Creative espionage and inventive intimation: an interview with Aiming For Enrike

 

Photo: Marius Mada Dale

Photo: Marius Mada Dale

Without doubt, one of the year’s most exhilarating and inventive propositions has been Segway Nation, the new album from Norwegian duo Aiming For Enrike. The encounter is a fascinating instrumental adventure in sound and captivating aural suggestiveness; a multi-flavoured infectiousness created by drummer Tobias Ørnes and guitarist Simen Følstad Nilsen. Offered the chance to learn more with the duo, we set about discovering the creative heart of band and album.

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

First of all can you tell us about yourselves as individuals?

We are two quite calm persons; a guitar player and drummer. We love making and playing music, so we spend a lot of time in the rehearsal space, practicing, jamming, and composing.

When did you first meet and what sparked the idea to form the band?

We met in 2010, when we attended a music school in Oslo. We were both into experimental noise rock music. After seeing some mind-blowing bands like Monolithic and Zu, we wanted to do something like that as a duo. By using loops we managed to get a huge sound even though we were only two. In the beginning we had more of a noise/prog sound but over the years the songs developed into more conventional song structures where we have incorporated a lot of influences from electronica, funk etc.

Is there a specific meaning behind the band name?

Yes, but not worth sharing😉

Photo © Haakon Borg / Magpie

Photo © Haakon Borg / Magpie

It is wonderfully difficult to pin down the Aiming For Enrike sound for us, how would you describe it to newcomers to the band?

It’s an adventurous band with good melodies, cool grooves, and lots of energy. It has a very distinct sound, but still the music can go in many different directions.

What and who have most inspired your musical ideas and subsequently sound would you say?

Our sound is kind of schizophrenic and has a lot of layers because of a wide range of influences. Of course we can be inspired by other things in life, but I think it is only music and music gear that have a direct influence to our sound. Aiming for Enrike is the result of two people and sounds like something none of us would have made by ourselves.

Here are some names: Miles Davis, Josh Homme, James Brown, Nels Cline, Radiohead, Sonic Youth, Greg Saunier, Hot Snakes, Glen Branca, Mike Patton, Moha…

I am no expert on the broad expanse of the Norwegian music scene right now, generally coming across the diversity of metal and rock bands from there, but I get the feeling that your music is a one of a kind there; something unusual to the Norwegian landscape of sound. Is that the reality and if so how have they taken to it?

In Norway it is very common to have musical collaborations across genres. If you look at the jazz and improvisational music scene, you have lots of artist who play music that have more in common with pop, rock/metal, electronic music than traditional jazz. In jazz festivals you can go and see pop acts, and in commercial festivals there are jazz bands playing. So I think in general people are very open to new stuff.  Most artists are not so focused on sounding like the other one. It is a good thing to be original, and have your own thing going. We don’t know of any other Norwegian band that sounds like us but way more people than we would have guessed have been positive and open to it.

You have just released new album, Segway Nation; a release which had our imagination as busy and enthralled as ears and feet. Where does a ‘typical’ Aiming For Enrike song start composing wise?

We always start by just playing. We spend a lot of time just improvising, or trying out different kind of ideas. It is important that we are inspired when we play, and that there is a fun factor. We try to follow our intuition, and not doubt our choices too much. Then we record our ideas and make tunes out of them.

Throughout the album, there is an organic freedom, almost as things were created, played, and improvised in the moment. Tell us about the recording of Segway Nation; were songs already AimingForEnrike-SegwayNation_RingMasterReview2400written before recording them or was there an element of conjuring twists and turns there and then?

Everything is played live in the studio, without any click track. That might create a more «free» or improvised feel. On Segway Nation we composed all the songs before we recorded them, but there are some parts in the songs where we improvise. It can be open sections, or written parts played in different ways. That keeps it interesting for us, and hopefully for the listeners. Some of the more «free form» songs like Minitrue and Phone Phobia are the result of some improvised recording sessions.

Another great aspect to the album is the way it inspires the listener’s imagination to create its own adventures. Can you tell us about some of the actual themes and inspirations to the tracks and their suggestive dramas?

We didn’t have any specific plans for this. But it is a good thing if the listeners make up their own adventure in the music. I don’t think there are any specific themes to the songs, but there are specific inspirations to some of the songs. It can be a groove, melody, riff etc.

The past few years has seen some impressive and ear striking duos emerge with varying styles and dynamics within their union. Often it seems that the slimness of personnel allows a band to bring its live presence much more easily to recordings. It is the same with you guys; there is a feeling that listening to Segway Nation would be like standing in front of you on stage. Do you think there is some validity in that thought from your perspective; less bodies and minds leads to less of a leaning on technology and tricks when recording music?

There is more space in the music when you are a duo, and that makes it easier to follow your intuition and play in the moment. Since we record our music live in a room, the recording becomes very representative for us as a band. There are very few options sound wise with only a guitar and a drum kit, so I think it is hard to lose the live feeling in the recording.

Marius Mada Dale

Marius Mada Dale

Tell us about your live side; how you translate the dynamics of songs to the stage?

It works really great! We played the songs live many times before we recorded them. So the recording is not much different from a live performance. With the live performance you will also get the visual aspect and a bit more playful approach to the material.

What is next for Aiming For Enrike now that the album is out and earning acclaim and new hearts?

We are working on new material, which is turning out really good! And we have some festivals coming up this summer; first there´s Nattjazz festival in Bergen, then Øya festival in Oslo. We are planning a European tour in the fall! So lots of cool stuff coming up!

Once again many thanks for giving your time to us. Anything you would like to add?

Check out our album Segway Nation, and also the live in Rohdos garage videos on YouTube.

Read the review for Segway Nation @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2016/05/06/aiming-for-enrike-segway-nation/

https://www.facebook.com/aimingforenrike    http://www.namemusic.no/aimingforenrike/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 04/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Aiming For Enrike – Segway Nation

Aiming For Enrike_RingMasterReview

There seems to have been a bit of a buzz brewing up around Norwegian duo Aiming For Enrike and now with the release of new album Segway Nation, it is very easy to see why. The twelve strong imagination and body inciting instrumentals are a captivating and fascinating adventure in sound and aural suggestiveness revealing two musicians in total creative sync whilst embracing the infectious essences of everything from funk and jazz, post punk to rock ‘n’ roll with plenty more included.

Aiming For Enrike consists of drummer Tobias Ørnes and guitarist Simen Følstad Nilsen, a pair creating refreshing and virulent sounds through intricate polyrhythms within compelling grooves and melodies from a drum kit, three guitar amps, and a rich selection of loop and effect pedals. Inspirations seem to come from the likes of Hella, Lightning Bolt, and Monolithic but across time and debut album Mao Miro, now backed by Segway Nation, Aiming For Enrike has undoubtedly developed something distinct to their own adventure and imagination.

The album opens with the band’s latest single Newspeak, a track which has feet tapping within seconds and hips swinging after a few more inviting moments of its sonically informative body. The track is a keen shuffle of flirtatious rhythms and intrigue lit melodies amidst darker grumbling hues. They all build into a resourceful and magnetic coaxing into the waiting full landscape of Segway Nation and the expanse of the Aiming for Enrike sound. With additional fuzz and a busy nature to its rock ‘n’ roll, the track has attention and appetite firmly hooked before handing both over to its successor.

AimingForEnrike-SegwayNation_RingMasterReview2400Riget similarly has ears snared from its first throws of imagination; post punk/noise rock psychosis leaping at the senses with matching rhythms. It nags and niggles away like a glorious itch that scratching can only deflect momentarily, each strain of temptation more compelling and irresistible than the last while the following Mad Driver is an over active ride which is almost like being locked in a car crazed computer game; like a jazzy version of Mario Kart.

Already there is an open freedom to each piece of music. It is almost as if the band is physically busking in ears with the suggestion that each play of a track by them will always differ from another, something replicated in a way by new aspects being revealed with every listen to the album. New twists and turns certainly make up each highly enjoyable venture into Billion Year Contract, a spatial almost sci-fi spiced flight though shimmering melodies and fiery textures escorted by restrained yet tenacious percussion.

Through the brief distorted scenery and discord of Minitrue and the riveting drama of Ushikawa, the album continues to enthral and add to its already potent persuasion. The second of the two is especially contagious and rousing as it inspires thoughts of mystery and intrigue involved in dark escapades though throughout it reassures the senses with a celebratory air to its hooks and melodies. The track is superb and swiftly matched by the sonic dissonance of Now Watch This Drive. Again its drama holds numerous twists and suggestive turns to try and interpret or simply cast one’s own adventure from, the increasing volatile beats of Ørnes perfectly framing the building creative theatre of Følstad Nilsen’s guitar.

There is little time for the imagination to relax across Segway Nation either. Both the exotically unpredictable Necrocratic Republic and the sinister yet haunting Phone Phobia lay stronger temptation after bewitching temptation on body and mind to engross and almost mentally exhaust when added to the busy adventure already offered while the album’s title track expands the shadowy context of its predecessor with its own rhythmic and sonic slice of emotional espionage and inventive intimation.

Brought to a close by firstly the low key, melancholic ambience of Almost All of Them and finally the dynamic tango of Nakata Johnny Walker, a track which again has the body bouncing from first to last second with its catchy swing and often off-kilter devilry. The closing flames of brass and cosmopolitan hues ensures it and album leave the listener absorbed and ready to go again, something so easy to do.

Segway Nation is one of those album’s you would probably not go explore without a hint or two, so consider this a big nudge and go treat yourselves.

Segway Nation is released May 6th via Name Music across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/aimingforenrike   http://www.namemusic.no/aimingforenrike/

Pete Ringmaster 06/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Dwarfs Of East Agouza – Bes

Photo by Maged Nader

Photo by Maged Nader

Named after the Ancient Egyptian dwarf deity who was worshiped as the defender of all things good and enemy of all that is bad, and not the blur of motion at the front of the Happy Mondays, though you can easily see Bez being sent into creative spasms by its exceptional sounds, Bes is the debut album from The Dwarfs Of East Agouza. The six track double album is a rhythmic enslavement of the body with melodic jangles working away on ears and imagination; explorations of instrumental improvisation bred on a collusion of African and Krautrock enterprise and adventure.

The Dwarfs Of East Agouza is a trio from Cairo; a project coming together in 2012 when Maurice Louca (organ, synthesizer, beats), Sam Shalabi (electric guitar), and Alan Bishop (acoustic bass/alto sax/vocals) were living in the same apartment building in the city’s Agouza district. Soon their united craft and imagination began creating a unique style and sound further shaped by the Louca’s North African percussion loops and shimmering keys, Shalabi’s West African tinged free jazz guitar, and Bishop’s Krautrock-style acoustic bass. A late night jam session led to the recording of hours of material during a three-day studio run in April 2014, from which Bes eventually emerged. Released via Nawa Recordings, the album is a bewitching and bold gateway into the secrets and hypnotic realms of a North African adventure.

From its first moments, the album has thoughts composing their own exploits; imagined experiences and tales driven by the perpetual hypnotic lure of rhythms and shaped by the suggestiveness of the unpredictable sounds further flirting with and involving the listener. It opens with Baka of the Future and a lone seductive bassline quickly joined by the colourful twang of a guitar picked by fingers with mischievous intent. As the fuzzy shimmer of keys become involved with the virulent nudging of beats, a jazz funk tempting is soon moving feet and hips within an already sultry and mystique laced climate. Bishop’s sax is a warm evocative glaze to a quickly virulent infestation of body and psyche. Discord is no stranger to the adventure either, the off-kilter twinges and twangs of guitar as potent and delicious as the unruffled rhythmic spine which keeps the listener beguiled like a moth to a flame.

NAWA005_Cover_RingMasterReviewThe track is irresistible; almost ten minutes of primal yet free and skilfully sculpted incitement matched by the following Clean Shahin. Instantly the track reveals its own individual exotic character, a Persian like charm and scent around a rhythmic captivation aligned to an emotively thick guitar melody. The song’s gentle emergence has an air which, though not melancholic, is more reserved and serious than that of its predecessor. Over time though, its resistance to freeing its spirit and energy is loosened, the piece becoming livelier and more uninhibited as sonic eroticism seeps into melodies and its imagination.

Where’s Turbo? steps up next, rhythmically enticing like a lively belly dancer from the off. It is a lively blur of motion as a smoulder of surf rock/North African spiced grooves sway and seduce alongside the crystalline shimmer of keys and the heavy flirtatious sighs of bass. As with the first pair, its rhythmic suggestiveness is alone physically inescapable whilst the imagination is just as busy with the slimline but rich cocktail of sounds and textures.

It’s sixteen magnetic minutes and still a fleeting moment in the ears, makes way for the more primitive landscape of Hungry Bears Don’t Dance. There is a more primal tone to the track, its repetitive rhythmic prowl bestial in many ways yet around it, like shards and sparkles of light breaking through a thickly woven canopy, keys and melodies glimmer and shine. In no time the darker feel and shadows find themselves immersed in another enthralling tapestry of sound and suggestion before the equally shadowy Resinance takes the imagination into a psychedelic haze of seemingly intimate secrets and dark doorways. Again though, for every clandestine or furtive element there is an embrace of melodic reassurance, this time through the warm bubbling of keys.

The album is brought to a close by the 30-minute free-form epic Museum of Stranglers. It is hard enough to accurately represent the beauty and brilliance in sound of the album in word but this track is the hardest. Imagine though, inspired by its title, entering an off-putting dark yet inviting place and exploring a myriad of jazz crooned episodes involving a series of dangerous yet often beguiling protagonists; each twist in the creative and improvised journey of the piece the next story to immerse in within a persistently mesmeric embrace of similarly evolving sound.

It is an almost mind-blowing end to one exceptional debut. Bes is an album which has to be heard to understand and make any opinion on; thankfully we have and suggest that The Dwarfs Of East Agouza and their album needs to be part of your musical life and indeed imagination.

Bes is out April 29th via Nawa Recordings on 2xLP, 2xCD and Download across most stores.

https://www.facebook.com/thedwarfsofeastagouza   https://twitter.com/DwarfsEAgouza

Pete RingMaster 29/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Ciconia – Winterize

Ciconia_RingMasterReview

One complete movement or song split into ten standalone chapters, Winterize is one riveting adventure for ears and imagination. The new encounter from Spanish instrumentalists Ciconia, the concept album is a bold and fascinating merger of progressive rock and metal with post rock attributes aligned to a whole array of other flavours and styles from stoner to folkish enterprise. Winterize is quite superb, a mesmeric and invigorating incitement leaving pleasure and spirit eagerly aroused.

Hailing from Valladolid and drawing on inspirations from the likes of Opeth, Anathema, Distance Calling, Toundra, Mogwai, Liquid Tension Experiment, and Porcupine Tree, the 2013 formed Ciconia soon grabbed attention with debut album The Moon Sessions the following year. Its impressive body drew the band to the attention of the Independent Music Awards in Spain last year, that recognition backed by The “Z” Sessions EP, which featured a trio of tracks from the album re-mastered and remixed by Roy Z and was unveiled as the band hungrily took their live presence around Europe; the likes of France, Italy, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Slovakia, Romania, and Hungary taken in as well as extensive shows across the band’s homeland.

Now it is Winterize set to awaken new spotlights; an aim easy to see succeeding such the beauty and impressive melodic character of the album alone. The trio of bassist Jorge Fraguas, guitarist Javier Altonaga, and drummer Aleix Zoreda open the album and creative narrative up with Snowfields. From wintery winds and a solitude suggesting ambience, a single melody flickers into life and begins seducing ears and imagination. Like a flame in the cold air, it dances on the senses, painting provocative imagery in thoughts before the band cast an alluring mix of classical and Spanish like guitar. With the theme of the release from artwork to aural suggestion, expectations were that the album would provide cold and imposing soundscapes to ponder. The pure warmth and elegance revealed by track and album throughout was not predicted but swiftly devoured as it added to the inventive palette presenting the imagination with plenty to work with.

cover_RingMasterReviewThe gentle flight of the first track is replaced with the busy and bullish tenacity and energy of Eloina´s Inn. Strands of varied metal and heavy rock enterprise entangle as they descend feverishly on the senses, the track like a celebration and boisterous oasis out of the starker air of surrounding creative scenery. Rhythms are virulently dynamic and guitars a blaze of flirtatious and descriptive adventure whilst the skills of the individual members are as open and gripping as their combined endeavour.

There is no way words can present all that is going on in songs and album or of the diverse flavours lured into each dramatic piece of composing and invention but as the volatile soar of Limbus and the snarling confrontation of Scarsman proves, Ciconia create music which does not need to offer or receive any hints or clues to help the listener invest in their own adventures.  The first of the two takes thoughts through spatial hues whereas its successor creates a flesh marked protagonist in another mentally sculpted exploit which you would might be wary of yet reassured of their involvement.

As each track passes it offers a theatre of sound and rousing ingenuity; the epic serenade of The Forgotten casting a melancholic embrace and tempestuous fire of attitude and emotional turmoil all in one whilst A wolf never comes alone is as predatory as it is anthemically irresistible. A tempest of ear lashing beats and carnivorous riffs at its core, the piece is also a maze of classic rock acidity amidst antagonistic turbulence and quite thrilling. Its darker moonlit secrets and dangers midway only add to the bewitching drama of a song which leaves ears and emotions alive and ready to be ignited further by the outstanding Reel of Trevinca. Spanish folk rock meets Celtic spicery, the song has a great essence of Horslips about it at times as it whips up a jig and romp to get physically involved in.

The very brief melodic stroll of Forestwalk beside the crystal beauty of running water leads thoughts into the classical, almost vaudevillian exploits of Fiadeiro. Extreme metal textures collude with the radiance of classically spun melodies, further growling textures emerging with each twist of the song’s adventure and the sonic enterprise which colours the scene painting imagination shaping it.

The album is completed by the sixteen minute plus Towards the Valley, an emprise of craft and unpredictable incitement that seamlessly and beautifully moves though peaceful scenery into shadow drenched and in turn danger spawning challenges. Continuing to revolve and evolve through various shades of each across its long but seemingly quick in the ear such the eventful nature of its passage, the track is a striking end to a sensational release.

With Winterize, Ciconia have pushed themselves to the fore of instrumental and progressive rock; more importantly though they have given ears and the imagination one truly exciting and irresistible collection of aural pigments to go conjure with and inevitable richly enjoy.

Winterize is out now @ https://ciconia.bandcamp.com/ and http://www.ciconia.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ciconia666   https://twitter.com/ciconiaband

Pete Ringmaster 19/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Erudite Stoner – Self Titled

Erudite Stoner_RingMasterReview

There has been quite a few ear seducing instrumental albums over the past year or so but it is hard to remember any as charming yet emotively striking as the self-titled debut album from Erudite Stoner. A one man acoustic based project from Brazil, the band creates music which simply immerses the imagination in beauty and suggestive intrigue. Nothing is imposing and no elements forced, but sound and album provide the paint for a myriad of mental pictures and emotive explorations.

Erudite Stoner is the creation of Matheus Novaes, a guitarist leaning on inspirations from the like of Alcest, Agalloch, Gustavo Santaolalla, and Ulver for his first album. Weaving the potent scents of post-rock, shoegaze, doom, and classical guitar into his sound, the Erudite Stoner freely and so often sublimely caresses ears and strokes the imagination across nine tracks of aural majesty. The pieces of music are the perfect length, never too long and over pushing their persuasive limits but equally never too short and leaving the conjuring of imagery adrift. Together tracks create a seduction hard to get enough of and easy to drift away with time and time again.

The release opens with Spiritual Deliverance, a piece of music initially wrapped in nature’s lonely hug whilst sharing melodic melancholy. A warmth and escape from that harsher climate subsequently surrounds ears, the embrace of acoustic and electric guitar as gentle and descriptive as it is at times dramatically tenacious. It is a bewitching start to the album which continues in the similarly melancholic Alienist. Darker hues line the track’s scenic tempting of melody and tone though, essences flirting with thoughts like shadows in the shade of a lonely yet mesmeric day.

art_RingMasterReviewThrough the emotive fascination of Ride to Nowhere with its sultrily melodic calm and the elegant theatre of Far Away From City Walls, imaginative interpretation and pleasure only increases. The second provokes thoughts of innocent smiling children within depressing and oppressing landscapes; a superb merger of contrasting shades of sound and emotion skilfully woven before the riveting majesty of There is No Home sends the listener into new and quaint but equally cosmopolitan lands.

The song, as with the craft and skill of Novaes, easily inspires praise, their tempting and composing creating the most inspiring and engrossing moment yet within the release though it still gets eclipse by emerging favourite Waiting For the Storm. Listening to the track is like its title’s suggestion with a melodic peace initially romancing ears and attention while around it slightly darker essences are glimpsed and eventfully felt in a dynamic and deliciously intensive finale. The piece is simply irresistible, a rousing companion for ears and thoughts.

The pair of Sand Path and Roads to Somewhere continues to keep both those aspects busy, each providing their own individual and tempting palette of melody and emotive expressive for the listener to wrap themselves in before the brief and folkishly intimate Left Behind brings the thoroughly enjoyable and bewitching adventure to a close.

Erudite Stoner, band and album, is a proposition of sheer beauty which it is hard to imagine anyone failing to be easily touched and seduced by. Go treat yourselves is our sole recommendation.

The Erudite Stoner album is out now @ https://eruditestoner.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/Erudite-Stoner-784870508325321/?fref=ts

Pete RingMaster 19/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Uncanny – Self Titled EP

Pic Marius Ringen

Pic Marius Ringen

As much as technical prowess does impress, personal tastes dictates that if an instrumental proposition is going to really fire up the passions, it has to have inescapable imagination inspiring drama to its presence whether that be cinematic or emotional. It is a quality which is in abundance within the self-titled debut EP from Norwegian trio Uncanny and why the release has barely left our speakers these past couple of days since first immersing in its fascinating and dark creative adventure.

The Oslo based Uncanny consists of Andreas Oltedal, Rikard Sjånes Pedersen, and Torkil Rødvand; a threesome drawing on the inspirations of artists ranging from Meshuggah, Benea Reach, and Shining to Stian Westerhus & Pale Horses, Aiming for Enrike, and Igor Stravinskij for their own multi-textured exploits. Their first EP is an introduction to all to the band and if it is a sign of things to come, the first step in drawing perpetually eager and persistent attention their way.

The release opens with klown, a darkly flavoured web of sound swiftly sparking ears and imagination into life. The initial steps of the track are heavy and predacious, a Korn-esque hue soon wrapped in acidic melodies before things suddenly settle into a gentle yet slightly sinister calm. Skittish rhythms equally have an off-kilter edge to them as they court the melancholic melody playing in ears before the track erupts into another rousing trespass of the senses. Light and dark, mellow and raw textures continue to clash and entwine across the track as thoughts explore the two sides of their take on the title and the figure it provokes. It’s scary and welcoming sides battle in thoughts, the former winning the battle as the track twists and turns with increasing metal and raw rock ‘n’ roll voracity. Of course the theme and inspiration to the song, to any of the tracks, is not always going to match that conjured by the listener, every song allowing and encouraging the imagination to make their own interpretation of their aural suggestiveness.

Artwork: Harm ten Napel

Artwork: Harm ten Napel

The great start is quickly eclipsed by the outstanding maze of sound and styles making up electric black. Starting with an ears rapping roll of beats, the track spins a web of steely and winy grooves, two hues fuelling their irrepressible and addictive toxicity. The guitars move like animated vines across song and the senses, spicing up the imagination with their dark flirtation as the rhythms grouchily grumble below. As in the first, a more passive weave of sound emerges with a mystique toned air and melodic reflection though little time passes before the volatility of the moment brews tempestuous traits which lead back to the galvanic and rabid maelstrom with waspish grooves and nagging riffs to the fore.

The following u will fail envelops ears in a haunting caress initially, floating harmonic almost gossamer like vocals more a texture than a narrative in the brewing theatre of sound and temptation. Across its body, the early post punk like elements continue to inspire and excite as the song involves melodic and progressive rock enterprise into its cinematic tapestry. Often prowling and persistently imposing whilst stimulating ears and thoughts, the song is at times like a cold war romancing for the imagination in other moments a dystopian bred oppressor and all the time increasingly irresistible.

Fair to say it and its predecessor steal the show upon the Uncanny EP, yet the first song and the EP closing rat8 only add to the impressive nature and creativity of the release. The last song initially lays a solemn melodic mist which is soon alive with tendrils of guitar spawned rock ‘n’ roll before a black hearted descent of dark metal invades all. That too is a momentary incitement though as a post and progressive rock brewed climate washes over the senses whilst rhythms reveal great irritability and feverish tenacity to their character which in turn inspires something similar from guitars and bass.  This too is just another emotively expressive moment in an ever evolving soundscape of a track where ears joyfully feel like they are in a creative rat run. It constantly leads and twists around on the listener, providing riveting rewards at every turn whilst never relenting in its busy and voraciously delicious manipulation.

There may be not too much background  available to Uncanny yet but their music and EP has everything you need to know about their potential and their already impressive qualities which invite the imagination to go on their own thrilling adventures.

The Uncanny EP is out now on iTunes.

https://www.facebook.com/uncannysounds

Pete RingMaster 07/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Odyssey – Voids

Odyssey_RingMaster Review

Feeding the imagination as boldly and adventurously as it does ears, Voids is quite simply an enthralling kaleidoscope of invention and craft. The ten track encounter is the new album from US progressive instrumentalists Odyssey, a Spokane, Washington based trio who are no strangers to acclaim thanks to their striking sound and creative dexterity. This new offering though simply towers over all that came before and other like styled bands around with in its multi-faceted aural emprise.

Emerging in 2007, Odyssey has increasingly impressed through a pair of albums in Objects in Space (2009) and An Abstract Existence (2011) as well as a trio of EPs in Schematics, The Conscious Device, and The Turning Tide; the last two splitting Voids and the band’s last album with the latter igniting the senses in 2014. As no better evidenced than within their new endeavour, the threesome of guitarist Jerrick Crites, bassist Jordan Hilker, and drummer Lukas Hilker sculpt exploits and scenarios which are as melodically spellbinding as they are tenaciously imposing, at times even carnivorous in their snarl and dynamics. Excesses are also conspicuous by their absence, not something which can always be said about instrumental metal and rock, but the individual skill and invention of each member is never hidden away either. The result, taking Voids as proof, is a gripping and ravenously boisterous collection of imagination fuelled canvases for the listener’s own thoughts to play within.

cover_RingMaster ReviewEmerge. Evolve. Adapt. opens up Voids, engulfing ears in a sonic mesh around the instantly flirtatious bass and thumping beats adding inviting bait. The track is soon strolling along with a vibrant air bound in sultry tendrils of guitar though, but an easy going proposal soon evolving into a more agitated and addictively volatile passage as riffs and beats chip away at the senses as the bass offers its throatier support. Continuing to twist and turn within a landscape of intrigue, every one of the song’s five minutes is a suggestive narrative to be revealed and captivating drama to explore. It is a glorious start to the album, like a portrait of a meeting between Arcade Messiah and Chimp Spanner with Native Construct whispering amongst them.

That is a description which often applies to the release, though the Odyssey style and imagination defies any direct comparisons as shown by the sterner but no less resourceful character of Negate The Infinite. Both Hilkers create a frame around and a floor of addictiveness for the enterprise flowing from Crites’ strings; the union a virulent proposal which is as imposing as it is seductive and irresistible to the imagination as equally so in the creative nagging of Like Moths to the Flame. Darker again, the song is a frontline of cantankerously gnawing riffs and a bestial bassline tempered this time by the lighter touch of sticks on skin and the sonic persuasion of guitar. As its title suggests, there is persistence to the song which will not desist, an undeterred drive and repetitious temptation which gets under the skin as a rhythmic flickering intermittently escalates with the same successful intent.

Through the frenetic virulence of Motives and the ethereal elegance of Echoes, the band nudges thoughts into new escapades with their creative hints. Both tracks again cast a sublime mix of contrasting textures which would be at war in the hands of others but here simple embrace and revolve around each other. The latter also has a reflective lustre which charms until Before There Were Eyes To See comes from the other side of light to take over with its dark intimidating shadows and predatory wave of riffs and beats bound to another sinisterly alluring bass incitement. As expected but always unpredictable, each piece of music takes ears and thoughts through a creative gest that has both enslaved and bold in their interpretations, visions that enjoyably change with every listen such the depth to the musical narratives offered.

The Plot Thickens is a rousing slice of rock ‘n’ roll but of course one which from its anthemically invigorating first breath soon opens up into a provocative climate of hint loaded musical espionage keeping body and mind on their toes before making way for the calmer radiance and spatial yet intimate temptation of Delineation. Once more shadows crowd in close to the sonic sun of the track, making their impact as heavier and grouchier elements seeping into the dramatic and increasingly clearer psychosis of the track.

The melodic hug of Left Unspoken brings an oasis of perpetual calm to ears next, though there is still a shadowy lining through the melancholic tone of the bass, before Voids is concluded by its outstanding title track. If you want a physical clue to the album the song has it all, all the attributes and diversity summed up in its maelstrom of genre skipping, imagination igniting revelry that gives expectations no inkling of where it is going to go or the turns it is going to fluidly and infectiously take.

The album is quite superb, almost a brand new adventure with every listen such its textural and suggestive depths, and an early benchmark for progressive adventure for the year ahead.

The self-released Voids is available from February 5th @ http://odysseyspokane.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 05/02/2016

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