The Dark Red Seed – Becomes Awake

Providing a kaleidoscope of intrigue, suggestion, and captivation, the debut album from The Dark Red Seed is a journey and experience which almost stains the imagination in its creative breath. It provokes thoughts and incites emotions as it lures ears into its shadowy yet seductive soundscape; Becomes Awake evolving into one of the most enthralling encounters so far this year.

The Dark Red Seed is the personal project of Tosten Larson, guitarist for Seattle dark folk musician King Dude. It is an adventure shared with King Dude engineer Shawn Flemming, the pair creating individual realms and intimation within a fusion of dark folk and heavy psychedelic rock with plenty more hues involved. Becomes Awake follows last year’s Stands with Death EP; a well-received introduction to the project hinting at the rich and immersive adventure to come. To use their words, the new album is “a dark, dusty discourse on the departure and ultimate dissolution of life, “Becomes Awake” symbolizes a movement from darkness into light; finding balance through acceptance of one’s own qualities of both the light and the dark; the good and the bad.”

Featuring the guest contributions of Kelly Pratt (LCD Soundsystem, War on Drugs, St Vincent) and Steve Nistor (Sparks, Marissa Nadler, Daniel Lanois), and wrapped in the superb art of Paul Romano (Mastodon, Dälek), Becomes Awake draws on inspirations from Indian, Persian, and Roma music. There is a nomadic feel to the exploration at times, an aural travelogue of the ancient, old, and modern within its harmonically and rhythmically shaped, melody fuelled exploration. From opener Dukkha, the album just sucked ears and attention into its awaiting and awakening milieu, flame licked psychedelic atmospheres soaring over the infectious rhythmic rockery of its land. Drama lines every note and syllable, a web of sound shaping its suggestion, all through imagination and craft.

Lured in by the first, its successor, Darker Days, just ensnared with its inviting rhythmic stroll and dark rock/country/folk swing. Like a psych kissed Helldorado, the song is a warm infection of body and imagination scorched by brass, caressed my Eastern temptation, and ignited by the underlying tempestuousness of its climate and heart. It is a recipe of pure magnetism taken and then evolved again within next up Alap, an instrumental web of threat and discord, intrigue and trespass, light and dark. The piece did convert its prowess into persuasion as swiftly as its predecessors with fascination a quick return for its mystery.

Through the melodic calm and blossoming rapture of Ancient Sunrise and the animated slightly portentous grandeur of The Mouth of God which emerges from it, ears and imagination were simply roused before The Destroyer deceptively saunters into view with a mellow if sonically volatile air. The melancholic scythes and beauty of the strings are a resignation to an impending result, enticing melodies and harmonies a holding of the hand as the track’s protagonist looms. A well of contrasts and emotions, the track simply enthralled as it made its way towards the jazz smoky atmosphere and darkly lit depths of The Void.

Personal interpretation is as easy as absorbing the inference of the tracks, another enticing element as the outstanding Awakening followed infesting and manipulating body and thought and Sukha mesmerised with its melodic heart and transfixing drone; again contrasting textures so sublimely aligned by The Dark Red Seed. The first of the two is easily our favourite moment within Becomes Awake, a stirring and rousing yet hypnotic canter on a compelling dark bassline through crystalline scenery steamed up by post punk breath.

Diana And Ouroboros Dance completes the release, another track which took its time to grow in ears and appetite yet was laying enticing seeds from its first breath to increasingly grow over time. With its heavy atmosphere and Doors-esque roar, the track is nothing less than enjoyable from the off and thick captivation down the line.

That pretty much applies to Becomes Awake as a whole though straight away we found ourselves gripped by certain moments, enslaved by just as many others. The Dark Red Seed is one heart which will not make for a fleeting attraction.

Becomes Awake is out now through Prophecy Productions and available @ https://thedarkredseed.bandcamp.com/album/becomes-awake

https://www.facebook.com/TheDarkRedSeed/

Pete RingMaster 24/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

dälek – Asphalt For Eden

Photo credit: Devine Images

Photo credit: Devine Images

Returning from their hiatus a few months back, dälek have confirmed their return with the release of their new album Asphalt For Eden, the successor to 2009 full-length Gutter Tactics. Released via Profound Lore, it also sees a new line-up bringing their imagination to the band’s renowned experimentation.  Revived by mastermind and producer MC Dälek (aka Will Brooks) last year, with the permission of ex-member and co-producer Oktopus, and with DJ rEk on turntables and co-producer Mike Manteca on samplers and effects alongside, dälek reveal the first result of their fresh union with an album which bewitches as it intrigues, provokes as it explores new dramatic adventures in the band’s sound and imagination.

Whether it is a new pinnacle in the band’s creative endeavours we will leave others to decide but certainly Asphalt For Eden ignites the imagination with its raw noise within ambient beauty and dark trip hop meets hip hop experimentation and provocation. It opens with the hypnotic Shattered, a persistent nagging of drone and sonic repetition hugging the lyrical prowess and delivery of MC Dälek. It is a haunting waltz of dissonant shadows and throbbing resonance; reminding a little of British hip hop band Honky, with MC Dälek prowling ears and thoughts with his stirring presence.

The sensational start continues with the also toxically atmospheric Guaranteed Struggle. Again the senses are immersed in inharmonious textures and sonic trespasses, rhythms roaming with a distracted gait as the vocals spread their evocative insight. The cacophonous air is as mesmeric as the swing and vocal enticement, becoming more invasively compelling and corrosive with each passing minute of the song’s droning beauty. It increasingly seeps deeper into the psyche, magnetic in its mystique laced discordance and ravenous in its oppressive envelopment of body and mind.

art_RingMasterReviewMasked Laughter (Nothing’s Left) is a lighter distraction; its elegant fuzzy harmonies blossoming into halos of sonic suggestion around effect cloaked vocals whilst Critical provides an industrial toned intrusion with a carnival-esque revelry and infectiousness to its melodic undercurrent. As with its predecessors, there is a busy creative machine working away within the muggy climate of the track, new revelations emerging with every listen and in turn a fresh wave of virulent contagiousness.

The rockier incitement of 6dB comes next with its haze of sonic instrumentation and raw ambience around a brewing rhythmic stroll. It is a plaything for the imagination before Control simmers and bubbles with its bracing celestial air and harsh romance of noise around MC Dälek’s ever alluring presence. Its spatial qualities are emulated in It Just Is, a closing slice of transfixing sonic and melodic discord aligned to a pulsating trespass of charm. Though it, and the track before, do not quite ignite the same strength of reaction as those before, both leave satisfaction full in their absorbing embrace.

The biggest pleasure comes in the repetitious and enjoyably monotonous drones of sound which shape tracks in a range of differing textures and ways. It provides a mesmeric and imposing romancing of the senses and imagination simultaneously acting as fuel to the creative fire of Asphalt For Eden and spicing to its rousing explorations. It is as if dälek has never been away.

Asphalt For Eden is out now via Profound Lore across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/dalekmusic    https://twitter.com/daleknwk

Pete RingMaster 28/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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