Estetica Noir – Purity

EN_RingMasterReview

There is no need of any written text to realise the inspirations to the sound of Italian band Estetica Noir, strong flavours which openly line each song within their debut album Purity. They weave haunting and atmospheric, frequently addictively infectious, proposals which court the imagination as easily as ears; all eighties new/dark wave influenced encounters as familiar as they are refreshingly fuelled by twenty first century imagination. The result is a sound which demands attention and a thoroughly enjoyable first album.

Hailing from Torino, Estetica Noir was formed by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Silvio Oreste and bassist Rik Guido in 2013. Their self-titled first EP came out in 2014 with a re-mastered re-release coming two years later, its body showing more of the electronic spicing which now adds to the tapestry of sound shaping Purity. With their track I Will Kill You making a potent addition to the For The Bats compilation and another in Beautiful Absence part of the third instalment of the series, the songs nesting between offerings from the likes of The March Violets, The Eden House, and The Danse Society, Estetica Noir have only lured increasing interest and support to match a praise drawing live presence seeing the quartet share stages with bands such as Christian Death and The Chameleons. Last year, Estetica Noir linked up with Italian label Red Cat for the release of Purity, both sure to come under greater spotlights due to the album’s captivating presence and character.

With its line-up completed by guitarist/backing vocalist Guido Pancani and drummer Paolo Accossato, Purity swiftly grabs ears with opener Hallow’s Trick. An initial electric shimmer of guitar is the spark for a great crystalline melodic hook within a fuzzy keys bred seducing around a swinging rhythmic coaxing. It is an instantly successful persuasion increased by the expressive tones of Oreste. Like Thomas Dolby meets the synth pop version of Ministry, the track strolls magnetically into the imagination, its virulent chorus inescapable bait for participation as it makes a powerful introduction to the release.

art_RingMasterReviewNext up Plastic Noosphere is no less a tempting; its own instinctive catchiness immediately grabbing body and appetite as guitars and keys conjure individually descriptive enterprise for a B-Movie meets She Wants Revenge like offering with a nagging rhythmic persistence from Guido and Accossato recalling the likes of Leitmotiv. As its predecessor, the song has ears in the palm of its creative hand before In Heaven provides a fiery romancing of ears with its steely guitar bred melodies, melancholic yet inviting bassline, and fuzzy keys. A thicker intensity and drama does little to lessen an inbred infectiousness in the Estetica Noir sound, rather showing the variety and imagination nurturing it, echoed again in the likes of Suicide Walk and I Hate.

The first of the two creeps around ears like atmospheric fog, almost prowling with its instrumental suggestiveness as a melodic radiance glows at its heart while the second straight away flirts with the senses through bold but controlled and imagination serenading melodies. It is just the opening shadow to another rampantly catchy escapade with lively beats and a just as tenacious brooding bassline calling from inside a web of feisty electronic and guitar spun temptation.

The outstanding Polarized brings its electro pop spiced exploit next, complete with another irresistible hook and smouldering keys in something akin to Nine Inch Nails meets Blancmange while Deluxe Lies Edition reveals the strength of inspiration the band find in The Cure, its dark climate and emotive shadows as inspired by Robert Smith and co as Oreste’s vocals. Both tracks captivate and inspire ears and imagination respectively, the adventure in the Estetica Noir creativity here and across Purity compelling.

Hypnagogia is a second instrumental which like its earlier companion is a provocative piece, its piano cored emotional shadow intriguing before the band gives its own touch to the Pet Shop Boys written, Eight Wonder track I’m Not Scared. It is another easy to embrace offering but lacks something the band’s own penned songs have, as emphasized by A Dangerous Perfection which follows. Laying somewhere between Modern English and again The Cure and early Ministry, the track throbs with rhythmic and melodic theatre as an epidemic of creative infection swarms through ears.

Completed by the melancholy haunted You Make Life Better, an imaginatively twisting and turning track as fascinating and persuasive as anything on the album, Purity leaves nothing but lingering pleasure in its wake. As mentioned, its influences are a strong texture in its body and songs but it is a ‘lack of uniqueness’ which matters little in the unbridled enjoyment found. If any of those influences mentioned hit the spot, checking out Estetica Noir is a must.

Purity is out now via Red Cat Records through most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 31/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Men In The Sky – If I Go

Men In the Sky_RingMaster Review

Dipping deeper into the pop rock infectiousness that lurked within the highly enjoyable walls of 2014 released EP, Version 1.0.1, UK electronic rockers Men In The Sky now unveil their new single If I Go. Still hugging ears with the electronic and synth sculpted prowess which marked that first encounter, the new track also shares open inspirations from eighties guitar pop to brew a virulence that has feet and hips as eagerly engaged as ears.

Men In the Sky cover_RingMaster Review   Men In The Sky is a Liverpool based British-Canadian collaboration consisting of band founder Gary Roberts (guitar and synths), Simon Mawson (vocals), Gavin Thomas (vocals), and Chad Montgomery (guitar). Last year saw the quartet joining Factory Records’ Michael Johnson in the studio to record and co-produce the Version 1.0.1 EP, a link-up repeated for If I Go with a freshly different but equally captivating result.

Whereas the EP sparked, across its diverse mix of songs, thoughts of bands like Depeche Mode, Visage, and Pet Shop Boys in varying degrees, If I Go invites thoughts of a Howard Jones, Scritti Politti, and Erasure with its melodic virulence and catchiness, though the potent whispers of Depeche Mode in the keys and New Order in the rich ambience seducing throughout the song are just as open.

An initial caress of guitar has ears quickly enticed, its invitation soon joined by a broader vision of its melody and a swift expressive weave of vocals and synths. The engaging swing of the song is a just as rapid temptation, its sway never relinquishing its alluring bait as melodies and sonic imagination flow effortlessly from guitars and keys. There is maybe an understandable familiarity to the track but that too only adds to the attraction and rosy colour of the song and its mesmeric persuasion. An electro pop tempting which you can imagine being as at home in the midst of its eighties inspirations as it is as a new flirty protagonist in the modern electro pop landscape, the single leaves ears and energies hungry for more.

If I Go is the best song to date from Men In The Sky, a venture into poppier climes it is easy to suggest could lead to rich success, if not now at some point ahead if its direction is continued to be explored more.

If I Go is released November 2015.

https://www.facebook.com/Men-In-The-Sky-291917267514298 http://men-in-the-sky.com/ https://twitter.com/SkyMen_offic

Pete RingMaster 02/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Men In The Sky – Version 1.0.1 EP

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     Version 1.0.1, the new EP from UK electronic rock band Men In The Sky is a stylish web of sound, a fusion of recognisable styles and influences woven into an inescapable net of refreshing and captivating temptation. The release is a magnetic adventure casting mesmeric melodies and attention stirring riffs as easily as it entwines an intrigue of samples and throaty bass seduction. The EP is not the most original thing you are going to hear this year with its rich eighties inspirations but certainly it is going to be one of the most flavoursome and enjoyable.

Hailing from Liverpool, Men In The Sky emerged in 2012 wearing inspirations openly on their sound’s sleeve from day one. The accompanying press sheet declares that the band ‘draws as much from the jazz-blues of Jeff Beck and the funk of Chic as it does from classic British New Wave.’ This is something you can only agree with as their release flirts and dances with the imagination yet there is plenty more whispers, loud and quieter, of bands and essences which springs from an encounter which still manages to be something new. Co-produced with Factory Records’ Michael Johnson, Version 1.0.1 romps and entices with ears and emotions from its first vibrant second, providing something familiar yet surprising.

The release opens with a track called Men In The Sky. Eighties bred synths immediately grasp attention around the first sample of the release, their touch crystalline but soon sharing a varied embrace of melodies, acidic and elegant. A 10410613_713652578674096_487800950591790924_nhint of Visage comes to the fore early on whilst an unavoidable reference to New Order, as across the EP, is swiftly offering its suasion. Soon into a pulsating stroll with melodic flourishes within an electro enticement, the song continues to swing contagiously with a funk lilted bassline and an electronic revelry leading the way. With thoughts of Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys in various degrees also offering their references, the overall body of the song actually reminds of early Ministry before Al found his muscular industrial aggression.

The track makes a great start to the proposition and is instantly backed up by latest single Doom. The track mixes an agitated enterprise of beats and riffs with another fluid stream of synth temptation, but this time around a stronger rock spine of sound and intent. As it persistently throbs on the senses with a healthy infectious smile, the song ripples with an essence of the songwriting of Vince Clarke but equally the funkier styling of Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh in their Heaven 17 era. It is an irresistible romp, just as unpredictable and enthralling as its predecessor but with an even catchier bait and mischievous side to its dance, especially shown in the Oingo Boingo like vocal twists.

The remaining pair of songs, Expect Anything and Stone has a task to match the previous songs and to be honest do not manage to reach the same heights yet easily leave ears happy and emotions keen. The first of the pair ventures further into the band’s rock creativity without neglecting the electronic tempting, infusing it with a more classically cultured grace and endeavour. With flames of guitar bringing a progressive texture to the mix the song reveals more of the depths and adventure to the band’s sound which is confirmed straight away by its successor. The final song was born to light up dance-floors with its flowing melodies and sparking electro enticement, though it is the reserved moment where the vocals are allowed to shine with their minimal presence that the song works best.

The track is a fine end to a masterfully charismatic and gripping encounter. One which is at its best in the first half but leaving a bulging satisfaction by its end through a quartet of absorbing songs. Version 1.0.1 has a potent effect on ears through to feet, thoughts on to emotions. It might not quite be your favourite release of the Summer but we suggest it will be the one you return to most often and not just for this passing season either.

The Version 1.0.1 EP is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/version-1.0.1-ep/id895145567

http://www.men-in-the-sky.com/

8/10

RingMaster 18/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Sin Cos Tan – Blown Away

Sin Cos Tan by Vilhelm Sjöström

Sin Cos Tan by Vilhelm Sjöström

With a sound as bracing and compelling as the concept story behind its narrative, Blown Away the third album from synth pop band Sin Cos Tan is another tantalising proposition from the Finnish duo. Flourishing from the potent base set by its two critically acclaimed predecessors as well as the band’s ever increasing reputation through live shows and festival appearances, the new release adds another twist to the creative web of intrigue which comes from the exploratory minds behind the project.

Consisting of Villa Nah songwriter/vocalist Juho Paalosmaa and producer/DJ Jori Hulkkonen (Processory) who has also worked with the likes of Pet Shop Boys, Chris Lowe, Jose Gonzalez, and Tiga, Sin Cos Tan follow their 2012 self-titled debut and the following Afterlife a year later, with a different kind of adventure. The album is centred round the concept story of Michael Burana, a middle-aged American man facing a dead-end job and a failed marriage. “To turn his life around, Michael decides to take a trip to Mexico, where he soon discovers a new career opportunity: that of a drug courier between the United States and South America. Blown Away picks up from the sunny beaches of Mexico, and follows Michael’s journey of newfound excess, fast money and hedonism; all the way to the corrupted heart of the Colombian cartels. Forever chasing the elusive ‘American Dream’, Michael’s tale is the soundtrack of a world like no other.” The tale is enveloped in a mix of electro and synth pop with a shoegaze like ambience which caresses the senses with a melodic beauty whilst inciting imagination and feet to embark on their own instinctive exploits. Blown Away is a captivating journey which even with a few less successful moments for personal tastes makes for an unrelentingly enthralling proposition.

The story opens with Divorcee and warm waves lapping upon a balmy atmosphere over enticing melodies. It is not long before the similarly tender coaxing vocals of Paalosmaa, amidst an irresistible web of guitar enterprise and pulsating image002bass breath, adds further simmering heat to the instantly delicious song. It is the perfect pop song, every twist coming with unpredictable yet welcoming ideation and a warmly embracing infectiousness. There is an eighties air to the track too, thoughts of China Crisis and Paul Haig coming to the fore with hints as the opener lights up ears and emotions. Its success is not quite matched but superbly supported by the following pulsating stroll of Love Sees No Colour. With a slightly punchier urgency to its rhythmic intent and pungent electro canvas, the song colours thoughts with a sultry twang of guitar and expressive keys. There is an OMD essence to the song’s elegant melodic croon which in turn is given extra evocative texture and weight by horn like flames and the incessant stride romping through the middle of it all.

A New World brings a danger in its touch, shadows flirting with the draw of the keys and the persistently mellow and inviting vocals. The song is like a drive through a new landscape, fleeting glimpses of emotive hues and potent melodic colouring stalked by an intimidating breath offered by the bass tones stalking the track. It is a treat for the imagination, allowing thoughts to cast their own premise whilst keys and voice take care of ears with poise and temptation. It does not quite live up to the first pair but certainly outshines next up Colombia. The slow provocative nature of the song with growing melodies and inventive keys makes for an expansive investigation of the tale within the album but the singular vocal delivery of Paalosmaa falls short and lacks the spark shown previously and when effects wrap his tones elsewhere in the song. It is too much at odds with the music but nevertheless the song is an engaging encounter, though soon a distant memory through the great dances of Lifestyle and Traffic.

The first of the two is a festival of sonic colour and mouth-watering endeavour, rhythms a magnetic revelry and keys a refreshing breeze. As much as they impress and ignite ears, it is the anthemic blaze of the chorus with Paalosmaa back on compelling form which steals the passions. Like a familiar friend yet entirely new, the chorus is an irresistible lure which makes a masterful temper and compliment to the more reserved but lively sounds around it. The instrumental travelogue of Traffic bubbles from its first note; keys and beats an invigorated provocation within a wind of crystalline scenes and turns, all swiftly passing into new aural sights for ears and thoughts.

The darker tone and presence of Addiction is a thrilling combination of imposing shadows and ominous melodies but with the constantly inviting vocals and more sparkling melodies it all merges for an imposing and engrossing mix. Its successor Cocaine offers the darkest twist of the album, its noir kissed climate of brass and desperation edged vocals aligned to drama bred keys, a disturbed but again enthralling and scintillating provocation for senses and imagination.

The release is completed by firstly the John Foxx like title track, with its emotional chills and haunted air, before the emotionally raw and inflamed presence of Heart Of America brings its epilogue of reality to bear on story and thoughts. Both are gripping turns in the album and as singular incitements, bringing the excellent Blown Away to a tense and fascinating conclusion. Quite simply Sin Cos Tan works on all aspects of the listener with their latest proposition and leaves a lingering and blissfully full appetite in its wake.

Blown Away is available now in CD digipak, gatefold vinyl LP, and download formats via http://solinarecords.com/

http://sincostan.net

8.5/10

RingMaster 18/08/2014

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Mr.Kitty: Life

Mr.Kitty

Like a knowing soundtrack to every aspect of its title, Life the new album from US musician Mr.Kitty is a canvas for reflection, emotive dance, and drifts into diverse enveloping feelings inspired by its elegant and beautifully sculpted beauty. The most complete and rounded release from the Dallas based artist to date, the fifteen track album is a rich and smouldering wash of electronic pop and new wave adventure, an album to ignite the senses and invite the passions into a long and ardour fuelled companionship.

Mr.Kitty is Forrest Carney, who takes his inspirations from an eclectic array of artists such as Joy Division, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Crystal Castles, Pictureplane, and Grimes. His music employs numerous flavours and textures in addition to the basic tag we previously mentioned, elements of eighties post punk, gothic emotiveness, and electro ambience all playing their part in the depth and distinct characters of sound and individual songs. Released with Engraved Ritual, Life is the fourth album from Mr.Kitty, and part of a four album series consisting of two “light” and two “dark” albums, this drawing on the lighter shade of his imagination, though it is not without its rich and mesmeric shadows.

From opening song Insects, the album as well as seducing the ear and senses provides a visual backdrop to its songs in its coveratmospheric narratives and colour soaked expressive breath. Evocative and with lush emotional hues, Life provides the paint box and aural paper for the listener to explore their own dark corners and heart bred thoughts as well as those offered by and of the artists himself. Insects is an immediate medium to ignite those interactive qualities, its animated stroll and pulsating rhythmic veining an absorbing lure with the crystalline electro oscillation alongside another mesmeric suasion. The vocals of Mr.Kitty soon caress the ear with a sultry lure to their soothing texture, the artist a constant tempter across every song with his impressive and expressive delivery. The eighties inspiration is open within song and album though only another breeze to the refreshing wind wrapping the listener from the very first minute.

The impressive start is soon equalled by both Heaven and Unstable, the first cradling the senses with a choral kiss of angelic harmonies before heady rhythms and cantering melodic synth fascination emerges to explore the lofty heights already in place. The song bounds over thoughts and emotions with eagerness but a respectful energy that seduces the imagination and opens up its romance and that of its recipient. Like its predecessor it is virulently infectious, the roaming electronic atmosphere a spark to the simpler but no less effective and irresistible hooks and has thoughts in lustful expectations for its successors, something the darker but no less contagious Unstable feeds with poise and beauty. Across its provocative and slightly sinister embrace there is a Depeche Mode call to the veiled heart but again only a taste fused into something transparently contagious and unique.

Through the harsher touch of Sacrifice with its riveting and senses worrying intro and caustic intent, Holy Death where the vocals have a Dave Gahan lilt at times, and the excellent Labyrinth, the album continues to stretch the journey and venture into a wealth of emotions and thought taunting scenarios. The latter of the trio brings a Visage like melodic tonic to its glorious smouldering presence and though at times you want to sing “Fade To Grey” as the bulbous melodies suggest their source, the song is another striking highlight.

Those pinnacles just keep coming though as tracks such as the exceptional London, a song enjoying the added siren call of female vocals within its Pet Shop Boys like waltz, the stunning gothic cast Dearlove, and the intense Choke with its shadow fuelled drama, all explore imaginatively further impacting emotion lit pastures. With so many songs there are rare moments where some hold a similarity as they hold hands but it is rare and such the strength and potency of each and every one it is an ‘issue’ you are searching for just to offer up as a temper to the otherwise full acclaim it is hard not to place over Life.

As the closing Father provides the deepest emotive honesty of the album, the artist unafraid to venture where pain dwells, Life leaves a powerful and lingering imprint on mind and heart. It is an outstanding encounter that leaves no emotional stone unturned yet does so with a light and melodic energy which captures the passions. Mr.Kitty is destined to take electronic pop to new fields, Life the impossible to dismiss evidence.

https://www.facebook.com/mrkittydm

9/10

RingMaster 05/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Low Sea – Remote Viewing

Low Sea

    With eleven pulsating bubbles of electro pop which disperse upon the senses like a warm Technicolor monsoon of  liquid aural crystals, Remote Viewing from Low Sea is a scintillating embrace with rewards at every corner of its sultry shadows and dazzling breath. The album from the pair of Bosnian Billie and Liverpudlian Bobby D enchants and mesmerises with a temptation which is blessed by sirens and borne of the most vibrant electronic breath.

The Ireland based duo first met while living in the United States, Billie having fled to San Francisco when the war in Bosnia broke out. Finding a bond the two released a mini album on US-based Lefse Records before working with Dell’Orso Records with the view to creating ‘a narcotic pop album’, something you can say they succeeded in doing with Remote Viewing. A big chunk of the album was recorded and self-produced in a cottage overlooking a light house and harbour in the isolated fishing village on the Irish coast where they live, the other songs mixed by Stephen Hague (Pet Shop Boys, New Order, PIL), including the lead single/title track. With a sound described as “Julee Cruise on sedatives”, the duo has produced an album which washes over the senses like a seductive warm tide rippling with the rays and shine of an eager sun. It is magnetic and hypnotic, occasionally inflicted with a drifting similarity which reduces the fullest potency of some songs, but throughout it is a compelling ambient persuasion to which resistance is a missing ingredient.

Affliction Of Love is the first teasing embrace, its pulsating presence littered with growing radiance and inviting sultriness. Immediately thoughts of the likes of Altered Images, The Mouth Of Ghosts, Propaganda, and Daisy Chainsaw lift above the parapet admittedly as much for the inciting vocals of Billie as the expansive heat of sound. The energetic start makes way for the more reserved but equally as enthralling Sentimental Games. The song entwines intriguingly around the senses, its heart radiating with a golden electro sheen and the deliciously sirenesque vocals wrapping the passions around each and every syllable and emotive charm. The Cellophane Flowers like lilt to the song like the first song brings a slight familiarity to its open distinctiveness, a delightful paradox to immerse within whilst basking in its smouldering kiss.

Across the New Order inspired title track with its wonderful dark prowl within electronic flames, the sensational Starlight, and the equally impressive Cast A Cold Eye, the album brings a growing ardour for its wantonness to bear. The second of the three is a celestial sunrise of instinctive rhythmic energy and angelic harmonies which soaks every atom for immediate obedience whilst the third has the darker edges of early pre-split Human League. Its haunting warmth and niggling underlying taunt is a perfect merger of extremes and sonic devilment as well as another major highlight on the album.

Breathing In Too Fast steps forward with another irresistible stroll; the gnarly resonance of the intense bass sounds a shadow of the most addictive primal stance and again offers an impossibly compulsive fusion of extremes with the melodic electro dew and vocal beauty of Billie eager companions.

Arguably as the closing few songs make their undoubted stunning contributions there is a slight lack of surprise accompanying them, the vocals and synths playing with existing armoury explored on the album but in saying that each track like Alex and the epic touching Last Rain to name two still ignite the passions and appetite for so much more from the band. Remote Viewing is a wonderful album, a release which brings the darkest seductive shadows and evocative ambiences to the most vibrant and mischievous electro dance sunsets.

http://www.facebook.com/lowseamusic

8.5/10

RingMaster 08/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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These Reigning Days : Living It Up

Made up of musicians with a pedigree which places the trio on an immediate accomplished level before a note is heard, UK band These Reigning Days has in its relatively short life been on a definite and steep rise. Formed by Dan Steer the former frontman and songwriter of The Quails, the band opened up their live aspect barely six months ago by supporting Metronomy and with the acclaimed release of their debut single Changes alongside, the Devon based three piece took no time in waking up and drawing strong attentive ears their way.

Releasing second single Living It Up, the band easily concretes and improves upon the impression from their debut of a more than solid unit capable of fusing strong melodies and intelligent songwriting into one infectious atmospheric sound. The new single lights the touch paper to the belief and promise that the band is well on course to becoming a major force in UK music, whether sooner or later it seems a must and with the talk of their impending debut album confidently laying claim to brilliance it could be the former.

Completed by bassist/vocalist Jonny Finnis (Numb) and drummer Joe Samsone (Morph), These Reigning Days create sounds to energise the ear through a blend of indie rock invention flavoured by mesmeric electro touches which without standing directly out tease and bewitch within the as on Living It Up, anthemic surging heavier sounds. Produced by Yoad Nevo (Pet Shop Boys, Duran Duran, Girls Aloud, Goldfrapp) the song is an expansive and enveloping weave of passion and stirring energy which leaves a lasting welcome impression long after its departure.

The track opens with the emotive tones of Steer cupped in the hands of elegant atmospheric keys and a building expressive ambience. It soon opens its arms to offer a muscular intensity evolving into a rampant and pulse racing energy but just as your expectations steady for the crescendo the song slips into its emotional shadows again to wrap further around the senses. With beautifully crafted continual switches between the slower impassioned grace and the lively almost feisty energy the song is a deliciously unpredictable yet undemanding pleasure.

If the album has songs even more enjoyable than Living It Up then it is sure to justify the high claim coming before it, if they are simply comparable to this single it will be a release which will enchant and excite multitudes and see These Reigning Days leaping to the fore front of UK indie music.

www.thesereigningdays.co.uk

RingMaster 26/07/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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