Very recently we brought you a collection of especial tracks to explore courtesy of our friend SHAUNA, one half of the outstanding band UMMAGMA and also SHAMELESS PROMOTION PR. It was a rich bundle of goodness to choose from, so much so that we could not pull away from her selection so with another pot of tea brewed we reaped another essential selection of suggestions from Shauna’s bag of goodness.
Casting one conspiracy of fascination upon the imagination is REVOLUTION ABOVE DISORDER through new single Annihilator. The solo project of Vancouver-based Dubliner Stephen Nicholas White (The Orange Kyte, House of Dolls, Magic Shoppe), it had already captivated ears this year with a unique psych bound cover of the TELEVISION PERSONALITIES classic Scream Quietly and has done so again with its successor.
As that earlier track, Annihilator is a kaleidoscope of post punk intrigue, psychedelic electro rock suggestion and shoegaze restlessness but thickly individual and richly enthralling in its own right. Released through Jacknife Sound, produced by Jason Corbett of ACTORS and mastered by RIDE’s Mark Gardener, Annihilator is more of an EP than single; the track accompanied by two striking re-mixes from renowned producer Jagz Kooner (PRIMAL SCREAM, OASIS, KASABIAN, THE CHARLATANS, SOULWAX, THE KILLS, MASSIVE ATTACK, LADYTRON) and Dublin electronic producer Colm Rutledge aka NOISE BABY.
Annihilator keenly strolls in, straightaway providing virulent persuasion through its post punk bred rhythms and inviting shadows which are as quickly immersed in veils and waves of psych/electro contemplation. Similarly, there is open rumination in the melancholy and tempting of White’s tones, they as soothing yet anxiety keen as the sounds around them.
The song simply captivated in every breath it took and creative pore it shared, dexterity as ripe within the Jagz Kooner remix, a minimalistic view of the track in many ways but opening up its own secrets of intimation and melancholy around a volatile heart which becomes surer by the second while the inherent darkness of thought and emotion found in the lead song is brought closer to the surface by the NOISE BABY take, industrial and krautrock inspirations unearthed in its equally compelling moment.
It all makes for a riveting encounter with REVOLUTION ABOVE DISORDER and its fertile fusion of flavours and temptation.
Another artist who beguiled earlier this year and has done so again with a new track is KAAPSTAAD, the electronic solo project of Sweden-based Australian Tim Spelman, a musician renowned for his creativity within indie pop outfit TINY FIGHTER and post-rock project FIRE TO THE STARS.
Aula is his new single, a piece of music like predecessor Night which seems to court the chill of his geographical surroundings but aligning them with intimate shadows and again a sense of inner restlessness. Yet again what emerges is a track which calms anxiety and seduces the imagination with elegant beauty within a piano crafted twilight. As with its predecessor, there is a cinematic quality to the music but Aula feels more personal, an opening of a heart wrapped in the influence of that “Nordic chill” but revealing a deeper inner realm for its own rich captivation.
Also keeping Mark Gardener busy at his OX4Sound Studio in Oxford is Finnish prog rock outfit PENNIES BY THE POUND, the RIDE frontman having mastered the band’s just released new single Burning Wish, a track also seeing the band working again with producer Rauli ‘Rake’ Eskolin.
Released via the Lilith label, the song is another slice of the Helsinki band’s esuriently infectious progressive rock bred sound, a proposition seeded in early British prog rock inspirations but embracing a web of other flavours and influences in its keen ventures.
PENNIES BY THE POUND was also started as a solo project by Johannes Susitaival in 2016 but soon grew to a full band releasing the well-received Bloodshed and the Blinding Sunlight EP in 2018 and two years later debut album Heat Death Of The Universe. Instantly, Burning Wish proves another ear gripping offering from the band, a song with mischief in its character and adventure in its heart.
A gentle caress soon leads to eager persuasion as the rhythms of Tomi Laaksonen and Susitaival pounce and collude with the just as lively guitars of Vesa Ranta and Alexander Meaney. Similarly there is inherent spirit and enterprise in Susitaival’s vocals and lyrical contemplation, a virulence which ebbs and flows across the track in strength and drama but never waivers in its manipulative prowess.
With a great KINGBATHMAT hue to it at times, though equally older references such as GENESIS and HAWKWIND can be heard, Burning Wish had us hooked in swift time and with greedier appetite by the listen making the future unveiling of new album, Nothingside, eagerly awaited.
With their debut album, Dancing On A Volcano, poised for release this month, indie rock/neo-folk outfit WEIMAR teased ears a few days back with the single Soho Rain, the song another lively encounter with the Manchester band. It is a track which epitomises the multi-flavoured character of their sound and the artful imagination in their songwriting.
June 24th sees Dancing On a Volcano released on CD through German Shepherd Records and digitally via the band’s own imprint Marlene’s Hat Records. It is an encounter said to explore an eclectic range of styles and moods and certainly that is the suggestion backed by Soho Rain and earlier this year by The Girls of LA, a song not on the impending release but more than giving hint to that varied mix of the album and the band’s art-rock sound which also draws on post punk, no wave, goth rock and a range of alternative rock essences.
Rising under a shower of water and intimation, Soho Rain makes a gentle entrance and never really stamps down fiercer authority, instead relishing a saunter through a bright and evocative landscape whilst sharing its equally expressive narrative through the words and tone of Aidan Cross (THE BACILLUS, BLACK LIGHT MUTANTS). Drama courts his words but equally the sounds around them, the rhythms of bassist John Armstrong and drummer Anthony ‘Eddy’ Edwards an imaginative incentive alongside the suggestion casting guitars of Johann Kloos and Cross and the heated sax flames of Finola.
Soho Rain is a track which has grown in hold and enjoyment by the listen ensuring that Dancing On a Volcano will be keenly explored
Finally we offer up Ukrainian National Anthem In Dub for essential exploration, the track the new offering from JAH WOBBLE AND THE UKRAINIANS featuring Jon Klein. Mention something new from Mr Wobble and intrigue is automatic and no surprise with greater zeal here for the new Dimple Discs released track as it sees JAH WOBBLE team up with British folk-punk outfit THE UKRAINIANS upon a song which sees its sales proceeds donated to the DISASTERS EMERGENCY COMMITTEE (DEC) UKRAINE HUMANITARIAN APPEAL and the ASSOCIATION OF UKRAINIANS IN GREAT BRITAIN (AUGB) HELP UKRAINE EMERGENCY APPEAL.
The track is obviously inspired by the atrocity happening in Ukraine and sparked by the bass tech for the original PUBLIC IMAGE LTD. bassist suggesting a collaboration with THE UKRAINIANS, long-time purveyors of traditional Ukrainian music heavily influenced by western post-punk. After being introduced to the latter’s vocalist/violinist Len Liggins, Wobble brought in former SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES guitarist Jon Klein to their united vision and enlisted Anthony Hopkins of community music project, TUNED IN, which he runs with the legendary bassist and who himself is involved in the settlement of Ukrainian refugees to the London Borough of Merton.
JAH WOBBLE AND THE UKRAINIANS bring their equally unique and familiar enterprise and invention to the Ukrainian national anthem, that captivation and senses inflaming dub prowess of Wobble and the instinctive embrace of the war suffering country’s traditional sounds imagination stoking.
The track is equally a richly evocative affair, its infectious swing and inviting enticement matched by the strength of undeterred defiance, which no one can have escaped and been inspired by these past months, which enriches every breath of the track.
A truly outstanding song and an even more essential cause… a must for all.
Pete RingMaster 23/06/2022
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