Dizraeli – The Unmaster

One of our most enjoyable and invigorating moments within music came a few years back seeing Dizraeli & The Small Gods on stage at The Boileroom in Guildford, every second of their performance pure captivation. Now with his debut solo album, Dizraeli or Rowan Alexander Sawday as his mum knows him has released one of the essential albums of the year; maybe the most striking and yes important encounters of this and any previously recent twelve months.

The Unmaster is an autobiographically inspired collection of songs which rise from a period of turbulence and struggle for creator and the world around him. As global chaos and uncertainty seems only destined to escalate, Dizraeli found his own escape from the suffocating darkness of a mental breakdown to create a release which is as cathartic at its core as it is bewitching in its sounds and imagination. The dark times the Bristol hailing rapper, social activist, producer and spoken word artist went through are the seeds to the intimacy soaked yet creatively flirtatious songs of The Unmaster and we can only concur with the suggestion of its press release, “the album speaks of madness and collapse, struggle and redemption with searing honesty, surreal humour and a soundtrack unlike anything you’ve heard.”

Dizraeli breeds his sounds from a fusion of hip hop, grime and folk across a West African inspired percussive tempting yet there is much more to his music as avant-garde-esque and electronic uniqueness among other hues help build the drama of every one of the album’s twenty one tracks. Within those mutually compelling moments there are spoken word glimpses of the shadows within and observed by their creator before and in the album’s birth while other times are almost like echoes from his darkest moments given seconds to return between songs to impact and emotionally arouse as the longer incitements around them.

We will concentrate on the fullest moments of time within The Unmaster but as he slight but rich opening track I’m A Wave (Part One) reveals, every breath and moment within the release is as impactful and compelling as another. The first track looms upon the senses with grey flumes building an increasingly dark embrace which searches out every corner of the imagination before Madness strolls in sharing its own thoughts of a sunless climate intimate and socially spreading the world. Rhythms dance with a hypnotic shuffle as unique and manipulative as the sounds around them and the examination escaping the throat and thoughts of Dizraeli.

Alone the song provides a reason to check out the album but then again the same can be said of most tracks including Ketamine Honey. Its street lit beginnings within a crepuscular breath leads to another rhythmically inspiring proposal quickly escalated by the urban jungle of sounds and its author’s magnetic suggestiveness with a vocal presence to match. There is virulence to every aspect of the track which sparks eager participation as the imagination paints with its intimation, qualities just as rousing within the likes of Rising Son and especially My Mama. Following another brief slither of emotion drenched release posing as Daylight Came, the first of the two stretches from its poetic beginnings within a cosmopolitan lure of percussion to swing with a melodic and hope enriched smile. The track took me back in some ways to that time with The Small Gods but again grew to something truly unique to album and Dizraeli. Its addictive enterprise and insistence is matched by that of its successor, a delicious track which has a gospel like tincture to its proud declaration and ridiculously catchy exploits.

I Freak Out is another which was under the skin within seconds as wooden percussion quickly tempts a broader web of African inspired rhythmic enticement. Body movement was an inevitable response as too a devouring of its emotive tapestry, again a form of instinctive involvement repeated in this case within the evocative Oi Oi and its skilfully painted canvas. Every sound and syllable comes with an unpredictability and ingenuity which makes you stop and pay eager attention, our thoughts and appetite devouring every creative moment with relish.

The dub tinged Shift Up Fatih pulsated and beguiled from its first lungful, manoeuvring thoughts and pleasure with ease while after further slices of poetic and openly intimate incitement with Creatures In The Ceiling pure dark haunting seduction and I The Unmaster sheer tenebrific captivation, Everybody Here’s Golden adds its own plaintive look on a world clasped by insanity. Again as every word makes a poignant and striking impact so the sounds aligning their thoughts equally stir and motivate, a kind of creative animation which just as wonderfully lights up the dark carnival-esque dance of Show Some Love.

The Unmaster ends with the deeply and emotive personal affirmation of living that is After She Gave Me The Sea, arguably Dizraeli’s heart at its most raw and open before leaving on a final tapestry of sound and inspiration in The Infinite Mix.

We have done The Unmaster a slight injustice by not mentioning every gripping track within its fascinating body but equally left plenty for you to discover for yourselves. This is an album which will connect on different levels with different people and as a companion bring an understanding and reassurance to anyone with mental health issues. As suggested at the start, The Unmaster on numerous levels is one of the essential explorations of 2019.

The Unmaster is out now: available @ https://dizraeli.bandcamp.com/album/the-unmaster

https://www.dizraeli.com    https://www.facebook.com/Dizraeli/

Pete RingMaster 03/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Phoxjaw – A Playground For Sad Adults

We are not sure what it is in the River Avon and water supply of Bristol but the city is one of our favourite and persistently fruitful sources of musical invention and ear grabbing artists. It has provided a lengthy list of striking propositions over recent years alone to which Phoxjaw has added their creative name. The band has just uncaged their second EP, A Playground For Sad Adults; a collection of tracks which are as dramatic and unpredictable as they are feverishly contagious.

Phoxjaw have a sound which rebelliously defies pinning down especially within A Playground For Sad Adults. It is alternative rock bred to give it a base which made for an appealing lure in the band’s last EP, Goodbye Dinosaur… released last November. Within its successor though, it has evolved into a whole fresh and bold proposition of flavour and imagination which firmly puts the band’s first EP as well as a great many releases this year in the shade.

Released through Hassle Records, A Playground For Sad Adults opens with the brief lure of its title track; the piece sepia toned coaxing which inspired intrigue alongside trepidation as to what lurked ahead. What was waiting was one of the best tracks heard, Melt, You’re A Face Of Wax emerging from the raw shadows of its predecessor with an immediately enticing melodic strand of guitar within calm but suggestively imposing beats. Quickly the web spun by guitarists Josh Gallop and Alexander Share wraps the imagination, the bass of vocalist Danny Garland prowling the already instinctively catchy and increasingly richer and bolder incitement. A momentary calm surrounds the opening moments of the latter’s magnetic voice, the beats of Kieran Gallop still a crisp encouragement as guitar wires share their temptation. Crescendos of drama and creative theatre only add to the rousing character and a soon eager appetite for the song’s animated adventure.

The track is superb and never matched but certainly rivalled by things to come starting with Monday Man. It too took barely a breath to grip appetite and attention, bass and drums united in delicious bait before guitars sprung their own virulent enticement. In no time a pop rock energy and catchiness floods the expanding encounter, Garland’s vocals leading the tempting with zeal as melodic and sonic invention collude in equally magnetic persuasion. By the second greater urgency and dissonance emerges, firing up the roar and intensity of the song but never lessening the pull of its contagion before Whale, Whale, Whale brings its own catchy wiring and ravenous appetite to the release. Instantly a ferocious intent accompanies the senses shaking surge of incitement, a nagging groove taunting and enslaving ears within the turbulence of sound and emotion. It is a tempest though which breaks for melodic intervention and emotional reassurance but ultimately stalks and harries pleasure into inescapable subservience.

Bodiesinthewall casts another slice of unique drama within the EP, its initial presence a shadow clad and portentous calm from which a poppy stroll and mischievously catchy seduction eagerly springs. Like a blend of Maximo Park and Fatima Mansions, the song was craftily under the skin in no time and manipulating participation with just as much relish right up to the nightmarish expulsion of all its fears and discord, though that too only leads to another contrasting climate, this time a carousel of melodic and vocal enchantment.

Bringing the release to a stirring close, The Curse Of The Button Man is a cinematic yet intimately stirring slice of creative imagination. As its predecessors, the song is a cauldron of flavours and hues which defy precise labelling whilst providing a drama and experience which eagerly lingers in thought and appetite. Dark and intimidating, predacious and relentlessly infectious it is a glorious nightmare bringing a stunning release to a mighty close.

Phoxjaw gave numerous reasons to keep a close ear upon them with that first EP but a suggestion which has now become a rabid demand through A Playground For Sad Adults, one of the year’s most compelling and thrilling moments.

A Playground For Sad Adults is out now via Hassle Records; available @ https://phoxjaw.bandcamp.com/album/a-playground-for-sad-adults

https://www.facebook.com/phoxjawofficial/   https://twitter.com/phoxjaw

Pete RingMaster 02/08/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright