Men In The Sky – Version 1.0.1 EP

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     Version 1.0.1, the new EP from UK electronic rock band Men In The Sky is a stylish web of sound, a fusion of recognisable styles and influences woven into an inescapable net of refreshing and captivating temptation. The release is a magnetic adventure casting mesmeric melodies and attention stirring riffs as easily as it entwines an intrigue of samples and throaty bass seduction. The EP is not the most original thing you are going to hear this year with its rich eighties inspirations but certainly it is going to be one of the most flavoursome and enjoyable.

Hailing from Liverpool, Men In The Sky emerged in 2012 wearing inspirations openly on their sound’s sleeve from day one. The accompanying press sheet declares that the band ‘draws as much from the jazz-blues of Jeff Beck and the funk of Chic as it does from classic British New Wave.’ This is something you can only agree with as their release flirts and dances with the imagination yet there is plenty more whispers, loud and quieter, of bands and essences which springs from an encounter which still manages to be something new. Co-produced with Factory Records’ Michael Johnson, Version 1.0.1 romps and entices with ears and emotions from its first vibrant second, providing something familiar yet surprising.

The release opens with a track called Men In The Sky. Eighties bred synths immediately grasp attention around the first sample of the release, their touch crystalline but soon sharing a varied embrace of melodies, acidic and elegant. A 10410613_713652578674096_487800950591790924_nhint of Visage comes to the fore early on whilst an unavoidable reference to New Order, as across the EP, is swiftly offering its suasion. Soon into a pulsating stroll with melodic flourishes within an electro enticement, the song continues to swing contagiously with a funk lilted bassline and an electronic revelry leading the way. With thoughts of Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys in various degrees also offering their references, the overall body of the song actually reminds of early Ministry before Al found his muscular industrial aggression.

The track makes a great start to the proposition and is instantly backed up by latest single Doom. The track mixes an agitated enterprise of beats and riffs with another fluid stream of synth temptation, but this time around a stronger rock spine of sound and intent. As it persistently throbs on the senses with a healthy infectious smile, the song ripples with an essence of the songwriting of Vince Clarke but equally the funkier styling of Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh in their Heaven 17 era. It is an irresistible romp, just as unpredictable and enthralling as its predecessor but with an even catchier bait and mischievous side to its dance, especially shown in the Oingo Boingo like vocal twists.

The remaining pair of songs, Expect Anything and Stone has a task to match the previous songs and to be honest do not manage to reach the same heights yet easily leave ears happy and emotions keen. The first of the pair ventures further into the band’s rock creativity without neglecting the electronic tempting, infusing it with a more classically cultured grace and endeavour. With flames of guitar bringing a progressive texture to the mix the song reveals more of the depths and adventure to the band’s sound which is confirmed straight away by its successor. The final song was born to light up dance-floors with its flowing melodies and sparking electro enticement, though it is the reserved moment where the vocals are allowed to shine with their minimal presence that the song works best.

The track is a fine end to a masterfully charismatic and gripping encounter. One which is at its best in the first half but leaving a bulging satisfaction by its end through a quartet of absorbing songs. Version 1.0.1 has a potent effect on ears through to feet, thoughts on to emotions. It might not quite be your favourite release of the Summer but we suggest it will be the one you return to most often and not just for this passing season either.

The Version 1.0.1 EP is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/version-1.0.1-ep/id895145567

http://www.men-in-the-sky.com/

8/10

RingMaster 18/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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MiXE1 – Starlit Skin

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The Lights Out EP last year confirmed the kind of evolution undergoing within the music of UK electro rockers MiXE1 whilst also hinting at the potential of the band’s impending and eagerly anticipated debut album. Uncaged June 1st, Starlit Skin shows that those suggestions were strong and truthful whispers to its new and enthralling tempest. Originally the band started as a solo project by vocalist/songwriter Mike Evan, a ‘soft spoken’ proposition which caressed and seduced the senses whilst growing in strength and stature not forgetting reputation with every release. Now with the album as its evidence, the Hatfield trio without losing any of its mesmeric passion and floating melodic persuasion has transformed into a snarling bordering on ravenous provocateur of synth rock.

Starlit Skin is a masterful encounter which plays like an eye of a storm, its evocative peace and radiant beauty encircled by a tempestuous incitement of intimidating guitars and imposing rhythms encased in a turbulence of passion and intensity. In hindsight you can see its triumph was an inevitable landmark on a continuing journey but at first touch it is a surprising and dramatic proposition which swiftly has hunger bred and intrigue lit for its emotive adventure. It is a striking flight for the band which began in 2010 as mentioned with Evans (ex-guitarist of alt-metal band Broken Butterfly X). Experimenting with electronics aligned to his smoothly lying and emotionally expressive vocals, Evans released debut EP Module 01 to strong reactions especially sparked by the eagerly devoured track Breathe. Linking up with Static Distortion Records, the Module 02 EP followed in 2012 again to eager acclaim as the richly personal songs showed a growth in confidence, maturity, and sound. It also marked the start of a more aggressive essence to MiXE1 epitomised by This Is Not Goodbye, a song which became a firm favourite with fans and the underground media. That same year the band expanded with Evans bringing in guitarist Lee Towson and drummer Lee O’Brien (formerly of Indie-Rock band Load), the move the signpost to the exploration of a rawer rock element to the band’s music. The Lights Out EP provided potent signs of that evolution but against Starlit Skin, was just a mere suggestion which is now vivaciously vocal in the eleven track all-out electronic rock encounter.

The album opens with a warning, a declaration of a wide spread evacuation which opens the way for voracious riffs and rampaging rhythms to charge down the scenery, sinews resonating and nostrils flaring as Talking In Our Sleep explodes in the ear. Immediately gripping the band’s new single soon settles into a more ordered gait upon which Evans unveils his vocals and narrative. His voice is as melodic and warm as ever but certainly caught in the thrust of the energy around him. As the track expands with Evans’ synths shaping the atmosphere as both Towson and O’Brien keep on their sturdy course, the track brings thoughts of Ghost In The Static meets Johnny Wore Black. Its chorus is pure infectious virulence, an anthemic call flush with enticing melodies perfectly contrasted and accentuated by a guttural growl which creeps in the vocals, all creating a roaring moment to craft a climactic treat within the otherwise compelling body of the impressive opener.

Break You Down swaggers in next, keys and guitars weaving a transfixing yet intimidating dark haze to which Evans croons magnetically whilst again slipping in the caustic squalls as introduced in its predecessor. Riffs and hooks capture the imagination as much as the melodic breezes evocatively colouring the intensive breath of the track, each combining for an easily accessible but unpredictable incitement. Though the natural warm delivery of Evans is the lead lure to songs, the use of abrasive textures and expulsions in his voice is an inspired and exciting twist which is matched and coaxed eagerly by the guitars and rhythms.

Both the emotive We’ve Changed and the following title track keep the imagination thrilled whilst offering new diversity to the release. The first soars across the senses with elegant charm and invasive melodies framed by a muscular appetite, though one happy to simply skirt the sultry smouldering heart of the absorbing personal venture whilst its successor explores a slight eighties synth pop spice within its reflective melodic wrap around the senses. There is a tint of Modern English and Depeche Mode to the song which only enhances its poetic wash of sound and expression, whilst again with more restraint than the first song it brings crescendos which infectiously grip and inflame thoughts and emotions.

The next up Plug Me In Tonight with its discordant brew of electronic agitation and probing within a mist of melodramatic synths makes a promising entrance but one which whilst growing into a thought provoking canvas lacks the impact and spark which caught ablaze within the previous songs. Nevertheless it has attention and appetite healthily poised for the pleasing electronic stomp of Here, a song with techno tendencies and synth pop revelry. It is another where the chorus recruits the listener’s feet and vocal chords, though around these moments the track’s shadows are more of a portentous breath, which Towson lights up with his invention, than an incitement to dance. It makes for a richly satisfying and appealing fusion which is then put in the shade by the bordering on antagonistic Image. Thumping rhythms and voracious hues assault first as keys spot their provocation with electronic shards before without losing its stalking ferocity the track opens with the continually impressive tones of Evans and fiery strikes of guitar imagination. It is a tremendous web of invention which instantly has ears gripped and passions sparking. The best track on the album it is unrelenting in its force, invention, and predacious hunger whilst providing a bewitching landscape of thought and imagination.

The Show takes the raw rapacious side of its predecessor to new levels whilst merging it as expected with mouthwatering melodies and vocals courted by electronic sunspot. Riffs and rhythms seem bestial as the synths seduce and smooch their evocative colours upon the senses, thoughts of The Browning freeing themselves in some ways to the predation. It is another glorious pinnacle showing the depths and suggesting the potential of the band still to be fully explored and exposed which All 4 U in its own distinct way supports. It is not as potent as certainly the previous two tracks but employs all of the already unveiled strengths of the album in another captivating storm, though the truly guttural vocal spewing which occasionally erupt arguably do not work. It is the beauty and the beast delivery from Evans which is an unbridled success for us not the demonic causticity, his voice just too nice to succeed.

Airwaves brings the album to an excellent absorbing and emotionally haunting end, though there is a decent enough Beat Version of Talking In Our Sleep as a bonus track with great female vocals from Amie Morandarte-Evans for extra spice. Starlit Skin is a commandingly impressive and thrilling encounter; a major step forward for MiXE1 but one suggesting there is still plenty more to come, a rigorously and irrepressibly exciting thought for us and the electro rock scene.

Starlit Skin is available @ http://mixe1.bandcamp.com/album/starlit-skin

www.mixe1.com

Check out an interview with MiXE1 @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/brewing-melodic-fire-an-interview-with-mixe1/

9.5/10

RingMaster 25/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Zero-Eq – Fall EP

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If you are looking for some easily accessible synth pop which is just as potently offering new intriguing promise then you can do a great deal worse than heading over to the Fall EP frim Italian trio Zero-Eq. Consisting of five virulently infectious and persistently enterprising songs with a quartet of highly pleasing remixes, the release is a sparkling electronic endeavour of emotive shadows and captivating melodies which you can easily envisage inviting an intensive spotlight upon the band.

It is fair to say that there is nothing particularly ground-breaking in sound upon the seemingly eighties inspired encounter, if Depeche Mode was not an inspiration to the band we would be staggered, but it is just as valid to say that few synth pop bred releases in recent times have thrilled and sparked the imagination as rigorously as Fall does. It is a colourful and imperiously seductive proposition which makes feet and attention a submissive volunteer with great ease but it also leaves a lingering bait of invention and craft which has thoughts and appetite engaged well beyond its departure. It is a release which cannot be placed on the top table of the genre it is spawned from but for enjoyment and rich potential band and EP sit on the frontline of pleasure.

Hailing from Roma, Zero-Eq was originally a duo before the line-up of Phenix (guitar, synthesizers, vocals), IO (lead vocals, synth), and Zero-Eq - Fall E.P.Tyler (bass, synth bass) came together. A collection of early songs in the Greatest Hits 2003/2004 EP in 2005 was the band’s first venture though it seemingly has been kept under wraps whilst 2012 saw the release of their second EP Bugged Karma, a proposition which drew the band strong attention and acclaim home and beyond its borders. The year also saw the band emerge live to again pleasing reactions and appetites for their magnetic sounds. Fall is their next step and one which should bring another elevated twist in their ascent with its captivating qualities.

Erase starts things off, its opening sample and haunted noise a swift temptation for the imagination before emerging pulsating sounds further coaxes ears and senses. Synths pounce with a confident air and robust energy within the still subdued yet forceful gait, a keen canter which embraces the excellent dark vocal tones of IO. His voice even with an effect glazed production has a certain Dave Gahan tone whilst musically the song crowds shadows and subsequent melodic flames into a thick tapestry of seducing adventure and enthralling suasion. It is a song which does not explode into anything more than a keen invitation but does not need to as its infectious charm and imaginative hooks refuse to be ignored.

The following Never let you in is similar in many ways, its stance another emotive premise with darkened hues which permeates rather than seizes thoughts and emotions. Again a Depeche Mode essence is a vibrant spice to the song’s transfixing body, adding richer flavour to the evocative narrative simmering perfectly within a chilled but conducive ambience. Like its predecessor the track has a firm hold on a by now hungry appetite which the title track moves in next to reveal its presence to. The opening discord blessed twang of sound is soon pushed aside by a gloriously vivacious and urgent stomp of electro enticement, its pop bred smile and energy sparking thoughts of Blancmange and in some ways Modern English with its insatiable hooks and electro grooves. The track is a mesmeric instigator of feet and passions, a song you know dance floors will be greedy over.

Negative Changes provides an arguably larger emotive presence than previous songs, its melodies and expressive keys weaving a rich and expansive landscape within which vocals and melodies play with a festivity of spirit. The mix of vocals from IO and Phenix is a captivating move whilst the bass seduction of the track simply engrosses to the point of lustful recognition. Like so many of the songs on the EP it is certainly not out of its time but you just know that if it and others were released in the birthing days of synth pop they would be stealing the limelight from lesser talents.

Inside My Head emerges as another quite irresistible incitement, its rawer burn of rock guitar and throaty bass a masterful tempering and complement to the flaming chorus which it has to be said has a definite touch of early Duran Duran to it. Flexing muscles and oozing charm from start to finish the track is a scintillating and stimulating triumph showing yet another edge to the sound and creativity of the band.

As mentioned the release is completed by four remixes by Retrogramme, Public Domain Resource, Lost Reality, and Klonavenus, for the title track, Erase, Halloween Inside, and Enemy respectively. All make for an intriguing and pleasing extra to the main course but play second fiddle to the main protagonists.

The Fall EP as said is not bursting with anything strikingly new but you have to ask if that really matters when it sounds and feels this good.

The Fall EP is available digitally and on CD through Space Race Records from May 23rd.

https://zeroeqofficialpage.bandpage.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 16/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Gifted Kings – Lose What Makes You

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    It is hard to say that Lose What Makes You, the debut album from Scottish rockers Gifted Kings, ignited a fire in the passions for their accomplished and soulful sound, but certainly the 2012 formed band sparked an appetite and satisfaction with their enjoyable release which many emerging bands can only dream of. Consisting of eleven impressively crafted and expressive songs, the release makes a potent and promising introduction to a band we are sure to hear and enjoy a lot more of in the future.

    Hailing from Glasgow and consisting of two sets of brothers, Derek (guitar/vocals) and Andy Murray (lead guitar) alongside Gary (drums) and Paul Smith (bass), Gifted Kings build on the undeniable potential and presence of first single Dead End Road, which has just received its video release also, in fine attention grabbing style with the album. It is not unfair to say that the band’s sound has a rich familiarity to its presence right now, not of any specific band but in general which defuses some of its ability to surprise and stoke those emotional flames, but there is little else to raise a quizzical and disapproving eyebrow over. Recorded with producer Nick Brine (Oasis, The Darkness, Bruce Springsteen) at the same studio which housed the making of Oasis’ What’s the Story Morning Glory and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, and mastered by Pete Maher (U2, Depeche Mode), the album proves its case with a stirring presence and potency which easily awakes positive reactions and attention to match that already brewing as far afield as Russia, Ukraine, Thailand, and India over the band. With their music already gracing several shows on Channel 4, S4C, ITV1, and Sky Sport as well as being adopted for advertising campaigns by Ripcurl and O’Neill Sports targeting the USA, Australia, and Asia, the quartet are on a rapid visible ascent which What Makes You Lose has all the qualities to accelerate.

     The album makes an instantly engaging and gripping start with Rains Will Come, its opening a sonic intrigue of guitar which expands with a rhythmic jabbing and fiery melodic glaze as company. It is not a startling entrance but one which secures full focus especially as the expressive vocals of Derek Murray joins the already pulsating lure of the song. Thoughts of Bristol band Mind Museum offer a suggestion whilst essences of Placebo also hint throughout the increasing emotive brewing of the track; all to a positive effect. The only strange thing about the song is that it never explodes, just simmers as if an intro to the album rather than a stand-alone proposition. Nevertheless it is a great start matched right away by The Last Time. A heavy throaty bass sound and imposing rhythms make the initial temptation as the guitar’s thoughts crowd around in a sonic breeze before making inviting weaves of melodic endeavour around the incoming vocals. Again there is something recognisable about the encounter, though it just makes it an easier ride to immerse within, which with its especially persuasive rhythmic enticement just infects.

     Both No One Knows and Drive keep the album bubbling in thoughts and emotions if missing the heights of the previous pair. The first is embraced by powerful emotive melodies and crescendo like rises in energy and passion as melodic veining arguably inspired by the previously mentioned Mancunians works away, whilst the second strolls with a reserved and enticing alternative rock weight and texture to draw in the imagination. Neither sets sparks to tease the passions into major action but definitely each provides a healthy offering for the appetite to chew over and enjoy, as equally does Dead End Road with its alluring and richly expressive narrative and sound. Though definitely not the best song on the album it is still easy to see why it has drawn such eager responses the band’s way since being released as the first single from the album.

     The following pair of Tell Me Something and Fortune In The City return the release to the commanding and contagious levels it started on, controlling rhythms and rich melodic fire rigorously and anthemically tempting the senses within the first whilst its successor explores another evocative climate with an inventively gripping groove and an infection clad chorus within an unpredictable exploratory landscape. Both tracks alone reveal the depth and potential of the band in sound and songwriting, reach easily lighting keen anticipation for future endeavours.

   From the pleasing and very decent creative exploits of Last Trace Of The Sun and the sonically colourful, not forgetting contagious Wait, the album’s best moment is brought with Neon, a song built on addictive nagging riffs and crisp rhythms which persist until full submission is given for their vivacious bait. Once more the band casts a virulent infection over the ears and imagination which is impossible not to find a lingering hunger for, it’s dramatic touches and blues kissed strikes quite irresistible. Alongside the closing and strong if underwhelming in comparison Written On The Wall, the pair bring Lose What Makes You to a thoroughly entertaining conclusion.

     Gifted Kings has laid the strongest base with their debut, the first of many potent and impressing encounters ahead you suspect.

http://www.giftedkings.com/

8/10

RingMaster 23/02/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Strobegirl and D’Jaly – How Are You? EP

 

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    Having been seduced by The Strawberry Sessions EP a few years back, we have always had time and dreams over the melodic crafting and tones of its creator, UK singer/songwriter Strobegirl.  Weaving a mix of pop, indie, and folk spices in a host of sultry embraces, the Croydon girl is one of Britain’s musical secrets. With the release of new EP How Are You? may be that hiding place will be under threat through its magnetic temptation. The release sees Strobegirl, better known to her stalkers as Heather-Jane, team up with fellow Croydon based artist D’Jaly. It is a tantalising union as evidenced by the seven track release, a collaboration which sets the new EP alongside the acclaimed Strawberry Sessions in temptation and imagination.

     Strobegirl is no stranger to collaborations, having worked closely with producer Roger Fife (Cyndi Lauper, Anthony and The Johnsons, The Orphans) on her successful debut EP and subsequently the likes of UK Industrial band Illustrial as well as other artists on individual songs. Marked by dreamy shoegaze kissed textures to her music and vocals, Heather-Jane won indie artist of the year on Somojo radio in 2010 as well as being heavily played and promoted on various radio shows, especially the champions of independent music Audioburger. Her partner in invention upon the How Are You? EP and better known to his family as Jon Daly, has been emerging as an artist/producer through his infusions of electropop, house, and deep house. Originally called Unknown Tone with an electronic/dance flavouring to his creativity, Daly first released debut album the Fourth Dimension under his own name in 2008 before unleashing robotic dance machine 4000 in 2010 as Unknown Tone. Now the two artists have combined to craft a tantalising offering which joins both their styles in one electro pop persuasion, an encounter which leaves ears alive and passions feasted.

    You Can’t Stop Me Now starts things off and immediately cloaks the ear in a melodic coaxing aligned to sultry keys all aided by a brassy temptation. It is a smouldering mix of funk and jazz within an elegant pop embrace, piano and the appealing vocals of Strobegirl casting an emotive allure which only accentuates the beauty of the melodies which brew, merge, and erupt with evocative flames across the song. It is a magnetic persuasion which soon recruits thoughts and hunger towards its impressive invitation into the release.

     The following Nothing Else Counts Now unveils an electronic wash of grandeur and crystalline beckoning to make its entrance. Its initial coaxing is strong but arguably not as reassuring as to what will follow as the hinting found at the start of its predecessor. Those doubts are soon pushed aside though as the track twists its body to release a striking flame of Depeche Mode like melodic caressing littered with startling electro pulses and splurges of sound to shake up the song and expectations. Slight whispers of industrial and dubstep mischievously play their part in the bait of the song too and though the more general electronic course of the track is less inspiring than those elements, it is a refreshingly enterprising and imaginative eccentric dance within melodic witchery holding an almost spellbinding call.

    Next You and My Heart steps forward with its own distinctive fusion of electronic eccentricity and electro pop bewitchment, the song another which comes with a devilry to offset and taunt the raging melodies and ever appealing vocals. Production wise the track does want a little, the clashing electro scatterings and climatic orchestral bred melodies often suffocating and overpowering the vocals, though to be fair it does also help a haunting breath to wash the piece which does the song no harm. Overall though despite the smothering it is a lingering wash of melodic persuasion which adds extra to the release if less potently as elsewhere.

     The best two songs on the release come next, firstly Wake Up which admittedly we have a soft spot for having heard it in its early stages a while back. A summer wind of folk seeded pop placing the acoustic skills and vocal enchantment of Strobegirl in a rich electronic stimulus, the track is a warm stroll through evocative aural sorcery. Again the production is a touch claustrophobic but cannot derail a quite delicious croon of shoegaze revelry. With a chorus I dare you not to join in by its second tempting the song is one irresistible romance.

     The title track is equally infectious in its individual way and passion conjuring character. With almost sinister shadows flitting in and out of the song as the keys play with light and dark intermittently within a flame hued melodic narrative, vocals and lyrics adding another bloom of passionate colour and imagination to the picture. The best track on the release if not quite the favourite, it is a thoroughly captivating incantation of Siouxsie and the Banshees mystique filtered through a restrained Propaganda sculpted beauty.

   Completed by the Monster Electro Mix of You Can’t Stop Me Now and lastly the Deep House Mix of Nothing Else Counts, How Are You? is a delightful enveloping of the imagination and emotions, a release which might finally push Strobegirl and indeed D’Jaly in a new deserved spotlight.

The How Are You? EP is available as a buy now name your price download @ http://strobegirl-djaly.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/StrobegirlUK

https://www.facebook.com/djaly0

8/10

RingMaster 22/01/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Public Domain Resource – Dead Surface

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     Until the arrival of their debut album it is probably not too far-fetched to assume a great many like us were not aware of Public Domain Resource and their magnetically crafted contagious sound. The recently release of Dead Surface has certainly addressed that lapse and such the potency of the synth pop bred waltz marking this fifteen track temptation the only recommendation is for you to go immerse yourself in this band. It is an album which ebbs and flows at times to both intrigue the imagination and occasionally leave the appetite wanting a little more from particular moments but taken as one radiant proposition the album is a riveting and vibrantly refreshing slice of electronic adventure.

     The Bergamo based project consists of Pietro Oliveri (music, synths, programming, vocals) and Ugo Crescini (vocals) though founded in 2012 it was initially a solo venture for Oliveri before Crescini linked up with him in March of last year. The band’s first year saw the appearance of Under The Ground, a track which reached 3rd place in the Industrial Music chart on Soundclick.com. Its successor Nemesis-The Third Day and the following The Hang were no less eagerly received either with the two songs riding high in IBM charts and all three now appearing upon the Space Race Records released Dead Surface. Combining a weave of sounds and flavours from eighties synth pop to EBM and varied electronic spicery, it is an encounter which warrants plenty of encounters to discover all its little nuances and seductive essences but one which constantly rewards with those unveilings. Whether the album will rival your all-time favourites time will tell but certainly it will earn and deserve a regular feature on your adrenaline cast playlists.

   The album starts with its best track, a title Ideals never relinquishes despite the strong challenges to come. Opening with a Dead Surface Coverdelicious bassline right out of early songbook of The Cure, the track immediately has interest hungry and eager to learn more. Tantalising electronic strokes soon join the persuasion alongside energetic rhythms and roving synth temptation but it is the excellent vocals of assumedly Crescini which seal the deal. It is hard to know who provides vocals actually each voice clearly distinguishable but only if you know which belongs to whom, something we could not find out in time. A more than healthy Depeche Mode feel evolves to wash through the song as it expands its lures and enterprise as well as a sturdy rock element to the vocals especially, it all adding to a masterful infection clad synth pop triumph.

    The following Red Lines has a more tempered energy to its candescent electro glow aligned to shimmering enticements and also has little difficulty in seducing ears and thoughts. There is a rich emotive breath to the track from its opening note and first lyrical syllable and though as it progresses and builds a rich intensity in its melodic colouring and emotional depth the pervading shadows within never waiver or lessen their evocative call. Its successor Under the Ground is a similarly crafted blaze of melodically hued imagination, different in sound and delivery but as provocatively expressive and built with dark edges to provoke the imagination. Both tracks continue the impressive start to the album before passing over to another pair of pinnacles on the release.

    The title track from an arguably predictable opening dips enthrallingly into a darker climate of voice and sound which brings thoughts of New Order to the fore. It is when the song takes a breath and puffs out its melodic chest and rhythmic muscles around a pulsating nagging electro core that it ignites a virulent fascination of sound and shadowed seduction. The melodic groove which laps at the heart of the song alongside impassioned piano strokes only go to accentuate a Heaven 17 like bait fuelling the outstanding track, its success straight away matched by Fiat Lux. Admittedly the song took a little linger to fully convince but evolved into a strong favourite. Like those before, it has a unique character seeded in familiar yet fresh seeds. Once more thoughts drift to the eighties, this time from the chilled atmosphere which reminds at times of post punk band The Passage and a discord kissed vocal delivery which persuades like the haunted expression of that band’s creator Dick Witts crossed with the wily tones of Fatima Mansion’s frontman Cathal Coughlan. It is a ravenously addictive slice of electronic tempting adding further depth to the album.

    After such a strong passage maybe it was inevitable that the release would wander a little in potency which it does with the slightly predictable Negative Fields and the unsurprising Nemesis – The Third Day, though both are undeniably enjoyable and conjured by accomplished craft as they sandwich the arresting electronic landscape of Always Prey for Them – The Reich’s Station. Their enjoyable presences are soon lost to thought as the minimalistic beauty of Mishima San and the impossibly addictive Your Blood Is Mine combine to ignite the passions all over again; the first an elegant stimulation of melodic mesmerism and sultry synth pop engagement which is as epidemically contagious as any full on virus and its successor a multi-spiced electronic web which hustles and imposes its grandeur on the senses whilst holding them in a warm atmospheric embrace. Both tracks are irresistibly memorable, something you can say about the majority of the album as proven by The Hang. Heavy in texture and similarly weighty in infectiousness the song is a slow burning rousing of the imagination which needs longer than some to fully convince but does so without reservation before The Second Day takes its swipe at winning over emotions, its inevitable success going on what has gone before soon confirmed by its resourceful and skilful electronic maze of adventure.

    Completed by two more than decent remixes by Tourdeforce (Red Lines) and Retrogramme (Under the Ground) as well as the Magnetic Fields edit of Mishima San, the thrilling Dead Surface is an exhilarating incitement of a united dancefloor and individual passions. Increasingly more impressive with each romp through its insatiably addictive and inventive body the album marks Public Domain Resource out as a new protagonist in exploratory synth pop, a band draped in shadows for not much longer you suspect.

http://www.publicdomainresource.net/

http://ekproduct.bandcamp.com/album/dead-surface

8.5/10

RingMaster 10/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Cynical Existence – Erase, Evolve and Rebuild

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It only took a minute of the opening track to Erase, Evolve and Rebuild to hear and feel something has stirred and evolved within Cynical Existence. The band’s second album it is a riveting collection of distinct and diverse soundscapes soaked in a maturity and craft which sees the project at a level only hinted at previously. It is a hypnotic web of invention and exploration which embraces the darkest shadows but also the most acidic and caustic light, the result a release which stalks, rampages through, and dances with senses and thoughts whilst seducing the emotions, though not always in that permutation.

Formed by Fredrik Croona (ex- Project Rotten/ Menschdefekt) as a solo project, Cynical Existence as evolved into a startling and formidable beast which has continued to impress across EPs and earlier this year the project’s debut album Come Out And Play, not long after followed by the Beholder EP. For most bands this frequency of releases leads to the occasional less than endearing or potent encounters but this is definitely not the case with Croona and co, in fact it has to be said that Erase, Evolve and Rebuild leaves much of what came before pale in its company despite their also impressive declarations. The depth and strength unleashed by the new album suggests that maybe the other recent releases have consisted of older written material or simply the striking evolution sculpted by Croona and Steve Alton of UK project System:FX who joined the band late last year, the pair now joined by third member George Klontzas of Pre Emptive Strike 0.1, is that dramatic a sudden leap. Erase, Evolve and Rebuild certainly does nothing to diminish the sizeable impression and quality forged by A Familiar Kind of Pain, Come Out And Play, etc. though instead it just breeds another wave of striking accomplishment by Cynical Existence.

Released via Belgium label Alfa Matrix, Erase, Evolve and Rebuild has little problem in having feet and thoughts in eager frontmovement through opener Something Strange. Synths instantly cast a festivity of sound over the ears, an ambience which is welcoming and almost devilish especially with the darker feisty electro stomp which keenly joys the invitation. The vocals of Croona squall with the caustic breath and malevolent lure which we have come to know and enjoy but the song also shows the appetite to infuse a cleaner darker gothic tone to the narrative which only excites. There is a lighter essence and buoyancy to the track compared to certainly the Beholder EP, but shadows and dark menaces still have room to toy with the listeners thoughts. A track sure to add fire to the dancefloor, it makes a compelling start to the album.

The following Erase Me is equally as potent and effective in rousing up the passions, its electro caress of a dawning soon a bulbous beckoning moving into an electro punk confrontation through the guitar of Alton. A riotous snarl coats the song from vocals through to the causticity breeding an irresistible temptation and wrapped in another waltz of electronic sedition which invites limbs and a voracious hunger to enlist in the track’s insatiable incitement, it is a rivetingly sculpted pinnacle of the album and further evidence of the evolution at work.

    My Decadence, Your Sins which features Rave the Reqviem has an absorbing eighties temptation to its thrilling landscape, a scenery which is like Depeche Mode does industrial at times and at other moments like Celldweller on a distinct mission to taunt the songbook of Fad Gadget. Despite those thoughts the track is still uniquely Cynical Existence in its stance and enterprise with the fact that the three minutes plus are over far too soon the only niggle. The feast of invention continues the scintillating presence of the album with ease, passing its heady presence on to the magnetic searing electro quickstep of Imperfect followed by the evocatively hued The Divine. Elegant classically wrapped keys open up the second of the two songs, its gentle radiant coaxing leading thoughts into the haunting melancholic caresses at the heart of the track. It is a masterful provocation of emotion and shadow cloaked climes, the gravelly vocals as on all songs that rasping texture which tempers and compliments the clean delivery and the melodic rays of sonic beauty.

The album from this point on immerses in even darker wells of malevolent rapture and predacious intent. The imagination consuming Falling with its thumping heartbeat the centre of a tempestuous emotional cloud and the pulsating heavy booted yet still irresistibly charming Deus Ex Complex are both unafraid to stalk the blackest corners within especially in the second of the two, shards of irrepressible electro romping whilst Our Bright Future is a twisted riotous incendiary tango of sound and energy which is prone to long breaths and pleasing unpredictability. This new energised character of a dance also reaps and offers its rewards through Sins Of Your Flesh and though the trio of songs maybe lack the final knock-out punch of their predecessors all leave satisfaction full.

The Endless Stride has a structure and contagion which feels closely akin to the first album without any definition as to why or to which offering whilst the effulgence of An Eternity Stuck On Repeat bewitches from its first glassy elegant touch, seducing with a wantonness which is refined yet brazenly uncompromising. The songs bring more open variation to the album as does the guitar grazing company of No Compromise and the industrialised rapacious crowding of the senses from Transformation (a search for change), both tracks successful conspirators in a slavery of the passions.

Completed by the outstanding smouldering cinematic instrumental of At the end (Outro), Cynical Existence has thrust themselves to the very fore of electro/industrial mastery with the transfixing Erase, Evolve and Rebuild. Arguably top heavy with its first selection of tracks a more vigorous exploit for feet and energy though the latter is no less an accomplished instigator of darker emotions and realms, the album takes the existing successes and sounds of the band into new breath-taking adventures of imagination and craft.

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9/10

RingMaster 21/11/2013

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