When the debut EP from UK electro rock band MiXE1 was unveiled in 2010 there was more than mere interest set in motion for any future releases. Module 01 was a haunting and vibrant collection of tracks offering much promise ahead whilst at the time lighting up thoughts and emotions with its warm enveloping sounds. A free single last year in A Spark In The Air only strengthened the eagerness for more with word of a follow up EP set for 2012 the trigger for even more enthused and impatient waiting. Module 02 does not disappoint, a four song release it brings an evolution in sound and invention with all the essences and imagination that first captivated still on board.
MiXE1 is the solo project of Hatfield based songwriter Mike Evans. Having played in an alternative metal band he reached a point where he wanted to express himself in a different way and turned to electronic music, a genre that had already engaged his tastes. The project which became MiXE1 allowed him to find a more positive energy and area to express himself within, bringing a contrast to the darker sounds and lyrics which were borne from his previous band. It was a move as by the evidence of his releases which has openly inspired his creativity, the new release being no exception but a further step forward in his vision, songwriting and its realisation.
The EP immediately lights up the senses with opener This Is Not Goodbye, synths and dazzling swarms of sound wrapping around the ear with a tender embrace. With an emerging throbbing pulse the song spreads deeper into the head as the vocals of Evans, smooth and mesmeric soak the music in dazzling harmonies and care. Swaying within its warmth one is then thrust into a frenzy of aggressive guitars, vocals, and blistering intensity. It creates the perfect union of extremes and continually unpredictable glories, offering a NIN/ Celldweller like feel with bursts of Sonic Syndicate. That is simplifying it as it has a uniqueness and freshness that is MiXE1 alone. It is the best track on Module 2, a sure and persistent companion to share time with though the other three songs that stir within the EP are just as compulsive.
Your Heart Is The Beat starts with the unlocking of the song, its grace and flow emerging from shadows into the limelight of the ear with a heated grace and hypnotic energy. Emotive and seemingly personal through passion and heart the song is a wave of summer warmth splintered with flashes of harshness which ignites even deeper veined satisfaction. Electro pop with a Visage like breath the track is a wonderful excuse to visit inner thoughts and emotions with an understanding soundtrack.
Do You Know continues the feeling with more eighties electro flavouring though it reminds more of John Foxx led Ultravox with its underlying rock edge. Another song with euphoric depth to it the irresistible pleasure lifts the lowest spirit and any darkly shadowed emotion with caring imagination and evocative thought coated in infectious harmonies and soaring melodies.
The release is completed by the impassioned Never Been Gone, a far reaching atmospheric mist of emotion spotted with falling sonic glittering and the tenderness of electronic enveloping. Once more Evans brings textures to the music which makes each dip into its sea of sounds fresh and deeply rewarding. The song invites one to lie back and let it take them through their own journey of memories, thoughts, and feelings, the wonderful sounds an understanding companion.
Released June 16th on Static Distortion Records, Module 02 is a stunning result of an artist who has found a full well of imagination and craft within music he is relatively speaking still fresh to and it harbours even greater promise for a planned debut album ahead. Just to be picky one would say more guitar and more of the metallic abrasion on that please, but if it is as good as this EP, we will take anything MiXE1 brings with relish.