Inkräktare – We Are Not Really Here

credit Mark Wallace

As we keenly sink into the creative depths of the new album from Inkräktare once more for the actual writing of this review, it is hard to remember any encounter in recent times as absorbing yet unsettling and as invigorating but disturbingly haunting as We Are Not Really Here. It brings a collection of tracks which voraciously embrace the listener, engulfing their senses and imagination in a proposition as sonically claustrophobic as it is expansive in sound and intimation.

We Are Not Really Here comes ten years after the first Inkräktare full-length and sees producer and multi-instrumentalist Dean Garcia (Curve, SPC ECO, S T F U, Blurred City Lights) creatively and in sound poetically igniting the dark and invasive soundscapes created by his collaborative partner, Mark Wallbridge (a.k.a. Vasko The Pig). It is a riveting union of craft and imagination which makes their new album one compelling trespass which is made only more enthralling by the vocal presence of Rose Berlin (SPC ECO) and Preston Maddox (Bloody Knives and S T F U).

Album opener Speak Out Loud called to the imagination from its first crystalline breath, keys a radiant lure within the darker electronic landscape soon unfolding within ears as the hypnotic tones of Berlin serenade quickly enveloped senses. Even in its enthralling beauty there is a dark intensity brewing within the song; a gathering fume of shadows which just as eagerly captivated as the kaleidoscope of light above them.

The following Say Goodbye To You comes from a more shadowy depth but too brings a magnetic elegance and lure to temper the volatile and agitated heart of the song. With Maddox’s voice another rich lure in the rapaciously mercurial insistence of the song, it invites and devours in equal intensity and craft before Terrified explores similarly dark corners and textures within its drifting sonic winds; nightmare and alluring intimation embracing each other’s contrasting hues. Even with Berlin’s tones a safe caress if succubus like in the haunting embrace, the track disturbs as it seduces while The Night Growls prowls the same mental landscape with predatory intent with Wallbridge’s tones in turn a dark protagonist in suffocating aural and emotive fog. Both tracks simply bewitched the senses and festered in the imagination, the Nine Inch Nails toned latter especially irresistible as it consumed with voracious, tenebrous temptation.

The nagging enterprise and breath of Free The World equally proved a spellbinding exploration, Berlin again a light for the moth of greedy curiosity for the song’s fascination and mercurial landscape while We Are Broken and We Are Not Really Here with their respective electro pop breath and evocative dub nurtured escapade only fuelled captivation even if the first did not quite hit the addictive hazard warning heights of its successor.

Who Cares offers another melodic sunspot in a richly atmospheric embrace while Saphirr Bomb after is like a sonic house of mirrors, each sheet of melodic crystal shattered or tainted by the invasive shadows of darkness as the spellbinding track gripped ears and psyche. Echoing the album as a whole, both songs brought warm light and invasive disturbance to ears and thoughts, a striking enterprise and suggestion just as fertile within the toxically crawling, senses chaffing, emotion disturbing Husk.

Closing with the thought questioning Could There Be?, a sand storm of melodic grains and sonic resonance, We Are Not Really Here is a release which reveals and gives more by the listen. It is an encounter which takes the listener out of step with reality yet throws a provocative light upon all the world’s emotional darkness and physical flaws whilst providing unbridled temptation.

We Are Not Really Here is out now via ELaB Recordings; available @

Pete RingMaster 04/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Shhh… Apes! – The Shapes of Apes to Come EP


An enveloping melodic caress and rich sonic exploration which draws on the imagination as much as the passions, The Shapes of Apes to Come EP is a refreshing and invigorating debut by UK project Shhh… Apes! Consisting of five tracks which paint and sculpt evocative landscapes and emotive endeavours, the release is an absorbing flight through thought ruffling, emotion seducing adventure. At times a consuming provocation on the memory and in other moments a lingering warm invasive enchantment, the EP is a magnetic embrace which is unique and adventurous, an encounter sure to provoke a lustful hunger for time and things to come.

The South Wales based Shhh…Apes! is the creation of Mark Foley, a man who has been in numerous bands such as Vito, Strange News From Another Star, Bravecaptain (Martin Carr’s post-Boo Radleys project), and The Secret Show (with Matt Davies of Funeral For A Friend). He also runs a rehearsal/recording studio called Musicbox as well as occasionally globetrotting as a tour manager; it is this busy life of Foley which has seen Shhh…Apes! take five years to emerge from its initial conception. Now finally ready to be unveiled, the project is ensuring it makes the strongest impression with its scintillating debut EP. Drawing in the talent of vocalist Lianne Francis, guitarist Stuart Michel, drummer and percussionist Andrew Plain, and trombonist Lewis Griffiths, alongside himself and producer Charlie Francis (REM, Future Of The Left ,The High Llamas) who also contributes keys to the release, Foley has  built a cast of imagination and invention which soaks each note and second of the release. Atmospheric, emotionally elegant, and rampantly provocative, The Shape Of Apes To Come is a minimalistically scented full bloom of expansive atmospheric captivation.

Painkiller is the opening encounter, its walking guitar coaxing, within a delicious corrupted caustic rub, the enticing beckoning into the a3982198468_2beauty hued dual vocal hug of Foley and Francis, their harmonies and soothing deliveries an exceptional temptation into the heart of the song and release. With great ambling rhythms skirting their every syllable, the song expands its melodic ambient delivering arms, expelling a flame of sonic imagination and breath-taking invention. Through its eventful soundscape the guitars and vocals lead thoughts through evolving incitement whilst the brass stroking of the ear only enhances the depth and potent colour of the bewitchment. It is simply a spellbinding experience.

The following I Am Thin adds spots of glockenspiel from Andy Cowan to the guitar and brass lined ambience which surrounds and gently crowds the ear from the start, whilst the air and intensity at work is a smouldering lure which gently boils across the opening half of the track as rhythms and keys providing a complimentary cloak to the guitar conjurations. It is an evocative template for the mind and imagination to toy and create individual plays with before everything takes a breather for the again vocal glamour of the pair to share their rich voice of sound and tale. A sultry air covers the ballad as it makes its final impassioned weave and though the track is not is immediate as its predecessor it is an aural incantation which lies deeply within senses and heart.

Both Fall and Three Horses make their individual enthralling and impacting sways, the first with a resourceful flaming of trombone with trumpet by Francesca Dimech around that again arousing vocal combination. Ripe in shadow and vibrant in melodic beauty, the track is a transfixing burn on the psyche whilst the following song is a melancholic ballad which holds hand with reflective thought and emotional seduction. The melodic encircling of the body raises goosebumps on the neck which hold tight from start to finish, its charm parading further expansion of the songwriting and imagination bearing upon the senses.

The release closes with the electro fizzing Angel Calling Down, the synths of the song bringing a psychedelic lilt to its inviting slow waltz. With the brass again building spires of tempting fire within the smothering humid air, the song is a mesmeric invocation which lifts its energy as it flies into a romping yet sophisticated dance. The best song on the immense release it brings The Shapes of Apes to Come EP to a sizzling conclusion.

Shhh… Apes! is a presence which leaves the kind of branding upon the mind and heart which burns deeper over time, its rewards majestic and innovatively seducing.


RingMaster 14/10/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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