Stuart O’Connor: Go Forth Bright Scenic

Go Forth Bright Scenic is a four album project released at the same time across four formats from British singer songwriter Stuart O’Connor. It does get a little complicated so pay attention there at the back, but each album contains its own unique collection of songs and themes to stand alone or as part of the overall project, and to equally together or individually, if the CD release which we will focus on shortly is anything to go by, capture the imagination and fire up strong pleasure.

Go is a twelve track release which concentrates upon the electronic side of music and comes on a 4GB USB pen drive presented in a unique storage pouch. Limited to just 44 it also comes with an additional 4 albums of secret material unique to this version. The album is produced by Chris Hollis and O’Connor as is the CD.

Bright offers thirteen tracks recorded through various sessions between 2008 and 2012. Produced by Craig Harris alongside O’Connor, the release searches for a more direct singer/songwriter sound and comes on, again limited to 44 copies, Tape Cassette. Containing additional unique bonus material unavailable anywhere else, the album also offers the track Recordeddirecttothiscassette which the artist recorded 44 times in 44 different locations with various musicians in attendance to make each performance and release very unique and personal.

The self-produced album Scenic is a Double Gatefold 12″ vinyl release which like the CD is released in a limited batch of 444 copies. The first disc is ‘the album as it was intended’ whilst the second is a live collaboration with Avant Guard Japanese composer Haco recorded in Kobe, Japan and once more solely available to the vinyl edition. All releases feature an array of musicians who contributed along the way to a release which was four years in the making and are all available in download form for the princely sum of £1 each but e without any of the bonus material.

The project follows three well received albums which saw great acclaim and label interest go the way of O’Connor, but fiercely independent to allow his creativity to breath he has forged his own path with this release the pinnacle to date.

Forth, the CD version is quite dazzling at times and in others evocative but always compulsive. The varied songs often throw up unexpected delights but also at times just lay on the senses merging their thoughts and emotion with those of the listener with ease. The first full track is one of the former and sets this particular album with one of its biggest highlights. Set up by an intro instrumental which is over before you have the chance to absorb its purpose Squeaky Doors immediately has the ear drawn its way through the opening guitar strokes and the soon to follow smouldering harmonica of O’Connor and delicious ‘wonky’ double bass prods, the mix a sizzling taste of the orient and the dusty West. As the impressive vocals of O’Connor tells the impassioned tale, the track suddenly lurches into a dramatic stand through thumping keys and staccato energy. It is wonderful, adding extra excitement and intrigue to the track whilst provoking deeper emotive shadows to emerge from within song and listener. The song slips through many soundscapes as it makes its way to its final, blazing horns, mariachi kissed guitars, and Latin American passion just part of the thrilling ride.

Arguably the album never reaches such heights again but it certainly comes close, the likes of the hypnotic Default: Escape with its melodic teasing and grace, Varit with an air which is a swirl of feelings, and the mix of sultry persuasion and heated passion Note That Says, all leave one enthralled and lost in the infectious engagement of songs and album. 1-2-Seppuku is another which ignites the strongest fires to complete the album part, the track a perpetually evolving and raging torrent of sonic mastery. From its opening whispers and soothing touch it eventually twists into a storm of primal energy and pulse racing imagination, the track burning with a fire of passion and musicianship which leaves one breathless.

The CD also gives four bonus tracks, which match and in some places bypass other tracks on the album with ease. The live cut of Misfit Theatre is outstanding, O’Connor easily showing why he has such a great live reputation after performing over 900 shows in 4 years across the likes of the UK, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and many more places. The track is powerful and captivating, the musician transferring his uniqueness on record to the live setting with accomplished ease. The other tracks are demos, of which the funky Kpamlogo and the coarse treat that is Kindred Falls stand out.

Whichever part of Go Forth Bright Scenic you choose it is hard to imagine you will be disappointed, only more eager to grab the others to complete one impressive vast release.

http://www.stuartoconnor.com/

RingMaster 06/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

A-Bridge: AlexPanda The Great EP

 

The AlexPanda The Great EP is the debut release from A-Bridge, the project of rapper Alex Pandya. Consisting of five tracks, the release is the introduction of a young man who is still evolving as vocalist and artist but one who offers massive promise ahead with his imaginative sounds and ideas. Admittedly rap is not a genre we have a great understanding or knowledge of but do have a strong liking for tracks and artists who offer something different alongside their rapping skills. A-Bridge certainly does that, the music and sonic invention surrounding the more than decent delivery of Pandya, smartly crafted and at times immersive.

The release starts with the title track and within seconds the brewing ambience and dawning sound pulls a full focus. Wrapping itself around the ear with epic whispers and enveloping charms the music opens slightly to allow Pandya to announce himself, as the character, and begin his statement. Hindsight against the other tracks shows it is not his strongest delivery vocally but easily decent enough to ensure attention to his words, and as good additional vocal layers compliments him he gains strength as the track proceeds. The shadowed voice of someone who sounds like Frank Bruno talking through a road traffic cone is fun without distracting too much but it is the great cloud of teasing persuasive sounds which soaks the ear that is the inventive highlight of the opener.

The Manifesto steps up next to place its stance within a weave of caustic harmonies and shimmering raw elegance. Musically the track rubs on the senses nicely, leaving them alert and intrigued whilst Pandya unveils his declaration. If political party broadcasts were sound tracked by sounds like this there would be much more interest for sure. Like the first track, the song is brief and fades out leaving the impression of something impressive yet unfinished. This is for all extent and purposes a demo but as mentioned leaves massive promise driving thoughts by its end rather than actually feeling like the completed article, the length of songs and their drifting away as and when they do adding to that impression.

Am I Human follows and is a gentle mesmeric caress upon the senses, its expansive atmosphere taking thoughts and emotions through wide open spaces of nature driven ambience soaked with a chilled yet compulsive breath. The track is emotive, the vocals from a soul seemingly drifting with a peace which is solitary and intrusive. It is a magnetic piece featuring someone called Wye, who also featured on The Manifesto, his presence offering another strong and engaging element to enjoy.

The release is completed by firstly Demons and then Angels, both songs coating the ear with a similar engagement as from Am I Human, their persuasive charms tempered by shadows which blister the air and distort the balance of the melodic sways. It is a texture which sets the songs and A-Bridge apart from many others. There are slight suggestions in the sounds across the release  of being influenced by the experimental innovators Shrikes, who Ajay Pandya the brother of Alex is with, but the EP finds its own pocket of invention to seize, leaving the more sonic twisting manipulations and imagination to others, for now.

AlexPanda The Great is an impressive release which surely will open the way for much more startling creativity ahead. Hopefully Alex Pandya will continue to push himself and the sounds he conjures to move even further away from the, coming from someone with limited knowledge of the genre, formula structures and vision a great many others feel the need to follow. It is in his hands.

RingMaster 06/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Title Sequence: Straight To Video EP

Fresh yet borne of vintage techniques and feel, the Straight To Video EP from UK electronica band The Title Sequence is an enterprising and mesmeric treat. Available right now as a free download, the release is a slice of lo-fi magnetism which lays its breezy caresses upon the ear with craft and tenderness.

The North London band is the project of songwriter David Bailey and producer Nick Crofts. Formerly known as The Sound of Bailey, the duo are childhood friends who as The Title Sequence have already drawn interest from the likes of Steve Lamacq, Huw Stephens and Chris Coco with their music, including previous single Dinosaurs in February of this year. Taking influences from the likes of Camera Obscura, Boards Of Canada and Solar Bears, the pair open up more of their musical heart and passion with the five track Straight To Video EP.

Ahead of new single Pay Day and presented as a companion to their forthcoming album Stills, the release opens up with the bubbly and hypnotic Out Of This. Nostalgia brewed electronic pulses, bontempi whispers, and excellent guitar teases lead one by the hand within the warm and reflective walls of the song, its core a delight of gentle vocals caresses and golden melodic rays. Offering an elegance of eighties bands like Felt and China Crisis with a Thomas Dolby like electronic attraction and Owl City pop beckoning, the EP is a soft creamy aural dessert from which there is not quite enough to satisfy the appetite but delicious enough to make one keep coming back for more. That applies to the whole release, its individual tracks varied flavours never less than a full enticement if again they do not all always quench the thirst. Nevertheless the opener is an enchanting piece of indie electro pop, its mazy melodies and imaginative sonic drizzling quite impossible to pull away from.

The following My Light Was On is a reflective and emotive tale of lost romance, its slowly dawning strength wonderfully crafted within the haze of a fine guitar painting and passionate mists which place their brief but perpetual kisses upon thoughts and senses. Next up, Hide And Seek is a similar song in intent and effect but brought through a different warm wind of dual vocals and evocative sounds. The guitar again paints the picture whilst the male and wonderful female vocals provide the colour and emotive texture. It is simple but quite lovely and easy to immerse within.

Before the excellent final track, VHSEX is a very brief instrumental which blends steel drums with the white noise of the vintage tape deck reel the band used to record the release. It is ok, just an interlude but does suggest the band in the future have some ambient ideas they could well be ready to explore. The closing Desert Song is a homage to Ennio Morricone, the Mexican mariachi suggesting opening playing in visions of swirling whispers of dust and heat. Into its stride the track is a magnificent weave of cinematic and textures brought through dramatic trumpet and strings alongside soaring female vocal washes and the expressive tones of Bailey. There is a touch of The Monochrome Set to the track, the same imaginative and unique take on sound and story within.

It is an outstanding end to what is a very pleasing and exciting release. It also suggests the horizon will offer more and greater pleasures from The Title Sequence which ensures eyes and ears will be closely paying attention in their direction.

Get the your free download of The Straight To Video EP @

http://thetitlesequence.bandcamp.com/album/straight-to-video-ep

RingMaster 06/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Digital Deformation: Self Titled EP

As great and impressive as previous album No Signal was, Digital Deformation has left it in the dust of evolution with its new self-titled EP. The new release sees Matt Powell, the creator and sole member of Digital Deformation, returning with a mightier presence, more intense invention, and simply greater titanic sounds. It is a furious onslaught of thunderous industrial energy, skilfully crafted ebm, and electronic passion, all thrust into songs which ignite the passions and moves the body into action like an insatiable puppeteer.

Since forming the project at the beginning of 2010, Powell has continually grabbed attention and greatly positive reactions. His early releases System Failure and Powertrips were harsh and gritty, their striking and confronting presences sparking good acclaim which No Signal built upon and elevated with ease. The clear control and craft which evolved across those releases has found another depth and sphere of creativity with the new EP, as well as deeper rampant energy to the still merciless antagonistic intensity.

Released through Static Distortion Records, Powell ensures capitulation to his magnetic malice from the first two tracks alone, both mighty oppressive intrusive assaults which ignite the imagination and enslave the heart. Homecoming begins first, its flesh tingling initial rub and sonic drilling soon in league with roving rhythms and muscular beats wrapped in potent melodic persuasion and electro hooks which snare the senses without resistance. Female spoken vocals splinter the track at times to temper the gruff spite of Powell but also to add an extra chill to the metallic charge. By midway the track is a prowling antagonist, searing the ear and beyond whilst chewing on the debris with an intensity as rampaging as the golden sonic taunts are seductive.

Forget Me takes no time in adding its abrasive splendour to the wounds inspired by its predecessor, its acidic squalls of corrosive energy and coarse sonic brew simply hypnotic. The track then steps back its erosion to free tight explosions of pulsating melodic spots, the electro flirting a mix of Kraftwerk and Rammstein, before merging it all into a bruising maelstrom of splendour which needs and gets a repeating. It is like a recipe, a layering of textures and flavours which bewitch individually and fuse for a heightened delicious satisfaction. Stomping with vehemence flying from every word and bone resonating beats, it is a glorious storm of fiery harmonics and intent violence.

Strong finds a fiercer furnace to its dance. It is less forceful but crawls within the ear to tease and test the senses with sirenesque female harmonies, vibrant melodic swagger, and a rabid snarl to leave its surface warm yet challenging. It is another diverse aspect to the varied and intriguing release which the following Occupy repeats in its own distinct manner. It plays like a hungry mix of electro hardcore and industrial, its hybrid gait thrilling the ear like a riot of Axis Mundi, Ghost In The Static, and Conformist.

The release is closed by firstly User Defined and then a remix of the same track by Axial Point. The original is an ever shifting tempest of ideas and energies driven by ear slapping invention and compulsive sounds. Featuring Lewis Collins of Ghost In The Static on lead guitar, the track unveils a soundscape which provokes imagery and emotion which varies from listen to listen but always leaves a residue of provocation to contemplate and be invigorated by. The remix offers a less intense take of the track, its more relaxed and drifting whispers opening up a meditative and tranquil grace to its heart. It is a strong and pleasing version but pales right up close to the inventive original.

Digital Deformation has returned with a mighty and irresistibly compelling release which leaves the imagination and passions fully quenched. Nothing else need be said.

https://www.facebook.com/DigitalDeformation

RingMaster 06/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright