Attrition Interview

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

I started ATTRITION way back in late 1980… I’d been running my punk/post punk fanzine “Alternative Sounds” here in Coventry from ’79 – ’81 and I knew I always needed to make my own music… it began with me and my then girlfriend Julia… added a drummer and my brother on guitar… soon changing to Julia’s brother Ashley on synth and I bought a drum machine…so we quickly turned from a traditional guitar/bass/drums/ vocals line up to a more electronic sound…

Have you been involved in other bands before?

I had always been a visual artist (painter/sculptor at art school) and knew nothing of writing music… so this was my jump in the deep end… see what came out of it… we just experimented with our sound over the first few years in particular…. But still do from time to time…

What inspired the band name?

It came from “War of ATTRITION” … after the first world war…I’d always been fascinated with it as my Grandad was wounded on the Western Front at Ypres in 1917…. And I had always heard about it as I grew up…. in 2015 I finally wrote an album of interpretations of WW1 poems, from all sides….”Millions of The Mouthless Dead” – something I always had to do… I wrote it with Anni Hogan (Marc and the Mambas etc.) and was happy to have a special guest reading in German from Wolfgang Flur on there (ex Kraftwerk)

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the project itself and how you wanted it represent your thoughts and emerging your sounds?

A burning desire to say something…. There was too much going on I really needed that outlet…. I still do

…and that desire still leads the way?

A lot is the same… we can never recover our naivety and things have obviously got more professional over time…. And maybe I’m not the angry young man I was in 1980…but yeah… not so very different J

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

I’ve always used technology a lot…it’s my instrument…I never learned a traditional one… and that has evolved massively over time… and that has made a difference to the sound. I’ve also taken on more musical influences… dance, classical etc… and have met so many amazing musicians over the years that have come on-board… added their talents… moved on…. It’s been an evolving project… which is how I like it..

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more you deliberately wanting to try new things?

A mix of both… I never know what I will come out with when I start a track…and I like to see where the twists and turns lead me… there are no real rules…. But I have written soundtrack scores so that is a different approach from the outset… and in instrumentation there have been times I wanted to try working with someone new.. .for example when I introduced real violin and viola and cellos on some songs… the old samples hardly got used again…. I think that experiment worked pretty well

Presumably across your years being involved in music there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

Well ATTRITION is mostly me… but I take on influences from people I have worked with…and that is often as much an approach as it is the style… I love learning…. If I ever thought I wasn’t doing that any more then it would be time to stop..

Is there a process to the songwriting which generally guides the birth of songs?

In all of my work… regardless of the final piece or style… I start with abstract atmospherics… electronics usually… and gradually rhythms and melodies emerge… alongside the words if there are to be any…. Much like order from chaos…. I believe in that

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

From my personal life… philosophical and religious thought… political ideas… “sex, death and religion” as some would say..

Would you give us some background to your latest release?

The new single, ‘The Great Derailer’ , has just been released (on CD, download and streaming) and will be part of the forthcoming album, ‘The Black Maria’…much of my lyrical work is inspired by my subconscious thought…. And in a simple way “The Great Derailer” is my anarchist God…if you like…. I released it on Brexit day J

Do you go into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or still provide room for them to develop as you record?

Since I put my own studio together in the nineties, The Cage, I work all the time on pieces of music and they gradually develop into an album… (and this is between my mastering and production work for many other bands and labels… so I never get enough time for me!…. but it is my day job so I am always surrounded by music…. And I love that) …but yes in the early days of the eighties we had very limited studio time paid for by the various record labels and we had to have everything pretty much ready to put down for the time we were in there…. Not always a bad thing actually…we learned a lot from that!

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably a favourite aspect of the band?

I do love recording as much as live but yes touring is such an inspiration… I have a varying line up as I work with people all over the world, and I’ve been lucky to have toured on most continents at various points in my career… a wonderful experience… apart from my 2 beautiful kids I would say a highlight of my life…

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How did you find it back in the day and see it now?

Coventry had a great live scene when I started… after the buzz of two Tone but as much for all the other acts… personally my experimental electronics was a bit too much for the local scene back then… so we moved away to London and later I moved to Holland for a while where there a much more receptive scene…. I’ve been back in Coventry for years and I’m pleased to see it really picking up for live music, especially music with more of an edge… I think it’s true everywhere… it’s such a big thing to do making a band work… and it’s hard… but it’s so worth it if you can dedicate yourself to it

How has the internet and social media impacted on the project to date? Do you see it as  a necessary ‘evil’?

The internet in all its forms has been really helpful… having started with the fanzine I was always used to networking myself and the internet is such an opportunity for that…I can’t even imagine how I arranged tours in Europe in the eighties before email…. But maybe the reason I am still here is because I did… It’s never been easy…it never should be.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

…and thank you very much too. As I said, the new album will be out later in the year… and I am currently setting up dates for 2020… So far confirmed…

April 3rd: The Tin, Coventry, UK

June 13th: Woodgothic Festival, Sao Thome Das Letras, Brazil

June 17th – Gothic Ba, Buenos Aires, Argentina

June 19th – Producciones Mortem Collec-tions, Santiago de Chile

June 20th – Tumbas Eternas Producciones, Lima, Perú November

28th: Winter Ghosts Symposium, Whitby, UK

…and do check out our various sites…

http://www.attrition.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/ATTRITIONMUSIC   https://attritionuk.bandcamp.com/   https://www.youtube.com/user/attrition   https://twitter.com/attritionuk   https://open.spotify.com/artist/5yAtVvdaWrTxW4GPC18643   http://www.thecagestudios.co.uk/

Thank you! Martin Bowes. Coventry. England. 2020

Pete RingMaster 27/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

SPANKTHENUN – Initial Decay Control

Everything about electro/industrial outfit SPANKTHENUN is unorthodox; from sound to imagination, from craft to the way it releases its art, the project is an anomalous protagonist of tradition and expectations. They are old school, bootlegs and unauthorised remixes boldly standing amongst the project’s equally unpredictable releasing of their own work. It all makes for an intriguing proposition with, more importantly, sounds which infest and manipulate like a glorious virus; it all and more in evidence within debut album, Initial Decay Control.

Dallas based SPANKTHENUN is the creation of Eric Hanes with regular collaboration and link up with brother and long-time band mate Jeremy Hanes. Collaboration is at the heart of the project, Eric also working with a host of bands and artists, Initial Decay Control itself seeing the likes of Claus Larsen (Leæther Strip, Klutæ, AM Tierpark), Colin Allrich (Slighter), Jay Ruin (Ruinizer ), and Zoog Von Rock (Angelspit) involved on certain tracks. With Scott Fox of iVardensphere linking up with SPANKTHENUN to produce and mix the majority of the album, it all makes for an encounter which stalked the senses and ignited the imagination.

Across its twelve tracks, Initial Decay Control springs a kaleidoscope of flavours and a web of entangled styles yet it is all united by a nagging pulse which even in its numerous individual characters burrows through ears into the psyche with hypnotic success. Lead track Glitch opens up the release, a distant march of disturbance gathering in the background before inciting a controlled but infectious rhythmic stride. Devo-esque electronics break the evolving lure of the song, thought preying vocals with a Fad Gadget like darkness to them walking through the shadows. The track continues to twist and turn; every move whether bold or a moment of calm subterfuge a magnet for ears as a revolving web of styles across the decades make up its irresistibility.

Burn follows, its first breath a darker coaxing with an ominous air coating every brewing aspect of its challenge and seduction. Like an electronic incubus it lies upon the senses, writhing across their defences to tempt and steal the listener’s faith and safety rather than its body though that is soon lost to the tracks rhythmic swing and spiky hooks anyway. Submission was quick and confirmed by a chorus impossible to resist while Carbon Responder enslaved the same addiction through its energetic concussive percussion and a just as eager vocal fertility and delivery. As persuasive and captivating as the first pair were, the track breached a whole new level of ardour as the album for us uncaged its finest moments.

Both Swallow and Sometimes proceeded to have us dangling on and dancing to its temptation wired threads, the first a contagion of big intrepid beats and flesh searing electro hooks. As ever voice and lyrics bring threat and provocation with viral seduction, combined it all evoking energy to have the body zealously bouncing before its successor unveils its predatory instincts and heart after a deceitful melody lined invitation. An aberrant romance entangled in its own turbulence of thought the track is superb, the trio our pinnacle moments of the album.

Even so Sin straight after was nothing less than compelling with its taught distortion bearing drama while Slow Suicide with its rhythmic concussion and collision of imposing multi-styled textures around sinisterly borne vocals trapped attention and imagination with the following Killx3 pure toxic venom and barbarous catchiness within its industrial EBM scented predation; itself another prime moment within Initial Decay Control.

Altered Carbon equally provided a riveting and increasingly gripping moment, its cyborg cold march and electronic chill perfectly aligning with a melodic sizzling and vocal fingering as fearsome as it was twistedly mesmeric; its addictive gyration and success matched in the similarly outstanding Dance Fight Or Die which needed mere seconds to worm under the skin and have body and spirit pulsating to its contagious oscillation.

The album closes up with another pair of its finest protagonists, the incongruous drive and melodic flaming of Beautiful undiluted feral manna to these ears and the prowling menacing of Rotting Meat which niggles away as it entices until it instinctively commanded body and greedy attention. Both tracks epitomise the variety and creative prowess of the album and its almost infernal fascination and touch.

Up till now SPANKTHENUN may have been an undiscovered encounter for a great many but hard to see that being the case after the release of the seriously rousing trespass that is Initial Decay Control.

Initial Decay Control is out now, available @ https://spankthenun.bandcamp.com/album/initial-decay-control

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

Pete RingMaster 06/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Dicepeople – Destroyer

Though UK outfit Dicepeople did not exactly turn to the darkside with their acclaimed last album, One From Many, it certainly immersed in the darkest shadows emotionally and physically whilst providing a contagion of sounds. With their new EP the duo continues to explore the volatile union of dark and light, going deeper in the domain whilst stretching their sound and imagination in another fresh and provocative breath of thick captivation.

The creation of musician, songwriter and producer Matt Brock, Dicepeople has been luring ears and emotions since 2013 with their dark electro sound. With vocalist Zmora completing the line-up, the band has released a host of attention luring, praise garnering albums and EPs with 2018’s outstanding One From Many breaching a new level in both as the band’s blend of EBM, industrial, post-punk and electro-goth ventured into those darker life enveloping shadows. Destroyer carries on where the album left off yet reveals its own new journey exposing and pushing that balance between dark and light, its sound equally more immersed in the rapacious realm of dark electro but still hosting the eager diversity which has marked the band’s music over the years.

Released through the ever compelling Syndicol Music, Destroyer takes the listener “on an intense, disturbing journey through the twisted emotional minefield of relationships that turn to the dark side” and quickly proves as naggingly infectious as it is tension soaked from the moment opener Rollercoaster erupts in ears. The festering of synth which brings it forward alone has a threat and welcoming to its coaxing, the beginnings of the song’s synth pop underlay already enticing instincts as Zmora’s distinctive tones begin to unveil the emotional darkness within. Voice and sound unite in increasing catchiness and insecurity, doubt and restlessness lining every syllable and note whilst rousing ears and body from the speakers.

The following Siren Song has a sepia colouring to its beginnings, an off-kilter string like intimation that alone is potent enough to ensure keen attention before greater apprehension and menace brews around Zmora’s succubus like confrontation. Thickly darker than its predecessor and haunting on every level, the song emerges as a thickly infectious incitement before Don’t Save Me pleas for paradoxical freedom, longing and love twisted in an anomalous romance. The track merges the instinctive catchiness of the EP’s first song and the ravening intensity of its predecessor, a fusion casting another enthralling emotive tenebrosity upon the imagination.

Both tracks are superb, eclipsing the undoubted might and caliginous beauty of the nonetheless excellent pair bookending their presence, the EPs title track closing up the release with its own riveting turbulence of magnetic electro sounds and emotional agitation.

It is an outstanding end to another simply enthralling and greedily enjoyable outing with Dicepeople, Destroyer quite simply one irresistible incitement on ears and the drama of the heart.

The Destroyer EP is out now via Syndicol Music; available @ https://dicepeople.bandcamp.com/album/destroyer-ep

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

Pete RingMaster 28/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Bleeding Raven Interview

BLEEDING RAVEN is the aggrotech/dark tek project from Dean Mason of Gnostic Gorilla. Recently he released its debut album via Cleopatra Records. We had the pleasure to chat with Dean about the album, his latest project, a career and life changing set back and much more…  

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

The pleasure is all mine man.

Can you first introduce the ‘project’ and give us some background to how it all started?

In a land…far far away…hahahahaha…Ok, but seriously… I first got the ‘itch’ to record music when I was a teen-ager in high school. Some buddies and I went into a little studio and recorded two songs for a single release. (Dark Hallway/Golgotha) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p05YqqTOS_M  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=047Pk2GhPnY

Thanks to my lovely parents I released a vinyl 45 rpm as just “Dean Mason” with “Lonely Ghost Productions” as the name of the makeshift indie label. I got ‘itchy’ again in 2001 and began looking at music again, but did very little. In 2012, I got right into recording electronic music of a dark bent and scent and thus was born “Gnostic Gorilla” eventually. (I released stuff as The Lonely Ghost Project initially but changed the name to “Gnostic Gorilla”) In 2018, Cleopatra Records released “St. Basil’s Asylum”. (Gnostic Gorilla) In May of this past year, after releasing quite a few albums on different labels (KL Dark Records, Nowhere Now Records, Throne of Bael Records and LGP-ONE) I wanted to pursue something more ‘aggrotech’ in style. That’s when I initiated the “Bleeding Raven” project. Cleopatra released “Darkness Consumed” in October of this year.

How have those earlier impacted on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

As I mentioned earlier, I started off as just “Dean Mason” as a lad. In 2012, the Lonely Ghost Project was launched (so to speak) and then “Gnostic Gorilla” and from that evolved what we are talking about today…that is…the Bleeding Raven Project. My early music in these other projects was a mix of ‘Goth/Dark Wave/Dark Tek/Industrial’. I really wanted to do something more bizarre and almost literally more noisy and that’s when I initiated “Bleeding Raven”. It’s more aggrotech, but I also call it… “dungeon trash”…hahahahahahahahahaha I even have a shirt with that on it.   https://www.dizzyjam.com/products/157830/ 

The image or character of the ‘raven’ is common in First Nations lore and even spirituality. The raven can either be a trickster or mischievous little critter or it can be sort of a symbol of the soul preparing for death of being taken back to the Great Creator. Different nations/tribes have different ideas and stories about the raven. The ‘bleeding’ part more or less speaks of suffering, of hurt etc. So, like my lyrics however, even with the image, I allow people to have their own interpretations. That said, I think always…DAILY…of my many sisters and brothers in the First Nations communities who suffer immensely because of a racist attitude towards them. There are many…MANY young Native women/girls who have gone missing and the effort to find them hasn’t always been fervent. As well, the suicide rate among First Nation teens is extremely high.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of Bleeding Raven and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

Well, in the Spring of 2019, I had to be on the road a bit and for some long drives, I acquired on my iTunes a few albums of a more industrial bent. That includes a couple of compilations of various bands. I discovered acts like Die Sektor and Psyclon Nine and I felt very inspired to go in this direction. I sort of started to go in that direction as “Gnostic Gorilla” but I wanted a new project that was mostly aggrotech in style. I came up with the ‘dungeon trash’ (LOL) I released in October and I am very proud of it!

Do the same things still drive you when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Definitely evolved over time. So, when I first started off, I was more into a Gothic sound or industrial. And I still love a lot of that stuff. Always will. St. Basil’s Asylum is a classic and I’m just so sad that it’s still not discovered by many yet. But anyway, yeah…things do evolve. That said, I don’t like the idea of being in a ‘genre house arrest’ and being narrow minded in your approach to music. But either way, it’s all over for me in music anyway so…I’ve done what I could.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

Well, from the really early days, that is from the days of the Dark Hallway release, things really evolved dramatically. First of all, that 45 was like a mish mash of metal/punk pre-grunge I guess. I was heavily influenced by Gary Numan and yet, try as I did my vocal style was markedly different than his. It’s later that I appreciated that. But, see…I love ALL sorts of music. I mean, sometimes I’m just knee deep  into The Doors and more psychedelic shit and other days I’m into Dio and Sabbath and Type O Negative and Ministry and Rammstein. Other days it’s The Cure or Smashing Pumpkins or of course, classic Numan and Japan or Bauhaus. So, a lot of what I do depends on where I’m at and I guess when it comes to music, I’m moody as hell. hahahahahaha

Do you find the changes have been more of an organic movement of sound or you deliberately wanting to try new things?

I’d say the latter, yeah.

Presumably , and you have touched on them already, there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on your music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

So, I make a distinction between that which has inspired and that which has influenced more directly my own style. The artists/bands that have been inspirations are many. Gary Numan, KISS, Type O Negative, Black Sabbath, Rammstein, Japan (David Sylvian) Ozzy, Manson, Korn, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, Bauhaus, Zardonic, Fear Incorporated, Frost Like Ashes, CRIX IIX and the list is endless. As for those who have been influences, while they include some of the names listed already, I’d say Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Psyclon Nine, Die Sektor. As I always do in any interview, the band that will forever be my absolute favourite is The Doors. The Doors and Gary Numan are both at the top of my own personal ‘chart’.

I also want to give a shout out to Tim Muddiman and NOT because of his connection to Gary Numan. Tim has ventured into more graphic arts in recent years and he is doing some amazing work. THAT very much inspires me…or better yet…I honour the man as an artist in every sense of the word…as a true artist.

Is there a process to your songwriting which generally guides the birth of songs?

Yeah, mostly I start off with a vague idea of want kind of song I want to do, Then I begin with beats and drum patterns and bass lines or even synth lines. (it depends) I get a general idea of the direction I want to go in before going far into the track. So, I begin to choose the different sounds and samples/loops that I want as well to give it a mood. More often than not, I manipulate these and distort or whatever to make them unique. Then as the song evolves, there’s the question of whether or not I want a traditional chorus (often not because that’s too pop) and I allow the track to sort of dictate to me where it’s going. Sort of like a First Nations wood carver who allows the ‘wood’ to speak to them as they say. Then when I have a rough demo, I begin writing lyrics and then record vocals. That’s the tough part for many reasons. Lots of hit and miss with that process. I’ve written an entire set of lyrics for a song only to discover that something else would work better and I have to (at times) chop out some of the lyrics. Hard to explain.  Also, sometimes I record the vocals and it sounds like shit. I mean, there is a need for a different ‘style’ all together. After all the vocals are recorded, I go back and add more …sometimes a sample here or an FX noise there or whatever. I’m quite ADD so if there are any sort of ‘blank stare’ moments in a song…that’s unacceptable. It has to be busy. I’m told my music is VERY busy. Then there is the final mix which is a real pain in the ass. Sometimes even at that stage you decide… “nah…this is total shit”! It’s a bit of a drag when that happens though man because you’ve come all the way to a full song and you realize it isn’t happening.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

First off, good for you for asking that because lyrics are important for me… I realize it’s not what the listener first becomes aware of…but for me, the lyrics are important. Anyway, so…I don’t write any lyrics with any sort of ‘agenda’. In other words, I don’t preach or dictate anything. I like a very poetic approach to the lyrics with lots of imagery. Now, that said, there are certain subjects that inspire me. I often write about religious themes or philosophical themes and often touch upon injustice and hypocrisy and hate and injustice for example. But I do so in veiled/poetic language. I want the listener to decide for themselves what it could mean.

Give us some background to your latest release.

 “Darkness Consumed” touches upon a few subjects…again in veiled language. One of the tracks is called “Pontiff’s Nightmare” which is actually about St. Francis. He more or less spooked the Pope at the time with his authentically radical life style and that Pope had a dream about Francis. Francis challenged the corruption of the time by the way he lived. “Salem Vigil” is sort of… but not completely about the Salem witch trials. The song actually addresses the unfortunate phenomenon of ‘religious people’ oppressing and persecuting people who don’t fit their narrow definition of what it means to be ‘good’ or ‘decent’ and ‘righteous’.  In the end, these arrogant and often ignorant people of so called ‘faith’ are the ones who are truly evil because of the harm they inflict on many borne out of their hatred and unenlightened worldview.  

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

So, “Darkness Consumed”…that very title isn’t a nod to evil or the promotion of ‘darkness’. It’s actually about the fact that somehow, ‘TRUTH’ (light) will ‘consume the darkness’ and overcome it. That’s sort of the idea in brief. As I said, I want people to decide for themselves however what something can mean for them.

Do you go into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Going back to the very first single “Dark Hallway”…I had everything figured out (with lyrics) when I presented the tracks to the band. I wrote the lyrics in English class (Dark Hallway) while under the influence of benzodiazepines. Hahahahahahaha We were reading “Death of a Salesman” in that class and it was, to say the least, a rather dark story. hahahahahaha

Tell us about the live side to Bleeding Raven.

I have lost the hearing in the left ear completely and totally. It happened in October…Very traumatic actually. I have to protect the little hearing I have left in the right ear which is at half capacity. I want to be able to hear the voices of the ones I love and the more natural sounds in life. For all intents and purposes…I’m deaf. Music is no longer an option. Especially live music, even if I wanted to do something live with a band. Music has been such an important part of my life obviously…but that’s over. That’s the future.

It is not easy for any new artist/band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

You’re correct. It’s very difficult to ‘break through’ in this day and age. There’s just too much out there. I mean, everyone and their cat is putting stuff out. There are so many genres today and so many…MANY indie folks (like me) who have stuff out there and are competing with the ‘big boys and gals’. You have to be creative to get known because sadly, younger people are not interested in new music aside from what they become aware of through video games or TV/Movies. I mean, I’m seriously over generalizing perhaps but it is true that, young people today don’t appreciate music the way people did in the past. They don’t grasp the concept of music as ‘art’ anymore. That’s not their fault. But because of the technology that we have today and with social media platforms…there is too much out there and for younger people, music is just “there for the taking” the way fruit on trees is there to pluck. So, you have to be creative in how you get people to notice you today. It’s not easy.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

So, this is sort of a continuation of the previous question. Here’s the thing, the internet and social media and digital music etc. is here and it’s here to stay. We are still trying to adapt to this I suppose. Now, you could lament and dream of the “good old days” but that’s all it will ever be…a ‘dream’. Musicians/artists have to adapt. In many ways, it has been a blessing. Many artists would have never been able to put their stuff out there so to speak were it not for the kind of technology we have today. See, I picked up music again in 2012 but only as a hobby. I then, almost jokingly put some of my stuff out there as an indie/unsigned act and I eventually got a label deal with Cleopatra Records, which for me is phenomenal. I will have three releases with Cleopatra Records by end of 2020. (the last one is another Gnostic Gorilla album) I also have releases with three other labels. So, none of that would have happened were it not for the technology we have at our disposal. I guess it’s sort of what you make of it, like anything else.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thanks again to you for the great (and extensive) interview. Reveal?

Ok…I’m  B A T M A N.  Hahahahahahaha  No but, seriously, I thank the many people who have been supportive of me in one way or another…be it family or friends and certainly Benny at Cleopatra Records. As I said earlier, because of the extreme hearing loss (actually deaf completely in one ear and the other is severely compromised) …I have to pack it in with regards to music. I will promote what I have and will have out soon (already recorded obviously) and perhaps a book of lyrics and that’s it. Cheers.

Dean

https://bleedingraven.bandcamp.com/   https://www.facebook.com/bleedingravenofficial/   http://www.bleedingraven.com

Pete RingMaster 17/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Desperate Machines – Complet_

It was back in 2014 when in a year of striking releases, American progressive/experimental rock band In Progress left their very potent mark with the album North Atlantic Echoes. The band was the creation of Jake Rosenberg and John Dillon and with a host of guests provided one increasingly fascinating and impressive adventure few rivalled at that time in the progressive rock scene. Since then the duo has seemingly been quiet, evading attention but obviously busy as they have returned with a new project in the shape of Desperate Machines and a debut EP which in distinctly different ways has made the same rich impact on our ears and imagination.

As the three tracks making up Complet_ reveals defining the Desperate Machines sound is never going to be a precise exercise with its tapestries and soundscapes of electronic, progressive rock, industrial, atmospheric and experimental essences and textures but an adventure which will keep imaginations busy and hungry if they herald what is to come ahead.

The EP opens up with Complete and as all tracks within the EP sees Kevin Moore (Chroma Key, OSI, ex-Dream Theater) guesting on vocals as well as providing lyrics. From the shadows the song looms up, its industrial breath springing animated beats and the instantly gripping gnarly growl of Dillon’s bass. Just a rush of seconds in and already the song is a web of flavours and textures, every subsequent twist indeed almost each second the gateway into fresh styles and bold imagination as the captivating tones of Moore rise amongst the synth, keys, and guitar enterprise of Rosenberg and Dillon. The gait of the track is funky, its breath dark with a Nine Inch Nails meets Deftones-esque melancholy and every moment as infectious as it is captivating, indeed haunting.

It is an effortlessly magnetic affair but is still slightly eclipsed by the magnificent Our War. Again from the start rhythms provide a manipulative enticement, melodies caressing and adding to the increasing urging of participation from hips and feet. Alongside Moore, Marjorie Boggs Vazquez adds additional guest vocals, further radiance in the mercurial but relentlessly magnetic encounter. As with its predecessor, every moment offers a fresh surprise with each twist as unpredictable in sound and invention as it is irresistible.

The release is completed by the original demo for Plan B, the song which is said to be the spark bringing Desperate Machines to life several years ago. From an industrial underground, a piano teases the imagination with its intimacy and touch, vocals soon alongside bringing similar intimation and fascination. A hint of a scent in both previous songs, the third strongly reminds of eighties band Comsat Angels and like many of that band’s tracks had us drooling in admiration and desire for more.

Though we had not realised it at the time, there was a gap without In Progress which was waiting to be filled. Rosenberg and Dillon have returned to do not only that but occupy many other areas lacking the imagination and sound which Desperate Machines brings with them.

Complet_ is out now @ https://desperatemachines.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/desperatemachines/

Pete RingMaster 08/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Watch Clark – Couch

photo by Christy Wiseman

The sound of Watch Clark is suggested as being akin to the Seattle indie goth/industrial scene of the early 2000’s but definitely there is also an eighties synth pop inspiration which richly flavours its imagination. It is a fusion which goes to make new album, Couch, one ear grabbing and imagination slab of contagion and very easy to recommend to all electronica embracing ears.

Watch Clark is the solo project of Seattle based musician Paul Furio, a former member of Static Engine and SMP. Founded in 2012, Watch Clark released debut album Perfect Imitation the following year with its well-received successor, First Week of Winter unveiled in 2017. Produced, mixed and mastered by Kasson Crooker (Freezepop, Symbion Project, ELYXR), Couch is the striking successor very easy to see pushing Watch Clark into a far bigger spotlight.

A collection of songs themed by a reflection on relationship, political, and life turmoil, Couch immediately had ears and appetite hooked with opener Misery. The blooming of keys and heavy pulse of rhythmic enticement openly wears a Depeche Mode influence but as swiftly the track reveals its own individual character around the magnetic tones of Furio. Industrial dissonance breaks upon the melodic landscape throughout to escalate the potency of drama within the unapologetically catchy and rousing affair.

The outstanding start to the release is matched by the infectious body and swing of the following Class Actress. Like a blend of B Movie romanticism with Kudzu post punk shadows within a Visage-esque croon, the track like its predecessor is pure contagiousness, its instinctive bounce manna to appetite and body before The Sound of Robots Pooping parades its industrial nurtured dance. As dystopian in breath as it is warmly infectious, the predominately instrumental track proved as much a spark for the imagination as an incitement for hips.

Diversity is a potent trait within Couch and potently shows its creative worth with next up Tansfläch, the track an electro industrial incitement bearing the Neue Deutsche Welle tempting of a D.A.F. alongside the cold wave theatre of a Kraftwerk, while The Darkest Place adds its own individual new wave lined proposal in the varied mix with contagious appetite and dexterity. In voice and sound, Furio lights up ears and speaker with a virulent touch which is hard to ignore in movement let alone pleasure.

The following Cross the Chasm has compelling darkness in its heart and touch which only accentuates its bold almost invasive yet haunting quality while The Act of Wanting offers a flirtatious slice of electro rock which again has energies and limbs hooked like a puppeteer across its purposeful stroll. Each again only adds further sides to the varied electronic prism of the album which Math Grenade emulates with its teutonic breath upon industrial dissonance. Again dystopian hues explore thoughts from within the dark infection and once more Watch Clark had attention glued before the equally arousing Get to Win added its particular electro punk grip on ears.

Featuring a vocal duet with Lark Remy in its haunting sigh, Weakness made for easy captivation. Though the sounds around them only hugged satisfaction it was the vocal prowess of Furio and Remy which most seduced and the way the production alternated between moments when each voice has slight dominance in their union.

Completed by the dark infested instrumental of The Cup of Bitter Fate and the melancholy soaked balladry of Choose, two tracks which lingered to haunt the imagination once sharing their final breaths, Couch is an album which provides a rousing fusion of nostalgia and new imagination which as mentioned earlier can only be suggested as a definite exploration for all with a taste for electronic pleasure.

Couch is out now; available @ https://watchclark.bandcamp.com/album/couch

https://www.facebook.com/WatchClarkMusic   https://twitter.com/WatchClarkBand

 Pete RingMaster 15/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bait – DLP

Going into the review of the new single from UK outfit Bait it took us by surprise just how long ago we drooled over the band’s self-titled debut album. It feels like yesterday but was at the beginning of 2017 so the fact that it still features on our just for pleasure ‘turntables’ shows how pleasurable we found it. DLP is destined to join that compelling full-length, the track a wonderfully nagging and rousing slice of the band’s unpredictable and riveting sonic imagination.

Southend based Bait first tempted almost taunted us with a track upon the Alternative Occupations EP from Cool Thing Records which featured four of its striking bands. The intrigue and appetite the song bred was richly fed by the debut Bait album, addictively satisfied by the unique fusion of punk, post punk, and industrial espionage which thrilled within. So you can imagine the tingle when the band’s vocalist/songwriter Michael Webster got in touch with their latest track. Of course there are never guarantees, expectations and assumptions always there to be shot down but not this time. DLP was another addiction in the waiting and a big excuse for us to again push you all towards the creative exploits of Mike, Luke Branch, Jim Webster, and M R E.

Synths instantly mark their territory as DLP takes a mere breath to calmly entice, its second exhalation springing a rapacious but inviting stroll impossible to prevent hips and neck muscles responding too. There is an inherent darkness and threat to it all though, that delicious niggle which has marked previous tracks from the band and simply accentuates all the hues and manipulative agility of the song.

At times it calls on ears and imagination like a tenebrific blend of Malicious Damage era Killing Joke, Dalek I/Dalek I Love You, and Nine Inch Nails, but with bleakness as radiant as it is dissonant. Even with those clues to their characters, song and sound are fiercely unique to Bait and barely come close to any true comparisons.

DLP is another invigorating and galvanic outing with Bait, an experience which challenges and rewards, questions and supports with unapologetic eagerness. If you have not checked out this band shame on you, the perfect moment though is now.

DLP is out now via Cool Thing Records.

https://www.facebook.com/hatebait   https://twitter.com/hate_bait

Pete RingMaster 01/05/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright