Matt Finucane – Disquiet EP

Following the release of Ugly Scene this past May, an “abrasive, noise-heavy protest” of an encounter, British alt rock troubadour Matt Finucane has its successor, Disquiet, poised for unveiling. Living up to its name, the EP is a collection of songs which as mellow and intimate as they are, come soaked in discord and melodic dissonance. They all breed a mix of challenge and seduction but most of all a fascination leaning towards needing more.

Having come across Finucane back in 2012 through his acclaimed album, Glow in The Dark, an encounter which had us simultaneously absorbed and confused, pleased yet unsure and most of all compelled to pay attention to its creator ahead, there has been constant intrigue to follow how things evolve. Fair to say feelings around Disquiet have not ventured too far away yet the enjoyment of his sound has certainly continued to grow through the offerings between both releases and is now at its most eager with the latest encounter.

As all his propositions, Disquiet is a DIY cast summons on ears and imagination as raw as it is creatively animated with opener Ulterior Motives quickly establishing Finucane’s distinct character of enterprise. Its acoustic/electric indie pop dances and flirts with ears though biding its time disharmony haunts the shadows brewing its infestation by the chord until eventually sparking a low key but inescapable cacophony for a captivating incursion of senses and song. The track epitomises the indefinable nature of his music; art and punk rock possible tags, wonk pop and dark folk others but honestly it is in a corner of its own.

The darker woozy presence of Happy Chains continues the contradiction and temptation, it’s off kilter shimmer and Finucane’s equally divisive vocals infesting melodic radiance like disorientating haze over a sunspot while the following People Move On exposes its fuzz seeded instincts. There is something akin to the kind of music artists like Frank Black and Pere Ubu have spread to Finucane’s sound, certainly a hue in its want and need to unsettle the expected and orthodox.

The EP concludes with firstly the warped melodic reflection of Always A Shadow, a track which feels like the aural side of a distorted mirror, and finally the seven minute plus journey of Dead Men Sing Us To Our Rest. In a cavernous embrace of echo and distortion, emotively and physically, the track is a malaise of frictious harmony, melodic discrepancy, and pretty much unnerving beguilement.

There is no doubt that the music of Matt Finucane is not going to sit easy with a great many but for those with a penchant for disturbing adventure and the song of the asylum, it and Disquiet should definitely be checked out.

The Disquiet EP is out October 19th via Crude Records; available @ https://mattfinucane.bandcamp.com/album/disquiet

 https://mattfinucane.net/   https://www.facebook.com/Matt.x.Finucane/

 Pete RingMaster 19/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Veldt – The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP

photo credit Ed Marshall

photo credit Ed Marshall

The Veldt is one of those projects which really does offer something a little different and for a fair while now. It is no different in regard to new encounter, The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP either. Consisting of five immersive tracks bred in the band’s fusion of indie, dream-gaze, soul, and immersive ambiences, the release simply grabs the imagination in a creative adventure pretty much unlike any other.

Formed by North Carolina hailing twins, Daniel and Danny Chavis, The Veldt has had success capturing ears and attention since the eighties with their individual atmospheric sound. Already performing as children and taking inspirations across the likes of gospel, Motown, and Pink Floyd into their personal pleasures and thoughts, the pair emerged then as The Veldt, a name taken from a Ray Bradbury story. To simplify the following years, the duo has worked with the likes of Robin Guthrie, A.R. Kane, Mos Def, and Lady Miss Kier and shared stages with artists such as My Bloody Valentine, The Pixies, Cocteau Twins, Oasis, Living Colour, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and TV on the Radio as well as released a host of acclaimed offerings. A name change to Apollo Heights occurred around the mid-nineties followed by a permanent link up with bassist Hayato Nakao in 1999; that a move which brought a new dynamic to the band’s sound. Eventually a return to the name of The Veldt ensued and its re-emergence is now marked by the release of The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur, it the forerunner to new album Resurrection Hymns to be released later this year via SonaBLAST! Records.

With its title borrowed from an E.E. Cummings poem, the EP opens with new single Sanctified. Emerging on a gentle but sonically misty air soon welcoming the bass throb of Nakao, the song quickly blossoms into a warm yet atmospherically muggy embrace. It is an evocative hug of ears and the impressive vocal expression and prowess of Daniel, in turn a fiery but controlled trespass of the imagination built on an array of melancholic textures, transfixing melodic drones, and sonic layers shaped by the imaginative suggestiveness of Danny’s guitar. With additional vocals from Marie Cochrane to accentuate the emotive harmonies, the track is an inescapably engaging proposal to start things off.

The Veldt - The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur (cover)_RingMasterReviewIn a Quiet Room follows and quickly provides a less intensive and crowded proposition but one still as rich with emotional flames amidst guitar and keys shared drama. The vocals alone ensure attention is a given but add the thick tapestry of sound and trance seeded imagination, and the song as EP almost traps the listener in soulful beauty.

Both Token and One Day Out of Life take ears and thoughts on sultry flights through distortion lined sonically soupy climates; the first swaying and floating with ethereal elegance around more tenebrific rhythms. Its successor is a slower fall into provocative seas of sound becoming a senses smothering and engaging immersion around hypnotic rhythms. What grips the imagination most though, is the theatre of shadows which prowls alongside or courts the radiance of these and all songs; a shade perpetually reflecting and accentuating matching hues within their lyrical and emotional depths.

The EP is closed by the classically soulful and slightly familiar yet rigorously fresh And It’s You. It also has single written all over it; hooks and melodies as tantalising as the vocal and atmospheric shimmer which soaks the song as bolder rhythms pulsate with evocative temptation.

It is a fine end to a compelling release; an encounter which offers fresh intrigue and new enterprise with every listen. As suggested at the start, The Veldt creates music which stands alone; the evidence being The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP.

The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP is released March 18th via Skully Records @ https://theveldtmusic.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/The-Veldt-154526351270221   https://twitter.com/veldtthe

Pete RingMaster 17/03/2016

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The Visit – Through Darkness Into Light

The Visit_RingMasterReview

Many before us have cast potent words of acclaim and ardour upon the highly anticipated debut album from Canadian duo The Visit; enamoured comments and descriptions as complicated and simplistic as the arising emotions warranted. To those justified statements of praise come another; Through Darkness Into Light is simply one of the most sublimely crafted and mesmeric moments of pure aural beauty you are likely to hear in a long time.

The Visit is the creative union of cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne and vocalist Heather Sita Black, a project which emerged around a year ago within the Ottawa music scene. Soon their live performances were earning mass praise as too their debut release, the bordering on fifteen minute adventure of single track Between Worlds. Securing coveted slots at Nouvelle Prague Festival in Prague, Czech Republic, Ottawa’s RBC Bluesfest, and the Royal Conservatory’s esteemed 21C Festival in Toronto since, the pair unveiled their debut album towards the rear of 2015, a proposition which has continued to lure and incite eager attention and lustful plaudits.

Whether taking Through Darkness Into Light as one epic journey or as individual emotive tales, the album is a powerful captivation of sound and creative expression. For simply voice and cello, it is also an awe inspiring giant tapestry reeking atmospheric and emotional suggestiveness. The five tracks making up the release provide poetic soundscapes to physically and emotionally immerse in, yet equally an intimacy in tone and voice which serenades and seduces the imagination as potently as the raw ambiences and enveloping atmospheres hug the senses.

THE VISIT ALBUM COVER_RingMasterReviewSound wise, what seems simple to pin down after a fleeting listen is anything once diving into the album. To try and simplify it, classical chamber music craft and imagination is ingeniously embraced by and entwined with a wealth of transfixing hues from varied sources; Middle Eastern and Persian music among them. From opener Without This Flesh and its cold but engaging initial charm, The Visit cast a fascination of sound and Homeric majesty. The magnetic elegance and poignancy of Black’s voice paints rhapsodic yet intimate reflections of vast and at times starkly imposing landscapes and their emotive beauty whilst the Weinroth-Browne conjures a physical portrayal with his bow which is as majestic whether he gently caresses strings with it or scythes across them with impassioned intensity and drama.

Each track is as much its own mini travelogue of exploration as part of a bigger journey; all persistently evolving and twisting quests of spellbinding imagination and unpredictability. The likes of Offering with its sultry air and shadow bound scenery and the progressively brewed intrigue and beguiling seduction of Cast Off The Veil take the listener into seemingly familiar but undiscovered and arresting avenues of worldly theatre and emotional observation. Again the cinematic quality of tracks simply adds to the adventurous reactions of ears and imagination which as the music evolves with every listen of each individual creative emprise such as the album’s final pair, the spellbinding Through Darkness and celestially hued Into Light.

As traditions and bold discoveries merge, reflected in lyrical voice and sound, the release sparks fresh interpretations with every listen, ones that also persistently shift and will be unique to every set of ears and imagination immersing into Through Darkness Into Light. Truly it is impossible to give a full picture in words of the creative alchemy at work from Weinroth-Browne and Black, and we have barely touched on the technical might of both, but it is very easy to recommend an album and experience of pure inspirational beauty which is unlike anything you will come across anywhere else.

Through Darkness Into Light is available now @ http://thevisit1.bandcamp.com/

http://www.thevisitmusic.com   http://www.facebook.com/thevisitmusic    https://twitter.com/thevisitmusic

Pete RingMaster 09/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Mr Darklight – Into The Fury

Original DL_RingMaster Review

If the name Mr Darklight is familiar it is likely because you have already discovered his part in the electronic pop infection that is Masters of the Radio. Now the electronic musician/producer has unveiled his debut solo track in the shape of the captivating adventure of temptation, Into The Fury. It is a strange title as the piece of music never suggests turbulence ahead or within its heart, so possibly it is one moment in a larger journey, but what it does supply is a warm flight of imagination for ears and feet to feast on whilst casting cinematic suggestiveness for thoughts to run with.

Inspired by the likes of Daft Punk, Devo, Fatboy Slim, Gary Numan, Giorgio Moroder, Jean Michel Jarre, John Williams, Kavinsky, and Mike Oldfield as well as going by the nature of Into The Fury film scores, Mr Darklight quickly fills ears with the emotive tones of the piano. Its poetic breath and touch is the seed to a gentle but purposeful stroll through an instrumental landscape ripe with melodic essences of OMD and Depeche Mode. Thoughts are soon whisked into a magnetic flight by synths as they spread their broad ambience around the continually enticing evocative hues of the piano.

In a way the piece is like a travelogue of internal reflection or external air bound adventure, all depending which way the imagination goes with the track’s electronic clues as the guide with each listen. It is an absorbing and thoroughly enjoyable first meeting with the solo Mr Darklight, and hopefully the beginning of many such outings ahead.

Into The Fury is free to stream now.

Pete Ringmaster 24/09/2015

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The Virgance – Paradigm 3

The_Virgance_Paradigm_3_promo_pic_1.jpg_RingMaster Review

Looking for an escape from the turbulence of the modern world, from the grind and imposition life so often brings the day? UK artist The Virgance is one who provides such opportunity through his new album Paradigm 3, a celestial post-rock fuelled instrumental flight on the wings of shoegaze expanding through immersive ambiences which just suck you right in. Close your eyes and drift in thought and the album simply transports ears and mind to another fascinating and warm landscape, though it too has shadows to intrigue the imagination and stir the emotions. The release is a fascinating exploration, one which occasionally ebbs and flows in potency from time to time with personal tastes but one which from its first mesmeric note through to its final wash of atmospheric beauty, leaves a rousing glow in its wake.

The Virgance is the solo project of Colchester hailing Nathan Smith, former guitarist of UK indie band Ripley and the co-producer of electronica outfit Loveless. Early 2014 saw Smith emerge with his debut album Lost Continent, a release luring critical acclaim and eager awareness the way of The Virgance. Its successor in the January of this year only lured greater plaudits and attention, Hiko Shrine reinforcing the reputation and expansive nature of Smith’s composing and sound which Paradigm 3 now explores to richer success.

cover_RingMaster Review   From opener 25 Years ears are entranced and the imagination ignited by the almost ravenous kaleidoscope of sound and textures slowly and magnetically swamping the senses. The guitar craft and enterprise of Smith is as lively and enthralling as the ambiences and beauty oozing from the keys, and equally the darker hues and character of drums and a bass which at times are virtually stalking the psyche from within the sonic drenching of track and air. For us the best instrumentals, even within an open theme or inescapable atmospheric suggestiveness making major hints on the imagination, are those allowing thoughts to conjure new and different exploits with each and every listen and certainly that is the case with Paradigm 3 and each individual emprise of sound and invention.

Through both the rockier Epiphony and the haunting Sequester Smith ‘traps’ the listener in a cloud of sonic seduction and less prominent but equally alluring rhythmic contrasts. The first of the two pieces blossoms with its great subtle repetition within an absorbingly crafted sonic journey whilst the second is like an evolving spatial mist, an enthralling brewing of slightly sinister tinged intensity in sound emerging within noir toned drama.

From one big highlight to another and the more minimalistic and earthbound Moonolog. A simple union of bass and guitar alone has ears gripped and thoughts involved whilst around them a tension slowly but clearly grows in the lining and atmosphere of the track. Calm and warm sonic caresses ultimately keep any volatility at bay but the hints are there to ensure the track continues to dispel expectations and predictability.

There is a great raw edge, and at times thicker expulsions, within Paradigm 3; another underlying constant which chooses its moments to temper the universal flight and fiery elegance within the likes of the senses smothering Saturnine which embraces controlled causticity to fine effect. In contrast, Down The River leaves rougher traits under wraps as its siren-esque swelter and ethereal vocal bewitchment, courtesy of Shauna McLarnon of dream pop duo Ummagma, swallow ears and emotions. The first single from the album, it sparks thoughts of new worlds and old civilizations but again terrains with fresh scenery every listen.

The album is completed by firstly Dissipate, a brief and fiercely potent stretch of sound and imagination which is as strangely harrowing as it is mystically compelling and finally No Return, itself a darker and seemingly harsher environment initially, but emerging like a celestial butterfly shredding warm resonance with every melodic flutter, though again darker elements bring an extra resourceful slither of intrigue.

   Paradigm 3 is spellbinding, an exploration you will only be glad you have not missed. It is best heard in one full odyssey of sound and stimulation though admittedly that does run the risk, if not paying attention, of tracks merging into one and another and losing some of their defining features. However you embrace the album though, it is a proposition that shoegaze and post rock fans especially will find great rewards in.

Paradigm 3 is out now on CD through El Vals del Conejo and as name your price download via The Virgance Bandcamp.

Pete RingMaster 22/09/2015

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Ash Walker – Six Eight / Noodle

Ash Walker_RingMaster Review

Following the success of his acclaimed debut EP Agnostic, producer Ash Walker shows another side to his instrumental adventure with double A-sided single Six Eight / Noodle. Whereas the EP caught ears with a more unconventional trip hop led fusion of sound, the new release explores smokier jazz bred landscapes again spiced by varying textures and flavours. The two songs create individual immersive strolls which are more hints rather than forceful suggestions for thoughts to run with, but each suggests a sultry lazy day with smiles and warmth are made for their presence.

cover_RingMaster Review     Previously, Ash has supported the likes of The Specials, Lee Scratch Perry, and David Rodigan as a DJ before signing with Deep Heads, this in turn allowing his increasingly acclaimed productions to entice strong attention. The Agnostic EP incited strong radio focus with the likes of Gideon Coe, Don Letts, and Tom Robinson supporting its release whilst the single Round The Twist, which features The Specials’ Nikolaj Torp Larsen quickly lured individual support of its own. Now with the assistance of bassist Marc Cyril (Joss Stone, Dennis Bovell, Jr Walker and the All Stars) and keyboardist Jason Moe, Walker takes the listener through fresh scenery from his imagination starting with Six Eight.

The track ambles in on a delicious bassline and scratchy percussion quickly washed with enticing horn like bellows and the reflective charm of the piano. Additional keys stoke the ambience of the song with richer, though reserved, flames whilst a ska/dub swagger and enterprise courts the increasingly attractive character and body of the song. With a cosmopolitan feel to its atmosphere and texture, Six Eight has the feel of busy summer kissed streets full of bodies carrying a calm smile reflecting the air around them rather than the impatient voracity generally found on city landscapes. It is an enchanting piece of music, a companion to swing your hips to whilst immersing in its warm embrace.

Noodle is a mellower hug of melodic elegance but again with infectious temptation and an underlying lively gait. The bass once more captivates, its darker emotive tones adding shadows and intrigue to the melodic glow and atmospheric chimes blossoming from the enterprise of the keys. The track in a way is like the night view of life shown in the day time revelry of Six Eight, its presence a noir draped look at a still vibrant but closely intimate world echoing the heart of the first song and its lively energy.

Though the release did not incite the imagination to run away with itself in expansive adventures, both songs tantalise and ignite nothing less than warmth and full enjoyment which we expect to be wrapped in its own acclaim very soon.

Six Eight / Noodle is available now via Deep Heads.

Pete RingMaster 21/09/2015

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