David Bronson – Questions

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Emotionally intimate and exploratory, with a just as expressive melodic climate, the new album from New York City singer songwriter/producer David Bronson is a warm and resourceful landscape of thought and sparkling enterprise. Consisting of songs which as its title, seems to stem from Questions Bronson has asked of himself and his life, the album is a striking and immersive caress on ears and imagination. It is not an encounter which always consistently lights personal appetites to the same strength as its finest moments, but one emerging as a lingering and thoroughly enjoyable proposition easy to recommend to those with a want of soulful and melody drenched creativity.

The successor to his acclaimed 2013 debut album The Long Lost Story, ‘a decade-in-the-making, 22-song autobiographical double album’ split into two separate releases, Questions sees Bronson looking at his life and the world right now, and drawing on the likes of vocalist Robin Clark (Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Al Green, Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce, David Bowie), guitarist Carlos Alomar (David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Paul McCartney, John Lennon), guitarist Robbie “Seahag” Mangano, drummer Lautaro Burgos, and Gordon Grody to inventively colour these investigations. Whereas the first release expressed a more indie rock seeded sound around his seventies inspired songwriting, the new album embraces new adventurous flavours such as soul, folk, and gospel in its new proposals, a spicing helping the Godfrey Diamond (Lou Reed)/Bronson produced Questions become a captivating and intriguingly varied encounter.

From the opening Songbird, Bronson and album has ears and attention awake, its acoustic caress of guitar the canvas for some delicious harmonies and the lyrical prowess and insight of Bronson. Immediately there is a Paul Simon like air to the heart of the song but also plenty to make it radiate a fresh and original presence. Vibrant beats only add catchy texture to the gentle swing of the song but it is the gospel bred harmonies which steal the impressive show.

Both Move Like Water and Day By Day glide through personal balladry with Bronson and guitar again offering a sure and warm entrance to which melodies and sultry climates, not david bronson questions cover lgeforgetting a great throaty bassline in the first of the two, immerse senses and thoughts evocatively. Each pleases with their individual charms but it is with Push that another surge of greed hits ears and personal appetite. The fourth track is an instant drama with keys straight away looming and laying down a single prod before taking a pause, returning a few seconds later with the same Boomtown Rats like potency as they align to the alluring strum of the guitar. It is a mesmeric track, voice and music sketching an easily accessible and emotively connecting narrative in a dance of creative and vivacious enterprise.

The following Task is another stirring and inescapable invitation for feet and emotions to fully engage in, its sway of funk fuelled revelry a swift and fascinating infectiousness with melodic resourcefulness to match. It and its predecessor provide the pinnacle of the album, the thrilling peak to which other songs aspire but with varying success cannot quite emulate. Despite that the likes of the Lennon-esque All These Things and the smouldering dark folk theatre of Life Is long provide thoroughly enjoyable and lingering temptations whilst the melodic rock fuelled My Good Friend with its compelling seventies psyche rock keys, add another strain of bright adventure and full pleasure to album and emotions respectively.

The closing pair of Connect The Dots and Passing Fiction slip into more reserved hugs of melodic and harmonic endeavour which, without finding the same persuasive spark as their immediate predecessors, ignite ears and thoughts with consummate ease. The guitar adventure of the pair is an especially thrilling and magnetic coaxing, the twinges of discord which bless the imagination of strings and fingers as enthralling as anything on the album.

Questions is a definite investigation for certainly fans of the likes of Paul Simon and John Lennon but equally those of current talent like Seth Lakeman and Thom Bowden. The album did not quite ignite enough fire in emotions across its length but really only due to personal tastes and with some quite thrilling tracks and invention involved it is easy to assume it will spark a blaze in a great many.

Questions is available from 19th January via Big Arc

www.davidbronsonmusic.com

RingMaster 19/01/2015

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Alex Von Z – Implicate Order/Life’s Addiction EP

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Showing two sides of and the extensive diversity within his sound,  Alex Von Z is unleashing a gem of an EP stroke album which is as accomplished and incendiary to the passions as you could wish from any release. Combining the four track  Implicate Order EP and the three track single Life’s Addiction, which first made their appearances in October and December respectively last year, the release is a thrilling and impressive blend of melodic rock and aggressive metal shaped rock n roll.

Alex Von Z (Alex Seleznov) comes from Aurora, Colorado and has spent years investigating and discovering his spiritual and musical progression resulting in the two releases which now are combined into one exhilarating package. Varied and exuberant with a craft to his musicianship and songwriting which is irresistible, Alex combines multiples flavours with stated influences coming from the likes of 3 Doors Down, Eddie Vedder, John Lennon, Blind Melon, Collective Soul, Chris Cornell, Counting Crows, Billy Joel, Matisyahu, Buckcherry, Tesla, System of A Down, and many more. The result is songs which impact musically and lyrically, music which rather than make demands requests and invites passionate union with a presence and warm touch so easy to greedily devour, whether it is offering a melodically soaked seduction or holding a more caustic and aggressive stance.

The Implicate Order part of the release is a gentler companion to its partner but no less impressive, the songs a mix of 179656_429175313827183_1432529483_nacoustically led and melodically persuasive pop rock, for want of a better term. With tracks taken from the upcoming album of the same name, it lights up the senses with contagious recruitments for voice, senses, and passions.  Opening track Drawn starts with shimmering sonics before immediately opening its melodic arms to embrace in an acoustic cored smouldering piece of melodic elegance. The clean tones of Alex add to the warm ambience and by the time the first run of the chorus comes in the song has enlisted gleeful participation and addicted attention. As it stretches its stride with ardour seizing melodic flames and classic rock whispers expanding the strength and lure of the song, it is impossible not to be wholly enamoured with the enterprising treat on offer and anticipation for the songs to follow heightened.

What It Should Be steps up next with a more ballad like breath though there is still a underlying keenness almost urgency to excite the listener, something it does with ease. The temptation of the keys and again classic rock toned guitar reaps and gives further reward from the song whilst its smooth and compelling again is an easy consumption increasing the already brewed hunger for the release. The track does not quite reach the pinnacle of its predecessor but still makes a very strong declaration as does the excellent Chocolate Covered Karma, a rock n roll riot of invention which has loud whispers of a Buckcherry or Motley Crue to it. Like the others even with its sturdier swagger, the track is virulently infectious and stirs the passions with the ear catching guitar craft from Alex which spirals within the rampaging eagerness of the sounds.  All three songs have a familiarity to them which enforces their tempting hook upon the emotions and senses, but a recognisable element which brings the listener into the heart of the pieces like old friends enjoying new escapades. Completed by the full version of Drawn, a track which it is impossible to tire of whatever its length, it is a richly enjoyable and impressive first part.

The Life’s Addiction portion of the release, featuring songs taken from the Life’s Addiction album, reach into the harder rock heart and musically imposing side of Alex’s songwriting, and quite simply leaves the listener breathless. The title track of this section instantly lets its riffs gnaw on the senses whilst harsher flames of guitar and rhythmic intimidation seize their moments with strength. The vocals are still the impressive clean smooth style which transfers into the more imposing arena with accomplished ease whilst imagination is rife within the song, arguably more so here than in the mellower tracks before. Guitar invention and its finely crafted delivery is almost siren like in its pull and bewitching magnetism within the song, and the overall attack stirring and rampant with a slight wantonness to its inducement. Once finished with the emotions the song passes over to the stunning Rise and Fall, a track pulling progressive rock and classic metal into a dazzling tempest of crafted intensity and explosive heavy rock hunger. The most inventive and imaginative song of the whole release with striking musicianship to match, it swaps some of the infectiousness of earlier songs for a potent weave of thought grabbing brilliance with equal impact in its distinct stance.

Completed by What About Me, another outstanding burst of hard rock with a carnivorous greed to its energy and play, the whole package is a sensational introduction to an artist which blends artistic craft and imagination into sounds and songs which you want to hear and hear constantly, their epidemic like hold on the passions as intense as the invention breeding them. An outstanding release from a fantastic artist, enough said.

http://www.alexvonz.com

https://www.facebook.com/AlexVonzmusic

9/10

RingMaster 20/04/2013

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Roxanne De Bastion – The Real Thing

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In an interview between us and singer songwriter Roxanne De Bastion held after the release of her riveting debut single Red And White Blood Cells, the artist when asked about her first album said it was a collection of songs with numerous characters and styles involved within their breath. The release of The Real Thing more than lives up to her words its wealth of evocative and emotive tracks taking their own individual journeys towards providing a constant richness of quality and pleasure. The single only hinted at the range of expressive depths and musical voices upon the album, the song itself a wonderful ‘cuckoo’ within a varied and captivating clutch of mesmeric ideas and songs.

Born and raised in Berlin, Roxanne moved to the UK after finishing school on a one-way ticket in 2007. The following years saw her continue to develop her craft and creativity whilst travelling all over the country to play shows , her nomadic approach to music giving her many musical bases and a strongly brewing following. As mentioned her first single drew great and potent responses from fans and media with its striking presence and made the anticipation for her first album eager and excitable. Released on her own Nomad Songs label, The Real Thing was recorded with producer Gordon Raphael (The Strokes / Regina Spektor) in Berlin and brings ten inspiring and graciously caressing songs to the passions. It is a release which also holds shadows within its vocal and emotional touch whilst the likes of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Regina Spektor, and Judee Sill, just some of her potent  musical inspirations, are at times open whispers within her already unique stance.

The album catches the ear with 1964 first of all, its simple acoustic guitar and vocal union an upbeat smile upon the senses with a the_real_thing_coverknowing understanding of how to invite and seduce interest alongside the emotions without making an overstated entrance. The vocal harmonies bring extra warmth to the already wonderfully persuasive tones of Roxanne and though the whistling for personal preferences throws a slight unbalance to the flowing charm of the song, it is a brief aside before the track reasserts its compelling hold.

The following Here’s Tom With The Weather brings a slower walk across the ear, the guitar of Roxanne adding to the narrative painting of lyrics and vocals whilst the touch of the keys add light kisses upon the brow of the song. It is a delightful melodic embrace which sets up the appearance of new single Some Kind of Creature perfectly. The song has an even stronger folk pop lilt to its warm tones than with the earlier songs as well as an open sinew to the vocals and its energy. The Hammond sounds paint an emotive atmosphere behind and around the striking vocals whilst like the first and despite the strong shadows which makes suggestions within words and shaded corners of the track, it has a vibrant and lively stroll to its heart.

The raw Empty Space with its slightly smothered but effective sheltered sound makes way for the excellent Red And White Blood Cells. With a core presence which can be described as The Pixies meets Patti Smith with Belly and the Young Marble Giants adding their unique flavours, the song has a magnetic electric guitar tease stroke niggle which across the song builds and excites itself into a sonic crescendo of energy and eagerness whilst vocally Roxanne is like the angel and devil on the shoulder of the track stroking mischief and beauty with equal clarity. It stands wide apart from the other songs in its individuality and shows even stronger width to the variety at play from the artist.

Both The Life I Lead and Handwriting, in again individual ways, engage the ear and thoughts with accomplished craft and ease, as does the slightly plaintive Somewhere upon Avon before the pinnacle of the album steps forward for the greatest seduction of the release. My Shield begins with a subdued caress of vocals and guitar, the spine and impressive stance of all songs on the album, but then allows hearty beats to add their intriguing touch. At this point the piece certainly has senses and attention riveted but it is when the strings unveil their emotive beauty that a new rapture is ignited. The melancholic yet radiant voices of the cello and violin expand into even more potent wraps and aural beauty bringing every emotive essence from the lyrical narrative and vocal deliverance to irresistible witness.

Closing with the gentle cradle of the title track, The Real Thing is an enchanting and passion capturing treat. The songs recorded as a live capture reaping every ounce of emotive value and musical imagination from their hearts for a mix of styles which leave the purest satisfaction. A must listen from one impressive emerging talent.

http://www.roxannedebastion.com/

8/10

RingMaster 18/04/2013

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A melodic transfusion: an interview with Roxanne de Bastion

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From playing and writing songs at a tender age, relocating to a new country, and immersing in a full experience of playing varied venues and cities across the country to share her music, singer songwriter Roxanne de Bastion is at the point where wide awareness is just an inviting one big step away. Following on from her successful single Red & White Blood Cells, Roxanne is counting the eager days to the release of her debut album The Real Thing. Wanting to find out more about the artists and release before its unveiling we had the pleasure of talking to Roxanne about her early life, music, and forthcoming album.

Hi Roxanne and welcome to The Ringmaster Review

For those yet to meet you musically tell us about yourself and your history to date.

Hi everybody! My name’s Roxanne de Bastion and I write songs and perform them, usually on my guitar. I was born in Berlin to a German mother and an English father – we moved back and forth a bit when was a child. When I finished school I was finally able to pursue music (which is something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember) and moved to England with my guitar a bunch of songs and a suitcase. Last year I got the chance to record my first album, which I’m releasing on Nomad Songs on April 18th.

Was music a constant in your informative years whether from personal or family interest?

Yeah – it’s still my only constant. I’ve never wanted to do anything else. Some people have a very distinct concept of ‘home’, their family house, the town they grew up in… I just feel at home in music.

When did the passion for music take over leading you to make it your career?

Hmm… that’s quite tricky. It was kind of a seamless transition. I’ve been gigging and writing songs since my early teenage years, so when school was over it was more a matter of “how am I going to do this?” as opposed to “what am I going to do now?”
This is super nerdy, but I just looked up the definition of “career” and the free dictionary calls it “a chosen pursuit”, which I can totally live with and, in that case, I guess it was always a career.

What were the predominant sounds and bands which caught the imagination of a young girl in Berlin?

The predominant sound was that of the Beatles! I fell in love with their music when I was about four years old and I am still just as enamoured with it as I was then. It was John Lennon’s songwriting in particular that got me hooked. Bob Dylan, the Kinks and The Who were all close seconds. Years later the next thing that really grabbed me was Alanis Morissette and No Doubt…spent hours singing their songs in my room as a teenager.

You came to the UK in2007 I believe, was this an investigation or with intentions to stay and perform as long as you have to date?Roxanne de Bastion

It’s still an investigation! I guess the thought of moving away from Berlin was so scary that I just made myself believe that I’d just be “checking it out”… and here I am! It’s a lot less scary now.

How did you find things on arrival and how have things musically progressed for you since arriving here?

It was weird, man! It really was… I was culture shocked…which sounds strange, but everything was so different overnight, especially as my very first months were spent in the West Midlands and not in London: So I moved from laid back city life in Berlin, living with my parents and going to school, to working in a pub in, what seemed to me to be the middle of a field (which at least did remind of Pepperland, so that was cool), serving drinks I’d never heard of, having rent to pay and a whole new life to come to terms with. It was one big adventure. I got to meet a lot of great people that inspired me. Musically things have come a long way – the best way I can describe it is starting off in a completely dark room, feeling your way around and bumping into furniture, now my eyes have gotten a little more used to the dark or maybe someone’s opened the door a little.

It must have been daunting at first, how did you cope with or stand strong against the things which naturally would have sprung up, loneliness, lack of contacts etc.?

Music’s great for that. You find out where all the open mics are in your area and automatically you stumble upon a group of friendly musicians. It was daunting, but it always will be – as it is for everybody! That’s just part of going out and living your life.

You have and do perform across the UK not just in London where you are based. How easy was it to find venues welcoming a complete newcomer to play around the country?

Well that’s the good thing about being a bit of a Nomad. There are some places like Liverpool and Coventry outside of London where I gigged often enough for it to become a kind of a base. Judging by its suggestions, Twitter still thinks I live in Liverpool… not that I would mind!

Although it’s not always easy, I am infinitely thankful to be able to practice what fulfils me most, to make and perform music, and for all of you who have found enjoyment in my songs and journey. Thank you so much for coming to my shows, listening to my words and for your support!

1010354224-11You have just released your single Red and White Blood Cells, which people can grab as a free download. How would you describe its unique sounds for those new to you?

Oh, how about “Riot Grrl Folk”? I got to play electric guitar for this one, which was super fun! The song itself is a little silly, inspired by listening to a lot of Regina Spektor and constantly catching colds in London.

Is the single a good representation for what your forthcoming self-released debut album The Real Thing will offer?

Only in the sense that all songs were recorded live – just a couple of full takes with no major post-production. Style wise I think the songs are all very different.

How do you write songs generally and what seeds them more often than not?

Very undisciplined…I find I can’t force it…either songs come or they don’t. I’ll pick up the guitar and coast around chords or melodies I find interesting, sometimes I start by playing somebody else’s song that I’m currently listening to, but usually, when a song comes, it comes pretty much complete, as if it were there all along – tis a strange thing!

What are your major influences and how have they impacted on your unique sound and style?

The move to England and newly found shoebox-life in London influenced me a lot…people I meet and new music I hear. I think growing up with two different languages and cultures, where you only really feel at home in a combination of both of them probably plays a big part.

In our review of your single we said your voice was ‘angelic and devilish at the same time’, a fair description? …and which singers if any have inspired the standout delivery you have?

Why thank you! Regina Spektor has been a huge musical influence over the last couple of years. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Judee Sill, so completely different style again…

The single and album was produced by Gordon Raphael (The Strokes / Regina Spektor) I believe. How did the link up with him come about and what impact has he made on how you looked at and recorded your songs in the studio?

Well, I looked at the back of my “Soviet Kitsch” CD and saw his name, typed it into Google and emailed him with a couple of my demos. The bizarre thing was that, although he’s from Seattle, Gordon is actually living in Berlin at the moment. So we met up over Christmas last year and decided to record the album pretty much then and there.

I loved working with Gordon – lots of fun and just what I wanted for my songs. He does everything very organically and always has time for whacky suggestions. Plus, he has a really cool collection of instruments like the Hammond organ and the Gibson guitar we got to use on the record.

Can you give us some hints and background to what will be on the album?28343_10150168457630707_2459924_n

Not much more than I’ve already given you!

When will it be released and what is planned around it for yourself and the rest of 2013 in general?

I’m going on tour again in the UK and in Germany towards the end of April and throughout May. Hopefully I’ll get to play some fun Festivals in the summer and I think there’s another Germany tour in the autumn. Other than that, not sure yet and really can’t wait to see what’s going to happen!

A big thank you for taking time to talk with us… Any last thoughts you would like to share?

Thank you! I hope you keep in touch and perhaps see you at a show soon!

And finally as you travel the country by train etc. what is your personal musical soundtrack to while away the hours between venues?

I neeeed to invest in an MP3 player…! During the last two tours I’ve been using my laptop as an overly large jukebox, which has oddly consisted of the soundtrack to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Sky Captains of Industry (my friends’ amazingly fun band in NYC), Anais Mitchell’s “Hadestown” as well as a few stray Regina and Bob Dylan Songs.

Read the Red and White Blood Cells @ 

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/roxanne-de-bastion-red-white-blood-cells/

The RingMaster Review 06/03/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Roxanne de Bastion: Red & White Blood Cells

With an album on the horizon it is never a bad thing to tease the world with a track which is startling and unique from it before its arrival. This is just what singer songwriter Roxanne de Bastion has done with the song Red & White Blood Cells. Not only is it the first flavour from her upcoming debut, it is a track which you just cannot ignore or resist, an unpredictable barbed hook to lure one to her quirky sounds and an album which one can only assume will be the same.

Playing her first gigs at ten and writing her own songs at the age of 15, Roxanne set out on her own with guitar in hand from Berlin to London. Though not knowing anyone she was soon playing as many open mic nights, venues, and bars as she could and travelling the country via bus and trains to reach and perform  in as many places as possible. With a growing reputation she was soon being asked back to venues across the UK, Germany, and the United States. Her bio states heroes include John Lennon, Ray Davies, Bob Dylan, and Judee Sill, but as the song shows musically she reaps and blooms a sound which is distilled from varied distinctive sources twisted into her own simple and inciteful sound.

The track opens with a persistent guitar tease which threatens to niggle but instead offers an magnetic aural finger like beckoning which in its simplistic intent is irresistible. It is the perfect companion to the voice of Roxanne, her tones angelic and devilish at the same time. She croons whilst grabbing at words to deliver them with a bite yet soothing directness to have ear and attention only focused on her and the song. Whether representative of what her album will bring time will tell, but Red & White Blood Cells taunts the ear with a touch of The Pixies, Belly, and Young Marble Giants wrapped in the punk breath of Patti Smith and easily ensures the forthcoming album will be paid plenty of attention here.

Barely two minutes long the track ends on a crescendo of fiery guitar sonics and abrasive energy to complete the capture of imagination and enthused intrigue. Produced by Gordon Raphael (The Strokes / Regina Spektor), the track more than hints as to why Roxanne has found a firmly growing success and with the release of her album early next year you can only see her finding even greater ardour wrapping around her music.

Red & White Blood Cells is available for free download from http://roxannedebastion.bandcamp.com/track/red-and-white-blood-cells

http://www.roxannedebastion.com/

RingMaster 16/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright