Andy Cooper – The Layered Effect

Like the fleet footed shuffle of a confidence fuelled, adrenaline powered boxer, the sounds of US rapper/producer Andy Cooper beguile, spar, and jab within his second album The Layered Effect and like the very best, it swings knock out punches to simply drool over.

A tapestry of old school rap and hip hop as funky and jazzy as it is lung bursting fresh, The Layered Effect is pure pleasure in the ears. It is a homage to the past equally embracing the experiences of Cooper through his part as one third of hip hop outfit Ugly Duckling but not so much a throwback as a new revitalising breath in its history, and the fact that at times it reminds us of nineties UK hip hop duo Honky is extra cream to greedily lap up. Lyrically Cooper also acclaims the core and original essences of the genres he plays with throughout his album, revelling on the fun conjured on the inside as much as the listener basks in it on the outside.

The Layered Effect opens up with Here Comes Another One. Featuring Dutch MC Blabbermouf, the track swiftly swings and flirts with tenacious beats and the vocal shuffle of Cooper, keys keeping up with their own suggestive dance. The rapid fire exploits of Blabbermouf are just as rousing once uncaged, the song’s subsequent vocal weave devilish in its lure and as irresistible in its enterprise as the magnetic alignment of brass and keys with all the track’s other enticing sounds..

The following interlude of Layers toys with the chorus of the opener before Get On That has attention jumping and body bouncing with its R&B meets Fat Boy Slim scented jazz ‘n’ hop funk. As busy and richly flavoured as it is greedily infectious, the song twists and turns like a controlled but lustful dervish, its rhythms alone are instinctive manipulation, a trait just as potent within successor The Perfect Definition. More predacious than its predecessor in beat and tone, the track is a virile invitation led by the verbal shuffle of Cooper wrapped in boisterous musical prowess.

Talking of virility, Do The Andy Puppet is sheer virulent contagion, a deceptively persuasive saunter spun from presumably The Allergies 2016 video for Rock Rock featuring Cooper and his material woven counterpart. It has the innocence of child entertainment and the machination of retail temptation but really it is one slice of sublime contagion putting a smile on the face and spirit.

Last Of A Dying Breed has ears and thoughts swaying with the essences of old school rap blessed in instinctive funk while Anything Goes with Canadian rapper Abdominal guesting, pounces on the appetite with rapacious relish and dark intrigue, the song another as shadowy as it is radiant. The vocal union of the two is animated captivation skilfully matched by the song’s less forward but no less engaging sounds.

Surely only a deceased heart can stop any body from twisting and rolling to the rhythmic pulse and jazz flumes of the superb Can’t Be Satisfied, the track a virus to hips and feet let alone the imagination, while B-Boy Blues spreads further diversity to the album with its steely breath and twang lined funk. Both hit the spot dead centre, each solely owning the listener for the expanse of their presence.

The sultry shindig of Sizzling Hot provides a sweltering festival of sound and enticement to which once more eager involvement is inescapable. Its heated swing slips into the interlude of Just One Of The JB’s, its declaration springing into the celebration of Rick Said So, a Beastie Boys toned roar riding the inspirations of rap’s spawning days from Rick Rubin forward.

The release ends with the summer energy of A New Dawn, a fascinating web of sound around a final spring of vocal enterprise and lyrical suggestion which simply draws ears and imagination into its folds. It is a spellbinding conclusion to one increasingly addictive encounter. Andy Cooper has been no stranger to attention and acclaim through his previous projects and debut solo album but maybe not as much as The Layered Effect could and should spark.

The Layered Effect is out now through Rocafort Records; available @ https://rocafortrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-layered-effect

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Pete RingMaster 30/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

As A New Revolt – Speechless

Unleashing the turbulence and discontent fuelling the world today, As A New Revolt provides a potent voice for the masses and another truly fresh breath for a year with many momentous propositions within its roar. Speechless is a stunning introduction to the duo of Manu Barrero (vocals, machines) and Julien Lhuillier (drums), a four track EP reflecting the oppression around today and the increasing defiance to it but also a title pretty much summing up certainly our lost for words response to its impressive presence.

As A New Revolt create a sound spawned from the feral fusion of rapcore, punk, industrial, hip hop and much more. What emerges is a unique and ravenously rapacious affair driven by the dexterous tenacity of Lhuillier’s rhythms and infested with the sonic discord and vocal dissonance of Barrero. It is a greedily welcomed trespass of noise which swiftly gets under the skin and proceeds to manipulate body and spirit with its almost carnal infestation.

Speechless opens up with its title track, samples and corrosive noise colluding as tension springs an imposing swagger of noise and Barrero’s slightly psychotic tones. An underlying volatility only adds to the threat and lure, the track lumbering along with predacious intent as inspiring rhythms land with calculated intent. Essences akin to bands such as Rage Against The Machine, Pitchshifter, G.R.I.M., and Nine Inch Nails tease within the cauldron, all hues in the stirring and individual web of the French pair.

The following Riot Porn is even more urgent to invade the senses, its gait boisterous but happy to ebb and flow as Barrero fingers song and thoughts with his vocal stabs. As within its predecessor, electronic and melodic tendrils spiral across the encounter, their magnetic attraction and imagination as toxic as the barbarous winds sonically blowing around them. Lhuillier splinters it all with his own gripping rhythmic drama, every beat a shuddering yet anthemic coaxing inciting song and listener alike and managing to be even more manipulative and colossal in next up Now!, a track which steals the show for personal tastes.

With its eastern sonic lures and compelling beats, the track instantly seduces attention, its portentous air gripping the imagination as a tapestry of sound and enterprise aligns in a mutually riveting web. Though not in sound as such there is something of early Killing Joke to the song and band’s general sound, the same kind of rhythmic addictiveness and nagging ingenuity eating away at defences to inescapable success.

Perfect brings things to a close, the song ‘mellower’ in attack but tenebrous in tone and atmosphere as it challenges and incites second by second, note by note, noise by noise. Unsurprisingly after taking in the previous trio of tracks, there is a gloriously capricious character to the assault, a tempestuousness which builds and boils though it is content to menace through simmering provocation too as vocals and rhythms probe and inflame.

It is a superb end to a truly thrilling release which among many mouth-watering and momentous encounters across 2017 just might be the best of the lot.

Speechless is available now through Atypeek Diffusion / Sand Music across most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 19/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Siberian Meat Grinder – Metal Bear Stomp

A big rabid beast has loomed on our horizons, a hungry carnivore of a proposition ready to devour the senses on the way to the top of the metal landscape. It is Russian fury Siberian Meat Grinder; a band which has been laying the foundations for major attention for the past half dozen years but poised to mercilessly seize it through new album Metal Bear Stomp. A ferocious and virulent fusion of thrash, hardcore, hip hop, and plenty more, sound and release has everything desired to arouse the passions and set the body off on one brutal slam dance.

As suggested Moscow based Siberian Meat Grinder had given notice of their presence and intent through mini-albums Hail To The Tsar and Vs The World which were originally self-released before seeing a reboot upon Destiny Records in 2015. Last year the label gave warning of Metal Bear Stomp with the Face The Clan EP which featured a couple of tracks from the new album; hints more than realised and surpassed by Siberian Meat Grinder’s new irresistible assault.

In many ways there is plenty familiar about the album yet everything is woven into a combination and threat as fresh and individual as anything around. It all begins with the intrusive shenanigans of Ruder Than Thou, vocals and guitars instantly in the face with group shouts swiftly in league with their raucous invitation as rhythms bite. In no time surging thrash bred riffs drive through ears, the insatiable beats of drummer Egor herding the aggression directly upon the senses. The punk assault of vocalist Vladimir becomes the ringleader, the rest of the band’s throats anthemic incitement before the unpredictability of the band shines as the song twists into a just as potent Biting Elbows meets Agnostic Front like incitement before exploding with its thrash instincts once again.

It is a start to arouse the passions swiftly supported by the similarly insatiable antics of Hunt the Steel. Guitarists Maxim and Mihail drive riffs through ears, vocals swinging from their bait as band collusion waits to free an anthemic roar with addictive success. In the midst of the charge the bass of Andrei magnetically grumbles, its brooding presence a thick lure within the growing web of sonic enterprise of the guitars.

The album’s title track stomps around next, the Bear-Tsar of a proposal prowling and striking with the ferocity of an Exodus and spite of a Municipal Waste. Again there is no escaping the addictive prowess of the band calls; physical involvement with that and the neck muscle stretching throb of the track swift as the track tightens the already firm grip of the album.

The predatory stalking of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop is just as compelling, that initial prowling threat the lead into carnal rabidity which in turn blends bestial intent with predacious restraint as the song continues to ebb and flow in creative vindictiveness. Its instinctive rapacity is matched and intensified in successor No Way Back, the song a ravenous tempest of speed and irritability veined by sonic toxicity. Its thrash nurtured, multi-flavoured body is again an unpredictable proposal which twists and turns as tenaciously as the vocal attack, keeping expectations guessing and imagination gripped.

Enter Bearface brings a web of bold rhythms and sonic espionage to bear on the imagination next, its brief but commanding punk rock trespass a sinister infestation before things get all rock ‘n’ roll with the trash thrash roar of No Sleep Till Hell. Its infectious subterfuge is a contagious wrapping to its quarrelsome heart, a merger which ensures a blaze of incendiary rock impossible not to leap on board with.

Through the hellacious escapades of Style, a bracing cauldron of fevered metallic crossover, and the nagging bruising stomp of Get Busy, ears get fully battered and richly pleasured as recognisable traits get a unique Siberian Meat Grinder working over while Face the Clan raids the senses with nostrils flared and unbridled combative contagion. All three bring body and spirit to boiling point, the third especially viral with its mercilessly catchy dispute.

A horde of flavours collude in the outstanding pugnacious punk metal of Eternal Crusade, a track which epitomises the rich diverse sound of the band and its epidemic persuasion, before the album closes on the   adversarial roar of Walking Tall where everything from guitars and vocals to emotion and energy are ablaze.

It is a stirring end to an album which gets more potent and irresistible with every venture into its instinctive devilry. It is technically captivating, infectiously addictive, and a hearty punk infused thrash metal onslaught with a legion of extra goodness which is sure to stomp over all resistance to its glorious might.

Metal Bear Stomp is out now CD, LP and Digital Download through Destiny Records.

https://www.facebook.com/SIBERIANMEATGRINDER/    https://www.instagram.com/siberianmeatgrinder

Pete RingMaster 25/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Moods – Missing Peace

Let us start with the bottom line about Missing Peace, the debut album from UK collective The Moods; and that is be sure to make another space on your list of album of the year contenders because quite simply it is one essential exploration for ears and thoughts. Offering twelve slices of virulently infectious, politically sharp incitements bred in a fusion of drum & bass, reggae, hip-hop, and EDM with more besides, Missing Peace relentlessly grabs body and imagination with its unique tapestry of sound and creative contagion.

The album’s release caps off an already potent and successful year for the ten-piece of producers, poets, and musicians from Manchester and the North West. Their debut single, Joy, was a critically acclaimed outing sparking hungry attention from media and fans alike while live the 2014 emerging project has thrilled and increasingly elevated their reputation and sound, the latter with the addition live this year of classically-trained violinist Alice. That first single also spawned a video featuring Steve Evets (Looking for Eric) which has been entered for the BFI London Film Festival while two of The Moods’ songs have been grabbed for the sound track of British movie Strangeways Here We Come, a film starring Michelle Keegan, Elaine Cassidy, Lauren Socha, and Nina Wadia set for release in the spring of 2018. Missing Peace though is the pinnacle of the band’s year and indeed their rise within the UK music scene to date; an attention demanding, spirit rewarding proposal seriously hard to pull away from once infested with its viral sounds.

Cored by the four pronged temptation of vocalists Mark Cunningham and John Horrocks alongside rappers Kolega and Explicit, The Moods instantly gets under the skin with their new single P.O.P (Profit Over People). The album’s opener throbs in ears with vocal prowess and electronic bubbling, beats soon adding their thick pulse to the rousing coaxing. The keys of Paul Holmes continue to entice as insight loaded rapping strides through the atmospheric catchiness, melody throated tones following as the song magnetically twists and turns; every moment suggestive bait to greedily devour.

The following Inception is no different, the flames of brass and reggae/ska kissed keys smouldering lures upon the rhythmic shuffle of drummers Phil Horrocks/Chris Barrett and Dave O’Rourke’s darkly toned bass. The vocal unity once again simply captivates, words and expression a snappy reflection matched by the crackle of the sounds around them whilst the song’s chorus is pure listener involvement enticement.

The misty entrance of next up Keep Your Powder Dry breeds a pulsating trespass of electro punk, another strain to The Mood sound fuelled by instinctive infectiousness. Its raw instincts and tone is masterfully temped by the interrupting harmonic turn and the electronic shimmer which glistens throughout, casting an irresistible spell before Bad Boy with its haunting piano within a streetwise stroll enthrals. Caught in the golden glazed tendrils of Will Earl’s trumpet, the song has something of Dizraeli and the Small Gods to its lively evocative adventure.

The shadowy saunter of Black Triangle taunts and entices next, Kolega and Explicit exchanging their lyrical contemplations before Cunningham and Horrocks merge their harmonic intimation; this all within a psyche haunting smoulder of sound and suggestion. The song with a whisper of Lazy Habits to it is delicious, dramatic and seductive and sharing yet another aspect to The Moods sound and imagination, a multi-faceted proposition expanded again by the pop infused and insistently compelling Gotta Get A Hold.

Joy as ever is a beacon of the band’s sound and invention, a flirtatious wave of warm melodies and skittish rhythms within a climate of floating harmonies, all over a rhythmic throb which alone arouses feet, hips, and spirit. Some songs are destined to haunt the memory and passions; this is decidedly one with addiction in its hands.

The unpredictable nature and ever turning sound of Atmosphere is more of a slow burner on the appetite but simply grows in persuasion and potency with every eventful listen while Hidden making a similar initial impression with its individual pop infused sway equally grows in strength over time if never quite to the heights of those around it in personal tastes.

Speaking Tongues though needs mere seconds to get under the skin. It too rises from gentle electronic dew on the senses; a rhythmic pulsing driving things with its dark thud as vocals provoke and suggest. With a dirty lining to its heart and drama, the track imposes and arouses; its subsequent intrusive canter an instinctive stirring of body and emotions.

Missing Peace concludes with firstly the reggae courting Together We Will Fight Them, a sultry defiance nurtured suasion with teeth to its nature and fire to its heart, and finally its title track, a similarly woven companion in style and tone but with its own individual and highly irresistible lobbying of body and mind. The track is superb, sharing everything magnificent about The Moods sound and creativity in its own original anthemic adventure.

We can easily carry on waxing lyrical about Missing Peace but will leave with a full and lively suggestion that you check it and The Moods out with haste; you will not be disappointed.

Missing Peace is out now via A1(M) Records digitally and on CD/Vinyl.

http://themoods8.wixsite.com/themoods    https://www.facebook.com/themoodsmanc    https://twitter.com/themoodsmanc

Pete RingMaster 02/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Moods – Joy

A spark for body and thoughts alike, Joy is the magnetic new single from UK outfit The Moods. Creating a fusion of electro pop, hip-hop, and reggae with plenty more besides, the Manchester 9-piece write songs the body just wants to dance to, as proven again by Joy, but equally propositions unafraid to look at and challenge personal, social, and world issues with a lyrical smart just as potent as the sounds around the words. September sees the release of The Moods’ album, Missing Peace and fair to say that their new single offers plenty of reasons to think about giving it attention.

Emerging from a musical experiment in North Manchester’s Boomshack Studios in early 2014, The Moods swiftly earned eager support from fans and local radio stations as well as the praise offering attention of journalists like John Robb and Terry Christian. 2016 was a strong year for the band, its finale seeing sell-out gigs in London, Glasgow and Manchester while two of their tracks are set to feature in the soundtrack of new UK film Strangeways Here We Come starring Michelle Keegan, Elaine Cassidy, Lauren Socha, and Nina Wadia. With plenty of shows lined-up before and after that eagerly anticipated album, this year is set to be even bigger with Joy sure to be a strong spark in its success.

The track slips in on a flirtatious wave of melodies and skittish rhythms as harmonies float in the background. That harmonious enticement is soon fuelling the instantly captivating vocals, a lure matched by the gentle caress of keys and the rousing throb of the bass. Across its whole electro/reggae nurtured length, the song never truly breaks from a lively simmer yet is as infectious as any full-blooded anthem, its energetic calm allowing vocals and words to be absorbed as hips swing and feet flit across the floor.

There are songs which instinctively just do all the right things whilst bringing a fresh air and adventure to the imagination. Joy is such an encounter, and a teaser easy to hope and expect will be emulated often within The Moods’ upcoming full-length.

Joy is released June 23rd through A1M Records.

Upcoming UK Tour Dates

JUNE

24th – Bolton – Blind Tiger

29th – Sheffield – West Street live

30TH – Preston – Roper Hall

JULY

7th – London – Dublin Castle

15th – Liverpool – Zanzibar

21st-23rd- East Lothian – Audio soup Festival

AUGUST

5th-6th – Scunthorpe – Party in the pines festival

SEPTEMBER

8th – Manchester – O2 Ritz – (Album launch party)

15th -17th – Buxworth – Rec Rock festival

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

Pete RingMaster 21/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Imperial Leisure – Animal

It might not be the summer quite yet but giving its playlist an irresistible first addition is the new single from UK ska punks Imperial Leisure. To be fair, Animal is an incitement for any time of the year, any random two and a half minutes of any day. It is a circus of sound and fun, a carnival of 2-tone inspired ska, pop punk, and hip hop nurtured rock ‘n’ roll; together a distinctive mix creating the individual sound at joyful play within the band’s new gem.

Born out of school friendships, Imperial Leisure has blossomed in sound and reputation across three well-received albums; the last, Lifestyle Brand in 2015 drawing potent acclaim its way. Their live presence has equally honed the band’s music and craft, the band sharing stages with the likes of Ugly Duckling, Roots Manuva, UB40, Less Than Jake, Young Blood Brass Band, The King Blues, Sonic Boom Six and a great many more along the way as well as going down a storm at numerous festivals such as Glastonbury (twice!), The Secret Garden Party and Boomtown Fair. Each year has seen the sextet and its additional brass section rise higher on the British musical landscape; 2017 sure to be another mighty nudge on the biggest spotlights if Animal is anything to go by.

As guitars clip ears, brass flames flicker with flirtatious intent, their combined tempting soon colluding with the passion stoking pulse of the bass as well as the lick of ska seeded riffs and the intoxicating smooch of Hammond-esque keys. With the infectiously captivating vocals of Denis Smith stirring things up even more, the song bounds along with an irresistible swing and mischievous swagger. It is a wonderfully busy affair but every element and seductive flame a clean spice for a swiftly greedy appetite to devour in the whole insightful and instinctively catchy encounter.

It seems like ska and ska punk has the potential of having another heyday such the number of great bands around and emerging with Imperial Leisure leading the way, though all will have to go some to rival the sheer pleasure of Animal.

Animal is out now for downloading and streaming on all platforms with a vinyl release on April 1st.

https://www.facebook.com/imperialleisure

Pete RingMaster 17/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Psykokondriak – Gloomy Days

art_RingMasterReview

Offering anarchic imagination and musical unpredictability is French rockers Psykokondriak, a band, to use a term in their new album’s press release, which “is a sixheaded hydra, a rock ‘n roll and hip-hop chimera.” They are also an encounter which on the evidence of Gloomy Days leaves a grin on the face and spirit as its parade of deranged adventures posing as songs spring inescapable fun fuelled incitements.

The band’s sound is like a mix of Hollywood Undead, Beastie Boys, Toumaï, and Red Hot Chili Peppers; groove infested and as funky as a swingers party and all led by a voraciously infectious hip hop devilry. Formed in 2006, Psykokondriak went through numerous line-up changes before releasing debut EP Hôpital Psykotrip six years later. Mid-2014 saw the current line-up in place, MC’s Y.B. (aka Mc Body) and Braeckman (aka Mc BOY) linking up with guitarist Tristan Florin (aka Docteur Florkin), bassist Cédric Desneulin (aka le comte Eskarfesse), drummer Aurélien Desneulin (aka L’empereur Mark Oreill), and DJ Julien Delville (aka DJ Stam Iff). Following an appearance on the Christmas compilation album Walt the Fuck last year, Gloomy Days is the sextet’s biggest nudge on attention and result of the band expanding their sound, a release with numerous familiar aspects and fiercely enjoyable and unique exploits.

Introducing the Body Boys is the short entrance into the album, the vocalists announcing themselves and the forthcoming adventure as sturdy strikes of sound engage in ear pleasing coaxing as turntables sizzle. It leads straight into Psyko Waltz, Pt. 1, a continuation in sound and style of that initial invitation. The bass instantly sets out on a funk infested grooving as vocals bounce around, a lure entangled in sonic interplay as swinging beats entice a tempest of twists and raw energy. The track easily recruits ears and appetite for its somewhat recognisable sounds yet individual character of imagination which in turn only develops and expands as the track continues to grow. By its closing, the track is as heavy and invasive as a Korn meets (Hed)p.e. proposal and as enjoyable.

The Fine Art of Terror follows, thrusting hungry riffs and funk bred grooves through ears as vocal declaration and predacious attitude drive the energy and character of the excellent encounter. Again hips and feet are swiftly gripped by the creative and contagious drama escaping Psykokondriak, the band raging and swinging with matching dexterity before Workless Dance opens up its inescapable flirtation with wiry hooks and vocal revelry. In no time the track is a festival of lean grooves and thicker expulsions, at times carrying the scent of a Primer 55 or at other moments exploring something akin to 633 meets Crazy Town, every second leading to an unexpected turn.

A similar template provides the canvas for Monstros Incorporantes next; punk rock, metal, and hip hop colliding in a jungle of swiping beats, predacious bass and guitar grooves, and vocal infectiousness. Again familiar elements entangle fresh enterprise as the track grips ears and bodies before the brief cinematic instrumental interlude of Gunfight Helicopters sets up the raucously psychotic Think It Up. Like Flea and co losing their sanity as early Faith No More interferes, the deranged engagement jumps around like its feet are burning on hot creative coals, again the imagination as hooked as ears on Psykokondriak’s fun soaked bedlam.

The album’s best track comes next, Spookadelic Fever Mansion opening with much of the classic Alfred Hitchcock TV show intro before sauntering into an aural spook fest of swaying rhythms aligned to a low slung bassline. With its cartoonish swagger and the rapacious aggression which blossoms in certain moments, it plays like a Scooby Doo meets Beetlejuice soundtrack while lyrically snarling. The track is glorious; reason enough to take a look at Psykokondriak and quickly backed up by Hot Day Hotter Night and its funk stroll with moments of climactic eruption and anthemic vocal roars; it all simply impossible not to get thickly engaged in.

Closing on the dark strains of Unherited Culture, a track reminding a little of nineties UK band Honky but exploring its own experimental and threatening shadows, Gloomy Days simply hits the spot for something fresh and exciting. Musically at times it is not the most unique yet every recognisable aspect is countered and surpassed by moments of imagination and craft masked as lunacy.  Whether Gloomy days will break Psykokondriak into new hungry spotlights time will tell but it will definitely recruit a horde of new fans with us to the fore.

Gloomy Days is out now across most online stores and streaming @ https://psykokondriak.bandcamp.com/album/gloomy-days

https://www.facebook.com/Psykokondriak

Pete RingMaster 01/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright