Ummagma – Compass

Though any Ummagma release is welcomed with eager intrigue and anticipation by us among a great many the recent Caravan single raised the ante for the band’s new album with its captivation soaked release. The fact, though we have had numerous singles and EPs between, that Compass comes a lengthy seven years after its same day released two predecessors only added to the excitement coated suspense. What the duo’s third full-length offers is their most eclectic and rousing collection of tracks and quite simply their finest most exhilarating moment to date.

The pair of Canadian Shauna McLarnon and Ukraine hailing Alexander Kretov embraces everything from shoegaze, dream and synth pop to electronic and rock driven imagination with plenty more in the abundant enterprise of their new encounter. it is a release and collection of songs though which still revel in the atmospheric and ambient dreamscapes the Ontario based pair has earned thick acclaim and a potent reputation for. The album’s first single suggested that the Ummagma sound had evolved to a whole new tapestry of adventure and diversity, a bold aural kaleidoscope now confirmed and taken across a compelling array of individually and uniquely fresh landscapes by Compass.

The album opens up with Rolling and instantly infests the senses with its animated funk incited rhythms. Hitting its joyous stride soon after, the track bounces along dragging the listener to their feet, Kretov’s vocals a ringleader to the boisterous escapade. With its Talking Heads meets Dalek I Love You like shuffle, the track gets the release off to a thrilling start, one more than accentuated by successor Caravan.

The second track similarly had attention and instincts alive with its rhythmic introduction alone, bold tenacious beats a tribal intimation within the suggestive sonic vegetation that surround them. With body and imagination swiftly enslaved, McLarnon’s ever siren tones warmly caress as the song expands its scenically melodic emprise while the alternating blend of the duo’s voices only adds to the cinematic lure and enticing climate of the exceptional encounter.

Otherwise is next up, the song sharing another individual clime of sound and flavour as Caribbean-esque hues gently but firmly trot within an evolving dream pop serenade. More than ever it proved so easy to sink into the soundscapes of Ummagma as within just three songs Compass had unveiled a new plateau of craft, imagination, and temptation; an enticement nagging at the senses as eagerly within the electronic ambience coloured LCD. With voices as much a lively texture as the sounds courting the same evocative space, the track swept across the senses to, if not quite to the same heights as its predecessors, strongly captivate.

Equally the dream nurtured pop of Elizabeth 44 proved a beacon of persuasion and manipulation, guiding hips and attention with a knowing smile as McLarnon again beguiled, while Blown straight after was swiftly under the skin through its opening indie strokes of guitar alone. As its atmosphere grew and thickened with crystalline synth tempting and a hazy breath the track only enhanced its hold especially as cosmopolitan shapes and melodic silhouettes came forth to dance with keen rhythms and conjuring imagination.

The following predominantly instrumental F-Talking is one of those Ummagma tracks which sparks a fresh inference upon the imagination with every listen, its ambient search and discovery enthralling and interpretation never concluded with successor Galicticon, a spatial float across an expansive melodic sky of equal intimation, just as potent on ears and thoughts.

The diverse character of Compass continues at pace with Lotus strolling in on a shoegaze swing as Kretov walks its wiry threads. There is a touch of Paul Haig to the excellent song which only adds to its rich presence as too a Cocteau Twins like seducing which makes for a similarly alluring essence within the pastoral summer of High Day that follows with matching fascination.

The pair of Colors II and Cretu ensures a fair share of the imagination is cast on their adventures too, the first a slice of indie rock with a folk meets post punk shading and the second an ambient glide across mercurial and unpredictable scenery, every instrumental second a dawning of new suggestive sights to captivate thoughts and senses.

The radiant Bouquet brings Compass to a mesmeric conclusion, its hug shadow clad yet brightly seductive and breath foreboding but rousing. It is an eagerly magnetic end to an album which charmed, tantalised and absorbed from start to finish with moments of creative rapture set in between. Ummagma just go from strength to strength, from bold adventure to striking imagination releases by release; Compass the indisputable proof.

Compass is out now via Leonard Skully Records; available @ http://ummagma.bandcamp.com/album/compass

https://www.facebook.com/ummagma   https://twitter.com/ummagma

Pete RingMaster 31/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ummagma – Caravan

This June sees the release of the first album in seven years from Ummagma and to herald its arrival whilst offering a rather delicious teaser the indie pop duo has just released the two track single Caravan. As ever the pair’s sound is as eclectic as it is evocative and as is the trend with atmospheric senses involving mastery the new single evokes and inspires the imagination to individual adventures alongside its own.

Emerging in 2003, Ummagma is the creative union of Canadian Shauna McLarnon and Ukraine hailing Alexander Kretov. Ontario based, the pair’s sound is an imaginative fusion of everything from dream pop and shoegaze to post-punk, indie, space rock and much more, it all immersed in a tapestry of ambient and electronic enterprise. The duo has regularly been compared to bands such as Cocteau Twins, Curve, and Daughter but as Caravan alone insists, references which only hint at rather than reveal the richness of the band’s music and imagination.

It is fair to say that our personal appetite to Ummagma’s music is constant but has flourished in varying strengths across their releases and ahead of that new album in Compass, has reached lustful greed courtesy of Caravan. The song instantly had ears gripped as drums set out their ridiculously hypnotic and rousing stroll. Atmospheric suggestion is just as swiftly at play with the imagination, its soundscape of warm wide plains blossoming with suggestive vegetation. McLarnon’s warm magnetic tones are also soon caressing ears as the song sweeps into a synth pop-esque canter, Kretov’s subsequent vocals just as tempting within the pair’s web of musical insistence.

The song is pure adventure, an intimate travelogue of intrigue, intimation, and craft which had the body bouncing and ears enthralled from start to finish.

Ty i Ya accompanies Caravan offering up its own individual temptation; one funk lined and eighties synth pop bred. There is something of Dalek I Love You to the song which only added to its quick appeal and it too brings an atmospheric cascade of enterprise and suggestion which mesmerised throughout even if with varying degrees of strength across its evocative landscape.  Ummagma is a band which is unafraid to push their boundaries and the imagination of others in unexpected ways, Ty i Ya proof it so often works a treat.

It is probably fair to say that any album, indeed release, from Ummagma is eagerly anticipated in numerous corners, Caravan ensures Compass will definitely be truly keenly awaited.

Caravan is out now through Leonard Skully Records; available @ https://ummagma.bandcamp.com/album/caravan with Compass released on June 21th also via Leonard Skully Records digitally, on black vinyl and on CD with artwork by Alexander Kretov.

https://www.facebook.com/ummagma   https://twitter.com/ummagma

Pete RingMaster 17/05/2019

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

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Malka – The Constant State

Malka 3_RingMaster Review

Listening to the debut EP from US band Malka is like looking into a reflection within solidly disturbed clear water, eyes exploring a myriad of openly different but connected realms and possibilities. The Constant State is the equivalent for ears, each song revealing its own unique fusion of shoegaze, psychedelic rock, and dream pop but coming together for one intimate yet expansion flight of sound and imagination.

Hailing from New York, Malka consists of Darko Saric (guitars, synths, vocals), EJ DeCoske (guitars, synths, vocals), David Ciauro (bass, vocals), and Michael Dawson (drums).Emerging in 2013, it seems the quartet quickly began enticing support and acclaim with their sound locally and soon further afield, no real surprise when embracing the rich persuasive sounds of this their first release. The album is a kaleidoscope of immersive atmospheres, fascinatingly varied vocals and harmonies, and evocative melodies, all infused with lyrical explorations as intensely provocative as the sounds around them.

Malka - The Constant State cover artwork_RingMaster Review     A Flock Of Crows is the album’s first embrace, warm melodies from guitars and synths caressing ears whilst brewing a slightly volatile ambience for the captivating touch of vocals from across the band. Equally the rhythms have a darker, hungrier but welcoming edge too, the beats from Dawson especially enticing as the song merges a wistful dreamscape with energetic catchiness. There is no escaping a seventies /eighties feel to the encounter either but it is one woven into a tempting which also hugs broader essences from surrounding decades amidst a modern breath.

It is an enthralling opening to The Constant State backed and surpassed by the ethereal beauty of For Now We Live. As melodically meditative as it is atmospherically and rhythmically invasive, the song is like the first, a tenacious incitement which in many ways is imposing with its mesmeric glaze of post and psych rock infused with emotionally tense vocals and sultrily sonic hues. The song is irresistible, much as its successor the surf seeded Mientras Se Respira. The Spanish narrative is offered by the mellowest croon of voice with matching bewitching harmonies, whilst around them the guitars court an alternative rock colouring which is as much Pixies like as it is suggestive of a My Bloody Valentine or a Cocteau Twins. A smouldering kiss on the senses and imagination, the song further unveils a stirring diversity to the band’s sound and songwriting.

   Wolves And Sheep steps forward next with a pulsating shimmer to its almost festering hug of sonic light and melodic reflection. The track, as all upon The Constant State, provides a full beacon of light yet there are shadowy textures and tempering essences which only add to the drama and mystique of songs. Certainly this and its companions generally need time and many plays to truly open up for ears and thoughts to explore, but with a great trespass of sonic endeavour and expression brewing for a fiery climax, the song emulates all others in providing an increasingly magnetic and enjoyable trip through compelling atmospheric trespasses of the senses.

Both Diamond Girl and Corazon Sin Sangre keep the listener fuelled with adventure and diverse terrains of sound and imagination in potent persuasions, the first with its enslaving and increasingly dramatic sixties spawned smoulder of psychedelic pop and the second through its spatial yet intimate dark pop meets post rock drenched soar. Though each misses the extra ‘something’ of their predecessors, each song is pure temptation for album and ears from fresh and alternative soundscapes.

The release comes to a close with Swoon, easily our favourite track springing from the album. There is a familiarity to it from the first melodic breeze but it is an indefinable air which only adds to the thickening emotional theatre and climatic texture of the song. It is gentle but also lively tapestry of sound and invention, the perfect irresistible end to one potent introduction.

It would be fair to say that The Constant State, though making a strong first impression, grew into the thrilling adventure it is over time, an enticing and definitely enjoyable first touch evolving into the breeding of richer explorations and pleasure. The final thought is that Malka has the potential to bring major propositions to the British rock/ indie pop scene ahead and to be honest they already have with The Constant State.

The Constant State is available now @ https://malkanyc.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/malkanyc 

http://www.malkanyc.com/

RingMaster 23/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

 

 

Rosenthal – Heart EP

ce58086f-0850-4d55-b7e7-6b6f41cb466c

Managing to sound invitingly nostalgic and refreshingly new, the Heart EP is a captivating full introduction to Rosenthal, a Danish band already drawing a healthy buzz around themselves. Consisting of five tracks which can be described as being bred from a merger of new wave, dream pop, and shoegaze with a psychedelic colouring, the band’s debut EP is an intriguing and increasingly enjoyable embrace for ears and imagination.

Rosenthal is the brainchild and project of Copenhagen-based songwriter and producer Jeppe Kiel Revsbech. Last year saw the release of two singles, both Lashes and Afraid of Stairs sparking keen attention and enthused reactions to the band’s presence and sound. Now fresh off their successful first UK tour, the band is set to reinforce and push forward again their emerging presence in a wider arena with the Magnus Vad produced Heart EP, and with Ask Kjærgaard (guitars) and Kasper Nyhus Janssen (drums) alongside Jeppe Kiel Revsbech (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Rosenthal is continuing 2015 in fine style.

The EP’s title track starts things off and sets an early pinnacle for the encounter. The resonating yet earthy bass tone which opens the track is alone an instant irresistible persuasion. It has the same dark flavouring which gave depth and potent shadows to the early sounds of The Cure and equally Joy Division. In no time guitars add their minimalistic but expressive colour too whilst the floating vocals of Kiel Revsbech glance over ears like Green Gartside of Scritti Politti. The emerging melodic elegance of the song is a radiant hue, uniting with the mellow and sizeably infectious air of the song to incite an eager appetite in response. It is a fabulous start to the release, mesmeric yet holding a slight agitation which only adds to its compelling presence.

The following April Eyes has a lighter and airier breath to its bouncy energy and presence. From the off melodies are caressing ears whilst the bass toning again carries a dark shade to its otherwise less heavy tempting, both courted by an imagination and unpredictability throughout which sees the song easily slip from its energetic stroll into a reflective calm. This peaceful passage though is soon at the centre of a brewing emotive and sonic tempest, a brooding climate which never erupts but certainly brings an edge and drama to its landscape.

The acoustic charm of the brief instrumental An End to the Trial comes next, the stringed caresses of guitars an evocative spark for the imagination before Void wistfully seeps into ears and thoughts, again guitar expression the leading colour. Its folkish, provocative simplicity makes the perfect canvas for the similarly reserved yet vibrant vocals. It is a simmering sunset of sound and emotion but as darker hues add their tints it evolves into a tempestuous atmosphere of dark alternative pop. From a potent start it grows into a bewitching proposal for ears and thoughts, spicy hooks and tangy melodies expelling mouth-watering noir bred temptation. The song is an enjoyable slow burner but grows even more thrilling in its latter climatic stages.

The closing A Dream is like the first song, one seeded in the post punk and dark pop of previous days whilst casting its own fresh character of sound. Resourcefully bred from a New Order/Bauhaus seeding, dark wave shadows ignite the passions instantly whilst the emerging Billy Momo like folk charm and Cocteau Twins like ethereal melodies, simply absorb and accentuate the whole unique adventure. Keys also add suggestiveness to the mix, an OMD spicing working within their poetic ambience. It is a tremendous song and end to the EP, Heart bookended by its best two tracks but with plenty to eagerly embrace in between.

As the final song slowly drifts away it leaves ears and thoughts keen to immerse once again in the Rosenthal sound. Heart is not exactly going to bowl you over with listen one but it lingers, luring the listener back time and time again, a rich success in any one’s book.

The Heart EP is available now via Afterimages via most digital stores.

https://www.facebook.com/rosenthalsite

RingMaster 10/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

 

The Capsules – The Long Goodbye

the capsules pic

Having been seduced by US electro pop band The Capsules through their previous album Northern Lights & Southern Skies, anticipation for its successor The Long Goodbye has been excitable and at times impatient especially when having the honour of a sneak preview a short while ago, and the album does not let any expectations and hopes down now that it is finally ready to immerse the world into its mesmeric embrace. Its predecessor was an enthralling proposition which did not ignite a fire in the passions though it had them bubbling nicely with its enchanting charm and qualities; The Long Goodbye though does both. At times it has emotions and satisfaction simmering vivaciously but more often than not it leads them to raging flames of pleasure and rapture whilst revealing a thrilling evolution in the band’s sound, craft, and songwriting maturity.

Originally from Kansas but now Dallas based, The Capsules’ seeds began in high school with Julie and Jason Shields. Coming together to write music, it subsequently led to romance, marriage, and first band Shallow as well as the first bloom of their breath-takingly textured sounds. Next the pair enlisted drummer Kevin Trevino as they looked to expand and further refine their sound, a potent move resulting in the emergence of The Capsules. As the trio grew in sound and presence so did attention towards them, debut album Reverser sparking a focus upon them followed by two more increasingly captivating full-lengths before Northern Lights & Southern Skies brought in all into a much greater spotlight. Along the way the band has also grabbed an increasingly growing legion of fans including SpongeBob SquarePants creator Steven Hillenburg who asked them to write a song for the show. Understandable comparisons to the likes of Cocteau Twins, Blonde Redhead, Metric, Phantasmogram, and My Bloody Valentine have graced the band over releases and their performances with bands such as The Flaming Lips, Garbage, Mercury Rev, and Low, but it is honest to say that The Long Goodbye places the band into their own unique centre of attraction with its invigorating electronic caresses and seductive vocal temptations. Released via Saint Marie Records, the album quite simply is one ridiculously potent siren.

The entrancing flight of the album starts with The Beginning and its initial jangling enticement, guitars offering more tangible bait in 10364099_10152403884081346_7913373131760722158_nan increasingly immersive ambience bred by the keys. Instantly there is a whisper of drama to the song, a colourful essence which erupts into an eager breath to a lively and in comparison to its start, urgent stroll to the song. The crisp beats of Kevin bring a coaxing spine to the song as the increasingly mesmeric tones of Julie wrap and envelope the senses but it is the teasing melody crafted by Jason which lays down the strongest trap, its Altered Images intrigue, simulated by haunted yet warm harmonies, simply delicious. It is a rousing anthemic start to the album, a scenic evocative contagion which takes the imagination and passions into bright aural views.

Super Symmetry takes over and just as quickly has ears and thoughts transfixed with its expressive electro courting, its breath a mix of melancholy and elation. Julie’s voice smoulders as she glides over the minimalistic yet fully hued landscape of the song, noir kissed shadows and lapping incitements of melodies filling the unfussy and infectious premise. There is a hazy light which soaks the song, one which flirts as it soaks every note and syllable to help create a presence which simply absorbs mind and soul before making way for the thicker narrative of Monsters. Like the opener it has an eighties synth pop like spice to its cloudy wash of acidic guitar enterprise and smothering melodies, but truly comes alive when the band opens up its chorus with a rhythmic crescendo matched by elevated sonic flames.

Both the title track and Death Of A Comet steer the senses into a spatial climate, the first soaring with rapturous vocal flumes and magnetic rhythmic enticement within expansive and emotionally invasive weaves of keys laced together by the intricate guitar sewing of Jason. The second provides an initial emotional dawning which slowly spreads its colour and aural heart until finding itself casting a gentle stroll beneath a moonlit smile. Both tracks light up ears and air, bulging melodies aligned to soaring beauty and a spellbinding croon respectively showing just two more twists in the diversity seeding the songwriting and album, an aspect pushed again by the outstanding Hollywood. With a thick and glorious dark bass prowl stealing attention as the song radiates its entrancing suasion whilst again celestial flavouring breeds sonic fascination, the track is an impossibly beguiling and infectious flight into shadowed climes and compelling sunspots, much like its namesake.

The brooding grandeur of You Are A Metaphor keenly kisses ears next, again layers of dark and light converging into an enriching provocative ambience sculpted in reflection and thought, before being put in the shade just a little by Signals, a song where from its first scattering of Numan-esque trappings steals undiluted attention especially when it brings a heavier and no less welcome OMD expression to its electro stirring. Gripping and mouthwatering the song is itself just a very tasty appetiser for the highlight of the album, The Lonely End. The song is just majestic pop alchemy which stands as one of the best song unveiled this year. From its first strands of electro infection aligned to loudly vocal melodic emotion, the track swarms around seducing senses and imagination like a dark temptress, one needing no assistance but getting it with a just as potent sultriness from the fabulous tones of Julie. Robust but as finely crafted as porcelain, the spellbinding encounter with its earthy bass sound and scorched sonic guitar bred flames aligned to breath-taking melodies is simply stunning.

The height of its glory leaves songs like With Every Hour and Don’t Look Down which follow a thankless task but both without truthfully coming near still enrol the listener in a masterclass of picturesque melodies and imagination painting keys embraced in possessive harmonies and vocals. Neither song admittedly takes the bull by the horns either, both in distinct ways exploring their own independent emotional investigations without the same contagious toxins found elsewhere, though that virulence is soon rediscovered by the almost imposingly dramatic The Forgotten Days. There is a nagging essence and potency to the song which like a dog with a pig’s ear never relinquishes the instant hook it places in the passions early on. With guitars and drums steering the encounter as powerfully as the vocals, the track is a formidable provocateur, one which never truly explodes as expected but still provides a gem of an incitement.

The Long Goodbye closes with the excellent version of I Will Survive, a slowly awakening temptation which once more prefers to croon than romp but still finds a level of energy and enticement which leaves breath gasping. The song is one which has never found favour here but in the hand of The Capsules has become a firm favourite. The Long Goodbye is easily one of the special treats of the year so far suggesting that from being compared to many others The Capsules from this point on will be who others are compared to.

The Long Goodbye is available via Saint Marie Records now!

http://www.thecapsules.com/

9.5/10

RingMaster 20/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

 

A Sky Jet Black: Japanese Moon

If the electronic/post punk sounds of the eighties still whisper in your ear or are a recent discovery for you younger retro investigators, then the excellent debut album from US band A Sky Jet Black will easily light some burning fires with their shaded glowing sounds. Japanese Moon like the band, is heavily influenced by new wave/post punk/gothic pop as well as according, to their bio, Berlin era Bowie/Eno/Pop, Phil Spector wall of sound girl bands and 8-bit. It is the post punk dark electro pop elements which firmly cores it all though as the songs weave their impressive charms, their breaths igniting thoughts and memories of numerous iconic British artists.

Formed in 2010 by Hope Iris and Karasene (both keys and vocals) alongside Tim-O (bassist, vocals, production), the band spent its first months honing and creating its sound before making their live debut at the infamous Monstrosity House at SXSW. The following years has seen the band in a hectic flurry of recording and touring, including supporting David J (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets). The Austin, Texas trio recorded the album alongside producer Mike McCarthy (Spoon, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead) and have created one vibrant and mesmeric feast of warm and crystalline soundscapes posing as songs.

The album opens with the eager pulsating Be My, a song bringing the melodic charms of The Cure and Felt through the shimmering vocals of Siouxsie Sioux. It energetically wraps itself around the ear with a firm grasp whilst inspiring memories and dazzled passions, the sounds alongside the vocals of Hope a graceful impactful pleasure. Wholly infectious and fully enchanting it is a hypnotic start to the album, its nostalgic presence a perfect union with the heart of today.

The following Honey has a harder presence, a steely post punk surface to the again instantly absorbing melodic touch. The vocals have a slight Ian Curtis air bringing a Joy Division/The Passage essence across the icy yet heated emotive sounds. Its successor Sunday holds a similar gait but from a glowing New Order aspect, its brisk emotion teasing the electro pop of The Pet Shop Boys, though as throughout the album, shadows add the strongest voice to the romantic noir heart of the song.

Already the varied structure and sounds of the songs impress and ensure the release is never predictable even with the re-energising of well preserved sounds. The band also shows a wonderful ability to evolve things into their own distinct world as with the cover of The Stone Roses song, I Wanna Be Adored. Admittedly not a fan of its creators anyway, the song emerges as easily the better version from A Sky Jet Black, its sensuality and throaty bass veining the astounding contagion to leave one breathless.

As the seductive title track with its oriental kiss and cold beauty of Siouxsie & The Banshees/The Creatures, the kinetic Heart On Your Sleeve, and the brooding Out To Sea captivate thought and imagination, there is nothing but deep pleasure within. The second of the three songs especially hits the sweet spot with its early Human League like beginning and evolution into another New Order spiced piece of addiction, though the third with its Cocteau Twins/Chameleons teasing is equally powerful and deeply reaching.

The final piece of post punk sonic glory So Far Away, closes up what is a wonderful and enthralling album in Japanese Moon. With an album of beauty and darkness brought with provocative and exciting passion, A Sky Jet Black has taken us back in time but indie electro forward. It is majestic and an essential experience all should spare their hearts and time for.

https://www.facebook.com/askyjetblack

RingMaster 14/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.