Heartlay – Remedy EP

Pic by Sami Benhamou

Pic by Sami Benhamou

French band Heartlay made their introduction with the well-received debut EP Injection just over a year ago and fair to say their imaginative blend of industrial and melody rich metal sparked potent reactions and words. Now they have followed it up with an even mightier exploit in Remedy, a five-track EP continuing the band’s experimental merger of rich flavours. The band is still working towards their wholly unique sound but whilst showing a realisation of some of the potential impressing within its predecessor Remedy taps into fresh promise which forcibly suggests the Parisian quartet is an exciting prospect to watch.

Formed in 2014 by vocalist/composer Aaron Sadrin, Heartlay quickly finalised its creative strength with guitarist Johan Laë (ex-Moven.S), bassist Flo Lemonnier (ex-Kera, ex-Thanatic Eyes) and drummer Loïs Arnaldi (of Irradiance). As mentioned Injection quickly put the band on the radar of a great many luring strongly positive reactions in turn and now building upon its base and success, Heartlay is set to spark greater attention as they explore darker and more creatively demanding essences with Remedy. Adding greater raw aggression and emotional shadows this time around whilst pushing their imagination to thicker boldness, the EP shows an open evolution which has ears suitably gripped from the opening moment of the Brett Lamas-Caldas (Tower Studio: SepticFlesh, Devin Townsend) mastered EP.

COVER_RingMaster ReviewBring You Down opens things up, the song a strenuous wall of riffs and rhythms swiftly entwined in wiry sonic enterprise and vocal expression. Its intensity and power is a commanding and forceful wind but still allowing room for the melodic prowess and inventive weave of heavy rock and steely metal textures to make their persuasion. A Gravity Kills feel with a fierce fire to it graces the seriously engaging mix as vocals seduce and roar to match the journey of the music across the impressing start to Remedy. It is a potent persuasion continuing with Consequence. The scent of Nine Inch Nails hinted at in the first is a stronger flavouring to the second song, but equally there is an element of UK band MiXE1 and Deftones at play too as it reveals its own distinctive tapestry of searing sonic endeavour and electronic exploration.

As the opener gripped ears, the second intensifies the tempting with its sonically sizzling air and dramatic character; that progression continuing as The Battle initially coaxes the senses with warm keys aligned to a haunting ambience wrapping the raw industrial core of the song. Spineshank comes to thoughts early on in the increasingly volatile and compelling track as well as a generally assumed Trent Reznor inspiration, both stirring up more reasons to enjoy the abrasively tenacious and increasingly enjoyable proposition.

Through The Window adds its creative weight to the convincing roar of the EP next, its body a perpetually twisting venture of electronic and metal resourcefulness that again seems to be another little step on in imagination and potency than its predecessor, a trend across Remedy that does it no harm.

The melancholic ambience soaked Black Walls concludes the release, its predominantly instrumental body seemingly and enjoyably seeded in eighties dark wave invention with Gary Numan and The Cure passing thoughts as the track seduces with its cold romance and inspires the imagination through its haunting elegance. It is a strong end to Remedy, offering another side to the fascinating Heartlay sound.

The EP is an intriguing and tantalising next step in the emergence of the French band. There are moments where the release seems to resist going further into the unknown or wavers in its real strengths but from start to finish, whilst leaving ears thoroughly enamoured, Remedy suggests Heartlay is a band with the qualities and imagination to make a major impact.

The Remedy EP is out now @ https://heartlay.bandcamp.com/album/remedy-ep or http://heartlay.bigcartel.com/

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Pete RingMaster 08/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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In Isolation – A Certain Fractal Light

In Isolation_RingMaster Review

Amongst the gifts you hopefully receive this Christmas Day, we suggest you drop big hints that one of them should be the new single from UK band In Isolation. Released on the 25th, Parlance is a riveting post punk/new wave inspired anthem for ears and emotions taken from the band’s upcoming debut album A Certain Fractal Light. To kill two birds with one stone, we are going to dive into the full-length right now, a release showing that the single is no flash in the pan in great nostalgia seeded sound and fresh imagination.

Hailing from Nottingham, In Isolation emerged in 2009 openly drawing on inspirations found within eighties post-punk and new wave. Equally though, their sound has seeds in the indie flavours of the following decade and more, with influences on the trio’s invention found in artists ranging from The Smiths, Buzzcocks, and David Bowie to Killing Joke, Editors, and Bloc Party. The years have already seen In Isolation stir strong attention, their well-received singles Film Noir Scandal and Berlin making potent impressions with the latter appearing in the 2013 Steve Best directed movie Zombie Hood alongside the track The Wrong Girl, which In Isolation performed as themselves in the opening club scene of the film. A host of other appearances for their music in movie and TV productions followed whilst live the past years have seen the band share stages with the likes of Republica, Spear Of Destiny, The Chapman Family, and Trailer Trash Traceys amongst a great many and play festivals like Out The Box with Jake Bugg and DV8 alongside Gary Numan.

Parlance cover_RingMaster Review   Having spent fair amount of 2015 writing and creating A Certain Fractal Light, In Isolation is poised to prod even bigger spotlights and appetites with their excellent Gavin Monaghan (Editors, Babes In Toyland, Paolo Nutini) recorded album and before that through Parlance, the second single from and opener to its striking adventure. The song opens with sultry caresses of guitar quickly joined by a great throaty bass tone which quickly reveals an irresistible hook all of its own. Its appearance in turn sparks the guitars to spring new zeal and colour in their enterprise; it all framed by the hypnotic beats and percussion of drummer Tony Ghost. As the vocals of Ryan Swift join the mix, his and John Berry’s guitars still casting a tangy web of temptation, there is a great feel of The Teardrop Explodes to the song but equally a pungent scent of something fresh and solely imaginative to the band with the perpetually snarling bassline the added cream.

The outstanding start makes way for the album’s title track and a similarly potent seducing of ears and appetite. Keys and guitars lay the initial tempting, warm melodies kissing the senses with a China Crisis meets Spandau Ballet like elegance as darker hues bring greater depth to the track through the bass and atmospheric shadows, both skilfully tempering the glow of the song. It is hard not to be swiftly bewitched by the familiar yet unique proposal and further excited by its successors Not Noticing and Truth Or Dare. The first of the two enters on an electronic prowl but with a bold saunter to its gait which is quickly wrapped in a siren-esque harmony. The ever delicious gnarly tone of the bass is there tempting in quick time too, offering its raw bait amongst the just as magnetic hooks of guitar and voice as exotic hues add to the great drama and contagion of the encounter. There is plenty going on to be grabbed by including an electro suggestiveness which perfectly colludes with the dark theatre of guitar and bass in a persuasion lying somewhere between The The and US band Post Adolescence.

From one striking track to another as Truth Or Dare, the first single from the album released a few weeks back, takes over to reveal a body similar to that of the track A Certain Fractal Light but one soon casting its own emotive charm and melodic imagination to swiftly seduce and enlist eager participation from the listener before Elder Statesman engages ears with another imaginative fusion of dark and light soaked textures. As all songs within the album, familiar hues and influences are bold but woven into an evocative proposition creating its own unique character, The Letter straight after, with its rawer tenacious rock ‘n’ roll heart and enveloping virulence, providing another aspect to the potent variety within the post punk inspired melodic tapestry of the album.

Strange Thoughts keeps ears inflamed next with its catchy intent and richly textured romance, female vocals reappearing to add to the resourcefully captivating song. Keys and bass alone make the broadest contrasts as they stand side by side, their union wrapped in the excellent blend of vocals and sonic flames that spring from the pen and invention of In Isolation with compelling ease.

The equally fiery but energetically controlled Ghostburn, its body a close but unique enough design to that of its predecessor, and the classically shaped Gods both keep ears treated, the latter a reflective croon merging gothic overtones and provocative melancholy with poetic melodies. Each again show another facet to the In Isolation sound and invention, before Mist brings the album to a fine close with its own individual heart bred serenade built on a lively canvas of varying and contrasting elements.

Released in March 2016, A Certain Fractal Light is a glorious fusion of old and modern imagination, nostalgia and originality uniting for a highly enjoyable waltz of light and dark adventure. Treat yourself this Christmas with Parlance we say and then really go for it a few weeks later; the single will be a big enough persuasion for deciding on the latter anyway.

Parlance is released December 25th with A Certain Fractal Light out March 2016, both via the band’s own imprint Aye Aye Records.

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Pete RingMaster 16/12/2015

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Electro waltzes and deviancy: the Mr. Strange Interview.

 

Mr. Strange 2015 _RingMaster Review

Some know Mr. Strange as the former frontman of the brilliant circus rock steampunks The Shanklin Freak Show, others more some from their solo exploits and especially outstanding 2014 album Wonderful World Of Weird. What is beginning to be recognised is that the sound conjuror of musical deviancy from the Isle of Wight is one of the UK’s most imaginative and unique songwriters. Proof to that has come with their fiercely tremendous new album The Bible of Electric Pornography, the first offering since the rebirth of the persona and sound of Mr. Strange over past months. The just released album is a “sacrilegious assault of electro-influenced filth”; a thrilling incitement of electronic and rock ‘n’ roll alchemy with the unique Mr. Strange imagination. A certain album of the year contender for a great many, we grab time with its creator and took a look onto the defiant invention of The Bible of Electric Pornography.

Hello Mr. Strange, thanks for letting us peer into the heart of your new album.

Before we do though, you are already known for your tapestry of sound and flavours. What are the major inspirations which have most coloured your ideas, songwriting, and approach to making music?

Historically, the culprits in the inspiration department are; Marilyn Manson, Insane Clown Posse, Dr. Steel, Alice Cooper, Gary Numan, etc., anything theatrical, weird, and dark that I can “escape” into. Musical ability has never been that important to me, the atmosphere and/or uniqueness in music has always been more appealing, personally.

I’ve always wanted to create “worlds” for listeners to get lost in; you can see this in each Mr. Strange album, no matter what changes musically the escapism is always there.

Inspirations for this new album are a little different though; Krizz Kaliko, Prince, Peaches, Nine Inch Nails, Lady Gaga, Perturbator, Die Antwoord, The Prodigy, Marilyn Manson’s Mechanical Animals, Dead Or Alive, Dirty Sanchez (the electroclash band), Electric Six and Gary Numan have all played a part. Anton LaVey’s ‘Satanic Bible’ has been an influence, also.

Being primarily an electronic composer I’ve always worked using software, so no Mr. Strange song (or earlier Shanklin Freak Show) song have ever come from a traditional “jam” – all songs are created in a methodical, multi-layered, jigsaw-like way. I imagine this approach, while not in any way unique, has had an effect creating the Mr. Strange “sound” over the years.

As with any artist, everything influences me in some way or another, a lot of it subconsciously. The quirkiness of video game music has always been a large influence, especially pre-2001, before games started trying to ape films so much.

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 5_RingMaster Review

You have just released your new album The Bible of Electric Pornography. Can you give us some idea to the evolution of your craft and music shown in previous propositions and has culminated in the new incitement of ears and emotions?

This album’s been on the cards since about 2005. Originally it was just an idea to make a sleazy electro-rock album called ‘Sleaze Pit’; a few demo songs were written, only one of which survived and made the album. The ‘Sleaze Pit’ idea has always been there, all this time, but there has always been something else I wanted to try when it came to the “next record”. That was until Wonderful World Of Weird came out, then it was a toss-up between doing a metal album or this Sleaze Pit album. My guitar amp broke so I went with Sleaze Pit’!

It was only supposed to take 6 months but took 2 years… It evolved in to a monster.

Ideas kept coming, both musically and thematically. It tied in with a pivotal moment in my life, so I could pour a lot more of myself into it without it feeling at odds with the albums themes; I am the albums themes. There’s a sincerity and “realness” behind the theatricality now which may not have been there before. I hope it comes across to people listening to the record.

In my opinion, this is easily the best album I’ve worked on. I’ve never been very confident or overly pleased with any albums up until now. There’s always been time constraints forcing me to rush to completion, or a loss of interest in the project that has hampered its potential. This is the most personal, well-realised and accessible album I’ve ever done. I’ll be happy if this is the last album I ever do.

Some may mourn the loss of the old Mr. Strange quirky goofiness, but I needed to try something else for this album. I’m sure it’ll be back, though.

Mr. Strange EP album cover _RingMaster Review

You mentioned the time it has taken The Bible of Electric Pornography to grow and emerge etc., can you give us more insight into its writing and recording; also were there any collaborations also involved thus time around?

It was a bit more of a solo effort than Wonderful World of Weird, which was a very collaborative effort between me and Mr. Stench (guitarist). This is mainly due to how electronic the music is, so there wasn’t as much for a guitarist or live drummer to do. It was only meant to take 6 months; I didn’t mean to leave my band mates twiddling their thumbs for so long! But we have written a lot of music together though, it’s just not on this record…

The collaboration with Global Citizen (on the track D/s) came about very naturally. I co-produce their music, so have access to their track “stems” and decided to play about with one of their songs one day. I did a remix/remake, of sorts. It sounded great and fitted with the new album perfectly, so I asked Global Citizen if I could use it on the record, they said yes! I thought it’d be cool to have them sing on it too, their brand of lyrical filth seemed a natural fit.

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 3_RingMaster Review

 

Tell us about the lyrical themes and sparks for some of the tracks within The Bible of Electric Pornography.

There are two main themes running throughout Electric Pornography; Satanism and sexuality. For hundreds of years, religions have led people to believe the two are as one. This has led to an extremely repressed society, ashamed by default, born sinners. Christianity has had such a huge impact on the mentality of the western world over its 2000-odd years; its grip is loosening, but very slowly. The ingrained shame still exists in the western subconscious; some can overcome it easily, for others it can emotionally cripple.

I wanted to make a liberating album; I’m tired of hearing and feeling that I should be ashamed. I want to be the antithesis of that kind of thinking, the adversary of it. Seeing as so much repression, shaming, and bigotry stems from religion, I thought I’d side with one of their classic adversaries, metaphorically. If I’m a deviant abomination in their eyes, so be it, I’ll just embrace it. It’s a middle finger, really. Calling the album a ‘Bible’ is a cheeky slap in the face to the Jesus freaks; it also holds just as much relevance as their Bible, which is none. That’s a positive statement I wanted to make for people who might find this album and who may have to deal with religious bigotry on a daily basis. If it helps just one person feel a little better about themselves, then I’ll call that mission accomplished.

The sexuality in this album is very over-the-top, dark and nasty. This isn’t so much how I view sex and sexuality, but more of a symbolic revelling in the so-called “sinful” debauchery of it all. If I feel a certain way about something, I always take that to the extreme in my music – I blow it up so it’s ten times bigger and more exaggerated than it really is. People who already know my music and “get” it see past the pomp of it all and appreciated the real sentiments behind the overblown way I present them, but I can imagine that to the uninitiated I may seem like a self-obsessed sociopath or something!

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 4_RingMaster Review

Is there one core message within all those aspects it looks at and explores, and specifically that within the album’s finale, The Last Song?

It’s unapologetic and unashamed, and hopefully it will make people feel that way when listening to it.

The finale has two meanings.

The first: the end of a beautiful relationship. A mutual parting of ways that is sometimes necessary and unavoidable.

The second: a farewell to people who may not wish to follow me anymore. I look different and I sound different, I AM different, and that doesn’t always go down well with music fans. The first line sums it up perfectly for me:

 

“I know this isn’t what you wanted,

You wanted more of the same,

But that’s a game I cannot play”

The future for Mr Strange

The future is electric!

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 6_RingMaster Review

Read our review of The Bible of Electric Pornography @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/mr-strange-the-bible-of-electric-pornography/

http://www.mrstrangemedia.com  https://www.facebook.com/Official.Mr.Strange   https://twitter.com/MrStrangeMedia

Pete RingMaster 30/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Mr. Strange – The Bible of Electric Pornography

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 5_RingMaster Review

For a long time Mr. Strange has been one of the British music scene’s most imaginative and unique songwriters and artists, and one of its biggest unrecognised talents. Whether as the frontman of the brilliant circus rock steampunks, The Shanklin Freak Show or in solo adventures, he has teased and stoked the imagination whilst exciting ears with perpetual regularity. Potent spotlights have always seemed to fall elsewhere though, but that might be about to change, in fact expectations are sure it will as new album The Bible of Electric Pornography spreads its electronic seeded sermon.

The persona and sound of Mr. Strange has undergone a rebirth, a major evolution in all aspects in the time between acclaimed previous album Wonderful World Of Weird and the new slab of alchemy from his deviant creativity. Embracing fresh industrial and electronic temptation whilst weaving in numerous other rich flavours, Mr. Strange has opened up all sides of psyche and imagination whilst wrapping new songs in the so-called deviancy that others claim is pestilence. Thematically The Bible of Electric Pornography is defiance and a middle thing to the oppressive ‘normal’, an anthem for the supposedly grotesque, for the freaks and the like-minded unique; an encounter which also happens to rock like a thousand orgies to stand in the words surrounding the album, as a “sacrilegious assault of electro-influenced filth!”

Mr. Strange EP album cover NEW_RingMaster Review   The album opens with Born Again, and the birth of they, of Mr. Strange. Upon arrival electro pulses and shimmering melodies crowd around the creative cot, his vocals providing the commentary as synths strengthen their drama and the atmosphere becomes shadowy. There is a portentous air to the track but one breaking into the dawning of climactic sounds and the heralding of Mr. Strange’s new realm of invention, which in turn sparks the stomp of Deviant Ritual. Making a sort of bridge between past triumphs, the song sharing open essences of The Shanklin Freak Show and previous solo album, keys swing and vocals entice as beats grip with potent temptation. In no time the track has the body acting like its puppet, limbs and energies flung around to the wicked swagger and infectious seduction of the outstanding protagonist.

Disco Bitch is on an immediate prowl next, though its gait has a more boisterous than predatory energy and design to it. Quickly into its robust stroll with compelling walls of electronic tenacity and enterprise, the track resonates with Being Boiled era Human League potency and colouring, a scent dirtied and fuzzed up by the craft of Mr. Strange as electro squirts lure and bassy rhythms dance with the passions. As its predecessor, the track is a blaze of dance-floor devilment and raucous sonic eroticism, incitements to get the defiant and proud party started before the album begins setting its sights on prosecutors, Electric Pornography continuing the festivity whilst flirting with the devil and its breed like a seductive pout of devilment. Amongst inspirations for the album, Mr. Strange offered Electric Six recently and definitely the track shares their kind of dance/rock devilry.

A thicker air of intensive energy soaks the following Tension, its emotive breath crafted and accentuated by darkly enticing rubs of guitar and moody bass tones as synths cradle the warmer hues of voice and melodies. It all unites in provocative electro rock persuasion which again has ears, hips, and thoughts emotionally and psychically involved.

A tirade of sample pieces spouting religious and social bigotry fattens God Hates Me next, keys initially a misting of melancholic elegance eventually brewing into more dramatic smog, though still with despair rather than outrage as its hue. The piece leads into the remarkable Jonathan, easily one of the pinnacles amongst a constant range of peaks within The Bible of Electric Pornography. It is a narrative for and growing support of the track’s oppressed champion which as the character, grows into its mesmeric creative skin as simple melodies align to weaves of electronic and industrial resourcefulness. Ebbing and flowing in intensity as the voice of Mr. Strange reveals all, the song is simply glorious, as lyrically impacting in its croon as it is invigorating musically, and easily one of the best things heard this year.

Do It Like… is another exhilarating whipping up of body and soul, a song inspired by Pete Burns and his life/attitude whilst musically drawing on the contagious invention of Dead Or Alive and indeed Nightmares In Wax which evolved into the former, and merging it with Celldweller like steeliness . Every element of the song has the body, inside and out, bouncing and swinging whilst again nudging thoughts with its lyrical potency.

The bubbly punch of I Like Girls & Boys is the next to take over, sculpting rousing crescendos of skittish beats and scuzzy electronics along its magnetic body, expulsions conducted by the ever Mr. Strange 2015 pic 7_RingMaster Reviewalluring tones of its creator. Though not in an obvious way, there is a definite feel of Fad Gadget to the song, to its theatre and emotive richness whilst My Addiction gets down and funky offering up hints of a Heaven 17 and Blancmange in varying degrees. By now it is not unusual to leave a song without a smile on the face and appetite, this of course no exception with its warmly stimulating hug.

The noir jazziness of Sodom Nights brings yet another eclectic shade to the album, its melodic waltz and electronic seduction a sultry fondling of the senses and inciter of lusty contemplations, that dark romance followed by the rapacious sinister sizzle of D/s, a fuzzball of temptation featuring Global Citizen. The crawling magnetism of the track is just sonic addiction matched by the bold lure of Stormtrooper In Drag, a striking cover of a solo song released in the eighties by Tubeway Army guitarist Paul Gardiner and featuring Gary Numan who co-composed, sang lead vocals, and played on it. It is one of those ‘lost’ gems now given new life, re-vitalised by Mr. Strange’s innovative touch.

Closing up the album is firstly Fag, a leviathan of rhythmic tempting with a Manson-esque snarl providing the most irritable proposal upon The Bible of Electric Pornography and in turn one of its numerous slices of ear slavery and lastly The Last Song. Providing a bewitching serenade with a message for those who hate change, and might argue about the new direction Mr. Strange has taken, its defiance to any complaints openly and mischievously argued by the strong and highly enjoyable Kraftwerk influence, the track is pure captivation bringing the album to a thrilling close.

Familiarity and uniqueness collude within The Bible of Electric Pornography, with the latter the overriding substance, the album leading the second coming of Mr. Strange and easily eclipsing previous solo offerings, as impressive and they were and still are. We are looking at a release boldly challenging offerings from the supposed electronic big boys and girls, challenging and surpassing.

Mr. Strange is dead. Long live Mr. Strange!” Time for all to join the resurrection.

The Bible of Electric Pornography will be released November 16th, pre-ordering available now @ http://mrstrange.bigcartel.com/product/electric-pornography-cd-album-pre-order

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Pete RingMaster 05/11/2015

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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Tactical Module – Before Crisis

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You can never tire of being impressed by the growth and almost visual evolution of certain artists and one who seems to inspire increasingly potent acclaim is Tactical Module, the one man project of Michael Davis. Across his last trio of incitements alone, the British musician/composer has magnetically enthralled and excited with his fusion of industrial metal, digital hardcore, and EBM. Each encounter has shown new and often dramatic steps in the growth of the band’s sound and songwriting and new EP Before Crisis is no exception. Arguably it is not a big step forward from the last album Into Exile but certainly there is an even greater balance and fluidity between the raw and confrontational side of the vocal and sonic ferocity and the melodic and infectiously vivacious elements which so contagiously mark out songs. Increasing maturity and experience comes with every release of an artist and certainly Before Crisis is embracing an impressing wave of it through Davis.

Forming Tactical Module in 2010 to unleash a creative freedom restrained by being in bands and to explore darker and more aggressive electronic music, the Poole hailing Davis was soon sculpting a handful of digital EPs and remixes to increasing attention. Inspired by bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, KMFDM, Godflesh, Gary Numan, Skinny Puppy, Killing Joke, and Depeche Mode, Davis made a potent breakthrough with the Dead Zone EP in 2012. It swiftly gripped appetites and a more serious spotlight upon release, marking out Tactical Module as an emerging force and talent. Both the feverishly grasped single Where Angels Rise and first album World Through My Sight in 2013 reinforced his growing reputation whilst the Resurrection EP that same year and its successor Into Exile early 2014, found Davis breaching new plateaus with striking experimentation and emotional voracity. Released as 2014 closed its eyes and evolved into the New Year, Before Crisis cements the stature of Tactical Module in Britain’s electronic underground scene whilst as mentioning earlier showing an even more honed and masterful resourcefulness to Davis’ creativity.

The instrumental Awaken sparks the imagination first, its slow dawning of rhythmic enticement an intrigue loaded lure before synths spin their emotive sonic web. There is a portentous air to10261995_786876598003130_5830102883858603546_n the opener and a prowl of dark shadows which bring a stark and threatening edge to the melodic charm of the piece. It is a magnetic lead into the EP and the following equally intimidating presence of Poison Within. Growing within a synth woven cage of gentler persuasion, the song eventually steps forward as an electro punk provocateur but an antagonist unafraid to employ the flavoursome melodies and sonic expression which coaxed in ears and appetite initially. As stormy in its disturbing quieter moments as in its open musical and vocal rages, the track ebbs and flows masterfully, waves of hostility feeding the appetite again and again within the equally imposing charm of the song.

Next the EP’s title track steps forward offering an immediate infectious shuffle of agitated rhythms under another brooding electronic sky. Davis as expected unleashes a cutting narrative with pleasing abrasing tones soon after whilst around him guitars add a caustic spice to the brighter revelry of the keys. It is a light to the song which as across all tracks, is held in check by the thick smog of angst and heavy shadows which fuel vocals and sounds alike. Here though it is given a longer leash which allows a diversity and tempting aural colour to have their just as potent say on the imagination, as repeated in the excellent To the Skies of Oblivion straight after. A song first found on the Resurrection EP, its bounds through ears and into the passions with a devilish tenacity and energy. It has an inescapable infectiousness which even aligned to the almost rabid furies in voice and menacing rewarding lulls which stalk the song never misses a step in its thrilling march.

The raw atmospheric opening of Assemble is an immediate temper to the previous devilry, its great stark and cold opening spreading an oppressive ambience which in turn courts an abrasion of hip hop spiced electro rock. Vocally too Davis briefly toys with a slither of rap enterprise to match the eventful adventure flirting within the invasive climate of the track’s electronic landscape. It is a slow burner in comparison to other tracks upon Before Crisis but emerges just as striking and enjoyable.

The final new song on the release is What Lies Beneath, another coming in from a distant pasture to embrace ears in drama and a blend of creative antagonism and melodic grandeur. Also a slower persuasion, the song is a compelling narrative of sound and emotion but just lacks the indefinable spark of earlier tracks and misses igniting the passions as successfully.

The EP is completed by a trio of remixes, the song Before Crisis being redefined by Ruinizer and Assemble receiving creative treatments from Cease2Xist and Dali, the latter of the three working the psyche with particular deftness and all offering captivating dimensions to the originals.

Tactical Module has again shown itself to be a bright and imposing spark in the UK electronic scene through Before Crisis. It is a release little to find an issue with, though just as an experiment we would like to see Davis being more adventure into his vocals ahead, and a tempest of invention fans will devour greedily.

Before Crisis is available now @ http://tacticalmodule.bandcamp.com/album/before-crisis

https://www.facebook.com/TacticalModule

RingMaster 07/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Deadliner – Wardenclyffe

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    Enthralling, unpredictable, and persistently inciting the senses, Wardenclyffe the new album from industrial/electronic project Deadliner is a quite masterful and transfixing evocation of sound and imagination. Consisting of twenty tracks, or episodes within the life of the album’s themed central character, the release is a riveting encounter providing one of the electronic triumphs of the past year and surely of this. Released via Juggernaut Media Group, the album is an adventure fuelled by evocative electro alchemy from an artist who a relative secret in his presence is bold and large in his music.

     Deadliner is the project of Chicago musician Steve Christie, a man who is also renowned and prolific in the field of remixes. Formed a few years ago, the band has released a wealth of provocative and inventive releases, each an investigation based on impacting moments or people within human history. Wardenclyffe is inspired by inventor Nikola Tesla, the album title and theme inspired by the laboratory tower in New York where Tesla spent much of his adult life and conducted experiments in wireless transmission. Previous releases have explored and employed varied styles and sounds in their bodies and Wardenclyffe no different with its tracks fusing industrial and electronic persuasions with more than a glancing touch of classically seeded elegance. The result is an album which can bewitch and intimidate in any given moment but mostly it just ignites the imagination and emotions into casting individual narratives aligned to that of the composer.

     Available digitally with the deluxe version containing an additional six tracks, Wardenclyffe needs no time to warm up as it immediately immerses senses and thoughts in the irresistible grasp of opener The Eidetic. Gently whipping electro pulses engage first with industrial swipes intermittently also making their intent clear. Behind them a brewing sonic mist builds an electric ambience whilst rhythms place a keen and firm hand on the ears to cage their attention. Into its full height and slow coaxing stroll, the track magnetises thoughts and awakens a hungry appetite with an additional Numan-esque breath to its imposing but respectful presence. It is an immense lure and start to the album rapidly backed up by subsequent tracks.

     The highly stimulated electro dance of Transmitter and the gentle emotive breeze of The Radiant instantly reinforce the strong entrance of the album, the first a repetitious and galvanising canter of infectiousness and its successor a warm billowing wind of smouldering sound with climactic outbreaks of rhythmic tension and fiery melodies the further it stretches its venture. Though not as impacting as the first, both build a high plateau for Wardenclyffe which is never fallen below on the rest of the album but often surpassed as with the next up World System. Everything about this song increases in voice; volume, intensity, and energy rampant and rapacious offerings within an increasingly building drama and intimidation. Listening to the track you feel like a small body in a large and voracious sea of sound.

     The likes of the vivaciously charged Remote Field, the melodically cast and atmospherically chilled Bremsstrahlung, and the melancholic Stationary Waves with another Numan like essence to its suasion, keep the release inciting the emotions and imagination throughout with their absorbing narratives whilst punctuating their lofty highland further pinnacles are offered by Polarized and Static Coupling. The first of the two is an intriguing and sinister wrap around the thoughts, its body carrying an intimidating causticity at times which is tempered by a floating melodic endeavour and thought colouring enchantment whilst the second breeds an animosity and defiance in its rawer sound and the guest vocals of UCNX, this the only track with a vocal incitement. Both are darker and more challenging than other tracks bringing more diversity to Wardenclyffe and predation on the senses.

   Further major highlights show their majesty and temptation with The Decay, its brilliant opening introduction enough to enthuse about alone. With a discord kissed quirky twang to its initial notes the song steals the imagination which is then fed a glorious expanse of melodic and sonic weaves, the track having a taste of John Foxx to its absorbing and emotion galvanising stretch. Soon after the melodic reflection of The Lichtenberg Figure equally sparks rich responses from mind and heart, its melody crafted wash of guitar and synth thoughtfulness quite mesmeric though soon swamped by the muscle flexing presence of Cathode. Massive bulging beats and sinew strapped hooks dominating the fiery encounter to thrilling effect, and as with the previous World System it feels like Christie has turned up volume and intensity to sculpt the most potent drama with impressive effect.

    The expressive emotion of the piano sculpted The Believers and the virulent intoxication of The Doldrum leave the album again on the highest level whilst the closing Discharge washes ears and imagination with a stately and emotive finale of craft and melodic beauty. Every song on the album is an unreserved temptation those mentioned and those left for you to discover, never a moment upon the album uninspiring mentally and thrilling musically. Deadliner is a proposition still in the shadows for most but after Wardenclyffe works its way through the world, it is hard to imagine that remaining the case. It is simply a dynamic and superbly textured inventive adventure all electronic fans need to immerse within.

http://www.deadlinermusic.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Deadliner/278708955490201

9/10

Ringmaster 14/02/2014

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