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Angyl Rayz / Anthology CD: Fifteen Songs From the Future Past
Angyl Rayz is the pen name of songwriters Kathi Guie (vocalist) and composer / producer Mitch Godwin. They Hail from the Philadelphia region. Their CD “Fifteen Songs from the Future Past” is an anthology of their ''home spun'' recordings that were created over a five year period approximately fifteen years ago. Their songs run the gamut from emotionally charged ballads to supercharged dance songs echoing life’s victories and defeats, the found and the losses. The music of ''Angyl Rayz'' is led by the vocal phrasings of Kathi Guie with the musical accompany of Mitch Godwin.
The earlier songs were recorded in a dining room on a low fi but adequate eight track cassette recorder (yes, no typo “cassette”) with an Ensoniq and Kurtzweil keyboards for the instrument sounds and a Shure SM58 microphone going through a reverb box for the vocals and that was it. There were no acoustic instruments used on these recording except for Kathi Guie’s big breathy voice. Knowing that this was going to be demos of songs and arrangements looking for interested and established recording artist they began to record their music. Suddenly the songs began to blossom and they were getting attention. Local radio stations played a few of their songs. Especially the song “Birds of Prey”. A music critic in a local entertainment magazine gave the music and the vocals of Kathi Guie a very positive review. “The gem in their music is Guie’s sweet, delicate, sometimes sexy and always strong lead vocals” – Tom Weaver / Brandywine Valley Weekly. Legendary Memphis Music Hall of Fame guitarist, engineer and producer the late Roland Janes (Sun Records) really liked Angel Rayz music especially “Wind Songs” and “Lift the Veil”. The latter having the beautiful darkness sound of a Roy Orbison record with whom Roland Janes worked with at the Sun Studios in Memphis Tennessee in 1956. BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) in New York City chose their song “Lift the Veil” to be played at a songwriters live forum at the historic “Bitter End” club downtown in Greenwich Village. The now defunct MP3.com Company (Vivendi Universal) out of San Diego, Ca. pressed an LP of their music and their song “Wind Songs” soared on the MP3 world wide web New Age music charts to the #9 position. An American agent for Peoplesound.com music in London, England called after hearing the song “Here I Am” and wanted it released in Europe on the Peoplesound.com label. A CD of fourteen of their songs in full fidelity not compressed mp3 was pressed by the company in London and released on their People Sound web site. A radio station in Denver, Co. played their song “Eyes of the Young” in commemoration of the Columbine High School tragedy. A popular Philadelphia KYW-TV anchor and journalist the late Siani Lee liked their song “Cast Your Pain To The Wind (Queen of Hearts)” and was going to use it to commemorate the death of Princess Diana but the station chose another song just released 24 hours later by another song writer, a redo of his song “Candle in the Wind”, Elton John. There was also interest in their music by an artist manager and executive at a regional drug company. He liked what he heard and with Godwin and Guie incorporated their own label, New Castle Records Ltd. But still the songs were originally only recorded as demos for other artists and bands to record. Demos for sale so to speak. The Pro Tools and expensive studio equipment that produces that studio sheen for the major and independent record company’s artist was not there. But even with all the technical missteps with engineering on much lessor equipment the message of the music still comes through loud and clear. And that is what a good demo is supposed to do…. No, that’s what good music is supposed to do, period. Enjoy.
Credits: Shirl Betts - Backing Vocals on following songs: In Between Angel and Here I Am.
Credits: Denise Hand Wisnesui - collaborative writer on song In Between Angel.