UK electro pop band MiXE1 started out in 2010 as the solo project of Mike Evans and took no time in impressing with the first two EPs Module 01 and Module 02. Creating a warm but adventurously impacting blend of electro and pop around a rock spine the pair of releases enchanted and evoked with their absorbing and seemingly very personal invitation. Since the summer of last year when the second EP was unveiled, Evans has taken the project up another level with further additions to its line-up whilst the already openly evolving and growing sound has blossomed into a sweltering and enthralling blaze of riveting potency.
Consisting of guitarist Lee Towson and drummer Lee O’Brien (formerly of Indie-Rock band Load) alongside Evans (former guitarist of alt-metal band Broken Butterfly X), with bassist Marcos Farias making the band a quartet for live shows, the Hatfield based MiXE1 release their new collection of songs via Static Distortion Records. Though we say new the songs themselves are revisited and explored further songs written between the two previous EPs but such the growing creative intensity and growth of the band they feel as if they are bred from a much later time whilst equally showing the strength of the songwriting from day one. With debut album Starlit Skin scheduled for later in the year, MiXE1 (pronounced Mikes 1) are set to have the rest of the year melting under a different kind of heat.
The title track opens up the release and immediately has the senses shielding their eyes under an electro radiance which shimmers vigorously as a moody shadow lurks in the sun. The vocals of Evans are as compelling and inviting as ever, his warm seductive tones wrapping around song and emotions as drums and guitar revel in the invigorating breath of the electronic wash. At this precise moment the UK is in the clasp of a heatwave and Lights Out, song and release make the perfect soundtrack whilst intensifying the sultriness of the atmosphere. The song is a passionate affair for ear and emotions, one hinting danger but ultimately caressing with infectious charm and craft.
The outstanding Part Of Me follows and ventures into the rock suggestiveness which prowled its predecessor. From a short sonic blistering rife with temptation, the track leaps into a contagious stomp of crisp rhythms, scathing riffs, and electronic enterprise. Like a mix of Celldweller and John Foxx with a snarl of Pendulum to its darker corners, the song is a thrilling riot down flumes of exhausting and invigorating imagination littered with appetising barbs and mesmeric kisses from music through to vocals. There is also a strong essence of label mates Ghost In The Static to its muscular addictiveness which only leads to greater ardour for its immense presence.
Pulling You Back To My World instantly has an eighties electro pop feel to its touch, the initial wave of rich sound Blancmange like whilst the incendiary hook reminds of early Modern English. Another track which is virulent in its appeal and graceful in poise it seduces with each emotive note, the song simply growing in stature with each subsequent listen, the vocals of Evans wonderfully assisted by those of Amie Morandarte-Evans entrancing whilst the mix of guitar and synths is pure magnetism driven by the influential rhythms. Along with Part Of Me, the song steals top accolades on the release and alone makes the hunger for the forthcoming album greedy.
Both Find You and This Time continue the scintillating melodic and emotional fire of the release, the first a gentler though muggy in its ambience, encounter which tenderly walks along thoughts and imagination urging them with a muscular intensity into deeper reflection whilst its successor is an almost savage confrontation, in comparison to earlier songs. With fire in its eyes it prowls and challenges whilst still flowing with melodic beauty and sentiment. The track again shows the depth of exploration in the heart and creativity of the band which again makes Starlit Skin an exciting proposition.
Completed by a remix of Part Of Me by another Static Distortion band Defeat, Lights Out is a breath-taking encounter. The final song which challenges our personal natural reticence towards remixes with an inventive face to the track, though still the original holds it in its shadow, bringing one of the brightest and exhilarating aural massages of the year to a close. Released July 27th the EP sets MiXE1 as one of the forces which will guide UK electro pop to its greatest heights, hell, probably the world’s.
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