The Vaya Project – Happybleak

happybleak front

Canadian band The Vaya Project is one of those presences which seem to remain a secret when so many less able and imaginative bands find a spotlight to shine on their work. This is not that the electro/industrial/ experimental project has lacked success but it is fair to say that wider picture of awareness has so far eluded it. New album Happybleak  is a tantalising and enthralling expanse of gripping  attention grabbing compositions which leave imagination and passions alight, and satisfaction so full it might just be the spark to change that secrecy.

The Vaya Project is the solo project of London, Canada musician/producer Jeremy Chaulk, who has equally set standards with his electronic project Kilurx, TVP RMX, as part of industrial dark metallers Project Juggernaut and plenty more. The  band has arguably been the vehicle for Chaulk’s most experimental explorations and  Happybleak is no exception, the album a striking mix of fiery sounds and electronic investigation though probably the most accessible release from the project yet. Consisting of four brand new songs, a quartet of tracks from the never released Dead Iris EP, and a set of four taken from the Ink Sonata sessions (Ink Sonata the recently released Project Juggernaut album), the new release is the perfect doorway into the music and invention of Chaulk and The Vaya Project at its most potent yet.

With most of the tracks predominantly instrumental, Happybleak provides evocative scenarios for the imagination to tease and be teased by, thoughts exploring their own visions with the pieces of music adding the spark and spice to each eclectic landscape. FTN opens things up, heavy pulsing beats resonating in the ear within an almost schizophrenic sonic causticity. As a contagious electro allurement adds its scorching presence to the mix, the track evolves in to a feisty, bordering on violent instigator for the dancefloor.  With rhythmic bait not even the dead could resist, the track is a scintillating apocalyptic kissed, industrial seeded slice of voracious inventiveness and the ideal entrance into project and release.

The following Methuselah brings an instant sinister and darker edged presence which is at odds with but compliments the previous devilry. Within the danger and intimidation lined walls of the track, scantily dressed melodies converge on its core, their leading spark a breath of warmth moving the piece into a mystically embraced and mystique soaked elegance which enchants and mesmerises the senses. Its emerging beauty is swallowed and given another fusion of temptation through Beautiful Agony which features Elle Hermansen (Ellemusic). One of two tracks with vocals, it is a wonderful slice of electro pop, the seductive vocals of Ontario singer songwriter Hermansen (who also adds tones to FTN) sirenesque within the embrace of equally fetching and fascinating melodies.

The thumping pulse of ReSex grips attention next, its metronomic lure an irresistible grip which enslaves attention whilst synths breed their own form of galvanic enticement. Like its predecessor the track is more electro pop than any other flavour, though also spiced with an irrepressible toxicity which appeals to all forms of electronic endeavour. Its successor Chasm is the other end of the spectrum, a darker predatory scourge of sonic pestilence achieving the same effect, total absorption of the imagination and emotions. A raw and unpolished breath frequents the walls of the composition, its touch harsh and stark but within this chilled environment a defiant funk lilted seed flourishes and thrills.

That ingenious blending of opposites is a frequent success in tracks, the likes of Luna Muerta and Jazmine, though with less open contesting aspects also merging differences for one provocative and richly satisfying encounter. Both tracks venture through undiscovered yet seemingly familiar landscapes, the first finding essences of Yello and Dalek I Love You within its coarser climes whilst the second of the two is a slow cascading of crystalline and glassy melodic and sonic light upon an expanding discord washed, noir clad mystery, and quite mesmeric.

Three of the next four songs are ones familiar to followers of Chaulk but in their reworked guises have never sounded better. Both the intrigue spawned mysterious Cactuz, a track destined to soundtrack the darkest spy movie, and the disturbing psychotic Pixel Army have found a clarity and potency which finds them at their most formidable and compelling whilst the insatiable rhythmic and energised appetite of Parasite leads the feet and emotions into another breath-stealing dancefloor stomp. Within the trio Fukakanuk provides its own inciting and charismatic tempting for body and imagination, its sturdy almost bludgeoning beats the skeleton for a sonic scarring and rapaciousness to hang from, as well as an impossibly infectious slavery which emerges as the track expands its diablerie.

The album is closed off by Dead Iris which features Roseblack. The song is another stylish and well-crafted song but for personal tastes does not match the dramatic quality and adventure found elsewhere upon Happybleak. The album is a fascinating journey for imagination and emotions, a thrilling bold collection of creative exploration which deserves to find the widest attention.


RingMaster 21/11/2013

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Project Juggernaut: Ink Sonata

The long awaited new album from Canadian industrial metal band Project Juggernaut is not for those with a weak backbone. Scared of what creeps in your personal dark and reluctant to explore your own shadows, then stay clear as Ink Sonata goes there and beyond across its fourteen intrusive and challenging at times nasty lingering soundscapes. The album opens the doors to their and your demons with sounds as malicious and conniving as the presences whispering malcontent from the dark. Simply it is an outstanding pit borne storm of destructive and inciteful blackened imagination.

Ink Sonatais not an easy listen from beginning to end but it is fully rewarding and one of the most exciting industrial

artwork by @richardbriceland.

releases to emerge this year. It tests the senses with the clear intent to awaken and ignite emotions and thoughts which should lay dormant, the striking and violating sounds spawn from the darkest breath and passions. The follow up to Technoir of 2010, the new album finds the band evolved not only in quality and songwriting but in their ability to twist and wind up the psyche with blistered and captivating invention. It is an album you will remember if not for any particular track or moment but for its persistent and fully expansive manipulation of your emotions.

Since forming in 2009 the London Ontario trio of vocalist Jay Cromie, Jeremy Chaulk (The Vaya Project) on programming, and guitarist RobbieK, have brought distinct elements of industrial, electro, and metal into a maelstrom of inventive and dehabilitating emotional riots brought with a melodic scorching. The new album finds them with a deeper caustic touch and vindictive nature and is quite glorious leading one to declare as much as previous work was impressive it pales next to Ink Sonata.

The album unleashes the darkness from the first notes of opener God Less, the track enveloping with a shadowed awakening and electric scuzzy energy which sears the ear immediately. Once the vocals of Cromie surge with annihilatory intent the track just grasps the senses with a devious yet enlightening ambience, even if it is into shadows best left untouched. With serpentine whispers and scathing electronics scraping every cell it is an epic start. It is not particularly catchy it any point but wholly infectious throughout like the strongest most dehabilitating virus.

The great start is elevated with the excellent Psychotic. The song treats the ear with a guitar beckoning at first which as beats and subdued vocal inserts fill the air leads like a piper into the heart of the track. The song then sends eruptions of a raging disturbed mind/energy cascading through the senses matched by the anthemic pull of its chorus and ruptured sensibility in the teasing probing electro additives. It all leads to one to wonder if such poison should be so irresistible, the album continually gives its indisputable answer.

Across the release some tracks emerge with a greater hold on the heart than others though never is there a moment when things slip below the initial high quality, either matching or rising beyond. Songs like the filth caked rocker Dirty Sister and the spiteful Lemon Face take one down vindictive corridors to test the evil and tolerance of thought and emotions. They are insistently provocative and ensure the journey is treacherous to sanity and heart but are a rewarding match to the more accessible songs, if one can use such a word on such an overall hellacious masterpiece.

Sahara all shadowed Eastern promise and sinister fascination is a song which ignites one of the hottest fires within. Hypnotically beautiful whilst criminally abusive the track is a murderous gem which alone shows how much stronger the band has ignited their cruellest and most mesmeric creative fire. To be fair every song deserves a mention such the quality and invention they offer. A deeply diverse and perpetually twisting animal beneath its exacting surface, Ink Sonata never for an instant leaves one sidetracked by outside interference with each visit to its black heart more revealing and rewarding.

Tracks like the aural emotional toxin Abuse, the acidic warmth fuelled title track, and the colossal brute that is Daedalus, all leave one gasping for air beneath their stunning enterprise and intensity whilst Open My Eyes is just magnetic malevolence and a definite favourite.

Project Juggernaut has returned with their finest hour and a major addition to the genre which leaves many other releases quaking in their wake. Ink Sonata is a quite delicious masterful ruin of your mind and emotions. Who knew abuse could be this brilliant.

Watch out for tracks from Ink Sonata on future Bone Orchard shows from The Reputation Radio Show

RingMaster 02/07/2012

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