(CD REVIEW): BALTIMORE INDIEFEST – THE MIXTAPE

indiefest flyer

by Petula Caesar

Baltimore Indiefest (www.baltimoreindiefest.com) takes place on Friday, May 30th at  The 8 x 10, located at 10 East Cross Street. It features Baltimore-based artists Kissi B., Greenspan, Eze Jackson and Wendel Patrick. Each of them are at the top of their respective games in this area, and together they are a talent-packed cross section of Baltimore’s underground performance arts scene.  In addition to all being beasts in the recording studio, they all give great live shows. So I am confident that this will be one of the best shows of the year. But I’m even  more excited about the show because of “Indiefest The Mixtape”, which dropped yesterday.

indiefest the mixtapeFirst I must commend whoever came up with the idea of a mixtape as a promo tool for this particular show. It definitely works, and is one of the best examples of marketing an event that I’ve seen in a while. If you are only familiar with a couple of the artists on the bill, you have an opportunity to hear the others and get familiar with them as well. The selections cover a wide range of musical styles, and there is something for everyone. I loved the drops promoting the show between each track done by popular area artists like Yo Slick of BrownFISH, hot deejays like Patrick Scientific of WEAA-FM’s Audio Infusion, and area celebs/personalities like Civ Jones of WPB Radio. I hope area independent music labels/entertainment companies are paying attention to how this show is being promoted. (Also, the website for the event, www.baltimoreindiefest.com is excellently executed and ties in well to all the other promotional material for the event I’ve seen. It is bright, clean, clear and easy to use. The branding overall for this event is extremely solid and has none of what I call that “visible bootleg element”.)

back of the indiefest mixtapeThe 13 track project is nearly perfectly executed. From the Baltimore-themed energetic tracks offered by Eze Jackson to the smoky, jazzy, sensual Kissi B. grooves to the lyrical dopeness that is Greenspan, you can almost see the show in your mind’s eye as you listen to the mixtape.

indiefest imageYou are constantly engaged throughout the 42 minutes, waiting to hear what comes next, and you are never disappointed at what shows up musically. The tape flows well, and you find yourself listening intently, nodding your head hard as shit, and even getting your groove on. You just know Baltimore Indiefest is going to be everything after you listen. Eze Jackson’s “Eye Candy” is a stellar example of a great party track — it is a summery sounding tribute to Baltimore Club music and the ladies. It embodies everything that makes this homegrown music genre such a blast to party to when done right. And in this case, it is done right.

You can check out “Baltimore Indiefest The Mixtape” on Soundcloud below, and the tracks are available for download. You can get hard copies from the artists with a ticket purchase. Tickets are $14, and can also be purchased online by clicking here.

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