz in the Park’ feel to it. Saying this as this track got better to me the more I heard of it. The first time I heard this, I wasn’t sure as it sounded too ‘tame’ overall for my liking but now I see why, I just needed a Pimms & lemonade to seal the deal.


59:59 – 64:48   015    Five Seasons ‘Sweet Secrets’ (Original Mix)

…..immediate ATF, I LIKED this straightaway Guido!, beautiful, the way the track bleeds into full ‘clarity’ on the ears, you lined these 2 up very well as the mix-mood moved-up a gear again. (Y)

Beats are heavenly after the previous track & the echo around the violin….sighs, a lovely combo of EDM and a classical instrument, love those moments as the two work so well together when done well. Another example of such a fusions to me would be Moby’s track **‘Inside’.

The bass here grabbed me from the start & just never let go, hypnotic & hitting my gut (playing loud) and works well vs. the synths and the atmosphere created, my kind of soundscape, you chose well amigo. (Y) Last word on this is re the pause….then the beat dropping again @1.03.11.. Simply sublime and a fine track to end with.


** ‘Inside’ by Moby


© Darren Pearson @ Arima (website pending)

Twitter @DarrenDP
SoundCloud @darren-pearson-1

If you want to purchase the mix, you can do it here:





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Social Media Techniques: Paid Facebook Advertising for the Independent Musician

by Sean David

Hang on, don’t let the mention of paid advertising send you running for the hills. I know the budget of any independent musician is pretty low and this normally means we have to simply put in the man-hours to promote our music ourselves. Well part of this will never change, but Facebook advertising can definitely help make the load a bit lighter!

Having used Facebook advertising myself, albeit on a modest level up to now, I have some insight to share with you that will hopefully help you in making better marketing decisions for your band or artist page/website.

What is Your Marketing Budget?

Yes, you should have some level of budget going into facebook marketing even if it is only around key releases. In fact I recommend this approach first as it will definitely be lighter on your pocket and will get you the traffic you want when you want it.

Far too often bands plow all their cash into gear, recordings, touring and completely forget about their online audience. There’s no point in putting 110% into the music and then not spreading the word, right? There are prospective fans out there that may be dying for something fresh to listen to, but if your organic marketing isn’t reaching them, that’s all they’ll ever be… prospective fans not adding anything to your bottom line and not doing anything to help your overall awareness.

Your Organic Reach is Smaller than You Think

On the topic of Facebook, and before I dive into the specifics of advertising, its important to note that your organic reach via your Facebook band page or even your own personal profile is significantly smaller than it used to be. Facebook limits your organic reach as they have realised the advertisers’ paradise they have created and now require you to invest some $$ to be heard. Only fair right?

Well, that organic reach is increased somewhat when people engage with your content (usually by a core group of fans), but without these guys your post is estimated to only reach 6% of those that liked your page (and its normally the same guys too). Can you really afford to leave your marketing campaign up to the chance that your fans will spread the word? What about the prospective fans 2 or 3 connections beyond your current existing fans. How are you reaching them?

Paid Facebook advertising is how, and if you follow these steps you don’t have to spend a fortune on it either.

Facebook PowerEditor

Before going further, I recommend you download Facebook’s PowerEditor. This is how all the Facebook-savvy marketers advertise. It’s a Facebook plug-in that allows you to customise your advertising experience and achieve better, more targeted results than those simply offered on your Facebook fan page (you know the “Boost Post” option – stay away, its usually not worth it). You will need Google Chrome to run the editor but you can switch back to your normal browser when not using the editor (if you’re not already using Chrome, that is).

The editor is by no means easy to navigate, but I won’t go into detail here. What I will mention is that it is necessary to download stats from facebook regularly (to update your PowerEditor) and upload your ad campaign when done. Without clicking “upload” the advert will not initiate. Important stuff!

So Who Likes Your Music Anyway?

Well its not good marketing to advertise to everyone all at once. Popular belief is that the average person needs to be targeted 7 times before he/she will make a commitment to view or listen to your content. Yup, 7 times!! Therefore its important that you target specific groups and market to them often. The more targeted the group is, the more likely your future adverts will reach the same users again.

Note: I said the “average” person. It’s worth noting that some people will only require one or two ad impressions before they visit your page or whatever your advert is linking to. This is what we would call your ideal market, so it may be worth doing some split-testing to identify these groups and then once established, aggressively market to them on a bigger scale. Budget depending of course.

Your Super-fans (da-dada-daa!)

These are the guys that you need to keep updated with all your music happenings. The guys/girls that took little convincing on clicking your ad are likely to lap up everything else you throw at them too. And the more you keep them in the loop, the more connected they feel with you and your music and the more likely they will become super-fans (those amazing people that not only buy everything you do but freely promote you as well)!

How do you ensure you keep them in the loop? Well we already know that simply liking your facebook page will not guarantee this and to target these guys via facebook advertising again and again and again, with every facebook post is not likely to be cost-effective. So what do you do? Send them somewhere where you do have control over communications – link your advert to your mailing list. Once subscribed they will receive every email newsletter you send them. It costs you nothing, and it keeps them in the loop.

Another way to advertise is what is called “repeat advertising”. Facebook’s PowerEditor allows you to create Custom Audiences to market to. One of the options is to market to those people who visited your website but haven’t liked your fb page yet. Facebook gives you a cookie to insert into your website and every time someone visits the page this cookie activates and will populate your audience. Next time they log on facebook, there’s a little reminder advert for them to check out your page. Smart.

So How Much Will This Cost You?

The great news is Facebook allows you to set a budget that you’re comfortable with and your campaign will continue until your budget runs dry. You can set up multiple adverts per campaign and each advert can have its own targeting and its own established cost per click or CPC (word from the wise, do not use cost per impression or CPI unless you arestrongly positioned on facebook such that a CPC campaign would actually be more expensive than CPI – in most cases this is false). With a CPC campaign you only get charged each time someone clicks on the advert (or some other predetermined event, such as subscribing to your mail list). Until then facebook will continue to make impressions.

Before the advert initiates it runs through Facebook’s auto-approval system. Supposedly the higher the CPC and the higher your budget the better chances for approval andthe more impressions you will receive (its all about the money, honey). But I’ve still managed approval and a decent number of impressions for a low budget and a low CPC. So experiment away!

On a side note, its important to realise that if you do use any images in your advert they cannot consist of more than 20% text (e.g. if you have a text overlay this text is limited to 20% of the total size of the picture) which can be highly frustrating, especially when you are unaware of the rule! Fore-warned is fore-armed :).

In Closing

Well, that’s my little 2 cents on Facebook advertising. There’s a lot more to it, but ultimately it’s a great tool that can be used to find the audience you never knew you had and increase your overall fan base. Good luck, and may your fan base continue to grow!

Sean David is a singer/songwriter, music entrepreneur and journalist from Port Elizabeth, South Africa. For more info on what he’s been up to click here.


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