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

Inwolves – Involves

inwolves-front_RingMasterReview

In music the imagination needs feeding as much as ears and that is certainly what Involves masterfully achieves. The new album from the dark cinematic invention of Inwolves, the release takes the listener on a host of individual journeys and sonically eventful adventures which, whilst carrying their own suggestive dramas, sparks the mind to create its own imagined exploits in tandem. It is one of the most fascinating and provocative collections of aural experiences and sonic explorations for thoughts and emotions to immerse in, and in turn one of the most beguiling listens in a long time.

The project consists of Karen Willems, previously a drummer for a.o. Yuko who has also worked with Dirk Serries on Cycle and the Zita Swoon Group among several side projects, alongside Jürgen De Blonde and Ward Dupan. Their sound draws on the inspiration of seventies “kosmische musik” as it ventures into explorations of electronic and spatial soundscapes drawn from the predominant palette of drums, guitars, and synths textures. To be honest listening to Involves shows that any attempted hint to their music is persistently redundant as each track comes, infests, and seduces the imagination with its own uniqueness. To put it simply, the band creates expansive tapestries of sound and styles which certainly our interpretations can only attempt to provide a clue to.

Involves opens with I Va Va Vimedoom, an initially shadow wrapped persuasion swiftly engaging ears and thoughts with its melancholic synth cast entrance. There is a childlike innocence to the single melody courting the darker hues, though it soon, as the senses, enveloped by the portentous electronic smog that rolls in like stormy invasive clouds. Peace becomes tempestuous, emerging finally again to stand as that lonely initial charm within an absence of everything which shaped its birth.

It is a magnetic thought provoking start, though further contemplation is put on hold as Minimal steps forward next to bewitch and seduce. From its post punk scented electronic opening, exotic melodies and rhythms jostle for attention; eventually sharing ears as a south west Asia flavoured tempting wraps the senses and imagination. Closing eyes and allowing thoughts to wander brings a personal flight across Abyssinian and Mesopotamian landscapes but one surrounded by lurking dangers and encroaching dark times which in turn leads to thoughts to the destruction of ancient sites by modern terrorism.

The track is irresistible, as too is the following sinisterly toned Vladimir. The track is again an imagination nurturing episode on the album’s creative narrative. It easily incites mental and emotional involvement as its popping beats become entangled in a dark web of sonic and suggestive intrigue which blossoms around them. There is a kinetic virulence to the rhythmic shuffle also gripping attention before the track suddenly turns on its head and swims with synths into a dark bluesy and increasingly intensive devouring of the senses. There is a sixties hue to its controlled yet intimidating new tempestuousness, Procol Harum coming to mind initially as streams of orchestral and gothic flames rise up to evoke further persuasion upon the listener.

Strange Waltz provides exactly what its name implies; its opening muggy sonic climate eventually descending into clarity and a slow and flirtatious but again sinister three step shuffle as darkly romantic as it is emotionally apocalyptic, and ridiculously compelling. Maybe not the intention but the instrumental plays like a death dance within the imagination, suggesting and enthralling before the cosmopolitan business of Intown takes the listener down a whole different highway. Krautrock and slimline but pungent industrial essences converge on ears, the analogue embraced romancing of the recording, as across the album, memory provoking as too the bordering on obsessively rhythmic prowess which invites thoughts of bands like Kraftwerk and Neu! to the hypnotic endeavour.

Involves is completed by firstly, the invasively dark and increasingly distressed and psychotic Dirty Monks, a track unleashing a maelstrom of tortured voices and souls within its cathedral spawned ravenously shadowed depths. Its suffocating majesty subsequently makes way for the closing suggestive alchemy of Be Kind. The track is a cosmically spiced venture with Devo-esque tones to its electronics and Landscape like mystique to its discord and melody woven spatial drama. It is also another enslaving attention as it leads ears into a revolving flight of intimate and broad aural stimulation, every turn fresh from the previous with vocals an extra stirring spicing to the array of captivating textures.

It is hard to accurately describe Involves or its individual temptations but fair to say each will feel a unique experience for every singular exploration into a band which specialises in creating, to borrow the last words of their press release, “a world of endless possibilities.”

Involves is out now via Consouling Sounds and @ http://inwolves.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/Inwolves-266399616750821

Pete RingMaster 30/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Dollhouse – Dawning and Rolling Around/Laudanum

Dollhouse_RingMaster Review

Allow us to introduce you to UK band Dollhouse, a quartet from Stroud with a sound that whilst still brewing and evolving is already showing the potential of becoming something special. To be fair, as the pair of newer songs we are looking at show, there is a compelling imagination and potency to the band’s music already. It is a sound bred from potent essences from Krautrock and garage rock but again on the evidence of Dawning and Rolling Around and Laudanum alone, the prime heart of their creativity is post punk.

There is little background we can offer about Dollhouse, except that the band consists of vocalist Zak Thomas-Akoo, guitarist/backing vocalist Will Ainsley, bassist Nick Browning, and drummer Tom Stevens. Inspirations to the band include the likes of Massive Attack, Groove Armada, Portishead, Can, Hot Chip, and Joy Division, the latter and similar genre influences the most open flavouring to certainly this riveting pair of songs, though a look at the band’s SoundCloud account sees those other spices woven into a handful of diversely sounding songs.

   Dawning and Rolling Around quickly grips ears and our ever ready appetite for post punk with its opening resonance of beats aligned to a brooding bass lure. As a slim and potent sonic lure of guitar joins the plain but effective vocals, there is no escaping the feel of Ian Curtis and co, a swiftly enjoyable haunting which only increases its grip as rhythms twist and the guitar moves through its shades of melodic colour and emotive expression. At the same time an infectious swing grows, emerging halfway with an Artery meets Crispy Ambulance like temptation, hooks and bass bait still undeterred in their creation of aural addiction. The track is outstanding, the recommended doorway into the emerging adventure of Dollhouse, though Laudanum is strong on the art of tempting too.

Again beats and guitar make an early beckoning but with them comes a slightly warmer and alluring air which further opens up as a catchy hook lined stroll breaks out along with a less intensive, compared to the other track, flow and tone of the vocals. Keys suggest as they caress the imagination with mellow vocals and restrained but potent rhythms fuelling the sonic web increasingly wrapping ears and appetite. Like a chilled mix of Modern Eon, The Associates, and OMD, the song enthrals and intrigues, and though it takes longer to ignite the same level of greed in body and thoughts as Dawning and Rolling Around, it too becomes a lingering slice of thorough enjoyment.

It is only the beginning for Dollhouse, and as their SoundCloud shows there is plenty of experimentation going on as the band develops into their own sound. With more propositions like this pair of tracks though, they are certainly heading towards stirring up strong attention with a following to match, for sure amongst post punk fans.

Explore the Dollhouse sound @ http://www.soundcloud.com/bewildereduk

https://www.facebook.com/thedollhouseband

Pete RingMaster 11/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Atlanter – Vidde

atlanter pic

Norwegian band Atlanter creates a brew of rock which in the words of the accompanying promo is ‘inspired by desert blues, by German krautrock and by old delta blues. All this is done with a Norwegian twist and point of view, and is perhaps best described as Norwegian mountainblues.’ This may be so but the most important and accurate description you need is that their sound is a warm and vibrate dance on the senses and imagination which is at ease with either a muscular or melodically seductive gait, and even more so at combining the two in a blaze of inventive and inspiring enterprise.

Atlanter was formed by vocalist/guitarist Jens Carelius and guitarist Arild Hammerø, two artists not strangers to acclaim and success with their solo work; Caerlius with his albums The First Songs (2008), The Beat Of The Travel (2009), and The Architect (2011), and folk singer Hammerø through his releases Dagen Som Gryr of 2008, Flåte of 2012 which saw him alongside Daniel Herskedal under the name Hammer & Hersk, and as part of the electronica duo Ost & Kjex. Joined by drummer Jonas Barsten Johnsen (CCTV, Frøy Aagre, Disaster in the Universe) and bassist Morten Kvam (Jens Carelius, Siri Nilsen and a number of jazz ensembles), the Oslo quartet has in new album Vidde created a sultry fire of folk rock and progressive seduction which transports the listener into the arms of a blues and desert rock expanse. It is a powerfully persuasive release which lays down a landscape also employing a wind of American country rock which shows how varied and full it is, especially when you add in the darker tones of shadows found in Helldorado and the spiritually psychedelic whispers of Spirits Of The Dead which also place a rich caress on the impressive release.

From the opener Tree Song there feels a freedom and loose spirit to the release which makes each encounter a new venture and one 485978_323451297764154_1100044288_nassumes live a continually evolving proposition. From its undefined intro a guitar begins coaxing the ear though soon joined by a moody and vibrant bass call and instantly exciting drum temptation. Vocal harmonies reservedly add to the ambience soon after to charm out full attention which is then rewarded by the catchy imaginative shuffle, drums and bass remaining in their already hypnotic stance, and the joint delivery of Carelius and Hammerø making for a richly pleasing combination vocally and musically. There is constantly little and larger things going on in the song, every second an adventure within an adventure which intrigues and captivates from start to finish. It is a scintillating beginning which leaves a flavour enriched appetite fully awoken.

Both Aye and Kaktos continue to feed that emerged hunger with ease, the first another different but near riotous folk clad boogie through the ear with an energy and passion that fidgets magnetically throughout driven by the again outstanding rhythmic temptation of Barsten Johnsen. With the guitars teasing notes into picturesque descriptions to paint thoughts and the vocals equally as potent, the track is an immense imaginative lure to which full involvement is inevitable. Its successor then wraps a shimmering rich western tone to its body, that Helldorado reference coming into play as the tale unfolding engulfs thoughts into a sultry picture of emotive and reflective intensity. As its predecessors the track is a glorious creative and infectious fire to dive often for an ever expanding experience.

After the brief acoustic call of Air, an ok track but pale compared to what came before, the album re-grips full attention with the excellent guitar twanged and sculpted mystique of More Juice Than Zeus and the exotic almost Eastern climes of Pike. Both tracks steer emotions to the door of the place the opening trio of songs forged, if without crossing the threshold, whilst the pulsating melodic and sonic kisses of Waking push emotions that little further into rapture.

Completed by the elegantly shaped instrumental Ling and the rawer countryesque Desert, the album is a thrilling companion to ear and thoughts. Admittedly its first half outweighs its second in irresistibility but from the opening poke of the ear to the last expressive note of Vidde, Atlanter immerse the listener in spellbinding enjoyment. Hopefully the Jansen Plateproduksjon released album is just the start for the band as it could be very easy to get used to this type of aural escapade.

https://www.facebook.com/atlanternorway

8.5/10

RingMaster 26/08/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com