Spookshow Inc. – Visions Of The Blinded World pt I & II

 

Four years after Part I unleashed its “furiously agitated entrapment of industrial, metal, and electro rock”, a rousing accompaniment to an impending apocalypse, Part II of Visions Of The Blinded World is here to not only continue the arcane adventure but take it into a whole new level of dark deeds and senses trespassing contagion. The project is from Norwegian trio Spookshow Inc., a band which has been curiously ignored by bigger attention so far, a blind eye which if continuing after the full release of Visions Of The Blinded World will be criminal.

The beginning of Spookshow Inc. goes all the way back to 2003 when Lucky Spook (guitar, programming, songwriting, producer) and Soltex (vocals) came together and began creating and nurturing their individual fusion of industrial and heavy metal with electro rock. As proven by the 2014 released Visions Of The Blinded World pt I, there are plenty of other rich flavours to the band’s asylum of sound, Middle Eastern hues alone an inescapably alluring ingredient. With the band’s line-up completed by bassist/keyboardist Sharaz who featured on the final few songs recorded for its predecessor, the second part of Visions Of The Blinded World is an even richer affair of sound and styles, a bolder adventure in an already eager collusion of essences sure to appeal to any appetites for the likes of Pink Floyd, Prodigy, Rob Zombie, KMFDM, NIN, and Pitchshifter.

Visions Of The Blinded World pt I & II has been released as a complete package and should be listened as one to grasp its full dark majesty though each part firmly captivates alone too. It makes for a journey which leaves ears, body and imagination as aroused as they are disturbed, as inspired and animated as they are haunted. As we have covered part I previously, which you can read here, we will explore the second part of the creative emprise, a canter through the haunting shadows and ravenous dissonance of a dystopian landscape lost in extinction luring bedlam. Note though that the first ‘side’ of the album contains two brand new tracks in the shapes of the Seven Trumpets, a track sparked by the biblical legend of the same name but an echo of a split personality, and the horror movie like Lizard Eyes.

Pt II opens up with Virtual Insanity, electronic sparkling the gateway to an infernal surge of electro rock predation as ravenously hungry as it is virulently catchy. Even so, its instinctive urgency has an underlying premeditation of devious intent, melodies and calmer but darker twists adding to the track’s inescapable invasion. Something akin to Rabbit Junk meets Fear Factory, the track instantly has the project’s second part off to a flyer but also connects seamlessly to the nature and presence of the first part of Visions Of The Blinded World.

Already breathless from the superb thickly rousing start, the band show no mercy as Devil’s Triangle surges in with similarly uproarious energy and intent, Spook’s guitar gnawing away at ears as beats swipe at the senses,  Soltex’s vocals in turn matching their boisterous appetites with eagerness and attitude. Again momentary detours bring darker trespass rather than a chance to take a breath, it all adding up to another galvanic assault.

Next up Mindgame does bring calm, its melodic caresses courted by demonic tones of voice and intimation, a sonic Garden of Eden oasis in some ways. Featuring XRC, the track smoulders with toxic beauty; those Eastern hues enticing with siren-esque seduction as darkness await new arrivals. Enthralling and haunting in its distraction, the song slips away for the advancing savage addiction and voracious heavy swing of Little Pill. Eating away at thoughts and senses from its initial original cinematic drama to its esurient stalking, evil soaking every note and castigating syllable, the track with Subliminal Mentality guesting equally got under the skin and nagged away thereon in.

Blackbird From Karachi with D.Tschirner involved is a deceptive creature; evolving from its initial serenade into another predatory confrontation courting chaos and corrosion with almost pernicious incitement, every moment unpredictable and disturbing before the outstanding Prison Planet casts its specific trap. A galactic tango which had the body bouncing and imagination conjuring as intrigue and espionage fuel every contagious touch, it in turn departs to encourage the emotionally harmful but physically infectious dance of Falling Down Pt. I. All three tracks simply hit the spot, repetition occurring across the whole of the album as proven yet again by the dark carnival of Cold Frantic Boy, this another track mixing flirtation and catchy harassment with cinematic intimation as cold vocals bring their own toxic fascination pretty meaning submission to its dark glamour was inevitable.

Across the likes of Match Of The Century / A. Crowley Vs. A. Einstein with its increasingly volatile and ominous disquiet around a hypothetical chess game between the two protagonists and Kissing In Graveyards featuring Underworld, another slice of aural insidiousness, the album continued taking ears and pleasure into new dark corners, the release magnetically broadening its maze of sound and creative villainy before stretching it again with the glorious Midnight Tango, a mesmeric psych surf piece with a caress of The Doors and Calling All Astronauts to its dark rock ‘n’ roll.

The final pair of Follow Me, a carnal trespass of pestilence-laden temptation, and Battle For Babylon with R. Carey (an English- New Zealand based artist better known as Fiery Jack (The Teapot Goblins)) a guest in its stark yet rousing smouldering epilogue, provide a compelling conclusion to the relentlessly enthralling release. In some ways they lack the rousing bait of their predecessors but in just as many are cast in mutually potent lures of dark emotive suggestion.

As suggested the biggest rewards come from listening to Visions Of The Blinded World pt I & II as one but certainly not essential as proven by the individual galvanic prowess of each track. Spookshow Inc. has created a landscape bred in the world’s turbulence and destruction; Part I made us want to know more, the stunning Part II sparked the desire to be lost in its impeding tempest with the band’s sounds for company.

Visions Of The Blinded World pt I & II is available now @ https://spookshowinc.bandcamp.com/album/spookshow-inc-visions-of-the-blinded-world-pt-i-ii

https://www.spookshowinc.com/   https://www.facebook.com/spookshowinc/

Pete RingMaster 02/11/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lara Smiles – All For You

There are times when you can only expect plaudits and ears to come chasing an encounter and one such moment is surely to surround the release of the debut album from British singer songwriter Lara Smiles. A truly magnetic festival of resourceful sounds and lively imagination, All For You is as rich in its variety and enterprise as it is determined in its aim to get the body bouncing and involved in inhibition losing fun. It is a treat of an introduction which just seems to get more impressive and manipulative by the listen.

With music never far from her ears and passion since a young child, seeds laid by the sounds her parents were playing, Lara has grown to embrace a host of styles and flavours which has nurtured the variety and diversity in her own writing and music. Among a host of major inspirations, the likes of Tina Turner, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Queen, Prodigy, The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Muse, Beth Ditto, Green Day and Middle Eastern music heavily feature yet as her first full-length reveals, they have only gone to spark her own musical individuality. Since emerging she has also become a praise drawing presence on the UK live scene supporting the likes of Pete Doherty and playing some of the biggest festivals, including Glastonbury four times, the Isle of Wight Festival, and The Great Escape as well as also finding herself collaborating with The Orb, guesting on the new Shed Seven album, Instant Pleasures, and singing with The Australian Pink Floyd Show for the past eight years.

Mixed by Jamie Grashion and legendary producers Michael Rendall and Martin Glover aka Youth (Primal Scream, The Orb, Pink Floyd), her self-produced debut album is poised to thrust Lara into the limelight in her own rights. That is our expectations here and every venture through All For You only cements our thoughts.

© Hannah Smiles

Breeding a boisterous and tenacious, often ferocious blend of alternative rock and contagion loaded pop with a just as eager appetite for punk, electro and industrial rock with plenty more besides, the album opens up with the swiftly and increasingly magnetic Coincidence. A spiral of electronic enticement entangles ears first as crisp beats pounce, their combined lure soon reinforced by the hungry riffs of Lara’s guitar. Instantly intrigue and drama lines every emerging tendril turning, it evolving crystalline glamour and beauty as the song breaks into a melodic stroll alongside the seductive tones of Lara. The mercurial edge to the track though continues as its writhes around like a creative dervish, tantalising and fascinating at every turn whilst getting the release off to a tremendous start.

It is an overall inescapable enticement which continues through the following Save Yourself. Bubbling electronics and boisterous guitar align to the darker stroll of Joe Singfield’s bass as the rustle of Sara Leigh’s beats tease before leading the song in its own individual canter. In turn there is a devious urgency and aggressiveness which breaks out as the chorus escapes a calmer build up though that too has a dramatic edge which just sparks the imagination as potently as ears. Lara’s vocals have rich variety which relish her imagination and the equally diverse tapestry of sounds she ventures forth across this track alone it emerging as a compelling slice of punk lined pop ‘n’ roll.

The album’s title track comes next, bounding in on an irresistible incitement of a bassline which continues to manipulate as vocals and melodies dance. Ridiculously infectious and persuasive to hips and vocal chords, the track simply seduced compliance and participation whilst igniting an already firmly placed appetite for the release before Dictate Peace explores a whole new landscape of Eastern spiced teasing and imagination. Its summery stroll and breeze radiates captivation but also the darker shadows and strains of drama which impose their intrigue throughout; it all adding to a riveting invention which sees the listener taken through a web of creative espionage.

And It Hurts follows with its initial gentle elegant charms to the fore. They continue to entice as the fire in the heart and belly of the song smoulders and ignites note by note. With its blaze increased, energy erupts but so too another striking collusion of textures and flavours with the track continuing the great unpredictability of its predecessors and their instinctive contagion.

The folkish grace and melodic beauty of Oh How is pretty much aural intoxication straight after, Lara’s voice intimation carrying seduction and radiance while Disconnected provides a controlled but virulent contagion of pop rock with a compelling blend of spikiness and winning grins to its stomp. In turn, Zombie preys on the senses and body with its emotive irritability and electro funk catchiness. Like all tracks, it soon reveals its individually inventive escapade of unexpected twists which only accelerate its slavery of ears and involvement.

Penultimate song, The Fightings Over, needs mere seconds to have everything robustly involved in its punk ‘n’ rock bred bounce as thoughts align to its lyrical exploration, a tempestuousness in its air and attitude only adding to the incendiary theatre perfectly setting up the contrasting mellow and glowing yet melancholic repose of final track, Turn It Around. The individuality of this pair alone songs epitomises the variety thick All For You as a whole and of Lara’s songwriting which seems so effortlessly to cast real diversity and adventure.

There have been a few releases which have truly inspired and aroused us here this year, a couple this month alone and All For You sits boldly alongside giving real undiluted pleasure. Whether it sees Lara Smiles a household name we will see but it will surely establish her as one of our most exciting and unique talents.

All For You is released September 7th via iTunes and other stores with its album launch show @ the Sebright Arms, London August 30th.

http://www.larasmiles.com/   https://www.facebook.com/larasmilesmusic/   https://twitter.com/LaraSmilesMusic

Pete RingMaster24/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Freak Injection – Freak Is Fashion

Unleashing in the words of its press release, “Blood, Sex and Psycho!” the Freak Is Fashion EP is quite simply a temptation rather hard not to get down and sweaty with. It is a new slice of devilment from French industrial/electro rockers Freak Injection, a rousing four track escapade fusing the familiar and the fresh in a roar sure to inspire the freak in us all.

It is fair to say that big surprises are not as prevalent within Freak Is Fashion as flavours which tempt like old friends yet the Paris hailing quartet create an aural captivation and physical incitement many unique offerings can only dream of. Inspiration to Freak Injection comes from the likes of the Prodigy, Nine Inch Nails, Nina Hagen, Madonna, and Marilyn Manson, though Freak Is Fashion leaps upon the listener more like an insatiable fusion of Animal Alpha, Die So Fluid, and The Guilt with Kontrust like lunacy leading and fuelling it all.

With the raw essences of metal and punk colluding with electro and industrial revelry, the Freak Injection sound needs little time to infest ears and psyche as EP opener and title track reveals. As soon as its initial electro spiral is joined by distortion kissed vocal coaxing, there is no r escaping the song’s devilry and rebellious intent. Within a breath rhythms are pounding upon the senses like migraine, riffs simultaneously harrying them with their dirty tone as hooks and electronic bait are unleashed with insatiable intent. The vocals of Charlie RED just as swiftly get a hold of ears, her infectious guile and mischief accompanied by the melodic teasing of guitarist MAC-F as Kevin Hapexia’s bass heavily prowls. Continuing to probe with the swinging beats of Anthony bordering on the psychotic at times, the track makes a riveting and body rousing trespass to kick things off, its schizophrenic character increasingly unveiled as its bounds along.

The following Sex Me is an instantly panting arousal of sound and creative intrigue, its introduction a slower, more controlled yet insatiable proposal with instinctive seduction lining every note, beat, and vocal taunting. With an increasing swagger, riffs grow in weight and rhythms in impact but equally so too does an unpredictable web of twists and deceitful turns never going quite where you expect and greatly pleasing because of it. Again it is hard to say that the song is truly unique, certainly not across its whole body yet there are only fresh and enthralling times in its midst. It is qualities equally found within successor Crosses, a meaty stomping of electro pop ‘n’ roll which has the body bouncing,  hips swerving, and vocal chords induced within its first anthemic roar. Charlie is again a beacon within a blaze of tenacious captivation naturally fitting and sparking rock ‘n’ roll instincts.

The release is completed by Psycho (Russian Boy), an emboldened motivation of sound which arguably fits expectations of the tags given to the band’s sound more than most but brews volatility in its rock ‘n’ roll which just detonates in ears. It is a high-voltage end to a creatively bustling and animated, not forgetting fervour driven, rampage that the inner freak just cannot refuse.

Freak Is Fashion is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/Freakinjectionmusic/    https://twitter.com/Freak_Injection

Pete RingMaster 23/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Rousing waltzes and alluring confrontations: talking Calling All Astronauts with David Bury

Calling All Astronauts_RingMaster Review

British electro rockers Calling All Astronauts continued an inescapable trend of releasing some of the UK’s finest provocative and rousing encounters with their new album Anti-Social Network a short few weeks back. An uncaging of snarling and virulent rock ‘n’ roll with a political and emotional bite, the album showed the addictive prowess of CAA in getting bodies bouncing and thoughts exploring. Meaning for a long time to talk with the band, the outstanding album was the spark which made the time to act now. So with big thanks to band vocalist/writer/producer David Bury, we turned the spotlight on CAA and Anti-Social Network with plenty more insights in tow.

Hi David and thanks for sharing time with us.

Before we get into your new album, Anti-Social Network, can you tell us about the beginnings of Calling All Astronauts for those still new to the band? How did you all meet and what became the spark to the creation of the band?

J and I used to be in a band called US:UK together, J then went on to be in the pop-punk Caffeine. Caffeine had drawn to a standstill after numerous tours of the UK and US, we bumped into each other and just thought we’d like to have a jam for old time’s sake. One thing led to another and Calling All Astronauts was born. We originally had Andy the Caffeine drummer, but he went travelling, while he was away I decided to learn about programming drums and keys, and that’s how the sound we now have developed.

As you said all of you in the band now have experiences before and outside of Calling All Astronauts; how much has the band been shaped by those musical adventures either in where you want to go with it or in what not to get involved in again?

You learn a lot about the industry over the years; the good memories, the parties, the massive gigs are the ones you cherish, but the knowledge you gain about how the music business runs really shapes your attitude towards it.

We first caught on to the band through the single Winter Of Discontent in 2012, which was your second? This was already a lively and potent time for the band live, the playing with the likes of Echo & The Bunnymen, PWEI, Sigue Sigue Sputnik and A Place To Bury Strangers amongst your shows, and in making music as well as reactions to those early releases. What was the feeling in CAA back then and how has that differed over time, if at all?

The feeling than was actually pretty much the same as it is now, we always feel both flattered and humbled that anyone likes our music, we are just three guys recording in my lounge, yeah in modern terms that’s a studio, but it’s a lounge nonetheless; we’ve got Sky Sports on in the background, my cats walking through, and we are under the Heathrow flight path, so I regularly have to redo a vocal when a plane has been particularly low. 🙂  We do what we do; it’s a kind of love us or hate us, it’s your choice, we won’t take it personally if we are not to your tastes, but we’ll embrace you as a friend if you get what we do.

Calling All Astronauts Promo PictureSince then singles, EPs, and an impressive debut album has come and gone; all leading to the recent release of second album Anti-Social Network. Following the band over those encounters, your music has clearly evolved and grown over time. From the inside how do you see and hear that change?

I think that is a direct reflection on my production skills. I’ve learnt so much in the last four years about how to actually make a record. We are a Rock And Roll band that works in the manner of a dance act; we pay a lot of attention to how our records sound sonically. We took a long time recording Anti-Social Network because we wanted to make an album that we’ll still be proud of as a piece of art in 25 years’ time.

Apart from personnel, how too as CAA changed mentally in regard to making music and how you deal with the music scene.

I don’t think we have actually changed much, we are all kind of set into the people we are. We do however have an increasing dislike of the mainstream music industry, and how it brainwashes kids into thinking things that are mediocre at best are amazing. If you swallow diamonds your turds with contain diamonds, but they will still be turds.

The band is seems defiantly DIY; your releases for example being uncaged on your own Supersonic Media. Has that always been the intention or just how things have worked out?

It seems that way, as yet, we’ve never sent any demos or any of our releases to any record labels. Actually I lie. I did give a copy of the first album to Brett the radio guru at Epitaph. I met him in LA and just wanted him to know how we sound rather than looking for a deal, so gave him a copy of the album, but that’s about it. We like having artistic control; yes we would be a lot bigger than we are if we were with a big indie or major, but at what artistic cost. I’m doubtful any of them would allow us to make an album as eclectic as Anti-Social Network; they want their artists to make an album of the same track 11 times, all the different variations around the same three chords.

Let us get right into Anti-Social Network now. Did you approach its writing and creation as you have previous releases or try something different in its making?

Yes pretty much, except we had Paul on board for this one. We tend to start with a drum track and built up from there, it’s quite like building a house, and as we all know, without solid foundations you may as well build your house out of straw.

You seem to have woven essences of many of your inspirations over the decades in its sound which was an extra tasty spice for us as I know we share similar favourite artists and songs from the seventies and eighties especially. Was this something you set out to do or just an organic arising from the writing?

Not really, we had a bunch of ideas, and as they grew organically into the songs they now are, we often referenced them using the names of the bands that they had a feel of. All the album sounds like us; I don’t think any of it could be called a pastiche. I think it’s maybe more a case of, band X made some amazing records, let’s see if we can make something that can stand up in its own right against what they did. It would have been the easiest thing in the world for us to make 11 tracks all sounding like Time To Fight Back or conversely Always Be True, but that’s really not what we are about. CAA to us is about making music we like, it’s not some master plan to sell millions of records; we’d rather be Clock DVA than Coldplay every day of the week.

Like many we generally call CAA an electro punk/rock band. As the new album shows, your sound is much richer and varied than that suggests. How would you describe it for newcomers?

It’s kind of like a ride on the world biggest Rock And Roll Rollercoaster. You never know whether it’s going to turn, or drop or go upside down until it’s upon you. Wow that sounds pretentious; ok, just imagine all your favourite left field rock bands since 1976, i.e. Killing Joke, Ministry, PIL, Bauhaus, New Order, Psychedelic Furs, and then getting them produced by Skrillex and Prodigy

Lyrically Anti-Social Network is as biting as ever, something easy to expect from your music, but equally there seems a thicker intimacy to some songs too. Can you give some background to art_RingMasterReviewthe themes of songs and to the album in general?

I have been hoping somebody would ask this, this will be quite extensive but I’ve been longing to go through the album track by track, please feel free to edit this if you want.

  1. Living The Dream

I grew up in a northern town, not a city, and in towns you see people on the local music scene who are the “big cheese”, they walk around like Billy Big Bollocks, they get a little bit of interest from local radio and think all they have to do is move to the big city and world will be the oyster. When the reality is something far different, when you make that leap to pursue your dreams, you have to be prepared for the reality that you are suddenly a shrimp in an ocean of sharks.

  1. Empire

We are very active on social media, especially Twitter, where we have a lot of young followers, and I see their tweets about how in love they are and the next second they are broken hearted. It’s kind of sending the message that broken hearts are only temporary when you’re a teen and that you are going to fall in love many times during your life and that if one relationship doesn’t work out, move on to the next one.

  1. Time To Fight Back

The world and society is pretty much on the brink of imploding; if the majority of us don’t stand up and say, “enough is enough” 1% of the world’s population has 99% of the wealth. There are children dying because they don’t have clean water, how can that be right in 2016?

  1. Hands Up Who Wants To Die?

Is about youth crime and gang violence and how leaving the house with a weapon can lead to a whole heap of consequences due to one thoughtless move

  1. Life As We Know It

This is about envy and how people wish they were somebody else, it’s clichéd but life is what you make of it. If you’re happy in your life, embrace the fact you are happy and celebrate it, if you are not happy, do something about it. Sitting on your ass complaining is never going to improve things, unless you grasp the metal and go for it.

  1. The American Dream

It is not particularly about the US, but as the American Dream has always been held up as a goal for what people can achieve through hard work, I thought it was a good example for society as a whole, and how things have changed from the days that people left school with ambitions of professions or trades. They now want to be YouTubers or famous on Vine, they want fame from zero talent in a narcissistic shallow world.

  1. God Is Dead

God is a metaphor for consumerism; you don’t get consumerism without the word consume and society has become all consumed with the latest product X until they have it, and once they have it, their thirst for the net product X is instantly greater than their joy at getting the latest thing they’ve craved for.

  1. Always Be True

As I mentioned earlier we have a lot of young fans, this is a message to them not to bow to peer pressure. If you don’t like something or don’t want to do something never be afraid to say no, because one day, your day will come.

  1. Look In Your Eye

This is about the cynical people at major labels who only see artists as product and really have no feelings about the long term futures of said artists as long as they have them signed to 360 deals, make a profit and keep themselves in a job

  1. Black World

Is really saying, I don’t have all the answers, but if you listen to what I’m saying in my lyrics and think about them and join us in thinking that the world doesn’t have to be like this, together we can make the world a better place

  1. Divisive

Is about how the media and governments manipulate the news to suit their own agendas. They tell us they are doing it for righteous reasons when it’s all about greed and power and that once you turn to violence it becomes both self-perpetuating and self-defeating; hence the chant of Greed Equals Power Equals War Equals Death repeating almost to infinitum at the end because wars go on and on and only increase the misery.

Do the same things predominantly rile up the lyrical muse or are you adding to the recipe of sparks as years and records pass?

The constant in my psyche is that I don’t like inequalities in society.  I’m not saying that people shouldn’t be rewarded for doing good work or being enterprising but I don’t think people should be forced to live in poverty. I just think people need to keep their eyes open and feel compassion for others, see both sides of every story; never judge people on their race colour creed, religion or lack of it, or their sexual orientation. Judge people on whether they are good people or not. While these things still exist in society, I will maintain my motivation as a lyricist.

Can you give us some insight into the recording of Anti-Social Network; any unexpected dramas and surprises?

There were no real disasters along the way, however it did take way longer than we hoped or expected it would. In all it took 2000 hours to record;, I think that’s maybe on a par with some of the 70’s prog rock bands, but you have to be truly happy with your records as you have to live with them forever once you release them.

CAA_RingMasterReviewFor most artists it is fair to say that playing live is their favourite part of making music. When it comes to writing and recording something though, what is your favourite part or element?

It’s actually when people tell you that they have listened to your record and really got what you’re doing. It’s the greatest feeling in the world to know you are not the only people that think the way you do.

Is there any particular moment in Anti-Social Network which gives you an extra glow of satisfaction?

There are three parts I love; on the intro of Divisive where the combination of guitar drums and keys gives the impression of a weird pitch shift on the drop, it gets me every time. I also love the almost UK Garage drop on the middle 8 of Always Be True, and J’s guitars on Life As We Know that sound like Cellos. But we are very proud of all of it, I honestly believe there are no fillers on the album and that if we released all eleven tracks as singles, we could get radio play on all of them, I could however be delusional.

Tell us about the art work for the album which seems to sum up the air of the great release more and more every time you look at it.

It was amazing, we were trying to come up with ideas, and Paul had googled the word Anti-Social Network and up this came. It’s an actual sculpture by South African artist Maurice Mbiyaki. We contacted him and asked if we could use it on the cover, and he replied “he’d be honoured”; the rest is history. J

What is next in store for CAA fans and the band itself?

We are working on a new live set and will be out and about before too long. Time To Fight Back is set to be released as a single in June with David CAA VIP Remix and a specially recorded cover version.

Big thanks again David for chatting with us; anything you would like to add?

Not really other than a big thanks to you for being so supportive of our releases, we really do appreciate the kind words you have written about us.

And finally, give us an insight into the records and artists which could be claimed to have most inspired your own life and creativity.

Blimey, this is a massive question for me; I think I can nail it down to genres rather than actual acts, I’m very influenced by, Punk, Northern Soul, Goth, Metal, 80’s Hiphop, Synthpop, Industrial, EDM, 90s Indie, Post-Punk, Hardcore, Big Beat, Reggae, Ska, and DnB.

Check out our review of Anti-Social Network @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2016/03/11/calling-all-astronauts-anti-social-network/

http://www.callingallastronauts.com    https://www.facebook.com/CallingAllAstronauts/     https://twitter.com/CAA_Official

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 16/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Seething Akira – Airstrike

Cruisin'_RingMaster Review

Like a raid on the senses and a mass riot for the body, the new single from UK rockers Seething Akira sets the world on fire in just three volatile minutes. Setting out the kind of tempest fans to the band’s fusion of alternative and heavy rock with electro and hardcore dub step are accustomed to, Airstrike equally thrusts its hellacious mitts into a richer and deeper vat of anthemic intensity and psyche twisting tenacity for one ferocious devilry.

Hailing from Portsmouth, and with inspirations from the likes of Prodigy, Senser, and Enter Shikari joining their own rebellious ideation, Seething Akira was soon inciting a potent and loyal local support when emerging in 2011. First EP, You Missed The Show that year showed the band was loaded in potential but it was from the Transmission EP a year later that they hit their stride in sound and broader persuasion. Live the band has only earned an acclaiming stature, the quintet taking in shows with bands such as Hacktivist, The Algorithm, Senser, Don Broco, Black Futures, Sonic Boom Six, Max Raptor, PWEI, and Heart Of A Coward over the years. Last year the Aggro Vito EP reinforced and pushed on the band’s sound and presence but for us Airstrike is the band’s most exciting and ridiculously involving offering yet.

Airstrike_RingMaster Review     Airstrike allows no escape for feet and emotions, let alone voice, stirring them up in its first seconds and then dragging them into its maelstrom of energy and attitude. It spews increasing slavery through voracious rhythms, psychotic enterprise, and a vocal assault which makes the term incitement seem lightweight. The thumping beats of Stu Mealcliffe alongside the pulsating synth stabs of Charlie Bowes cast the first lure, their union unrelenting until the subsequent vocal roars of Kit Conrad and Bowes add their united antagonistic charm. The metal spawn riffs of Harvey Sneezeface Ware aligned to the predatory prowl of Terry Brown’s bass instantly turns the already virulent temptation into a beast of a proposal, their entrance sparking greater intensity and aggression elsewhere too. The landscape of the song continues to evolve and unpredictably shift, sinister melodic endeavour from the guitars sparking a similar air to keys before the dynamics at the heart of the song explode once again in a torrential and commanding cascade of techno trespasses, heavy duty rhythmic and riff induced incitements, and vocal belligerence.

Airstrike is a brawl impossible to resist and it is easy to imagine Pendulum being offered as a hint to the song’s might. But more so it has the hues of bands like G.R.I.M, Axis Mundi, and a dirtier Pop Will Eat Itself to it. Those flavours do bring a certain familiarity to it at times but that is countered and overwhelmed by the sheer energy and unique enterprise of Seething Akira. This is a band which just gets bigger and better whilst persistently knocking on the fullest spotlights.

Airstrike is available from July 27th

Upcoming Seething Akira tour dates:

July 31st O2, Islington, UK *

Aug 1st Downstairs, Aberdeen *

Aug 2nd Audio, Glasgow, Scotland *

Aug 3rd Bannermans, Edinburgh, Scotland *

Aug 4th Warehouse 23, Wakefield *

Aug 5th The Asylum, Birmingham *

Aug 6th Academy 3 Manchester, UK *

Aug 7th Waterfront, Norwich, UK *

Aug 11, Knust, Hamburg, Germany *

Aug 12 West Park Eventhalle, Inglostadt, Germany *

Aug 13 Little Devil, Tillburg, Netherlands *

Aug 14 Hypothalamus, Rheine, Germany *

October 3rd, MAMMOTHFEST, Brighton

* Main support to Mordred on EU tour

http://www.seethingakira.com/     https://www.facebook.com/seethingakira

RingMaster 27/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

Alexanred – Rest After Result

alexanred_rest_after_result

Upon covering Non-Stop Non-Stop, the debut single from industrial metallers Alexanred near the end of last year, we admitted though the song strenuously impressed it was too early to make a judgement of the band as much as the potential seeded real anticipation for future endeavours. The release of new single Rest After Result brings two more songs into the equation and all the promise and thrilling attributes of that first song have now been reinforced and pushed on. The new release is a thumping and rousing anthemic roar of electro and metal invention, again not one diving into brand new undiscovered territories but a proposition to ignite imagination and passions with a predatory virulence.

Alexanred is the solo project of Finnish industrial metallers 2 Wolves’ guitarist/synth player Aleksi Susi. Formed in 2012 and taking influences from the likes of Rammstein, Lacuna Coil, Type O Negative, Cradle Of Filth, Paradise Lost, Septic Flesh, Rob Zombie, Prodigy, Autopsy, Nile and more, many of which loudly call out within both of Susi’s releases, the band makes a rigorously compelling persuasion with its raucous energies and ridiculously addictive qualities. As its predecessor, Rest After Result infiltrates the ears with a voracity and hunger which virtually stalks down thoughts and emotions, demanding attention and ultimately submission to its fiery charms. It is a predator of the senses but one which just as potently takes them on a stomp of electro adrenaline aligned to industrial rapaciousness within a web of metallic antagonism.

The title track launches its predacious crawl from a deep breath, electro teasing uniting with raw thrusts of guitar as beats place their heavy fingers into the mix. It is a menacing start which takes little time to remove the reins on a feisty energetic chorus spurned on by electronic urgency and melodic infectiousness. It is highly anthemic bait which is prepared to slip back into portentous shadows as the track slows back into its initial prowling intent, happy to lie there waiting for its moment to again fill and incite ears and passions. In many ways especially around the chorus there is a strong essence of early Ministry to the song, the time before Al got all macho on us, whilst the darker evocative and intimidating passages holds a Nine Inch Nails breath to their imagination.

It is a thoroughly enjoyable encounter which is straight away exceeded by the accompanying Effective. From its first second soaring melodies soak the flight of the synths whilst guitars and beats paint a sinewy aggressive canvas clad in shadows and challenging textures. Right away thoughts of Rammstein come to the fore through the vocal and muscular drama of the emerging song, but with evocative keys and unsettling twists in the gait of the song there is plenty to temper any over familiarity with the Germans. Feet, body, and neck muscles are soon given an intensive workout as the song pumps through their veins inciting full involvement though respite is given when the track unexpectedly and extremely pleasingly slips into a cavernous epically cast scenery. It has thoughts and imagination racing with pleasure before the previous inescapable toxicity merges with the new landscape for an exhausting climactic finale. It is a glorious track revealing more of the invention within Alexanred than arguably the other two songs from Susi together whilst continuing to seduce and infect a growing appetite for the man’s sound and imagination.

Rest After Result and Alexanred are not offering anything openly new in industrial metal but it sure is a frighteningly exciting proposition and that is good enough for us.

Rest After Result is available via Inverse Records now.

http://www.facebook.com/AlexanredFinland

9/10

RingMaster 22/05/2014

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

Alexanred – Non-Stop Non-Stop

alexanred pic

Just in case in the Christmas rush you missed the release of the debut single from Alexanred, we thought we would give you a nudge to one contagiously addictive track. Non-Stop Non-Stop is pure industrial virulence, a pulsating infection soaked song which pounds the senses with anthemic temptation and captures the imagination with arguably not ground-breaking but fresh and magnetic irreverence. It is not a release which will have your thoughts and emotions stretched and lost in contemplation but unashamedly a song which skilfully and mischievously goes straight for the primal and rhythmic beast inside with a bait of tub thumping rhythms and coarse electronic wantonness.

Formed last year Alexanred is the creation of Aleksi Susi, guitarist/synth player of Finnish industrial metallers 2 Wolves. Listing influences which include the likes of Rammstein, Lacuna Coil, Type O Negative, Cradle Of Filth, Paradise Lost, Septic Flesh, Rob Zombie, Prodigy, Autopsy, Nile and more, some which you could almost guess from the single, Alexanred makes an undeniably impressive entrance with the Inverse Records released Non-Stop Non-Stop. It is never wise to make a full judgement of a band upon one song, every artist more often than not having one acceptable gem inside them whoever they are, but it is hard not to anticipate and suggest richly promising and thrilling things to come from the project ahead.

Still from 'Non-Stop Non-Stop' video

Still from ‘Non-Stop Non-Stop’ video

The opening seconds of the song alone incite full attention; they maybe clad in a simple rhythmic lure and a restrictive pulsing electro rub but there is immediate intrigue and temptation which takes hold. Barely another moment passes before the track is in full muscular stride, synths stomping with devilry dripping from every note as vocals taunt from the surrounding shadows. Once Susi makes his full vocal appearance the sounds show a restraint to allow his almost whispered provocation to wash smoothly yet sinisterly over the senses. Soon though, the song is thrusting out its imposing chest within a riveting rhythmic caging, exploding into an anthem of sound and epidemic vocal incitement to confirm the seduction of thoughts and emotions.  As mentioned the track is not really setting new boundaries but with a raw threat and empowering intent to its vocal and rhythmic barracking, and a virulent toxicity to its electronic suasion the single is pure irresistible temptation.

Like the bastard inventive son of a union between Rammstein and Rob Zombie, Non-Stop Non-Stop is the perfect appetiser to band and their horizons, something it is hard to wait for with patience.

http://www.facebook.com/AlexanredFinland

10/10

RingMaster 08/01/2014

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

Brewing melodic fire: an interview with MiXE1

mixe1 pic 2

   The journey of electro rock pop band MiXE1 has been a striking and thrilling rise for it and its fans; from a solo project of founder Mike Evans to a full line-up with the addition of Lee Towson and Lee O’Brien, the band has brought a fresh and vibrant breath to the UK electro scene as confirmed by the excellent just released new EP Lights Out. With an album in the works and the new EP lighting up a hunger, it was time thanks to the members of MiXE1 to find out more about the band and its members. So pry we did…

Hi Guys and thanks for letting us explore the world behind MiXE1

Mike: “Our pleasure, Pete! Fire away :)”

Shall we start right at the beginning…give us some background to yourselves before MiXE1.

Mike Evans: “Before MiXE1, I was the guitarist in an alternative metal band called Broken Butterfly X. I’d been involved in a bunch of bands and projects before (most of those with Lee T), none of them actually got to the gigging stage apart from BBX though. We got a stash of recordings from those projects somewhere (a lot too embarrassing for public consumption)! But yeah BBX was my last band; I basically wrote the music and contributed some vocal melodies.”

Lee Towson: “I’ve actually known Mike since pre-school and we’ve been writing music in some form or another for the best part of about 12-13 years now. We started off, I think, just as secondary school was coming to an end; so we were about 15 or 16 years old and we’d regularly meet whenever we could (including class time) to write and record together.

This continued into College and through University and gradually expanded to include more outside musicians. Up until this point, while we were putting together music that was coming from a serious place, most of our lyrical output was built up around all these incredibly personal jokes or references to specific situations we’d experienced, particularly during school, and it just didn’t make sense to include anybody else. A lot of my most favourite songs of ours are completely nonsensical in subject matter and often spiralled into some of the craziest stuff you could imagine; maybe one day we’ll get the bright idea to release some of it somehow (and then promptly regret it!).”

Lee O’Brien: “Self-taught drummer. Practice!? What’s that? Just don’t have enough time! Played in a few bands over the years… My last band Load went through numerous line-up changes. We managed to record an album which had a few tracks featured on Classic Rock (Track of the day) and some cover mount CD’s for their monthly magazine. In the end we split due to lack of commitment and enthusiasm.”

What sparked and inspired not only the project but your experimentation with electronics and songwriting?

Mike: “Songwriting in general – I can’t even recall how it started! A love of music, a desire to create 🙂 What inspired the project was wanting to try a different sort of music. In terms of how MiXE1 started…Well a few years ago I was in BBX which was alt-metal. The vibe in general was heavy and some darker vibes, influenced by bands like KoRn…Dir en Grey. It had come out exactly how I planned it but I wanted to try some electronics and the big factor for me – the lyrics were quite dark, melancholy, angry – which worked and sounded great in the songs. With my changing life views and stuff, I wanted to try something more uplifting though…More positive and with a hint of romance. So I fired up Sonar and wrote the first MiXE1 song 🙂 And from there MiXE1 has just grown and grown. I feel the songwriting is only getting stronger. Fast forward to now, we’ve got the Lee’s adding their guitar and drum input to the songs. It’s always exciting to see how a song will evolve.”

Lee T: “It just felt like a natural progression really. Though I’m actually a bass player by nature, playing guitar for MiXE1 felt like a comfortable shift due to the amount of music we’ve written together before; the familiarity in the recording environment was a big deciding factor, I think. To be honest, I’m fully aware of my lack of guitar playing knowledge and if it were any other band asking me to take up the same role for them I’d probably have refused! As for the electronic side, we had tried our hand at a fair amount of synth driven rock in the past so slotting into this project was easy enough and I do feel like I can use my more rhythmic, bass-playing tendencies to my advantage in a genre that generally demands these driving low-end parts. That said though, as we push on with recording beyond the EP, we’re adding a lot more lead guitar parts too – which is really pushing my boundaries and has been a pretty fun challenge so far!”

Lee O: “I love to keep busy with music especially writing. I’m a drummer so not very musical. I didn’t want to rely on people to come up with stuff for me to add my drum parts… end up sitting round waiting for ages (although I can’t say that for MiXE1 as we always seem to have something on the go). I decided to have my own little project MiNiMAL FiLTh. It’s all electronic, samples and stuff. I got great enjoyment out of this and it helped with my song writing skills.”

What were/are the strongest inspirations to your creativity either musically or personally? mixe1

Lee O: “For me I’m really inspired (for this type of music) by Linkin Park, Pendulum, Prodigy, Leftfield, Celldweller and Rammstein. It’s their samples, synth sounds, vocals and song writing ability that makes me want to bop :)”

Lee T: “I guess my very first influence was my parent’s record collection! I grew up listening to bands like The Damned, UK Subs, The Clash and a hundred other bands across the punk spectrum; add to that a healthy dose of reggae, new wave, Sabbath and Zeppelin and that was more or less my start in life. I still remember thinking I was the coolest kid in primary school singing Guns n Roses songs in the playground! These days my inspirations come from a wider variety of media; films, books and life experience, the people around me and of course music is always there. The palette is ever changing really! It’s a lot more fun that way, I find. Over a bunch of genres across the board, 2013 so far has been amazing for music in particular for me.”

Mike: “I’m inspired by life, my wife, my family and friends all sorts 🙂 My wife in particular and things we’ve gone through has been a bit inspiration for the songs. In terms of other bands, too many to say really – a lot of music inspires and sometimes influences come from unexpected places!”

The band initially was a solo project for yourself Mike, was this always the intention or even early on were you looking at expanding the band, as you have since of course.

Mike: “At the time of starting the project, I thought it was always going to be a solo thing! I had no real intention of it becoming a band or even playing live – I was quite attracted to doing my own thing and not having any of the creative concessions you can find in bands. But this really was fuelled by wanting to go in a more electronic and lyrically positive direction than the main band I was in at that time. Since setting the foundation of what MiXE1 is, what it’s about and particularly with these guys – that’s not a problem at all. Everyone’s really open about the music and how it comes out.

How we became a full band… Essentially I was looking for some live band members to play a gig or two. The Lee’s joined the mix and I encouraged them to put their own spin on the songs, add their own stuff to their parts and not just to follow the recordings to a tee. We actually played some album songs in rehearsal and what they were adding was really cool and most importantly really fitting to the songs. I remember thinking that I’d love to have this stuff on the actual recordings! From there, it just made sense and felt right to become a band. We’re fortunate in that everyone really adds something positive to the songs. We were looking for a live bass player for ages too afterwards and we finally found Marcos who tears it up live. He’s really talented too but the important thing is everyone gets along. It’s a laid back atmosphere when we’re all together, fun times…exactly how it should be ;)”

Your previous bands were more guitar based how did you find creating music different with electronics, apart from then obvious, and did it open up a more expansive field to explore than before?

Mike: “Oh for sure! Even in my BBX I was using a lot of guitar FX pedals, so it wasn’t always a straight guitar sound – I was always looking to modify the sound to give it atmosphere and diversity rather than driving every song with the same sound. Moving to electronics just gives you a much wider palette. With synths, there are so many different sounds which can give each song a unique texture. The songs have more layers and get even more epic!”

Lee O: “Mine were also more guitar based. I wanted to move more into the Electro scene, maybe creating a British Rammstein. For me, being an Electro group, I can write more as I have the use of midi programs where I can create synth tunes as I’m not very good at playing the keyboards… hey it’s all creativity at the end of the day ;)”

mixe1 pic 4 Your debut EP was Module 1, tells us about it and what you learnt in its creation which helped with subsequent releases.

Mike: “My attitude for Module 01 was kind of experimental! It laid the foundations of the project – the theme which is essentially all based in a futuristic city called MiXE1. There are some references to that in the lyrics and more in the general sound of the music. But yeah it was very much a case of just seeing what I could do on my own with synths and my vocals on the first EP. I learnt a lot actually. The main thing I learnt was what my voice can do, discovering how to use it and what I can do. That was exciting. I learnt a bit about the importance of mixing through the process too. After I wrote the first MiXE1 song, my attitude was very much like…I have this song I think is cool but it’s just gonna sit on hard drive, I’ll release it so even if it’s not the most polished, people can actually hear it and maybe be affected by it. So I wrote and released the EP. These days I’m more picky about having a good mix to represent the songs well but still have that mentality of if I don’t release it, no-one’s gonna hear it so get it out there!”

There feels like your songs hold a deep personal core lyrically and musically especially in Module 2 your second EP, is that the reality and what inspires your songwriting?

Mike: “Yea definitely! Module 02 is a very specific story with four specific songs/chapters of a couple being separated, dealing with a long distance relationship, remembering a time before and finally being reunited – and the story stems straight from my personal life. The reality (without going in to the long story…or trying not to!) is that I’d met the love of my life, Amie – we were super happy but she was on a student visa and when it was about to expire, she had to leave the country (day before Valentine’s Day if you can believe it). We spent a year February to February doing the long distance thing before I finally got her back and she’s now my wife. So it all worked out well but that year was mental…All the emotion, money, stress of immigration, life changes and long distance relationship-ing etc. We communicated every day, some teary phone calls to boot. We kept positive and it’s all worked out! It was a lot of hard work but infinitely worth it. So yeah that situation comes in to so many songs – those on Module 02, Lights Out and Starlit Skin for sure.”

You have just released your new EP, Lights Out, for us your finest and most mature work yet, though I believe the songs were written between your previous pair of EPs. Did you revisit them or take them further on from their inception on the EP?

Mike: “A bit of both really! The songs were all there structurally – with the exception of ‘Find You’ which was written up to the first chorus. I initially thought of it as a ‘band revamp’ – get everyone on the recordings and see what happens. I mean again, a song like ‘Find You’ for example, it originally had an extremely simple beat and Lee OB came in with this really dynamic and involved rhythm – basically stamping his style and personality on it. Similarly on guitars, the song had none and now it’s soaked in atmospheric leads and chords. Suddenly a song has a different vibe or something unexpected has happened and we’ll feed off of it.”

Lee T: “If you were to go back and listen to the demo versions of each track (good luck tracking them down!), it’s actually mind blowing how far some of them have come.

Largely the structures remained the same throughout, but sonically you could just sense each song coming to life and taking on these whole new personalities as everyone found their groove and these new ideas started bouncing from one person to the other. It was a pretty global affair actually; each part was written and recorded over a number of days, in completely different places and then attached at the end of the day into a group email session we had set up, where we proceeded to nit-pick each song to death before shipping it on over to Lawrie at Studio X in Australia. So the whole recording process was this great experience of finishing a guitar part off one day and then receiving a new drum layer the next, maybe followed by a new vocal idea or synth and just layering this crazy musical Jenga as we went along – I must have about 8-10 versions of every track on the EP sitting on my computer with something SLIGHTLY different about each one.”

Lee O: “From what I know the basis of the songs was already there (which made our lives easier). It was just a case of adding, changing and tweaking to get them to where they are today.”

The release is the first with you all involved.  Do you think this expanded line-up and mix of ideas played a big part in why the songs have lights-out-ep-coverarguably leapt above your previously released songs, though they themselves have all help make impressive releases?

Lee O: “Without a doubt… ha-ha!  :^o ===(   trumpet, blowing 🙂 ”

Mike: “Ha, yeah I would say so for sure. I mean the songs were always there – the synths, basic structure, vocals, the basic riffs…The core of the songs. What we have now is a bigger sound, a more ‘live’ one thanks to some big drums and big guitar.”

Going back a bit for clarity how did you all meet and how has the additional skills and instrumentation impacted on the songwriting?

Lee O: “At The Pink Flamingo Club, we were wearing our crop tops and chaps…. oh wait, I’m getting confused! ”

Mike: “Lee T and I have been friends for years like he said earlier – think we met in the school playground playing Ninja Turtles or something! How we met Lee OB, we put an advert out for another Lee I think, right? ”

Lee T: “Yeah, we felt the dynamic of communicating with each other wasn’t QUITE confusing enough so we had to actively put an end to it. So, like many relationships these days, we found O’B via the internet, on the shadiest musician network we could find and then eventually met in person in the practice room one day. The rest is, as they say, geography… or something.”

Lee O: “I suppose I’d better come clean now…. my name isn’t Lee, its Rupert………….. I’ll get my coat!”

Lee T: “You should have said Richard – we could have called the new album The Crystal Dome!”

Mike: “But yea these guys have taken the songs to the next level! Lee OB is coming in with all these creative drum ideas that blow my mind. He gives the songs so much life and added dynamics. His ideas aren’t always restricted to drums – for example, having that extra bit of verse 2 guitar without vocals on Find You was his idea. Same with Lee T, he’s coming in with some amazing guitar ideas – lots of weird chords, lots of lead guitar stuff. I never really saw MiXE1 as having much lead guitar, I always wrote riffs very rhythmically in the past. It totally works; it’s a different vibe and stamped in his style/personality. On the EP, Find You and Pulling You Back To My World had no guitar written for them at all on the demos so it was a clean slate. Now guitar is a bit part of the songs.”

Is it a three way writing creativity for new songs now or still Mike at the core of that aspect?

Lee O: “I would like to say 3 way, but I would always want Mike (The Overlord :)) to have the final say as he has driven the sound and style to a certain place and wouldn’t want to upset that. He has done a good job in getting MiXE1 where it is today.”

Mike: “Yeah everyone is contributing for sure. I would say at this exact moment in time, I’m writing the core of the songs. That’s because we haven’t really tried writing anything from scratch as a band yet, it’s all been working on existing songs and demos penned before we became a band! There’s been plenty in the backlog 🙂 ”

Lee T: “Plus a bunch of rough demos and random recordings we keep finding from about 10 years ago!”

How do you personally approach your songwriting?

Lee O: “On tippy toes whilst wearing my lucky pants…..oh wait, I’m confused again!!”

Lee T: “In regards to Lights Out, I suppose we approached the songwriting in the same way we have always done and that’s with an open mind and a good sense of humour! The advantage of the way we work is there are no preconceived notions on how things should be done and there isn’t a certain standard expected from one another, so it leaves room for a real casual, yet productive atmosphere. This actually helped a lot for me over the last year, being the admittedly amateur guitar player that I am…

A huge majority of the guitar sessions for both Lights Out and the upcoming album have been in burst of about two hours at a time, 2-3 times a week and in a way I feel like it really helped shape some of the sound of everything you’re about to hear over the coming months. It was this real quick fire situation where ideas could be made or broken in the space of minutes and there was a hell of a lot of improvisation throughout, where we’d find ourselves picking out a great sounding part and building sections around these tiny sparks of ideas.

One of my favourite recording experiences so far was actually with an album track where I tried my hand for the very first time at soloing (spoiler alert!), and we literally had this one section of song repeating for nearly 2 hours while I repeated the same part with slight tweaks over and over again. It’s that level of fun and sheer patience that I really can’t imagine finding recording with anyone else.”

Mike: “Note – not all 2 hours of solo are on the album! 😉 Yeah, as a band we are very relaxed, in the rehearsal room or recording. My personal approach to writing… Well I always have the music first and that will spark off the vocals. I’ll usually cycle through various synth presets until a sound speaks to me or some songs I’ll start writing on guitar and later convert to synths – the 2012 single A Spark In The Air was like that. I just write songs that I want to hear, music I’d love to have on my own mp3 player and blasting out my stereo! I do have a self-imposed lyrical rule that I try to keep things positive or if there is some subject matter on the darker side, lace it with hope. For sure MiXE1 has always been quite open in terms of what sort of songs. ”

mixe1 pic 3There is a certain harder rock element and snarl to the electro sounds of the band now, was this something you ha in thoughts for a while or a thrilling consequence of the full line-up?

Lee O: “I don’t know, but I like it 🙂 ”

Lee T: “Good answer.”

Mike: “I’d say for sure being a band brings out the rock elements though I’d say it’s happened very natural rather than as a conscious decision. There’s always been rock vibes to some of the tracks – listening back to ‘Module 01’ there’s rock guitars there. The majority of synth parts on the EP were already written so I wouldn’t say the intention is brand new as a result of becoming a unit – what’s happened is the band have amplified this hard and it’s come out naturally. There are more guitar parts and these are more prominent. Having an actual drummer typically means you’ll be getting harder hitting rockier drum kits more often than the very electronic ones. It gives us an even bigger sound. I definitely feel the EP has a bit of a darker tone sonically than the previous material though as said, the core songs were written a while ago so the direction isn’t a result of that – however the band definitely accentuate the rock and edge of the songs. Balances nicely with synths to my ears :)”

Has the quality of and acclaim upon the EP changed your intent and thoughts  of the direction of MiXE1 or is it still on course for your original intention?

Mike: “Acclaim-wise – It’s a fantastic feeling to get positive feedback from reviewers and fans – we’re really appreciative and super grateful for it! In terms of impact on songwriting direction – there is none. Personally speaking I always write the music I want to write and be true to myself and what sort of songs I want to make, which is a very wide range and quite open. But it needs to feel right. If anything, the EP doing so well is an indication to keep doing that 🙂 There’s nothing greater than hearing from a fan that the music has connected with them and has been with them through times in their lives. Those messages keep me smiling for days on end!”

Lee T: “In light of the positive feedback we’re getting about the EP so far, I just wanna say a quick, but huge thanks to anyone and everyone out there who has taken the time to check it out, review it, spread the word or simply messaging positive vibes back via social media. The reaction to Lights Out so far has been way above and beyond what I expected and as my first “proper” release, the ride so far has been mind-blowing.”

Does the Lights Out EP give a strong taster of what to expect from the album you are currently working on, Starlit Skin?

Lee O: “No, not really. The album is becoming a beast. We have played more of the songs from the album in the studio than the EP, so I think that helped shape it into what it’s become.”

Lee T: “For me, I’ve gotta say that it doesn’t. The songs themselves are definitely coming from a similar place and space in time, but each track we finish up at the moment is just leaps and bounds ahead of Lights Out. That’s not to take anything away from the EP, of course, but I get a real sense of pride that I didn’t quite get with the EP. The best way I can describe it, I think, is in my own performance; not being well-versed in the art of guitar, I think my style can best be described as “winging it” and I definitely play with a ‘heart-not-head’ mentality. I think it works to our advantage, really – but you’ll have to decide when the album drops!”

Mike: “Yeah the songs on the album are sound huge. I’d actually say yes it’s a taster in the sense that we have big drums and big guitars and of course my voice and style. It’s very much MiXE1 with the new MiXE1 band vibe. So for me, it’s a taster in that respect for sure. Although I do feel the same as the guys in that the songs are coming out even better than Lights Out definitely! I’m proud of Lights Out but the songs on Starlit Skin are some of our best yet. There are a couple of more chilled songs on the album and a couple which are our heaviest yet, there’s a lot of emotion and exploration.”

Can you tell us more about the album, any spoilers 😉

Lee O: “Spoilers shmoilers…. it’s gonna have 10 original songs…. there ya go! ;)”

Lee T: “Expect to be head banging one minute and holding your hands aloft and swaying the next.”

When can we hope to see it?

Lee O: “That’s the trickiest question so far 🙂 Well it’s nearly finished…. we have a video shot for one of the tracks (just waiting for that to be completed). We’ve only just released the EP so wouldn’t be wise to release the album too soon. Think we were really going to promote, review and tease this album before release… so at a guess, towards the end of the year.”

Mike: “What Lee said! The plan is most likely the end of the year – we’ll be sitting on the album for a while sorting promo ideas for it and things for the next release. We need to give Lights Out time to air first 😉 ”

Certainly the songs on Lights Out at times give suggestion of inspirations from eighties and nineties artists and sounds, we mentioned being reminded of the likes of Modern English, John Foxx and even Blancmange, as well as more current people like Celldweller and Static Distortion stable mates Ghost In The Static, but is that older period one which has impacted on you most to spice your music would you say?

Mike: “Y’know what – I can’t actually think of any bands that come to mind as a big influence on the EP… At least not intentionally. I listen to a lot of music and I have so many influences – over time they become so integrated it’s sometimes hard to tell what influences are being channelled! So for sure older stuff has had an influence on me in some way and possibly on the EP though it wasn’t conscious ;)”

Lee T: “I’m similar in a way. While there were wasn’t any particular road map to writing these songs, I guess you’re always going to be influenced by whatever you’ve enjoyed previously whether you consciously want to or not. My music collection is so chock full of bands that make me say “I’d love to be involved in something like this”, it’s no doubt having some effect on my own output and it’s interesting so far seeing how other people are interpreting that. Being mentioned in the same sentence as some of the bands that people are reminded of, while listening to Lights Out, is just crazy to me I can tell you that!”

Lee O: “I feel I’m more influenced by current music, but who knows whether 80’s / 90’s music / bands like Duran Duran, Nik Kershaw, Pet Shop Boys, Adam and the Ants, Madness and Genesis influence me sub consciously. They probably do in a small way.”

You have and probably are involved in other projects and collaborations, can you fill us in on those too?

Lee O: “Maybe…. maybe not :)”

Mike: “Those which are public are ‘DEP featuring MiXE1’ – a project with Mark Haigh of Draconic Elimination Projects which we started last year. We shot a video as well for one of the singles earlier in the year, currently being edited. And also ‘M3SSAGE’ which consists of myself, Gary from Defeat and Steve from Ghost In The Static. The songs are sounding great though we’re very slow as we have our main projects as priorities. Some seven string guitar action in that one!

In terms of collabs, I’ve done a few guest vocals! I don’t really get to talk about them so I’ll talk about each of the public ones! Ghost In The Static’s song ‘Lost’ was the first. A kick-ass song, I was very honoured to be on their album (it’s awesome check it out). Steve had all the lyrics and vocals written I basically sang them and added my style and threw a few extra bits in there.

Cease2Xist’s song ‘Still Not Dead’ – that came out amazing, Dayve Yates absolutely nailed that song. He told me the lyrical theme he had in mind so I just sang some bits with the idea in mind, did a few backing screams and wrote the chorus – though only Dayve is singing that bit and added his embellishments (e.g. mental high scream :D)

Most recent is Cryogenic Echelon’s ‘From Comatose’ – basically Dayve linked me up to one of Gerry Hawkin’s releases which sounded really great and we got talking. Next thing you know I was working on a track with them. The track is awesome and Gerry was really encouraging to let me do my own thing. Really great bunch of guys, seriously talented and I’m proud how the song turned out! Bonus of that collab was Gerry introduced me to Lawrie (of CE and Studio-X) who mixed Lights Out.”

What apart from finishing the album and working on the EP promotion is next for MiXE1?

Lee O: “World domination of course. Oh, and a cup of tea with a nice biscuit on the side.”

Lee T: “Next on the agenda for me is a remix of one of the album tracks. Should be interesting as I’ve never really put one together with the intention of it actually getting out there so it’ll be an experience working on it knowing it’ll be promptly ripped apart by all the guys out there who are actually good at it! ha-ha.

Other than that, we’ve been toying with the idea of how to promote the future album release when the time comes. I produced the Lights Out trailer with my video production venture: Shooting Satellite and we didn’t really want to rinse and repeat that idea for promoting the album; so we’re currently bouncing some ideas around for something far more interesting…”

Thanks so much for sharing time to talk with us guys, anything else you would like to add?

Mike: “Thanks for the interview, Pete. We just want to say thank you for all the support – every listen, every share, every purchase, every bit of feedback. It means a lot and we are very grateful!”

Lee T: “Also thanks for the great review!”

Lee O: “This is going in OK magazine, isn’t it?”

And finally, it is becoming known that I do not get on with or understand the need for remixes, though the one of  your track Part Of Me on the new EP by the great band Defeat  did impress. So finally try to convince me of the worth of remixes as a valid proposition alongside original writing J

Mike: “I feel it serves two purposes – firstly a reimagining of a song, maybe taking it in a direction not explored in the original. A good remix for me takes the song to a new place but also very much has the sound of the remixer. Secondly, it gets bands names out – if you find a remix you like, you can check out the band who remixed and maybe you’ll like their stuff. So I feel it’s a way to promote your project as well. Personally speaking I do very few remixes, I’ve only done two. Takes me a bit of motivation as with my music time, I’d prefer to just blast new material! 😉 ”

Lee O: “I had a crack at a remix, it was my first as I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of remixes myself…. but boy it’s hard. I found it harder than writing an original song. You have to do the original justice (even though it’s probably never going to be as good as) and feel like there is a pressure there for it to be real good. People think it’s easy as the song is already written and all you have to do is jig it about a bit. It’s like redesigning something that is good and functional…. it can be done, but will you come up with a better design than the original? Hmmmm!”

Lee T: “Oooh, controversial subject! This is where I’m gonna plant my foot firmly in my mouth after telling you I’m working on one myself but I’ve gotta say it’s not often I actively seek remixes out to listen to. That said, I understand their importance in certain circles, especially in the genre we find ourselves in, as they widen the potential audience while serving as a sort of dragnet for people to check out the originals! Defeat did some awesome work with Part of Me and turned it into this awesome, dark, dance-y number that I’m sure everyone will really enjoy. It definitely sounds killer in my car!”

https://www.facebook.com/mixe1

Read the review of the Lights Out EP @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/mixe1-lights-out-ep/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 05/08/2013

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