Stoking the polka: talking Peace, Love & Russkaja with founder Georgij Makazaria

Russkaja2_RingMasterReview

Austrian turbo polk metallers Russkaja is band we for one cannot fail to get perpetually excited and energised by, their fiercely eclectic and rousing sound a manic and exhilarating stomp that just hits the spot. With the release of their latest album Peace, Love & Russian Roll on Napalm records, 2015 has been a busy year for the septet, one just as full of live shows around Europe and further afield. Right now Russkaja are touring but band founder and vocalist Georgij Makazaria managed to find some time to kindly share with us as we look into the making of the new album and origins of the band.

Hello Georgij and many thanks for sharing time to talk with us.

The world has just been treated to another Russkaja stomp courtesy of new album Peace, Love & Russian Roll, the devil in a polka crafted musical skirt of temptation. For us it is your most rounded and ‘polished’ offering yet without losing the raw diversity which fuels your unique sound. How does it most differ for you from Energia!, its predecessor?

The new album has more different directions. We felt free to try everything we wanted to try and we had fun doing that.

Whereas there was a great ‘randomness’ to the sound and lyrical narrative of songs in previous your albums, Peace, Love & Russian Roll seems to have a more constant theme within the ever eclectic festival of flavours and styles?

Yes, all songs sound different; all sounds are inspired by the different moods of the songs; that was the idea of the new album.

It also feels slightly more reserved in its boldness of diversity yet fuller in the creative hues it does weave into the bodies of songs. Did you go into its writing with any specific intent and ideas or did it just organically grow?

Engel and I, we took one year to compose songs, so we met in our rehearsal room and put together the elements that influenced us during this year! I had lots of ideas that I was carrying in my phone for a long time, and Engel had some projects that he has collected in the past, so we put both sources together and the new music came out.

597_Russkaja_RingMaster ReviewMany of the songs are sung in English upon Peace, Love & Russian Roll; why that move this time around? There is an element of trying to lure stronger UK/US attention?

It was a step closer to everybody’s understanding. English is of course the most spoken language on this planet and it works great in this combination.

Do you think you will repeat this across future releases as it surely will open up a new wealth of appetites for Russkaja from those ‘prejudice’ to anything not lyrically accessible before they hear a sound?

I don´t know what I will repeat in the future, but I know one thing: On the new album I have some favourite directions and I will try to follow them again on my next travel.

Tell us about El Pueblo Unido upon the album, the first track you have sung in Spanish.

Si, yo estudiado la idioma español en la Union Sovietica. I learned Spanish in USSR, it was a special school with very intensive language teaching. I still can speak a little bit Spanish, sometimes I have practiced with my colleagues like: Tito & Tarantula, Ska-P, Panteon Rococo. I had this idea for a kind of mariachi sound in my head, and so I started to put together some Spanish words and it worked out. I am very happy about this song.

The expansive and unpredictable sound that Russkaja is renowned and acclaimed for, seems inevitable with the background and tastes of all its members. Can you tell us how you all came together and the origins of the band?

Russkaja was founded 2005 by me, Georgij Makazaria. I came from Soviet Union in the late 80-ies to Austria. Here I’ve met Dimitrij Miller from Ukraine in the year 2003. The Brass Section is two brothers from Upper Austria, Hans-Georg and Rainer Gutternigg, the Violin Girl is from Griesskirchen, a place on the landside. Drummer Mario is from Styria like Arnold, Engel the guitarist is from Lower Austria, half of us live in Vienna, the other half in Linz.

Was there anything which majorly inspired the creation of Russkaja?

It was a book written by Wladimir Kaminer, Russendisko from the year 2000. It´s a true story about a place in Berlin where the writer started to put (as a DJ) Russian music together with his friend Yuriy Gurzhy from “Rotfront“, and the small place “Cafe BURGER“ became a secret hype in town. They added a CD to the book with some of this music and I was very surprised that the people in Berlin went crazy for music I grew up with, I was inspired, I got a great idea! Later I’ve met the writer, worked with both guys together, played in this Cafe and I have always big fun performing in Berlin!

With such inspirations behind all your individual tastes and ideation, I am imagining songs come together like a puzzle at times, different parts tried in different ways until fitting. How does the Russkaja3_RingMasterReviewsongwriting generally come together in the band and is there a strong democratic process involved or its more that particular people take the lead?

It´s a free democratic process, every one of us is welcome to bring ideas, beats, rhymes, riffs, brasslines or violin melodies, and I listen to all of them. Usually, when I compose, it begins with a summing idea on the phone. Engel and I, we are collecting ideas all the time, they can come in every moment that you don´t expect, so you better be ready and have something to record in the hand, because the ideas may visit you just for a short time and then they disappear. In February of last year we started our song-development sessions. I like this part a lot; it is a creative time when things get a form and a face. Next step is the choice. Very difficult moment, what is good, what is better. After we’ve selected the Ideas we start to arrange everything around: brass, violin choir. After that, the studio work begins.

Did you approach the recording of the new album any differently to its predecessors?

Yes, this time we were working in a very well organized and perfect equipped studio called “Masters of Sounds“ in Michelhausen in Lower Austria. We started with the rhythm section by recording drums together with bass and guitars (pilot modus). A lot of basslines on the tracks were done by first take, than we recorded guitars and bass adds. At this time, our brass section started to record trumpets and potete (special instrument – mixture of trumpet and trombone) in Linz, in a studio of their friend Armin Lehner, who did a great work guiding this recording session. After a song got rhythm and brass, we recorded violins on it. In a very cool hall room, 8 m high – great acoustic, super sound. At the end I did my part singing the songs in a very relaxed and nice atmosphere! No hurry, great mics, a well sounding room with a lot of daylight and candle light in the evening.

Do you find reactions and the passion for your individual sound differs majorly between audiences from different countries within Europe?

Only the best reactions! Most of the people like it; it is a fresh, positive music, that works everywhere we go. Every show is a booster for the band! We give everything at every concert and pick up the people of every age, nationality and taste!

pic Jörg Fischer_

pic Jörg Fischer_

The band is renowned for its festival of energy and adventure on stage, what have you got lined up for the rest of 2015?

Now we are on our Germany/Austria/Netherlands tour, then we go to Italy, and in December to Spain!

Once again big thanks for sparing time for us; is there anything you would like to add?

You are very welcome! Peace to your home, health to your body, love to your heart!

Read our review of Peace, Love & Russian Roll @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/07/27/russkaja-peace-love-russian-roll/

http://www.russkaja.com/    https://www.facebook.com/russkajaofficial

 

Pete Ringmaster

The RingMaster Review 11/11/2015

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The Mojo Slide -Twist Your Bones

 

mojo slide_RingMaster Review

Uniting blues and rock ‘n’ roll, and many other colours with their own feverish climate of imagination and dirt encrusted textures, UK rockers The Mojo Slide release their first album this month, an encounter as fiery and sonically smoky as an alcohol fuelled barbecue. Twist Your Bones offers eleven faces of blues scented dark rock ‘n’ roll, each song a fresh twist on another whilst breeding their own distinctive dose of contagious devilry.

It is an infection loaded flavouring which has captured loyal and eager support for the Cambridge, St Neots, and Cambridgeshire hailing quintet since they formed in 2011. Locally and further afield, The Mojo Slide has built a rich reputation for their live stomp, an earned stature backed by a clutch of singles leading to the release of their gripping full-length debut, it a proposition easy to imagine pushing the band to national attention with the potential for much more.

Twist Your Bones opens with the glorious Addicted, a song which from its first breath of scuzzy guitar seizes ears and attention. In a few moments more rhythms are strolling with carnival-esque revelry as the voice of Mark Wilks stands astride sharing the track’s narrative like a side show barker. With quaint keys courting the thick enticing of Mike Fenna’s guitar backed in potency by the prowess of rhythm guitarist Matt Legg, the song swings along with vaudevillian virulence, simultaneously riding a rhythmic contagion cast by bassist Danny Savage and drummer Michael Graham. There is a touch of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers to the impressive opener which continues into the just as thrilling Jesus Don’t Love Me. The second song similarly opens on thick guitar bait, scything riffs aligning with a throaty bassline too as an instant catchiness comes the way of the vocals. Again as its predecessor, the outstanding track has its and the listener’s hips swinging with zeal whilst it roams the imagination with a jazz/funk bred tenacity entwined in warped rock ‘n’ roll.

The Mojo Slide - Twist Your Bones - Front Cover art_RingMaster Review     From an old single to the band’s new one in the warm embrace of Smiling. Just released to make a potent teaser for the album, the country bloomed croon gently glides along on a southern twang and again highly enjoyable vocals, that union alone brewing a catchy tempting under the track’s sultry air and blues seamed The Black Keys type serenade. Though not as dramatic as the first two, the song reveals the depth and adventure to the band’s songwriting and sound whilst indeed laying down a strong invitation for Twist Your Bones.

The following High is a blaze of harmonic and sonic causticity and again an inescapably addictive persuasion, with Wilks the ringleader of a gloriously compelling chorus and the energetic bubbling of blues acidity around it. As many songs, there is a sense of recognition to the inspirations and flavours within the song, yet brewed and boiled up into a distinctive swagger. Norwegian rockers Electric Woodland do come to mind during already another big highlight of the album but as suggested, only a welcoming spice in The Mojo Slide stomp.

     Make You Bleed is similarly styled sound wise but leaning more towards a Rolling Stones meets White Stripes flame of sonic seduction whilst previous single Bad In Every Bone, is a slice of delta blues inspired tempting spun by the conflagrant craft and enterprise of the guitars. Stalked by the throaty shadows of bass and intimidating beats, the track seduces as it prowls, adding a funk infused essence to its blues which definitely has a tang of Red Hot Chili Peppers to it. Both tracks impress and get the body keenly moving, with the latter a real incendiary incitement before Rattlesnake Humbug Blues gets feet and hips bursting with further energy with its classic Jerry Lee Lewis toned rock ‘n’ roll.

A transfixing dance of vintage/modern keys brings a captivating texture and enticement to The Ballad Of Satan The Devil next, at times the song laying a Doors like touch on ears whilst in other moments eighties electro pop nudges as an Arctic Monkeys like spicing lurks in the heated roar of the song. It is another shade of sound and creativity in the album, as mentioned its diversity an enjoyable trait continuing in the Dylan-esque canter of Little Bird and in turn the soul blues meets rockabilly, bluegrass seeded Drunk Dog Blues. If an appetite for the album was wavering, something highly unlikely as we found, the track chains it back up again in rich style, quickly backed by the closing psych rock burn of The Sky Is Falling In, a sizzling ramble of rock ‘n’ roll also searing ears and exciting the senses.

For those with a bent for blues and firebrand rock ‘n’ roll, Twist Your Bones is a must, but equally it has a twisted and slightly psychotic tinge to its voice and invention which will appeal to those with a taste for bold alternative adventures. Our recommendation is to go find out if it is for you anyway as fun is a sure fire reward.

Twist Your Bones is released November 14th @ http://www.themojoslide.com/music–2

http://www.themojoslide.com   http://www.facebook.com/themojoslide   http://www.twitter.com/themojoslide

Pete RingMaster 11/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

The Sherlocks – Heart of Gold

The Sherlocks _RingMaster Review

Still looking barely old enough to take driving lessons, UK rockers The Sherlocks follow up their previous acclaimed single of earlier this year, Escapade, with another sure-fire attention grabber in the virulent shape of Heart of Gold. The band’s new single is a romp which continues spinning around ears and thoughts long after departure, a contagion reinforcing the growing notion that the Sheffield band is one of Britain’s most exciting emerging indie bands.

Consisting of two sets of brothers; Josh (guitar) and Andy Davidson (bass) uniting with Kiaran (vocals/guitar) and Brandon Crook (drums) late 2010, The Sherlocks have played shows at over 500 national venues these past three or so years, supporting the likes of Simple Minds, Scouting For Girls, Reverend & The Makers, The Buzzcocks, Starsailor, and The Enemy along the way, and earned great plaudits at festivals such as this year’s Isle of Wight event. Recent singles it is fair to say has pushed attention on the band to new levels, a success sure to be emulated again by Heart of Gold.

It opens on a smoky twang of sound and crisp beats, their brief jab the spark to a canter of jangly guitar and sultry guitar enterprise driven by the inescapably infectious lure and swing of bass and drums beats. Vocally Kiaran, backed strongly by the band, leads the dynamic croon adding further catchiness to proceedings in a seriously ear pleasing chorus and the great lead into it.

Band inspirations range from Arctic Monkeys and The Beatles to artists such as Libertines, Oasis, and The Jam, and fair to say there is a good scent of a couple of those in a familiar air across the mightily engaging Heart of Gold, but once again it is a spicing adding to a recipe ultimately distinct to and rousing from The Sherlocks.

To be honest there is the feeling the band has still to find its totally unique sound and voice, but with songs like this the wait can only be pleasurable.

Heart of Gold is out now @ http://thesherlocksmusic.co.uk/our-store/

http://thesherlocksmusic.co.uk   https://www.facebook.com/TheSherlocksOfficial

Pete RingMaster 11/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Dollhouse – Dawning and Rolling Around/Laudanum

Dollhouse_RingMaster Review

Allow us to introduce you to UK band Dollhouse, a quartet from Stroud with a sound that whilst still brewing and evolving is already showing the potential of becoming something special. To be fair, as the pair of newer songs we are looking at show, there is a compelling imagination and potency to the band’s music already. It is a sound bred from potent essences from Krautrock and garage rock but again on the evidence of Dawning and Rolling Around and Laudanum alone, the prime heart of their creativity is post punk.

There is little background we can offer about Dollhouse, except that the band consists of vocalist Zak Thomas-Akoo, guitarist/backing vocalist Will Ainsley, bassist Nick Browning, and drummer Tom Stevens. Inspirations to the band include the likes of Massive Attack, Groove Armada, Portishead, Can, Hot Chip, and Joy Division, the latter and similar genre influences the most open flavouring to certainly this riveting pair of songs, though a look at the band’s SoundCloud account sees those other spices woven into a handful of diversely sounding songs.

   Dawning and Rolling Around quickly grips ears and our ever ready appetite for post punk with its opening resonance of beats aligned to a brooding bass lure. As a slim and potent sonic lure of guitar joins the plain but effective vocals, there is no escaping the feel of Ian Curtis and co, a swiftly enjoyable haunting which only increases its grip as rhythms twist and the guitar moves through its shades of melodic colour and emotive expression. At the same time an infectious swing grows, emerging halfway with an Artery meets Crispy Ambulance like temptation, hooks and bass bait still undeterred in their creation of aural addiction. The track is outstanding, the recommended doorway into the emerging adventure of Dollhouse, though Laudanum is strong on the art of tempting too.

Again beats and guitar make an early beckoning but with them comes a slightly warmer and alluring air which further opens up as a catchy hook lined stroll breaks out along with a less intensive, compared to the other track, flow and tone of the vocals. Keys suggest as they caress the imagination with mellow vocals and restrained but potent rhythms fuelling the sonic web increasingly wrapping ears and appetite. Like a chilled mix of Modern Eon, The Associates, and OMD, the song enthrals and intrigues, and though it takes longer to ignite the same level of greed in body and thoughts as Dawning and Rolling Around, it too becomes a lingering slice of thorough enjoyment.

It is only the beginning for Dollhouse, and as their SoundCloud shows there is plenty of experimentation going on as the band develops into their own sound. With more propositions like this pair of tracks though, they are certainly heading towards stirring up strong attention with a following to match, for sure amongst post punk fans.

Explore the Dollhouse sound @ http://www.soundcloud.com/bewildereduk

https://www.facebook.com/thedollhouseband

Pete RingMaster 11/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

London Has Fallen – Breathe

London has Fallen_RingMaster Review

London Has Fallen is a duo from Peoria, Illinois; a band with a sound which smothers ears with melodic caresses within a creative drama and who have just released a rich captivation in the shape of second album Breathe. Uniting alternative and pop rock with electronic and orchestral imagination, the pair of vocalist/keyboardist/songwriter Alecia Gates and multi-instrumentalist/producer Cameron Gorham create emotive, shadow lined aural romances as songs, encounters bursting with a vibrancy and passion which potently capture the imagination. Breathe is an album which maybe takes its time to fully seduce, but from first to every subsequent listen, it is a release which only leaves a lingering pleasure behind.

Gates and Gorham first met in 2013 courtesy of a mutual Facebook friend. This led to the latter working on Gates debut solo project which in turn led to the pair uniting as London Has Fallen. Last year saw the release of well-received debut album Fracture, a slice of rock ‘n’ roll crafted with melodic fire and emotive intensity. Since its release, the band’s sound has grown and evolved into a just as forcefully persuasive proposition but with a mellower air and more uniquely dramatic character, first hinted at by the Into The Night EP. The four new songs in its body are also part of the broader adventure of Breathe, its success as a teaser taken on and explored much more through the new ten track encounter.

breathe-artwork   Breathe opens with What You Wanted and an emotive touch of piano quickly joined by the enticing voice of Gates. Almost as quickly keys spread a melodic breeze as electric enterprise courts the emerging body of the song and a heart which flames through the increasingly gripping tones of Gates and the imaginative tempting cast by Gorham. There is a feel of Danish band Forever Still to the song, its rock intensity and milder melodic warmth a tantalising union continuing to enthral across the album in varying designs.

The electronically stringed and orchestral dawning of second song Damage Done is equally as engrossing, its charm and elegance alone aural magnetism which continues to lure as guitar and keys brew up a more volatile but controlled wind around Gates. The track eclipses its predecessor overall, leaving a rich enjoyment in ears which is carried into the classically hued walls of A Light in the Dark. Similarly building flames of vocal and emotional energy within its reserved and elegant frame, the track is a hug on the senses, growing as the album, more powerfully persuasive and essential over time, as too the following thick croon of Empty Tomorrow and the harmonically heated Into the Night. The first of the two rousingly smoulders with its melody driven angst and nature, piano and electronic imagination as tempting as the vocals whilst its successor without quite emulating the other’s plateau of success, enslaves with that mesh of great vocals and another orchestral toned tapestry of suggestive sound. The song is nothing less than thick enjoyment but does show the strongest sign of the certainly surface similarity which lies upon Breathe. It is not a particular issue to be fair as closer investigation reveals the diversity at the heart of tracks but it is something to be hoped is less noticeable on, and already eagerly anticipated, future releases.

The emotively and vocally tenacious simmer of What’s Come Over Me holds ears and attention tight next whilst Falling Again seduces with its acoustic coaxing within the dark shadows which lace all tracks upon the album. It is a texture, as skilfully epitomised here, which thematically and musically lines the anthemic hearts and roars of all songs in their varying characters, and emulated again in the increasingly gripping infectiousness of Leave Me Broken, one of the big peaks, with its rhythmic agitation and blazing emotive tempest.

The album is brought to a fine close by firstly the tempestuously alluring Breathe In and finally A Warning, a bewitching caress of melodious tempting within a landscape of disentangled and emotionally unravelled melancholy. Gloriously provocative and stirringly imaginative, the track is a powerful end to a very enjoyable and perpetually impressive release, an album also loaded with the potential of even bolder and original things ahead which excites just as much.

Breathe may need a few listens to reveal all of its rich charm and persuasive power but the attention is fiercely rewarded as they join the list of bands to keep a heavily focused eye and ear on.

Breathe is out now via Independent Ear Records @ http://londonhasfallenband.com/store

http://www.londonhasfallenband.com   https://www.facebook.com/londonhasfallen

Pete RingMaster 11/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/