Ruts DC – Rhythm Collision Volume 2

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For a great many of us the best punk band in the history of the genre was The Ruts, a band which fused raw street life and sound with addictive bass heavy dub and reggae. From day one they were a formidable and inciting presence cut short by the passing of frontman Malcolm Owen in 1980 aged 26. The history of the band up to that point is well documented within punk and rock, the music still igniting fires and lingering with relish and provocation year after year in many ways, and the same can be said of the band since, though the release of the new Ruts DC album Rhythm Collision Volume 2 equally highlights the large gap in music left by their absence for the last three decades.

Absence is a little misleading though as drummer Dave Ruffy and bassist John ‘Segs’ Jennings have certainly continued to inspire and leave a strong imprint on music, both playing live in numerous bands and with their impressive production skills which has led the pair to be tagged as Europe’s Sly and Robbie. It has been a long period for time to bare since the remaining members of The Ruts after the tragic death of Owen, released the albums Animal Now and Rhythm Collision as Ruts DC in 1981 and ’82 respectively, and an even bigger miss for music once Jennings, Ruffy, and guitarist Paul Fox called it a day a year after their last album. Their reunion in 2007 to play a benefit gig for Fox who had been diagnosed with lung cancer, and sadly died later the same year, ignited all the dormant passions with the show, an event which saw the likes of The Damned, Misty In Roots, UK Subs, Tom Robinson, and John Otway supporting and Henry Rollins taking over the vocal presence for the band, being declared as “the best punk gig of all time” by the Times.

This led to the band to reuniting with Neil Fraser aka Mad Professor who worked with the band on Rhythm Collision in the studio for an impromptu session which then led to another day of guest vocalists and musicians bringing their talent to the now vibrant project. Ruffy has said about the recording, “The album really came together by a series of fortunate events, before we knew it we were back in the studio for The Great Day of Vocals – Segs, Ngoni (aka Delbert McKay, Misty’s guitarist/vocalist), gifted lyricist Aynzli Jones, Brixton lyrics man Tenor Fly and Rob Love, frontman with Alabama 3 all turned up, tuned in and came up with the goods. Nothing was pre-conceived or planned.

Due to hectic schedules the proposed plan to get Mad Professor to do the final mix was an unavailable option the pair turned to Brighton producer Prince Fatty aka Mark Pelanconi. With everything in place and as it emerges beautifully finished, Rhythm Collision Vol.2 stepped forward and without any hesitation can be announced as one of the finest most exhilarating albums to grace and ignite the passions in a long time. The rhythmic heart of the album shows Ruffy and Jennings have lost none of their majestic power and provocative resonance whilst creatively they lay bench mark after benchmark for bands and artists to be inspired by within reggae, dub, punk, music.

As soon as the brilliant Mighty Soldier idles up to the ear with a warm ambience and joyful tease there is a fire smouldering within the ear, the throaty bass lure vibrant yet shadowed whilst the vocals of Tenor Fly shape thoughts with style and slight mischief within the seductive harmonies. It is a mild paced romp, a pulsating evocative persistence which leaves feet, voice, and passion eager to add their collaboration to the sultry dance, the brass flames bringing further irresistible temptation. Throughout the space synths of Steve Jones tease and add sweet devilry to the encounter whilst the keys of Seamus Beaghen provide a caress and firm push which leads to greater ardour for the stunning start whilst the guitar niggle is incendiary within the whole impressive blaze.

Through the likes of the sky travelling soundscape of Mix Up featuring Molara Awen on vocals, the white hot persuasion of One Step and Smiling Culture, the release grips tighter on the senses and emotions. The second of the trio resonates through thought and synapse whilst its touch is like a seductive walk over hot coals, a track to be taken gently, devoured thoughtfully, and enjoyed addictively, whilst the third, a song based on the death of Smiley Culture, is a deeply evocative and beautifully sweltering fascination of intent and sound with the vocals of Aynzli Jones and Rob Love riveting. At this point the album has already left a full rapture for its presence at play and goes on to only reinforce its potency with each track.

The oscillating atmosphere of Technology with its impossibly contagious brass call and the bone trembling sirenesque bass inducement of Jennings, which pushes the boundaries of Sun & The Stars to their delicious limits, evoke further imagination and hunger whilst the mesmeric caress of London Dub featuring Smokes (William Simon) is instant captivation, a welcome submergence in a soak of roasting ambience and equally fervid breath.

For personal tastes the first half of the album steals the show with its insatiable energy and invention but as the songs just mentioned and the likes of the thrilling dub heaven Heavyweight Style and The Road unveil their imperious charms there is no loss of lustful hunger and pleasure across the whole album. Featuring the blissful voice of Jessica Mcintyre, The Road is another glorious torrid slice of beauty veined by pulsating shadows from that irresistible bass lure of Jennings, a final triumph on the album though the two dub-core mixes of Technology and Soldier which do finally close the album are no fillers either.

With further contributions from guitarist Leigh Heggarty and vocals from Ngoni Mukai and Aurora Dawn in the mixing pot, the Sosumi Recording released Rhythm Collision Volume 2 is an unbridled treat, a collaboration extraordinaire which leaves the body, soul, and world a better place.

www.theruts.co.uk

10/10

RingMaster 13/05/2013

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Mike Tyler – Money Grows on Your Knees

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    Money Grows On Your Knees the new single from poet and musician Mike Tyler is a deceptive little tease, a song which left indecision during certainly its first and even second excursion through the ear  but all the while was working away and laying a hook which emerged again and again well away from its source. It is an addictive little creature which though still coated in a less than stable opinion is like a tic which is almost impossible to remove from thoughts and imagination.

Taken from his well-received album Erection of last year, the first thing to note and praise about the release is its packaging. Coming in a 7” green vinyl/CD bundle with a sleeve design complete with jigsaw front and lyric sheet back, the single takes one right back to the late seventies/early eighties when sleeve design and imagination was as rife and vibrant as the sounds they enclosed. It is an instant clutch of strong points on the board for The Art Can Not Be Damaged released single. It is also very apt for the artist from New York. Mentored in a bar by the poet Delmore Schwartz, Patti Smith, and Tom Verlaine of Television, Tyler has sculpted interest, respect, and inspiration with his words within others. World famous graffiti-smith Banksy stencilled his words “only the ridiculous survive” outside Paddington Station in London whilst Beck also was inspired by his charismatic pull when honing his song writing craft. Tyler became known as The Most Dangerous Poet in America after breaking his arm during a reading, and his poem The Most Beautiful Word in the American Language has found its place on the blogs, MySpace pages, and Facebook walls of a great many, not to mention fridge doors. He is a puzzle in many ways, an intricate confusion which the packaging of the single perfectly hints to and to further give relevance of the artwork the artist talks about his single by saying “My new single is such a lopsided seductive beast. Deep deep bass with a pop frosting and a growling lead yawp. It can be kind of sweet in places and then a dungeon-door-slamming-echoed-thud takes over; a contradiction in tones. It’s the boiled pot of the gumbo stew of black and white that is America; greed and innocence, joy and exhausted hustle. Might explain why we decided the packaging of the single would include an actual puzzle.

Money Grows on Your Knees instantly punches the air with heavy pressing beats soon joined by great expressive keys and the straight face vocals of Tyler. He is not a natural vocalist, his spoken word delivery a dulled edge to the vibrancy of the music but it soon persuades the longer the track plays with the ear. The persistence of the rhythmic seduction and equally tempting bass is near irresistible whilst the keys craft a warm engagement which holds the hand as the songs opens up its summer framed by additional vocals from a sirenesque female voice and singing from Tyler both standing behind his core gait of delivery. As one would expect the lyrics make you think without needing to spend over time evaluating their coaxing narrative whilst the brassy bellows of the synths are like small fanfares in the sultriness of the song’s skies. An encounter easily described as Jonathan Richman meets Jona Lewie whilst John Otway and Mike Doughty add their support, it has proved its dangerous contagiousness as whilst writing the review up to this point and listening to its throughout,  Money Grows on Your Knees has provided  a conclusive argument and won its case…or maybe just worn down the defences, whichever it is a devious little treat.

Accompanying the song on the single is Corny Song, a new track from Tyler. Energetic and mischievous the song was inspired by a show in the UK where he was promoting the Erection album. It like the first is not an instant draw and has yet to convince but again it lingers and teases long past its expiry time.

For quirky, unpolished, and honest indie/pop devilment the single is well worth a fun filled amble with, but be warned it will not be leaving you alone from that point on.

http://www.cutepoet.com/

7/10

RingMaster 23/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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