Victor DeLorenzo –Tranceaphone

photo by Janet Schiff

From the first moment a certain encounter tempted ears and imagination, we have been haunted by its lure of atmospheric mystery, rhythmic manipulation, and crepuscular breath. Tranceaphone is an adventure of intrigue and mystery, a seduction of unpredictable charm and undiluted craft which became an itch under the skin in no time.

The source of unbridled magnetism is the new EP from Violent Femmes founding Victor DeLorenzo, the first recording under his name in 7 years and his sixth solo release overall. The musician, actor, writer, audio engineer and producer is also one-half of the chamber rock duo Nineteen Thirteen with cellist Janet Schiff who also features across the Tranceaphone EP’s five tracks alongside Milwaukee based DeLorenzo.  The tracks within the release seed their lures in rhythmic invention, a frame and enterprise to which melodic and dextrous imagination wraps a further web of suggestion and implication. DeLorenzo has given clue to the birth of the EP by saying, “The ‘Tranceaphone’ EP is lovingly based on the idea of multiple layers of drum choirs that sing out not only in time, but with joyfully implied melodies that bob and weave. After recording different drum systems, I then wrote music that could breathe within the improvised drum set structures.

It is a compelling adventure in sound which swiftly gripped attention through the EP’s opening title track. Also featuring the guitar and vocals of Mike Hoffmann, the song opens with the resonating pulse of DeLorenzo’s bass. It is quickly joined by the organised skittishness of a Gretsch snare drum and the similarly captivating touch of, unsurprisingly, a tranceaphone; their united contagion directing body and appetite as Schiff’s synth tempting weaves around the imagination.

The track breeds an infectiousness which infests the whole of the release but as the following Lullaby reveals its character is as unique each time just as that of the songs themselves. The second song skips in and swiftly the imagination found itself basking in the darkly shadowed intimation of Schiff’s cello and equally inky toned bass. All the while DeLorenzo’s voice casts bait as somnambulistic as it is spirited; a fusion just as potent within the uncomplicated yet rich enticement of keys.

Invisible Shadows is next up, it too calm yet animated in its gait and breath and as its predecessor casting a caliginous temptation upon ears and thoughts. The rhythmic grip and creative resonance of the song firmly echoes early XTC and indeed the brief melodic keys forged return just after its close has something of that band’s Barry Andrews about it before Then Don’t Say A Word strolls in on another rhythmic captivation instantly joined by a kaleidoscope of voice and melodic crystallisation; Schiff and DeLorenzo casting a short and gripping blend of defiance, melancholy and creative impulse.

Finally When She’s There rises up to captivate as thickly as all before it. With keys provided by Matt Meixner and additional vocals from Monia, the song serenades ears and hips equally. Again rhythms cast the heart and voice of the track, its uniqueness accentuated by keys and vocals as too its emotive breath and haunting persuasion.

It is an enthralling close to a beguiling and fascinating release; the Tranceaphone EP a mysterious rapture and beauty upon a minimalist rhythmic skeleton as bold, stirring and manipulative as that sonic secrecy it wears.

The Tranceaphone EP is out now via bFrecording; available digitally across key online stores and online streaming platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music.

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Jonny Polonsky – Kingdom of Sleep

photo by Jason Robinette

Earlier this year, NYC-based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jonny Polonsky released a single in the magnetic shape of The Weeping Souls. Whilst capturing the imagination it hinted that his forthcoming new album would be a myriad of temptation and now here Kingdom of Sleep has more than lived up to the suggestion.

The album is the sixth from Polonsky within his 23 years as a solo artist. His first album, Hi My Name is Jonny was released in 1996 with the last, Fresh Flesh, coming out in 2018; both as his releases in between no strangers to attention and acclaim. That time has also seen Polonsky collaborate with the likes of Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, Maynard James Keenan, Tom Morello and Donovan, and form and play in the short-lived Big Nose with Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave). Kingdom of Sleep is the striking new adventure in his creative journey, a release self-produced by the artist and mixed and mastered by Mike Tholen (Chris Connelly, Revolting Cocks).

The album opens with Ghost Like Soul, a track featuring the spoken words of Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At the Drive-In/The Mars Volta fame. Immediately a crepuscular radiance envelops ears, keys and vocals a shadow wrapped seduction as an eighties synth pop essence spices the growing charm and touch of the track, Polonsky’s imagination and craft embracing a mist of various hues in the song’s haunting breath. From start to finish ears and imagination were transfixed, the song only increasing its evocative suggestion and presence by the minute.

cover by Jorge Castillo

The following Sign In the Window instantly reveals its indie pop instincts, the opening short choppy riffs of guitar quickly joined by Polonsky’s ever magnetic tones. In turn a melodic sparkle breaks as just as radiant keys brew their own magnetism within the increasingly infectious encounter. There is a bright Frank Black meets James Cook essence to the song which only adds to its catchiness before The Weeping Souls once more had ears and attention hooked. Again temptation is immediate, guitar and voice colluding in a rich lure draped in a seventies/eighties suggestion of indie pop offering up echoes of bands such as T-Rex, XTC and Love and Rockets.

Openly Polonsky’s songwriting is matched by his imagination and craft in strength and virulence, next up No Tears proving the suggestion with its individual mix of electronic and indie pop within an emotion soaked serenade. It too shares the instinctive catchiness which springs from every track within the album, its gentle sway and emotive intimacy no restraint to an inherent contagiousness as epitomised one again within the following Take Me Home. A darker climate hugs ears straight away; its breath almost claustrophobic but the evocative mist across a melodic crystal at the song’s heart springing psych nurtured sonic sighs. Fascination leaks from every note and syllable, keys and vocals the source of rich temptation within the track’s equally potent atmospheric haunting.

You Turn Me On simply charmed the senses next while the Aenerone broke upon ears like a dew blessed melodic sunrise; both tracks absorbing pieces of infection loaded emotive pop woven with originality and undisguised passion. As within most tracks within Kingdom of Sleep there is a mercurial essence adding a suggestion of contrasting emotions or intensity, a drama which only escalates their captivation.

The album ends with A Willing Eye, an acoustic hearted, electronically escalated seduction which maybe took longer to seduce than others before it but with its thick drama and web of irresistible sounds grew to enthral and set another firmly memorable moment within the similarly fascinating release.

Kingdom of Sleep is an album which had us hooked and absorbed from pretty much its first breath but inescapably so with every subsequent listen so we can only recommend you run the rewarding risk of ensnarement too.

Kingdom of Sleep is released May 11th via Ghostworks Recordings; available@

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright