Snuttock: An introduction of Rituals

Photograph by Laurie A Smith

Allow us to introduce you to Snuttock, a band from Baltimore in Maryland consisting of Bryan Lee, a classically trained musician, and Christopher Lee Simmonds, the latter also a founding member of Michigan progressive metallers Thought Industry. There the background to the pair and Snuttock ends though the fun and real discovery of the electro outfit is through their music. Some might pin it down as synth pop and certainly that is its breeding but with sonic and emotion cast shadows, a kaleidoscope of flavours and textures, and more twists and curves than a descending slinky, it makes for a proposition which never leaves ears and imagination lost for adventure.

Formed in 2003, Snuttock released debut album Straight Jacket Life two years later. It was the first insight to the pair’s blossoming fusion of industrial rapacity with the instinctive allure of synth pop; a blend shaping Carved and Sutured in 2008 and its collection of new tracks and dance-floor friendly remixes. Where we come in and cast a glimpse into, thanks to Lee and Simmonds themselves, is with the band’s last two releases, Endless Rituals and Rituals Redux. The first is in a way the duo’s proper second album, though it seems to be classed as the third, and was released in 2013. Its successor came out last year and sees a host of artists presenting remixes of its predecessor’s tracks, the album acting like a companion piece to the originals bringing new sides and personas to their already captivating characters.

What Endless Rituals quickly establishes is the diversity across the sound and creative enterprise of Lee and Simmonds; songs ranging from simply synth pop to industrial, dark electro, ambient and much more.  As expectations and assumptions of what comes next arise they are quickly shot down and left floundering as song by song the release persistently presents a new facet to its swiftly captivating presence. For all its twists and new sides though, there is a coherency to it all which links it all as something truly individual to Snuttock.

From opener Attention, intrigue is an eager response, the opening shadows of the track rich in suggestion and invitation before the track breaks into a vibrant stroll. That vibrancy is soon a flood across hungrily catchy endeavour, grabbing body and ears with zeal and infectious energy. There is a feel of early Mute Records bands to the song, The Normal coming to mind most and the laying down of the first compelling moment in the album’s landscape.

The dark wave scented, robotically natured Single Cell Antenna is the first twist in the emprise of sound within the album, its dance dexterity and pop glow managing to also cast a dystopian shadow over the affair. New turns flow through ears from thereon in, the emotional reflection and melancholic sharing of the Depeche Mode like People Too, the reserved but open funk of We Learn with its BEF air, and the dark ambience of Nameless straight away expanding the broad terrains honed by Snuttock. The last of the three is like a flight across cosmopolitan lands, its instrumental blossoming in adventure and suggestion with something akin to a merger of Kraftwerk, Thomas Dolby, and pre-split Human League.

It is fair to say that every track within Endless Rituals stirs the senses; the outstanding and dark, almost predacious presence of Crawl invading the psyche with a prowess reminding of UK band Defeat giving one particular favourite moment though with its thought romancing, dark atmospherics One Day and Spitting Into The Wind with its Blancmange meets Artery like emotive theatre leave their magnetic mark. Even throwing a handful plus of references to give a hint of the songs on offer, the uniqueness of Snuttock is the driving force and continues to captivate across remaining tracks like the haunting post rock/electro ambience of Ghost and the irresistible electro punk popper Advice.

Endless Rituals is a treat, even more so if you can get the deluxe edition with an additional four tracks, which newcomers to Snuttock should make their entry point though Rituals Redux certainly makes for a potent invitation too. Even after years of taking them on board, we have yet to get our personal heads around the appeal and maybe even purpose of remixes especially when the originals are so impressive and dominate. We can equally understand their popularity and in turn demand for others though, even more so after listening to Rituals Redux. Whether it was because we heard it first and numerous times before Endless Rituals, the album like a film or TV show hinting at the majesty of a source book, or simply the quality of the tracks on offer, the mix of all maybe, it certainly awoke an appetite for the Snuttock enterprise and a fun in imagining their originals.

First the only ‘negative’ with the album and that is its radio show skits and bumpers. Whether they are taken from a real show or are simply cast to suggest that surrounding they do niggle personal tastes, especially when coming back to back. It is a minor thing of course and certainly once the music descends and remixes from the likes of Psy’Aviah, Marsheaux, [:SITD:], TweakerRay, and Sebastian Komor, is forgotten as feet quickly leap and the spirit jumps opening track and a sparkling take on Advice by Leæther Strip. Each track takes the core essence and heart of the original songs and casts them in a fresh landscape of imagination or shadow of dark suggestiveness. Major highlights for personal tastes include Sebastian Komor’s fizzy take on We Learn and indeed Marsheaux’s warmly seductive version, The Metroland Protocol’s hypnotic twist on Single Cell Antennae, the noir lit take of the same song by The Rorschach Garden, and Psy’Aviah’s haunting at times senses stalking remix of Spitting Into The Wind.

As we said though, and maybe surprisingly, considering its 2 CD, eighteen track length, Rituals Redux hits the perfect  spot with artists such as [:SITD:], Amarta Project, Statik SeKt, Retrogramme, Red This Ever, TweakerRay, Guilt Trip, L’Avenir, Diskodiktator, and Deutsche Bank Machine equally lighting ears and enjoyment with provocative interpretation and craft.

So that is Snuttock, a band which if synth pop and broad electronic adventure is your appetite should make for a highly pleasing new exploration.

Check them out more @ http://www.snuttock.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/Snuttock/  and their music @ http://www.snuttock.com/store.html

Pete RingMaster 31/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Public Domain Resource – Dead Surface

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     Until the arrival of their debut album it is probably not too far-fetched to assume a great many like us were not aware of Public Domain Resource and their magnetically crafted contagious sound. The recently release of Dead Surface has certainly addressed that lapse and such the potency of the synth pop bred waltz marking this fifteen track temptation the only recommendation is for you to go immerse yourself in this band. It is an album which ebbs and flows at times to both intrigue the imagination and occasionally leave the appetite wanting a little more from particular moments but taken as one radiant proposition the album is a riveting and vibrantly refreshing slice of electronic adventure.

     The Bergamo based project consists of Pietro Oliveri (music, synths, programming, vocals) and Ugo Crescini (vocals) though founded in 2012 it was initially a solo venture for Oliveri before Crescini linked up with him in March of last year. The band’s first year saw the appearance of Under The Ground, a track which reached 3rd place in the Industrial Music chart on Soundclick.com. Its successor Nemesis-The Third Day and the following The Hang were no less eagerly received either with the two songs riding high in IBM charts and all three now appearing upon the Space Race Records released Dead Surface. Combining a weave of sounds and flavours from eighties synth pop to EBM and varied electronic spicery, it is an encounter which warrants plenty of encounters to discover all its little nuances and seductive essences but one which constantly rewards with those unveilings. Whether the album will rival your all-time favourites time will tell but certainly it will earn and deserve a regular feature on your adrenaline cast playlists.

   The album starts with its best track, a title Ideals never relinquishes despite the strong challenges to come. Opening with a Dead Surface Coverdelicious bassline right out of early songbook of The Cure, the track immediately has interest hungry and eager to learn more. Tantalising electronic strokes soon join the persuasion alongside energetic rhythms and roving synth temptation but it is the excellent vocals of assumedly Crescini which seal the deal. It is hard to know who provides vocals actually each voice clearly distinguishable but only if you know which belongs to whom, something we could not find out in time. A more than healthy Depeche Mode feel evolves to wash through the song as it expands its lures and enterprise as well as a sturdy rock element to the vocals especially, it all adding to a masterful infection clad synth pop triumph.

    The following Red Lines has a more tempered energy to its candescent electro glow aligned to shimmering enticements and also has little difficulty in seducing ears and thoughts. There is a rich emotive breath to the track from its opening note and first lyrical syllable and though as it progresses and builds a rich intensity in its melodic colouring and emotional depth the pervading shadows within never waiver or lessen their evocative call. Its successor Under the Ground is a similarly crafted blaze of melodically hued imagination, different in sound and delivery but as provocatively expressive and built with dark edges to provoke the imagination. Both tracks continue the impressive start to the album before passing over to another pair of pinnacles on the release.

    The title track from an arguably predictable opening dips enthrallingly into a darker climate of voice and sound which brings thoughts of New Order to the fore. It is when the song takes a breath and puffs out its melodic chest and rhythmic muscles around a pulsating nagging electro core that it ignites a virulent fascination of sound and shadowed seduction. The melodic groove which laps at the heart of the song alongside impassioned piano strokes only go to accentuate a Heaven 17 like bait fuelling the outstanding track, its success straight away matched by Fiat Lux. Admittedly the song took a little linger to fully convince but evolved into a strong favourite. Like those before, it has a unique character seeded in familiar yet fresh seeds. Once more thoughts drift to the eighties, this time from the chilled atmosphere which reminds at times of post punk band The Passage and a discord kissed vocal delivery which persuades like the haunted expression of that band’s creator Dick Witts crossed with the wily tones of Fatima Mansion’s frontman Cathal Coughlan. It is a ravenously addictive slice of electronic tempting adding further depth to the album.

    After such a strong passage maybe it was inevitable that the release would wander a little in potency which it does with the slightly predictable Negative Fields and the unsurprising Nemesis – The Third Day, though both are undeniably enjoyable and conjured by accomplished craft as they sandwich the arresting electronic landscape of Always Prey for Them – The Reich’s Station. Their enjoyable presences are soon lost to thought as the minimalistic beauty of Mishima San and the impossibly addictive Your Blood Is Mine combine to ignite the passions all over again; the first an elegant stimulation of melodic mesmerism and sultry synth pop engagement which is as epidemically contagious as any full on virus and its successor a multi-spiced electronic web which hustles and imposes its grandeur on the senses whilst holding them in a warm atmospheric embrace. Both tracks are irresistibly memorable, something you can say about the majority of the album as proven by The Hang. Heavy in texture and similarly weighty in infectiousness the song is a slow burning rousing of the imagination which needs longer than some to fully convince but does so without reservation before The Second Day takes its swipe at winning over emotions, its inevitable success going on what has gone before soon confirmed by its resourceful and skilful electronic maze of adventure.

    Completed by two more than decent remixes by Tourdeforce (Red Lines) and Retrogramme (Under the Ground) as well as the Magnetic Fields edit of Mishima San, the thrilling Dead Surface is an exhilarating incitement of a united dancefloor and individual passions. Increasingly more impressive with each romp through its insatiably addictive and inventive body the album marks Public Domain Resource out as a new protagonist in exploratory synth pop, a band draped in shadows for not much longer you suspect.

http://www.publicdomainresource.net/

http://ekproduct.bandcamp.com/album/dead-surface

8.5/10

RingMaster 10/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Calming Cyclones: Various

     coverAccompanying their Moving Mountains compilation album, Juggernaut Services and its founder Nick Quarm have released a second album of artists working with the management and promotion company. Calming Cyclones brings together tracks and bands which reap the rewards of and flourish within calmer melodic areas of industrial/electro. Consisting of sixteen tracks the album is a warm and refreshing further evidence of the passion and powerful imagination and creativity within underground electronic music right now, something which has maybe always been the case but now with the likes of Juggernaut has an emerging voice to be heard by.

     Made up of tracks from ten artists, with some offering two entries, the album offers the dancefloor and emotions a vibrant alternative to unleash its passions to, a collection of new artists for which invention and original thought is as instinctive as breathing. The album opens with Burning Down from XP8, a duo from Italy, who also closes the release with the track Trip remixed by Cutoff:Sky. The song is a riveting expanse of golden electro kisses with an acidic heat coursing through the elegance but also offers a sinister intimidation across its embrace which is startling and unforgettable. Infectious and virulent to feet and passions, the track is a potent opening statement for the album, soon ably backed up by UK band MiXE1. The solo project of Michael Evans, the band engages and seduces the ear with the delicious embrace of Breathe, a song which smothers the senses in warmth and melodic mastery brought through emotive radiance. Originally released on the EP Module 01 via Static Distortion Records, the track like the first holds a menace deep within its heart which snarls from within the dazzling depths. Evans also offers a second song in the even more impressive electro tease of This Is Not Goodbye from Module 02, the song a union of extremes and unpredictability offering a NIN/ Celldweller meets Sonic Syndicate treat.

Another band which ignites the fullest rapture on the album is Oklahoma based electronic band, Pittersplatter who firstly with Necrotech enthrals and deliciously contaminates the senses with explosive cyber spawn melodies and an exhausting soundscape before returning again later to equal strength and addictive allurement with Mummies And Music Boxes and its invidious sonic theatrics.

Throughout its rich breadth the album continues to enchant and raise shadows with craft and enterprise. The album like its sister release has  impressive consistency in quality, imagination, and depth to all the tracks featured. Most single compilations waver within personal tastes but the pair from Juggernaut Services ignites the passions with every minute of their declarations. The likes of Manchester, UK band Cortex Defect with their two slices of future pop, Bliss Of Surrender and Heart Of Dust (Club Mix), the twin goth/darkwave offerings Messiah and Songs Made Of Solitude And Pain from Belarus band Kaltherzig, and Washington DC Retrogramme all cast their diverse and emotive sonic instigations upon the listener bringing the fullest rewards. The last of the three is a trio of musicians who create a tapestry of synthpop, darkwave, and ambience into a mesmeric and enveloping atmospheric encounter with a pop lit heart and electro voice. On Calming Cyclones their songs 911 For Locals and Heaven Is Closer Than You Think entice and infuse the most open of emotions and pleasure.

The likes of Revenant Cult from Australia and Canadians Psykkle with their dark electro continue the shifting infection upon the album whilst Scottish misanthropes Plastic Noose ensure the album ends on an elevated pinnacle in the sonic sedition Road To Perdition immediately backed up by Tactical Module and the Cortex Defect Remix of Dead Zone.

As with its companion compilation, Calming Cyclones in its own unique and distinct presence leaves the previously hidden shadows of industrial/electro underground with all it glorious detours an openly lit invitation, something which to ignore would be irresponsible to the passions.

Get the Name Your Price purchase @ http://music.juggernautservices.com/album/calming-cyclones

8/10

Tracklisting:

1. XP8 – Burning Down

2. MiXE1 – Breathe

3. Pittersplatter – Necrotech

4. Cortex Defect – Bliss Of Surrender

5. Kaltherzig – Messiah

6. Retrogramme – 911 For Locals

7. Revenant Cult – Spectral Heresy

8. MiXE1 – This Is Not Goodbye

9. Cortex Defect – Heart Of Dust (Club Mix)

10. Pittersplatter – Mummies And Music Boxes

11. Retrogramme – Heaven Is Closer Than You Think

12. Kaltherzig – Songs Made Of Solitude And Pain

13. Psykkle – City Of Nodes (Revenant Cult Remix)

14. Plastic Noose – Road To Perdition

15. Tactical Module – Dead Zone (Cortex Defect Remix)

16. XP8 – Trip (Remixed By Cutoff:Sky)

RingMaster 07/03/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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